It was in 2002 that Trish Panton gave me information about Benedictine Oblates, when she became Coordinator of Australian Oblates. After also asking Fr Laurence about it, I become a Benedictine Postulant in September 2002. Then as time approached for the Silent Retreat to be held in Ballarat Victoria in February 2003, I hoped and prayed that despite my mutiple chronic health problems, I would be able to attend.
How well I remember, the extremely kind and efficient manner, in which Trish Panton did everything possible to help my wish reach fruition. However as the time of the Retreat drew near, it became increasingly obvious to both myself and Trish, that it would not be wise for me to attempt to attend. From the silence of my home in Western Australia, I entered into the spirit of the retreat. Then on 6th February 2003, Fr Laurence received me as a Benedictine Oblate. Vesta Gamalatge kindly stood in for me, bringing home my Certficate and beautiful Medal of St Benedict.
It was in 2006, that Fr Laurence Freeman OSB chose 2007 to be the year for me to make my Final Oblation. While in Perth on 4th May 2007, during the celebration of a beautiful Eucharist, Fr Laurence received me as a Benedictine Oblate of WCCM. In addition to my local Meditating Community, one hundred of my family relatives and friends attended, including Trish Panton and Pauline Peters, who had kindly travelled from their homes on the east coast to be with me. On this the most joyful day of my life, thanks to an outpouring of love from all those in the church, I felt overwhelmingly special, precious and loved.
How very blessed I was, when God in His goodness provided me with a warm sunny day, so that I did not even need to use the rugs I always take with me, whenever I leave my home. St Benedict and Fr John were most definitely smiling down upon me. This journey completed, the mantra deep in my heart, is singing a song of grateful love, as I remember with thanks, all those who helped me along the way, and thus contributed to this most blessed of days.
God bless you.