We have a monthly meeting to support those who are involved in the Benedictine life, including oblates from the two Anglican Benedictine Communities in Australia. the meetings are usually held at St George’s. We try and meet once a month to provide a support for those who are called to follow the Benedictine way whilst living in the world.
Our next meeting will be Thursday 9 February at St George’s – commencing with mass at 12 noon. this will be the first meeting for the year.
This is a good little clip about oblates from PBS in the USA.
St Benedict’s Day
We will keep this the Saturday near the feast of St Benedict on 11 July. This year it was on 9 July, 2022. Mother Lesley McLean was our guest preacher.
St Benedict is considered by many to be the founding father of religious orders in the Western Church. The Rule that he wrote for his community of monks in the 5th century is still relevant in today’s world for monastics and lay people alike.
Throughout the year St George’s offers hospitality to a group of oblates – lay people associated with a religious order – for whom the Rule of St Benedict provides a guide for daily living in ordinary life.Each year we invite members of religious orders, together with oblates and associates, to join us for a Mass in honour of St Benedict. This is followed by a shared lunch in the Parish Hall.
THE BENEDICTINE GROUP
Daily Rule, Daily Office, Sacramental Life
In so far as our state of life allows
Benedictine Saints and Souls
12 November 2022 (anticipated)
In the early Middle Ages, one of the great roads in Europe was between Germany and Italy, from the court of the Emperor to the court of Rome. Along that road would travel pilgrims and ambassadors, and the route would take them through what we now know as Switzerland, a country with high mountains and limited passes. Along these routes sprung up monasteries to help care for the travellers, run by Benedictines.
One of the famous monasteries was St Gall. There monks established a thriving community following the Rule, and offering help to those on the road.
I visited the town some years ago, and in the museum there they will show you a book. It is the Profession book, where new monks would sign their name, as required by the Rule, in the same manner as oblates do to this day. Some wrote their names in the beautiful lettering of the time, others more humble and less literate, just marked a cross.
A thousand years later their marks survive, a testimony to that community.
In the reading from the Rule today, chapter 35, we have a rule for how the community is to serve one another, in this case being the servers in the kitchen, and all are expected to take place, unless infirmity prevents them. This is because the community is a family, and families cannot have favourites to work properly. Here Benedict is following Our Lord, where he says that we are his brother and sister and father and mother – we are part of his family. Benedict is trying to help those who follow the Rule to move away from the demands of blood families (and he is very insistent on that) to a new community based on love. In the Reading from the Gospel today I used the death of Jesus in Luke’s Gospel, and there Our Lord promises the penitent thief that he will be a brother with him in paradise that day, he will be part of his family that day.
That is a promise that we all want for ourselves, to be with Our Lord in paradise, to be be part of his family.
That is why we keep the feast of Benedictine Saints and Souls. Usually, they are kept as two days, the 13 and 14 November, but I have anticipated them here for us today. For the departed our part of our community: not only Dom Michael King and Sister Mary Philip or Mother Rita Mary and Sisters Patience Lucy, Margery and Clare, or our departed oblates, but even those illiterate monks over a thousand years ago in St Gall. May we meet them again as part of the family of God in paradise.
This is our last meeting for the year. My thanks for the apologies of those who could not come. Prayers are requested from Victoria for Fr Bill at Wodonga, who has had a stroke, and for Joan Francis.
We will meet next in February, it had been suggested on the third Thursday at noon, but I will be away, so I am suggesting the second Thursday this time, 9 February for mass at 12 noon then lunch in the café.
Blessings for Christmas