World Congress of Oblates: Rome 2009–one last note

As I slowly but surely find myself re-immersed in the daily life of a church musician in Muscatine, Iowa, I find that I am fed and energized by continuing thoughts of the twelve days in Rome. This last reflection did not come from any particular talk or meeting or experience. Rather these thoughts seem to sum up the underlying spirit of the Congress. Continue Reading


Rome 2009: Continued Reflection

As busy and consuming as the Oblate congress was, I did manage to see some of Rome itself–on its own terms, more or less.

On the surface, Rome is all distraction and too-muchness: too many people, too many cars, buses and motor scooters, too many historical sites, too many churches, too many languages, and too many cultures–from high religion to high fashion. Continue Reading

Impressions from the 2nd Muslim/Christian Dialogue

By Sr. Catherine Cleary, OSB

Our second evening of dialoguing with our friends, people were even more animated than they were during first one. For one thing, those who attended on the first night told their friends about it and suggested they come. Continue Reading


Rome 2009: Reflections on the World Congress of Oblates

I am home and the 2009 World Congress of Benedictine Oblates is history. I am richer for the experience and for the fellowship I have gained with the broader Benedictine world. I will try to post several reflective capsules of my experience in this space over the next days as I listen for echoes of that intense time in Rome. Continue Reading


On Mother Maire on Contemplation & Action

I’ve just read Mother Maire Hickey (OSB)’s reflections at the 2009 World Oblate Congress, “The Religious Challenges of Today–the Benedictine answer.”  (You can find her text at  A number of sentences popped out at me as something to chew on for a reflection here, but I’ll pick just one section–one that touches on themes that have preoccupied me, and clearly have given Mother Maire pause as well. Continue Reading


Check out the photos!

Here are the 2009 Oblate Day photos. Hope you like them! And please scroll down for many new posts and replies from the retreat as well as Ric’s trip, Bill’s Nigeria experience, and Cynthia’s reflections!


Freedom: Our Spiritual Goal

When Abbot Jerome Kodell, OSB, of Subiaco Monastery in Subiaco, Ark., got up to speak to the Oblates and Sisters gathered to share and reflect together at St. Mary Monastery on a chilly – and sometimes snowy – October morning, he challenged us to consider our state of freedom. Interior freedom, he said, is quite different from independence, and as such is the goal of our spiritual lives. Continue Reading