Samuel Rahberg, OblSB
I recall an important point in my year of formation that continues to come to mind often. Sister Rosemary Rader was teaching about the discernment we were making in deciding whether to become oblates of St. Paul’s Monastery. She said that two questions should guide our discernment. First, does the Rule of St. Benedict help deepen my relationship with Christ? Secondly, does a relationship with this particular community deepen my relationship with Christ?
Clearly, many oblates have said yes to both of these questions over the years. I think it is noteworthy that while there is broad and diverse interest in the Rule of St. Benedict, Sister Rosemary encouraged us to consider our commitment to a particular community. The relationship is mutual, certainly, but the question is important: does a connection with these particular people deepen my relationship with Christ? And by correlation, does my contribution to relationships here help others’ relationship with Christ?
I had the privilege of pursuing my vocation as an Oblate of St. Paul’s Monastery and as Director of the Benedictine Center. I very much value the challenging and encouraging edges of working in such close proximity to the monastic community. I trust every day to have been formative. Our collaboration around programming for the wider community and for the oblate community, in particular, it gave us an opportunity to navigate Sister Rosemary’s two questions. How could we serve those who were drawn to the Christ-centered wisdom found in the Rule? And how could we engage those who felt uniquely called to be in relationship with these Benedictine Sisters? I am most proud that we stayed anchored in this shared identity and purpose.
I wish all many blessings over the years to come!