Last night we held the first meeting of our revived Benedictine Oblates group here in Oxford. For the last couple of years we have languished somewhat but over the summer we made plans to revive it, and have resumed meetings. Our aspiration is to be linked to the developing foundation at Norcia, St Benedict's birthplace.
St Benedict and St Scholastica
Under the name of the Sodality of St Benedict and St Scholastica we aim to meet initially on the first Wednesday of each month at 7pm in the church of SS Gregory and Augustine; the meeting follows on from the 6pm Mass, and is designed to last for an hour. We are very grateful to Fr John Saward for his welcome and support.
Although only some of us were able to meet last night we found it a suitable, indeed successful format, and certainly achieved a prayerful quiet that to my mind savoured very much of the Benedictine ideal and spirit.
We followed the structure of an Oblate manual from 1937 which had been provided by one of our group, and are grateful to him for his work in producing a traditional and reflective office. Another member had the excellent idea of our turning the month's calendar of Benedictine saints into a litany, which worked well. We had two readings - one from Bishop Fulton Sheen on the Rosary ( it was, after all, the Feast of the Rosary ) and one from St Gregory the Great on the Gospel in the EF for last Sunday. This included an example from the life of his monastery on the Coelian Hill, which seemed eminently apposite. We ended by saying Compline in the traditional Benedictine form.
We hope this can become a regular part of the devotional life of Oxford, and anyone interested would be most welcome to join us at our next meeting on November 4th.