The following resources were developed from the Oblates’ Summer Meeting, 2023: “And yet…”
During the afternoon we explored our Oblation memories and stories using a framework of three tasks, as outlined below.
Task 1: We talked in groups about our memories and experiences of being an Oblate, considering what we had in common, and what was different.
As we were talking, we created a collective image (collage) to illustrate our combined memories. Nothing was stuck down so that it remained fluid as we talked.
The following questions were given as prompts:
How long have you been an Oblate?
What/who drew you? Encouraged you? Supported you?
Who wrote your references? Why did they do this for you?
Why was it important to you?
What did it mean to you?
What do you remember about your admissions day?
How did you feel when you were given your cross?
What memories do you have of visiting the Convent? Of the Sisters? The Garden? The dining room?
Task 2: Each group shared their collage and outlined what the elements meant. Discussions were recorded and transcribed, and collages photographed.
Task 3: Thoughts were drawn together to create a 30-word statement that embraced who/what/why Oblates are.
Here are the responses from Task 3, exactly as they were written:
- Being drawn by God to share the road with the people chosen by God to be your companions.
- Clergy at our churches brought us here, we felt it became our spiritual home; connecting us through prayer, and giving us unconditional love.
- Being an Oblate: expressing commitment to God, with the support of and in loving relationship with others similarly committed, and embracing the rhythm of a life of prayer.
- God called us in many ways; we each followed a different path, finding similar connections. None of us felt adequate but we learned God wanted us just as we are.
- Being called home to the Community, past and present. Being pulled together by the Rule – conscious of others saying the Office in different places, but being held as one.
- Walking into the uncertainty of God with the prayer and silences of the Sisters, offering a guiding post to keep us on an unmarked path.
Tasks 1 and 2: Transcripts and Collages
One groups’ transcript and collage will be shared each month, with suggestions for further meditations and activities.