October 2-11, 250 Benedictine Oblates from all over the world will gather in Rome for the second quadrennial Benedictine Oblates’ World Congress. I will be privileged to be among them, as our own Madeline Callahan was in 2005. The theme for this congress will be “The Religious Challenges of Today—the Benedictine Answer.”
I look forward to visiting Rome for the first time and I’ve scheduled a few extra days to see something of the city. I eagerly anticipate meeting with other Oblates from many nations of the world, including 51 others from all over the U.S. I look forward to liturgy and discussion led by monastic men and women from all over the world. We’ll visit St. Benedict’s Monte Cassino and the seat of the modern Abbot Primate of the Benedictine Order, Sant’Anselmo. We’ll also hear Pope Benedict XVI give an address and say the Angelus at St. Peter’s.
Most of all, I look forward to being with 249 other Oblates, like me yet so different from me. I look forward to hearing their stories, learning about their lives and about how they work at living out the gospel of Jesus in their cultures and languages, with their spouses and children, with their bosses and co-workers. I look forward to sharing my own story too.
Here’s the link to the Congress website http://www.benedictine-oblates.org/2009/index-en.htm (just copy into your browser to go there.) The full schedule for the Congress and detailed presentations of the theme and content are available.
I hope to post updates in this space as the Congress progresses and/or to send a report for our October 10 Oblate Day at St. Mary Monastery. Stay tuned and pray for me and all the delegates in Rome–safety in travel for all, and a pouring out of God’s Spirit as we come together in love.