Unfortunately, travel is iffy for me and unless a monastery was within an hour or two from my home getting to it would be impossible.
Are there any Benedictines that take oblates that aren’t able to visit the monastery? I wouldn’t think so, but you never know.
I’m wary of centering prayer because from what I’ve heard it is a blending of Eastern philosophy with Catholicism. I was curious about the Eastern religions when I was younger and from what I know there is a lot that is just not compatible with Christianity.
Also, Sister Chittister strikes me as very rebellious. Which doesn’t seem in keeping with Benedict’s rule.
I actually did look at their website awhile back. But I got the idea that you had to travel to the monastery to become an oblate, and they are just too inaccessible for me. I think I’ll email them to see if there is a work around to the distance issue.
You’re in a tough spot location-wise. I’m in Wichita Falls, and I go up to visit the monks at St. Gregory’s outside of Oklahoma City with some regularity, but have not made promises as an Oblate as of yet.
The Starr County Benedictine Sisters would be a good choice from everything I have seen, but I admit to not knowing much at all about the community in Canyon.
My suggestion is to consider visiting them and see what you can find out that way. The other thing I recommend is to see if you can’t get in touch with some of their oblates and ask them questions about the community. I understand your concerns vis-a-vie Sr. Chittister, and their recommendation of her book completely. By many accounts, her commentary on the Rule is pretty good, but I refuse to line her pockets. There are many good options for Rule commentaries without rewarding her in the process.
What I think you will find is that most Benedictines are open to discussion about things and are slow to take offense as long as you phrase your questions politely and with care. It is perfectly reasonable for you to ask why they recommend her books given her reputation. Heck, her actions and statements following the CDF’s move in regards to the LCWR alone give you plenty of legitimate reason to have concern and any nun, sister, or monk should understand where you are coming from as long as you handle things properly. If they don’t, you don’t want to be there.
Thanks for the info. I do have the commentary you mentioned, although I haven't had much of a change to dig into it yet. But had never heard of the Peifer book. I'll keep a lookout for it.
I do have a 1955 Benedictine Oblate manual from St Johns Abbey (if memory serves). It has a very short commentary on the rule, at least the parts that they considered most important for Oblates. A very interesting book for comparisons sake.
I was wondering if I was on my own about Sister Chittister. Everyone I've been in contact with seems to praise her highly, but what I've read of her writings (only online stuff, no books) I have problems with. I did see a bit of her response to the LCWR thing and thought it was very problematic.
Also, I remember reading something she said about obedience awhile back after she was involved in some event that the Vatican had told her not to participate in. It's been awhile since I read it, but I remember thinking that it was the oddest definition of obedience I'd ever come across.
Thanks for the invite for your Facebook group, unfortunately I don't do Facebook at the moment.
Its awesome that you have that commentary on the Rule, its fantastic. When you get through it, consider reviewing it on Amazon if you would. It only has a couple of reviews right now and it would be good to increase the profile of that particular text.
I have the 1955 Manual for Oblates also. It is pretty good, if shorter than I was hoping it would be.
You won’t go wrong with that book by Fr. Peifer, OSB. It is outstanding.