Monday, October 28, 2019

September 2019 Minutes

Prayer: Brother Francis offered the opening prayer

Introductions of attendees:
Brother Francis Wagner, OSB, John Rasche, Kathy Gloeckner, Clyde Dorn, Mary Louise Reed, Peyton Reed, Margaret Sherlock, Pat Dorn, Joan Hilton

We read the Mission Statement together, then prayed Vespers.

We learned that Fr. Sebastian Leonard died yesterday (9/21/19). There was discussion, remembering various monks. Br. Francis reported that Fr. Meinrad is doing well.

Lectio: not today’s reading, but Luke 7:11-17, Jesus’ raising of the widow’s son in Nain, in honor of Br. Francis’ theme of “Wake Up”.

Minutes – approved as submitted. Mary Louise Reed is resigning from taking minutes due to Peyton’s and her impending move to a retirement community. Mark Milliron has agreed to take minutes after today.

Treasurer’s report: We have $534 as of 4/28/19. From September, 2018 to April, 2019 we took in less than we spent; the deficit will catch up with us. However, we were reminded that some of the expenses were for the reservation of the Holy Spirit Center for the May, 2020 Day of Recollection. Our biggest expenses are for the travel/honorarium for visiting monks. A donation (suggested $5 or more) from each member attending is requested. Any donations to our chapter can be paid by check, made out to our treasurer, Nick McCarroll. His address is: 3685 Bass Rd., Williamsburg, OH 45176

Next Meetings: Suggestions for TBA meetings were discussed

·       Margaret Sherlock has gathered a list of questions to consider on the theme of vigilance.
·       Br. Francis will have some handouts for us regarding his talk today on this year’s theme. He will send copies to Pat to send to everyone.
·       We want to be sharing our wisdom/insights as well as stories of how they have affected our lives.

Ron reported that Chapter Leaders met at St. Meinrad in June regarding recruitment – gaining and retaining new members.

The question was raised about how we include prayer intentions for oblates beyond a prayer at a meeting. Pat reported that she sends out prayer requests whenever she receives them; they can be anonymous if requested.

Highlights of Br. Francis’ talk,” Wake Up, The Benedictine Oblates Call to Vigilance” Today is Part I, the other parts will be conferences at the Day of Recollection, May 16, at the Holy Spirit Center in Cincinnati. One of the conference periods will involve us and our responses to the handouts we receive.
·       Today’s world requires us to be vigilant; but that can be taken too far. Inordinate fear of bodily harm is the Devil’s tack
·       Eager alertness (“good zeal”) is important for our spiritual life
·       Wake up and walk in the light of Christ
·       Be ready for when Jesus returns
·       Jesus prayed at night; our reason to pursue vigilance. Soldiers on night watch, or third shift security guards, monks with night vigils, night nurses, are examples of how people sacrifice themselves to watch over others in need
·       All this involves great struggle
·       Satan has many tactics to distract us and lead us away from God’s will
·       Jesus, awake in Gethsemane, is our example. Jesus, praying, was awake when the soldiers came for him
·       Oblates are called to vigilance even more than other Christians, becoming watchful at every minute of the day.
·       Benedictines are not called to their works, principally, but to conversion of our own hearts.
Vigilance - Considerations
1.     Vigilance is complicated. Grace and nature cooperate It’s understood as baptismal spirituality
Ephesians 5:8 calls us to” live as children of light” Baptism is a grace, but we have to work it out in response
2.     Baptismal faith must be rooted in prayer. RB Prologue 4 says that every work should begin with prayer
We should be speaking less, and engaging in prayerful reflection more
Be more attentive to conscience messages - compunction, piercing of the heart, calls to interior conversion
Turn the volume down on other voices/noise
There are two handouts to consider. Be ready to discuss them in May at the Day of Recollection
1.     Michael Casey – part of his book on RB chapter 4
2.     Paula Huston - her experience in a mid-life conversion; the relation to vigilance is not immediately obvious

There was further discussion of examples of vigilance. Mel Gibson’s movie “The Passion of the Christ”, especially the Gethsemane scene; vigilance as prayer in the night when we awake; and journaling, though that can be dumping

Closing Prayer: a prayer of St. Francis de Sales, lead by Br. Francis de Sales Wagner, OSB. Pat will send a copy with the October newsletter.

Respectfully submitted, Mary Louise Reed

September 2019 Newsletter

We have an oblate meeting this Sunday, September 22 @ 2:00 p.m. in the St. Joseph Room of the St. Gertrude Parish Center. You will not be receiving a newsletter as usual for this meeting. However, I am attaching the Minutes of the April 28, 2019 meeting to this email and have printed the Agenda below along with the meeting dates for the 2019-2020 year.

Also below you will find an email we received from our Oblate Director Janis Dopp regarding a prayer request from a fellow oblate, Jason Moore, who is serving as a chaplain in an unknown location.  Please remember him in your prayers and, if you would like to do so, feel free to drop him a note.

