Rise up! Raise your eyes and look about. See God’s blessings.
On this Feast of The Epiphany, so dear to our foundress, Lady Abbess Benedict, Let us each ask for a double portion of her spirit, that we may continue the work of foundation in the area to which we have been called, that through that medium we may make Christ manifest.
May we be shrewd enough to open to and beg the grace, that alone can help us outwit the Herod in ourselves that fears what total commitment to Christ will cost us.
Prayer of the Faithful
Subject to the universal law of the Church, the monastery may inscribe Secular Oblates who contribute to the contemplative life and mission of the community by taking responsibility for appropriate aspects of the monastic witness to stability and conversion in the world.
From the Regina Laudis Constitutions
For centuries Lay Persons attracted to Benedictine Spirituality as embodied by a particular monastic community, have "offered their lives to God" through an act of Oblation. Drawn to the Holy Rule of St. Benedict as a touchstone in their lives, they strive to live the Benedictine precepts of stability and conversatio in a way that is authentic to their married and family lives and professions.
Those seeking oblation through the Abbey of Regina Laudis do so only after years of building a trust relationship to particular members of the monastic community. In the spirit of Ora et Labora ("Pray and Work") their growing commitment is expressed through participation in our liturgy and a concrete medium, freely taken on in service to the Abbey and its mission.
It is not, in fact, the witness of the individual that attracts the men of today, but the witness, fruit of a life led together with others, of a given community….
From Venite Seorsum as quoted in the Regina Laudis Constitutions
A particular accent of oblation at Regina Laudis is its communal nature. Those like-committed to an aspect of the Abbey's mission meet with one another and monastic community members to pray, work, and dialogue. The mutual sharing of insights and the challenges each faces in living out his or her Benedictine commitment in our complex world, create bonds of trust and support that build the Body of Christ. It is the trilateral commitment — to God, through Regina Laudis, with other Lay members committed to the same Benedictine charism — that is blessed by Mother Abbess at the time of oblation.
OBLATE BROTHERS OF REGINA LAUDIS
The Community of the Abbey of Regina Laudis has been engaged in a process of exploration with men desiring to serve as Oblate Brothers to the community for many years. While the men who have asked to be Oblate Brothers come from various backgrounds and serve the life of the community in various ways, the nature of the call to be an Oblate Brother of Regina Laudis is essentially the same: the personal realization of each man that it is through fidelity in relationship to the community and the land of Regina Laudis that he comes to know and serve God, and so know himself as a brother in Christ.
In their own words: The Auscultatores are a body of life-committed Oblates of the Abbey of Regina Laudis. Our name is taken from the opening line of the Rule of St. Benedict, Ausculta o fili, precepta magistri, et inclina aurem cordis tui. 'Listen, my son, to the precepts of the master, and incline the ear of your heart.'
We are a group of professionally active lay persons, who have chosen to come together once a month to wash the windows at the Abbey’s church. We have been engaged in this work since 1994. Throughout the years this concrete service to the Abbey has provided a spiritual platform to know work as prayer and to experience processes of shared conversion. We share those experiences and our reflections with others, including the monastic community, through a variety of forms of presentation. As our capacity for oblation (self-gift) grows, it informs and deepens our home life and professional relationships as well as our commitment to one another, to the Abbey of Regina Laudis, and to all the persons sent to work with us.
Sheepfold Friends, a group of dedicated individuals, families, youth and professionals from near and far, and members of the Abbey community are renovating the buildings and land of Sheepfold. This renovation provides opportunities for initiatives that create relationships, community and cultural exchanges. On Gaudete Sunday, 2012 three Sheepfold Friends received the Blessing of Oblates from Mother Abbess.
We ask to be received as Oblates of Regina Laudis with a centering together at Sheepfold. Mother Abbess, we ask for your Blessing as we commit to continue our journey of prayer, love and service according to the Benedictine Rule and Spirituality, in relationship to the Community. We will endeavor to deepen our understanding and practice of this spirituality through education and formation, striving to love with our whole heart, mind and soul. so that we may serve and extend the mission of the Abbey of Regina Laudis into the world, through Obedience to you and in relationship to other Oblates and Abbey friends.
CONTEMPLATIVE MEDICAL CENTER
Our foundress, Lady Abbess Benedict, was a surgeon who received her Doctor of Medicine degree from the Sorbonne in 1936. Sensing the need for physicians to find and maintain meaning in their work, she founded the Contemplative Medical Center at the Abbey in the 1980's. Synergized by monastic community members Mother Dorcas, M.D. and Mother Telchilde, Ph.D., a core group of physicians sponsor retreat days for medical students and residents, house staff, and faculty from hospitals and medical schools in the local area. The day consists of working the land, participation in the Office of Vespers, and dinner and a discussion on an aspect of living out their call as health care professionals. Their mission is to provide much-needed support to one another and physicians in formation; to keep their professional lives meaningful and open to moments of transcendence.
LAY OBLATE CHOIR
The men and women of the Lay Oblate Choir sing Gregorian Chant in complement to the Abbatial Choir at Mass during Advent, Christmas, Lent, Holy Week and at the Easter Vigil. On Palm Sunday one of the Synoptic Gospel narratives of the Lord's Passion is sung in Latin by the Oblate Choir with soloists singing the parts of Christus and the Chronista ("Narrator") and other choir members singing the part of the Synagoga ("Crowd").
The Oblate Choir is committed to the on-going study of Gregorian Chant and core members who have sung in the choir since the 1980's aid in the education of new members. Although some members of the choir are professional musicians, prior experience in singing or knowledge of Chant are not criteria for joining the choir. The members are motivated by a desire to sing Chant as a medium of prayer and union with one another and the Abbatial community.
The Oblate Choir members offer their professional gifts in centering and support of the annual Abbey Christmas concert. They also presented at the Conference: The Psalter in Words, Art and Music held at the Center for Jewish-Christian Learning at Boston College in April 2013.
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