By Stuart-John Tigchelaar
October 17 – 20, 2019 Oblate Retreat Mount Saviour Monastery
“It is a matter of becoming. You are always becoming.” So said Brother Pierre as he spoke to us on the “Historical and musical perspectives on the psalms and song life at Mount Saviour.” And, he continued, “The music embraces the spiritual, intellectual and physical dimensions of monastic life while maintaining a prayerful attitude in all, and matures through the integration of the spiritual, intellectual and physical in your daily living.”
What perfect words, for at the heart of our community’s gathering was to deeply be involved in monastic life. St Benedict would be pleased to note that our three days together involved Prayer, Study and Work. Prayer with regular participation in The Divine Offices from Vigil through to Compline. There was a presentation on the practice of Christian Meditation prayer as Dr. Upton RSM was unable to come. Good news is that she has agreed to a rain check in 2020. Study, or at least a form of study, was experienced during the rehearsal of Hal Robinson’s adaption of his ‘Morning Song –Pilgrimage,’ which we performed in the Chapel. With music being a central theme, the jam session in the Monastery music room was an ode to joy. We all acknowledged with gratitude the dedicated work Victor put in organizing our retreat, and to the many hands that went into keeping the food flowing and kitchen clean at St Joseph’s. It was truly a community event in all senses.
Our community gatherings are so very important as they give us the opportunity to live what we profess to be, and to learn from each other’s experiences during the times of being separated. The Mount Saviour website and the Oblate’s page are one thing, but face–to–face contact is a whole different thing. During the weekend, Margaret Mary Fisher (Oblate) and Ken Herfit (Novice Oblate) were received; and we also welcomedMarie & Andy Colucci who became Oblates earlier in the year. All the Oblates renewed their own vows as well.
“Too many words = no God” said Brother Pierre, “which is why the psalms are brief and meaningful. They serve as an examination of conscience.” As always, we were welcomed with open hospitality at Mount Saviour Monastery by all the brothers and are truly grateful for all their support.