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AVANTI!

AVANTI!

Issue 1

Have you ever wondered about Oblates in other countries?

The International Oblate Congress in Rome
offers an opportunity to meet Oblates from across the world and learn about their activities.
The next International Congress will take place on November 6-12, 2021 at the Fraterna Domus
convention center outside of Rome. The International Congress takes place every four years and draws
Oblates from across the globe who represent their respective monasteries.
The theme of the 2021 Congress is “Moving Forward: Living The Wisdom of The Rule.” Keynote speakers
include Father Gregory Polan, Abbot Primate of Benedictines worldwide; Mother Marie Madeleine
Caseau, noted author on The Rule of St. Benedict and president of the Congregation of Sainte Bathilde in
Vanves, France; and Father P. Donato Ogliari, current Abbot of Monte Cassino in Italy.
The Congress will include workshops on Oblate formation as well as an opportunity to visit the
monastery at Monte Cassino where St. Benedict spent the final years of his life and wrote his Rule.
Participants will also participate in a Vespers service and share a meal with monks at Saint’Anselmo, the
main monastery of Benedictines in Rome. There also will be an optional visit to Subiaco Abbey, where
St. Benedict lived in a cave as a hermit, at an additional cost after the Congress ends for participants
wishing to stay on an extra day.
The 2021 theme expresses the importance of exploring ways in which The Rule represents a living
tradition for the 21st century. It will build on progress made at the 2017 convocation. At that time, the
more than 200 delegates who attended adopted a five-point Vision Plan culled from several small group
discussions about the future of Oblate life.
The planning team for the 2021 Congress includes more than 20 Oblates representing more than a
dozen countries across five continents. Father Benoit Allogia, a French-born monk of St. Vincent
Archabbey in the United States, who is now at Sant’Anselmo in Rome, is in charge of overall Congress
planning.
Today’s Oblates live in an historic moment, For the first time in history, there are more Oblates than
monks and sisters living within monasteries. In addition to Oblate formation, the next Congress will
address the evolving role of Oblates within their monasteries, the shrinking number of professed
Benedictine monks and sisters, and new ways in which Oblates can share their Benedictine values.