The agenda for Sunday's meeting is as follows:

   I.  Reading of the Mission Statement
  II.  Vespers (Week 1 - Liturgy of the Hours for Benedictine Oblates)
 III.  Lectio Divina
  IV. Minutes of the April 28, 2019 Meeting
   V. Treasurer's Report
  VI. Old/New Business
 VII. Program
               Guest Speaker:  Br. Francis Wagner OSB
                             Topic:   Wake Up! The Benedictine Oblate's Call to Watchfulness
VIII. Adjournment & Closing Prayer

The meeting dates for 2019-2020 are below.  Please mark your calendars. All meetings begin at 2:00 p.m.

     September 22................Br. Francis Wagner, OSB
     October 27....................Br. Stanley Wagner, OSB
     November 24................TBA
     January 26....................TBA
     February 23..................TBA
     March 22......................TBA
     April 26........................Fr. Mateo Zamora, OSB

     May 16.........................Day of Recollection at the Holy Spirit Center
                                          Presenter: Br. Francis Wagner, OSB

April 2019 Minutes

Attendance Br. Francis Wagner,OSB, Pat Dorn, Jane Moyer, Linda Faulhaber, Nick McCarroll, Kathy Gloeckner, Margaret Sherlock, Ron DeMarco, Peyton & Mary Louise Reed Br. Francis, our Oblate Dean, opened our meeting with prayer, then we introduced ourselves.

We welcomed Jane Moyer, visiting from another area in the state. We read the Mission Statement, then prayed Vespers. Lectio this month was not on today’s Gospel, which is permissible, at Peyton’s suggestion, so as not to have the same information we’d heard at church.

The minutes had no corrections.

The treasurer reported a balance of $595, while owing today’s honorarium for Br. Francis’ visit, and $3 for office expenses.

Old Business
We took up the question about the third step in Lectio with Br. Francis. Yes, our response to the reading in that step should be a prayer, or in the form of prayer. Chanting the Psalms: Br. Francis shared his own experience with this when first coming to the monastery. He said the focus on how to do it, and doing it right were very distracting. But, that psalms are meant to be sung, especially at Vespers. They are spoken only at Lauds, though he said an individual monk away from the monastery may well do spoken psalms. Like anything else, practice and time makes the chanting easier. One problem is that when chanting together, there’s no opportunity to stop when something strikes you. But there is no personal prayer in a public office; we pray together for others and for the world. The text is most important; notes help it along, making it sung speech.

Janis, our Oblate Director, said that if there’s someone who can lead, the experience can be enriching. Br. Francis suggested reading the General Instruction for the Liturgy of the Hours, which can be found in the four volume set of the Liturgy, or on the EWTN website.

In response to our questions about the new requirement for investitures and oblations to happen at the monastery, we were reminded that we are chapters of the Archabbey; therefore it makes sense for the Archabbot to want to receive people. It is also more special for oblates to actually sit in the choir and to interact with the monks, making it very special and memorable.

The monastery has an Angel Fund to be able to help those who may need financial help to get there. Other chapters have expressed problems also. The question came up whether Skype, Facetime, or similar technology is a possibility. Currently, it seems that the logistics of that may be prohibitive.

New Business
Peyton Reed reported on his participation in the Honor Flight program for veterans of WWI, WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. It is a one day trip to Washington, DC to visit all the war memorials, and includes much celebration at the airport both at the beginning and at the end of the day, thanking them for their service. Those who participate find it very memorable. He has written a memoir of the day, and offered copies to those who want them.

Steve Bay’s wife (Karen Romme) died, and we decided to have a mass said for her at St. Meinrad. Brother Francis lead a discussion based on his assignment from last September to read The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis. The book was difficult for many, and he had much teaching for us about the themes expressed in the book.

Highlights of Br. Francis’ discussion:
• Living our lives authentically as Christians is our best witness to others. Christian practices don’t convince people of Christ’s beauty and truth if we don’t act like Jesus in our conversation, our driving • The Devil is constantly trying to tempt us in small things, to make us more consistently doing wrong and eventually not noticing
• We like to avoid seeing our own faults and the habits that annoy others, focusing on others’ faults instead
• Fear of seeing our inner soul: God never refuses mercy to those who acknowledge their faults
• War itself is not our enemy, but the reactions of individuals during war is the spiritual war we are always part of. How we live and die – remembering we will all live forever – is what’s important
• Satan can’t create anything; he twists (or encourages us to twist) virtues into vice
• Unselfishness, with true charity , is meeting another’s needs, not helping others in order to please myself in my inner heart Summary Transparency as the theme for oblates this year has been to help us present ourselves to God in truth and humility, not hiding like Adam and Eve.

The Screwtape study was to help us understand how evil tries to deceive us, and to help us serve the Lord with constancy, more aware of the specifics of the warfare.

Br. Francis closed our meeting with prayer. A social time followed.

Respectfully submitted,
Mary Louise Reed