Inquirers are always welcome!
Morning Retreat and Open House
Full-day Retreat with Susan Stabile
These are the slides from our Oblate meeting on November 8. We continued the theme of dialogue, this time considering our dialogue with the environment – and with ourselves and our society about the environment. The short conference provided a monastic and Benedictine context for considering Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si: On Care for Our Common Home.
These are the slides from a retreat offered given by Sister Edith, open to the general public, on November 7, 2015. The participants learned a bit of monastic and Benedictine history, experiences some practices of prayer and lifestyle, and considered the ways in which these could be used in their lives today.
[Here is the letter mailed out this week. The reading that was sent with it is the Prologue to Bishop Edward Braxton’s pastoral letter, “The Racial Divide in the United States: A Reflection for the World Day of Peace 2015. ]
Dear Oblates, Inquirers, and Visitors –
I hope you had an opportunity to see, hear or read some of the messages of Pope Francis while he was here in the USA. I was asked to be part of a Q&A panel for his Address to the Joint Meeting of Congress. I was completely amazed when, after citing Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King to represent key aspects of the American spirit, he then named Dorothy Day, a Benedictine Oblate, and Thomas Merton, a Cistercian – both of them deeply shaped and committed to our Rule of St. Benedict. Of course, none of the newscasters noticed that connection!
Dialogue, our theme for the year, was also at the heart of Pope Francis’ message. At the start, he said that he desired dialogue with everyday working people, with the elderly and with young people. His actions support his words: wherever he goes, he includes meetings with vulnerable people in their everyday settings. His purpose, though, is not simply that they connect with him. Rather, for Pope Francis, dialogue is something that builds connections between other people. When speaking of Merton, he said, “ He was also a man of dialogue, a promoter of peace between peoples and religions. …It is my duty to build bridges and to help all men and women, in any way possible, to do the same.”
At our September meeting, we saw just how many ways Benedict focused on dialogue: urging the abbot to do everything with counsel, and to listen even to the newest members; stressing the importance that messages be sent and received wisely and promptly; enabling directions to be questioned but not over-ruled; and barring any divisions or cliques. The last provision is the core of Read more…
Slides from the first Oblate Meeting of this season.
Here is the Oblate Letter, which will reach your homes by U.S. Mail soon. You’ll have to wait for the mail to get the reading: it’s not yet publicly available to be posted.
I am eager for our next year of meetings to begin — it promises to be a good year with an intriguing theme, a reknowned and interesting retreat leader and, of course, the wonderful insights and spirit of community to which each of you contribute.
We have had a number of changes here at the monastery. In June, the sisters elected Sister Beverly Raway as prioress. We celebrated her installation on August 15 and her Golden Jubilee on August 22. Sister Beverly met with a small group of Oblates on a blizzardy day last February to talk about our ministry of Sponsorship. Sister Beverly has been teacing nursing at our College for many years; she has also served on the boards of several of our health care organizations, and chaired our monastery committee that is looking for new ways to carry out the important ministry of keeping the Benedictine values vibrant in the many organizations that call us their spiritual home, not just their sponsors. She brings a lot of wisdom and experience to the role of Prioress.
Whenever there is a new Prioress, it is also Read more…