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Congratulations to Our New 2024 Oblates

Congratulations to Our New 2024 Oblates

Oblates express a commitment to the Sisters of St. Paul’s Monastery and to following The Rule of St. Benedict (The Rule) in their daily lives in accordance with their abilities. This present group of candidates participated in monthly meetings headed by spiritual leaders who engaged them in discussion on what it means to live a prayerful life and helped them to better understand the topics outlined in The Rule. 

The last step of this process was an overnight retreat at the Monastery. Candidates used this time to discern their path toward Oblation. The photographs here are from the final step in the process, Final Oblation. This is a beautiful ceremony where candidates offer themselves to the Lord. The photographs that follow accompany quotes from the Oblates on their individual experiences.

 

New 2024 Oblates
2024 Oblates from left to right: Janet Belisle, Jo-El Quinn-Kroening, Kristi Harvey, Melinda Markell, Steve Kasperick-Postellon, Teresa Kasperick-Postellon, and Karen Personius
New 2024 Oblates
Janet Belisle receives Benedictine medal from Kami Pohl, Oblate Director

“These past few months have been such a blessing for me.  Being exposed to the Benedictine community – the spirituality, hospitality, knowledge and just God’s loving presence.  I enjoyed getting to know my fellow oblates in formation.  The culmination of our formation experience on Pentecost Sunday filled me with such joy.  I truly felt the Holy Spirit amongst us as we made our Final Oblation,” Janet Belisle.

“The journey to becoming an oblate has been swirls of joy, compassion, new insights, and a new community that I treasure. I am overwhelmed with all of the gifts I have received, and I hope to share this love in whatever way I am called,” Jo-El Quinn Kroening.

2024 New Oblates
Jo-El Quinn-Kroening reads her statement of Final Oblation.

“The most important parts of Oblation for me meant developing a deeper connection to the Sisters and the Monastery community as well as developing new habits around prayer and connecting to Spirit. I have great hopes that this year-long study will lead to so much more knowledge and community in the years to come,” Melinda Markell.

Sister Catherine Nehotte OSB signs Oblate Melinda Markell's certificate.
2024 Oblate
Steve Kasperick-Postellon carrying Oblation candle.
 “One of the great gifts of being an oblate is a connection not only with centuries of Benedictine life in general, but with one monastic community in particular. Just as the Sisters here are members of St. Paul’s Monastery and not of some other community, for over two decades we have been oblates of Mount St. Benedict Monastery in Erie, Pennsylvania. We participated in their prayer and work, insofar as our state of life permitted—we lived in Michigan, so it was rare that our life permitted us to be there in person.
 

“When Steve joined the staff of St. Paul’s Monastery in 2022, we moved to Minnesota — this became our community in a way that we had never experienced with the Sisters in Erie. Most weeks, Steve is praying liturgically with the Sisters here a dozen times or more as part of his job, and Teresa’s typical week also involves frequent “prayer and work” with the monastic community.

“After a year of personal discernment and a year of official formation, we are joyful and grateful for the opportunity to transfer our oblation to St. Paul’s Monastery. We are still learning what it means to be oblates with a local community larger than ourselves! As we advance together with the Sisters, Oblates, and all friends of St. Paul’s Monastery in this way of life and in faith, we trust in Benedict’s promise that “we shall run the way of God’s commandments with expanded hearts overflowing with the inexpressible sweetness of love…. May Christ lead us all together to life everlasting!” Steve and Teresa Kasperick-Postellon.

2024 Oblates
Teresa Kasperick-Postellon signs her certificate.
Karen Personius (at center) carries Oblation candle.

“My experience with the Oblate process has been rewarding and enriching. I feel a closer relationship with the people involved with the Monastery.  This process has enhanced my relationship with God,” Karen Personius. 

2024 Oblates