Monday, December 2, 2013

Dario Rinaldi Becomes an Abbey Oblate

story by Jose Morales
photos by Ace Tui and Zani Pacanza

Dario Rinaldi became an oblate of Mount Angel Abbey at the 9 a.m. Mass on November 3, 2013, after a year of completing his oblate novitiate.  Rinaldi is in his third year of philosophy at Mount Angel Seminary and is studying for the Diocese of Honolulu.

Rinaldi said that he "was inspired by the profound love [he] has for Mount Angel Abbey and its spirituality."

When asked what attracted Dario to become an oblate, Dario answered, "It was their charisma, their pure raw devotion to God.  This is something very unique to me, and so when I came here it was very foreign to me and I wanted it to be part of my life.  I did not want to be a monk for a few reasons.  My diocese needs me, and it's too cold for me to live here the rest of my life.  However, I do want this abbey to be a bigger part of my life rather than just being the host of the seminary that I went to."

Rinaldi said, "An oblate is someone who is in spiritual communion with the Abbey."

Dario Rinaldi

Rinaldi's oblation document and medal of St. Benedict

During Vespers the monks remember their brethren when they say the words, "May God's help remain with us always and with our absent brethren."  When they do that they pray for three different types of people: the monks who are on a journey, the monks who have left the monastery all together, and the oblates not present for that hour of prayer.

In addition, an oblate's relationship with the Abbey is that the Abbey is the oblate's spiritual center.  This is the oblate's home, the place where they come for retreat and spiritual renewal.

He also mentioned about his interest in the Rule of Saint Benedict.  "The Rule of Saint Benedict is not just a monastic rule but a guidance to any spiritual life you are seeking," said Rinaldi.  The Rule of Saint Benedict can be applied to many things and most especially the parish life of priest and a person's spirituality.

Rinaldi mentioned that as with any decision in life, the first step to take is to discern it.  He had to ask other oblates, monks, and friends about what the life of an oblate is like.  One of his friends that helped him with his search for information is an alumnus of Mount Angel Seminary, David Soares.  David Soares is an oblate of Mount Angel Abbey.

Then through all the discernment, prayer, and needed information he received, Rinaldi went to a retreat at the Abbey Guest House back in November 2012.  The retreat lasted three days from Friday evening to Sunday afternoon.

Fr. Pius X Harding, O.S.B., the Guest Master and Oblate Master of Mount Angel Abbey, conducted the retreat.  It was at this retreat that Rinaldi entered the oblate novitiate.  Upon being received into the novitiate, Rinaldi also received a copy of the Rule of Saint Benedict and a blessing from Fr. Harding.

Rinaldi left the retreat with the words from Fr. Harding to go forth and study the Rule of Saint Benedict.  This was the start of his journey as an oblate novice.

Rinaldi had to do lectio divina and attend the Liturgy of the Hours with the monks of Mount Angel Abbey.  In addition, Rinaldi had to have an idea of Benedictine spirituality from the Rule of Saint Benedict.

Parts of the Rule that stand out for Rinaldi the most include: "The monks' grasp of obedience to each other, doing of the impossible task even if it might be hard for you.  You shouldn't fight against doing it, that sense of work and prayer, work and prayer."

During his retreat one day before becoming an oblate, Rinaldi said, "I had a one-on-one with Fr. Pius where he asked me if I was ready."

Rinaldi receives his medal of St. Benedict
from Abbot Gregory Duerr, O.S.B.

"An oblate takes the monastic spirituality of Mount Angel Abbey and applies it to their lives," Rinaldi said.  He explained that one of the biggest goals he has in mind is taking the spirituality of Saint Benedict and taking it back home to Hawaii.

He said, "I think that there is not enough pure old-fashioned spirituality back home, so I want to bring it with me to share it with other people."

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Editor's Note: As of February 11, 2014, the photo credit for Ace Tui has been corrected.

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