Highlights from the 2018 Oblate Weekend

“It’s been a week since the 2018 Oblate Weekend but the memories are full of energy from a gathering that was memorable,” said Sister Dianne Sabol, Oblate Co-Director. She and Sister Ann Hoffman, also an oblate co-director, worked with a group of five oblates to plan an all-day oblate gathering to precede the community’s annual fall weekend to which the oblates are invited. “It was a marvelous experience working together as a team as we prepared for this event and the day did not disappoint,” said Sister Ann. There were 95 oblates, 50 from out of town, who were able to be part of Friday’s day of input and sharing.

On Saturday the oblates joined with the sisters for a day of input from Dr. Robert J. Wicks on how to strengthen one's inner life while living and ministering in challenging times. “Dr. Wicks stressed the importance of caring for oneself in order to effectively use the gifts we have been given. His book Night Call is an excellent resource for understanding the processes needed,” shared Marlene Trambley, an oblate of 37 years.

By Saturday evening more than 115 oblates had gathered for the annual renewal ritual. During Vigil Prayer the Benedictine Sisters of Erie welcomed seven new initiates into the Oblate Way of Life. The initiates expressed the desire to deepen their faith by studying the Rule of Benedict and living the Gospel values of peace and justice more intensely. Sister Anne Wambach, prioress, presented each with a copy of the Rule: “Receive this Rule of Benedict. May it be light for your nights and hope for your days and may light and hope continue to enliven your hearts with passion for the transformation of the world.”

To the 2017 initiates completing the initiate year Sister Anne presented a symbol of their commitment as an Oblate of Mount St. Benedict. Each of last year’s eight initiates received a Benedictine pin. The ceremony continued with the new oblates and the renewing oblates together proclaiming their Oblate Commitment. The sisters then offered a blessing and welcomed the oblates into a relationship of mutual support.

Sister Anne Wambach offered reflections during the service and began by speaking directly to the oblates: “It is somewhat anti-climactic to give a reflection during the oblate commitment ceremony. Your very presence, your energy, your participation and enthusiasm, your wholehearted commitment to your calling as oblates with this community, really say so much about what it means when a group of individuals join together. And you have joined together to help make the world a better place and to make each of us more committed followers of Jesus and Benedict in the process.” Click here to read Sister Anne’s reflections in full.

After the ceremony the community welcomed the oblates to a festive dinner. “It was the perfect conclusion to a wonderful weekend,” said Sister Dianne. She added: “A picture is worth a thousand words so do take time to view the slide show that captures some of the highlights of the weekend. It will tell the story better than any words.”

Click on the arrow to view the slide show.

Initiates
Cathy Courtice – Delaware, OH
Rev. Judith Davis – Brevard, NC
Suzanne Hudson – Harborcreek, PA
Beth Jordan – Santa Rosa, CA
Joan Martter – Erie, PA
Breanna Mekuly – Erie, PA
Sandy Selby – Akron, OH

New Oblates
Margaret Bercovitz – Cheshire, CT
Diane Cunningham – Kentwood, MI
Rosemary Gantz – San Antonio, TX
Dave Jesenovic – Willowick, OH
Rose Anne Jesenovic – Willowick, OH
Kathleen Pforr – Mentor, OH
Mary Jane Potocki – Erie, PA
David Rettman – Erie, PA

Click here to learn more about the Oblate Way of life.