Companions

Oblate Companion Group Agenda

Oblation Ceremony

The Oblation Ceremony will be Sunday, November 12, 2017, at 2:40 p.m. in the Ryan Memorial Chapel at Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital. Everyone making their initial or final oblations should meet at 1:15 p.m. for rehearsal.

A novice’s time in the Oblate Companion Group is designed to provide an orientation to the Oblate Handbook, with an emphasis on the ten lessons included in the Initial Formation section, as well as to discuss highlighted areas of the handbook. This orientation will enhance the attendee’s ability to begin the journey toward becoming an oblate of St. Benedict.

All meetings last about ninety minutes, with a total of seven meetings.

1st Meeting/Session

Prior to the meeting, read: “Guidelines,” “Initial Formation,” and “Holiness.”
The goals for this gathering are to:

  • provide an overview of the handbook;
  • discuss the Guidelines for Oblates of St. Benedict;
  • answer any questions;
  • present the process of becoming an Oblate, including the purpose of the Companion group, as well as the process, including new members/initial oblation (novices) and final oblation (full oblates);
  • provide an overview of the importance of discussing the ten lessons (in the Initial Formation section), as a way to become familiar with the Benedictine values or charisms.

2nd Meeting/Session

Prior to the meeting, read: “Monastic Tradition: St. Benedict and his rule, the rule of Benedict, The Early Monastic Tradition (Anthony, Basil, Evagrius, and Cassian)”; “Benedict;” and “Conversion.”
The goals for this gathering are to:

  • discuss the history of St. Benedict, the rule and the time it was written, as well as other early Monastics and their contributions;
  • discuss the role of conversion in daily life and the journey of life.

3rd Meeting/Session

Prior to the meeting, read: “Monastic Tradition: The Place of Monasticism in the Modern World, Family tree of Sacred Heart Monastery, Daily Office”; “Prayer”; and “The Hours.”
The goals for this gathering are to:

  • provide an orientation to the prayer book and liturgy of the hours;
  • discuss the role of Monasticism in contemporary society;
  • discuss the how-tos of the daily office (Liturgy of the Hours) and the benefits of prayer in daily life.

4th Meeting/Session

Prior to the meeting, read “Monastic Tradition: Living in Community (Center in Christ, Solitude, and Togetherness, Conscious and Sustained Choice, Willingness to Live in the Uncontrollable, Letting Community Emerge from Conflict, Laity-in-the-world, Community Roots in Scripture and Rule)” and “Eucharist, Work, and Lectio.”
The goals of this gathering are to:

  • discuss the benefits of community, both Benedictine and others;
  • review ways to balance work and prayer at home and in the community;
  • discuss the role of Eucharist and community;
  • develop an appreciation for the benefits of Lectio Divina.

5th Meeting/Session

Prior to the meeting, read “Monastic Tradition: Simplification of Life,” paying attention to 1) theory: the call to simplicity, 2) practice: the response of simplicity, and 3) time, material things. Also, read “Hospitality.”
The goals of the gathering are to:

  • discuss what simplification of life is and how to incorporate it into our daily lives;
  • discuss the role of hospitality in Benedictine philosophy and ways to “see Christ” in others even when it is difficult.

6th Meeting/Session

Prior to the meeting, read “Monastic Tradition: Contemplative Availability” and “Obedience.” In preparation for the seventh meeting, write a draft of a personal Rule of Life based on the readings so far.
The goals of this gathering are to:

  • encourage all to share the drafts of their personal Rules of Life with the group;
  • present copies of a sample draft of a Rule of Life;
  • discuss “Contemplative Availability” and its role in our lives;
  • discuss the challenges of obedience;
  • discuss the flexibility of the Rule, especially related to Benedict’s intentions underlying the phrase, “nothing burdensome.”

7th Meeting/Session

Share with others your personal rule of life as well as any changes in your daily life as a result of it. Also, each member should feel free to support the others as they share their plans for a Rule of Life, providing suggestions, reflections, and other insights as appropriate.

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