Friday, August 8, 2008

Oblate Sunday, Part 1 of 4. A Benedictine oblate blog.

The monthly oblate meeting was this past Sunday at the abbey.

My wife and I had our 1-year-old grandson stay with us on Saturday night and we were not able to get up Sunday morning after a late night with him not wanting to go to sleep, drop him off at his parent’s house in the morning, and drive the 45 minutes to the abbey by 10:00 am — but we should have.

The sequence of events at the abbey on oblate Sundays is:

1. Mass at 10:00 am
2. Oblate novice class at 11:15 am
3. Midday prayer with the monks at about noon.
4. Lunch
5. Oblate class 1:30 pm to about 3:00 pm

These times may not be exact, I do not pay any attention to the time while there, I arrive and move with everyone to each next event.

[Bookstore browsing 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm — this is not part of the planned activities, but many people like to spend time after the oblate meetings looking through the well-supplied book and gift shop at the abbey — often we will hear of a new book in class and want to buy it.]

Most everyone leaves for home between 3:30 pm and 5:30pm.

On most oblate Sundays my wife and I usually stay for vespers at 5:00 pm, because we typically are in the abbey bookstore until it closes at 4:00 pm and we walk the abbey grounds or sit in the front of the church until about 4:40 pm when we go into the church to prepare for prayers at 5:00 pm. So, for us we are usually heading home at 5:30 pm on oblate Sundays.

However, last Sunday we left the abbey to come back home at about 3:45 pm because we were very tired and when we got home we went to bed about 8:30 pm — and we are night owls by nature.

So that's the typical schedule. I included it for those who might not have any idea about the overall structure of an oblate Sunday -- at least at the abbey we know.

One of the primary feelings I have on oblate Sundays is the sense of being part of an old tradition. While memory is a friend to many religious institutions, memory is the guestmaster of monasticism.


  1. I remember well the wee book shop before they added the extension. There was a brother who manned it, now deceased (+) who once was a merchant Marine. I am sure his name will come to me tonight. He was one of my favorite people of St. Leo. Always cheerful, never complaining. May he rest peacefully in God's arms for the joy he brought to others.

    Aye and then there is the infamous alligator of Lake Jovita behind the monastery that would sometimes prowl beneath the foot bridge to the Sister's Priory.

    One of my favorite spots was, of course, The Grotto.

  2. Yes, I have seen the many paintings by the merchant Marine monk you mentioned. I did not know he also worked in the book shop too. If you do not think of his name, I will get it the next time I visit the abbey.

    I do not have any pictures of the peaceful Grotto, and will take some the next time too.

    At the last oblate Sunday, a man who has been visiting the abbey for a little while attended his first oblate meeting, his comments to me were the same ones my wife and I had, and what we have heard from other visitors as well, “there’s a feeling about this place, it’s beautiful.”