December 3, 2017 Christmas Party Pictures
December 3, 2017  Christmas Party Thank You!!

Thank you to everyone who came to the Christmas party.  Each person helped make it a happy celebration with our beloved monks.  It was a time of sharing and your desserts were perfect, something for everyone and every taste. There's plenty of cooking creativity in the oblate-program. You all are wonderful. 

The party was planned, setup, decorated, and cleaned up by many people.  Everyone contributed to the party effort in some way. Thank you. 

A thank you also to these people whose talent and tenacity brought everything together for our party and our monks:

The Joyful Noise Oblate Choir - well done.
Felicia Morrell 
Patty Schrader
Jackie Hartley
Pat Grimm
Rita Sarmiento
Father Fidelis
Justin Lawrence
Bill Burns
George Davis
Mike Fonfara
Linda Campbell

We missed everyone who could not attend the party, especially those who had planned on coming, but their own or family health issues prevented them.   

Kristina took most of the pictures which were posted to the oblates' picture album. Thank you Kristina.

RSVP and Info for the Benedictine Circle December 17, 2017

If you are coming to the Benedictine Circle, please RSVP.  

If you are coming for lunch, an RSVP helps the abbey kitchen ladies know how much food to prepare. Even if you are coming only to the Benedictine Circle discussion group, your RSVP helps the facilitator know how many handouts to print.

For this Advent meeting, the group will meet in the Advent Room, also known as the retreat library.

December 23, 2017 7:00 pm. Abbey Christmas Concert

Organist Peter Kinzie and the monks of Saint Leo Abbey. More info later.

Peter was not able to give his fabulous concert in 2016, but is back this year.

Do you like beautiful organ music? Do you enjoy the beauty of the Saint Leo Abbey church at Christmas?  Do you have too much on your Christmas schedule to squeeze in anything else?
Do you enjoy just being at rest with God?  If you answered yes or no to those questions -- it doesn't matter.  Come the concert, you will enjoy it.
A Reflection on the End of the Year

Like lands end for geography, the end of the liturgical year is a marker for the Church and especially for Benedictines who mark God's gift of time within the Divine Office (the Liturgy of the Hours, also called the Opus Dei - the work of God) rather than by the blind movements of a clock's hands or the empty repetitions of electronic digits on a cell phone. Benedictines seek to consecrate all time to God within their life of prayer not external to it. Each year I check the OSB Ordo for when one year ends and the next begins. This year the end was just before Vespers on Saturday December 2, the change is in the evening, not in the middle of the night. The new year began at Vespers (from vesper = evening star). A star guides to new life and a new year. 

Felicia Morrell wrote the following about this change of seasons and its practice:             

" Advent Adventure - the time I am spending trying to get to the heart of this time before we celebrate the birthdate of our Savior, Jesus the Christ. I first thought about it being a time of preparing and penance (not buying the shoes I spotted on Black Friday instead of a gift to the Salvation Army red kettle). It is that time, isn't it? Although, maybe not quite that simple.

"I recently read something that spoke of "already but not yet." A reference to the fact that Jesus has already been born, but the promises of the resurrection have not yet been realized. Perhaps, the key is to look over the past year and see how have we lived the words of the prophets who tried to prepare us for the coming of a savior-not just for the Israelites, but for all. It did not come in their time; later, when God sent his only son to show us the way to salvation, we didn't listen to him either. So, when do you think, should we start?

"Now is the time to read the prophesies of the Old Testament and reread the gospels of the New Testament-Already, but not yet.

"Looking over the last year to see what I had hoped for and how I handled getting it or not; I began to do this as a kind of Annual Examen. Starting with January and my New Year's Resolution; did I keep it? I don't think it ever get off the ground. In February, I said I would love all people just as Jesus said I should. Did I? Maybe I just didn't try hard enough. Aaahh, the Ides of March-came in like a lion and went out the same way.

"As I was leaving the parking lot at Publix, a homeless man was standing on the corner with his little sign "I'm homeless, cold, and hungry." I knew I had ten dollars in my wallet so I rolled down the car window and passed it to him. When he thanked me I said, "My son was once homeless." He said, "Oh, then you know what I'm going through. " I answered; "Yeah, so when things get better for you, be sure to pass it on." He smiled and said, "Okay". We were interrupted when the Lady behind me, in her big, black Lincoln Navigator, leaned on her horn. I waved to them both and got going.

"This is just a quick note...until next time." 

Still time to participate


Special thank-you gift for Abbot Isaac, Oblate Director

1. This is completely optional. This Abbot's Gift allows everyone to participate in a Christmas gift to Abbot Isaac.

This gift is a special thank you for all Abbot Isaac does for the oblates. And, Abbot Isaac does not have a wish-list Christmas gift this year. No oblate will draw Abbot Isaac's name out of the electronic hat. So this special Christmas gift is a way for everyone to have the abbot as "their monk" for the Christmas gift.   The special Abbot's Gift will be an gift card.

2. All those who participate in this optional gift will have their names on a Christmas card given to Abbot Isaac.

3. You may give any amount towards this gift to Abbot Isaac. An gift card will be purchased in the amount of the total amount received.

4. If you want to participate, please email
stating you want to participate in the Abbot's Gift, include your full name and the amount you want to contribute to this group gift to Abbot Isaac.

5. Make your check payable to  Saint Leo Abbey. Mark your check "Abbot's gift." Then mail it to the oblate office:

Saint Leo Abbey Oblate Office 
PO BOX 2350 
SAINT LEO, FL 33574-2350

6. Please ensure check is mailed or delivered no later than December 27. The Christmas card with the names of the participants will be given to the Abbot with the gift card.
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