U.K. OBLATES ONLINE ADVENT RETREAT
GUEST SPEAKER: DAME LAURENTIA JOHNS O.S.B.
‘THE WAY OF BENEDICT: EIGHT BLESSINGS FOR LENT’
SATURDAY NOVEMBER 21 2020 (11.00 – 17.00)
We warmly welcome you to our first online retreat, which will be delivered via Zoom.
Dame Laurentia was going to lead our weekend residential retreat at Douai Abbey in October, which sadly had to be cancelled because of the current pandemic.
SUGGESTED DONATION: £15
FOR FURTHER DETAILS AND REGISTRATION PLEASE CONTACT:
CHRISTIAN MINDFULNESS ON-LINE FORUM 2020
TWO DAYS OF TALKS, PRACTICE, FORMATION AND INTERACTIVE PARTICIPATION ON THE CHRISTIAN TRADITION OF MINDFULNESS.
Led by Br Christopher Greener OSB and Martin Zetter BSoM registered meditation teacher, also Dr Caroline Shepherd, Nick Gurr, and Fr Peter Bowe OSB.
Saturday 24th and 31st October
BOOKING REQUIRED – LIMITED PLACES
For those with an interest in mindfulness and meditation we will explore these practice in the Christian faith in an interactive online environment.
This ecumenical event welcomes everyone from those with a curiosity about mindfulness in the Christian tradition to established practitioners.
Mindfulness is an established part of the contemplative tradition, as well as being a way to bring ongoing awareness of the presence of God into our daily lives.
For further details and how to book go to:
SIX WEEK MONASTIC ON-LINE MINDFULNESS COURSE
THIS SIX WEEK COURSE TEACHES THE BASICS OF MINDFULNESS PRACTICE AS INFORMED BY THE CHRISTIAN MONASTIC TRADITION FROM THE DESERT FATHERS TO THE PRESENT DAY.
Led by Br Christopher Greener OSB and Martin Zetter BSoM registered meditation teacher
Every Tuesday 11.15am -12.30pm for six weeks from 3rd November to 8th December
ADVANCE BOOKING REQUIRED – LIMITED PLACES
Participants will learn four meditation approaches on which to build their mindfulness practice along with six mindfulness tools that can be used to manage stress, anxiety and depression. The course is ideal for those wishing to learn these wellness skills and integrate them into the practice of their Christian faith.
There will be an opportunity for participants to reconvene for further guidance in the light of having used the tools for a trial period.
For more information and booking contact email@example.com
The National Retreat for Benedictine Oblates planned to be held at Douai Abbey
from 2nd to 4th October 2020; has been cancelled due to the pandemic.
The 10th National Retreat for Benedictine Oblates (organised by UK Oblates Team)
is now planned to be held at Belmont Abbey, Hereford HR2 9RZ
From 17th to 19th May 2021
‘Walking with St Benedict’
Led by The Rt Rev Bishop Richard Moth,
Bishop of Arundel & Brighton,
Oblate of Pluscarden.
Cost £180 for single room, full board
Details Neil Zoladkiewicz: firstname.lastname@example.org
May 2020. News from Douai Abbey .
Fr Abbot told us at the start of the lockdown, that now we can be proper monks and not go travelling out. Mother Abbess of St Cecilia’s Ryde, wrote in their Chronicle that the abnormal has now become the normal and the world at large has joined the nuns in observing enclosure. One of the younger monks goes out once a week to pick up prescriptions from the surgery and do any necessary shopping. The front of house seems strangely quiet without any guests or visitors, and there are no retreats or talks to prepare and give. Most noticeable is the absence of people at Mass, especially sad for those few elderly people who make great efforts to share the daily Eucharist with us, and those who like to come into the church during the day to pray. The Triduum was particularly forlorn without the usual retreatants. We followed the bishops’ instructions exactly, so there were no processions, foot washing or watching on Maundy Thursday, no blessing of the fire or water at the Easter Vigil, but at least we celebrated it as well as were able.
We recognise that how much better off we are than many people who are unable to go to church, or who live in high rise flats in inner cities and have no gardens to enjoy, and so we must be thankful for our blessings.
Father Gervase Holdaway OSB
‘Life with St. Benedict’ by Richard Frost (Bible Reading Fellowship)
ISBN: 9 78057 468130
Richard Frost is a Reader in the Church of England and an oblate of the Benedictine community at Alton Abbey in Hampshire. His recent book provides reflections on the daily readings from the Holy Rule and is prefaced by an excellent short introduction to Benedictine Spirituality and a useful glossary.
The subtitle to this volume is ‘The Rule re-imagined for everyday living’ and that is exactly what the author has achieved in his reflections on each daily reading from the Holy Rule, which explore relationships, the workplace, our own church and our attitudes and actions towards others in a modern context. The reflections also include searching questions for the reader to think about and there is also a short prayer at the end of each section.
Overall this is an excellent introduction to the Holy Rule and the author bridges the gap between a 1,500 years old spiritual document and modern lives. It helps the reader to get into the habit of trying to apply St Benedict’s teaching to their own life, that process of daily reflection which is so essential to our progress on the Benedictine way. It is therefore an ideal volume for the novice oblate and all who are beginning the Oblate life. I certainly wish Richard Frost’s book was available when I took my own first steps towards becoming an oblate. It is also an ideal volume for the busy oblate of whatever experience!
NEIL ZOLADKIEWICZ (EALING ABBEY)
9th UK OBLATES NATIONAL RETREAT AT BELMONT ABBEY:
On October 14 2019, 23 oblates from across the UK assembled for the annual UK Oblates retreat, which took place over three days at Belmont Abbey near Hereford. Bishop Richard Moth of Arundel and Brighton diocese (and himself an oblate) was meant to lead the retreat but sadly he was ill. Father Alexander George, from the Abbey, though originally from Downside, agreed to lead the retreat at very short notice.
Father Alexander gave four talks on the nature of Benedictine Spirituality, Community Life, Silence and Prayer. All the talks were highly comprehensive, challenging, encouraging and ultimately uplifting.
He was able to link the daily experience of a monk to that of the oblate, showing an acute awareness of the daily challenges of leading the oblate life, suggesting that we are all seekers of God and we all need space to grow through solitude and silence. He also suggested that community life is an art form and has its own challenges, connecting these to those the oblate may face in the workplace, marriage, relationships and friendships. In his talk on prayer he clearly delineated the differences between intercession, meditation, contemplation and mysticism and in his talk on Silence, the differences between silence of speech, of thought, of the will, of desire and of the unconscious. Silence is God’s language and therefore we should speak only out of silence and act only out of stillness.
The 2020 Retreat will take place at Douai Abbey in October. Please see the UK Oblates website for details in the New Year.
Neil Zoladkiewicz (Oblate of Ealing Abbey)
Treasurer of the UK Oblates Team.