On December 2, 2018:
About 60 oblates and their guests enjoyed the annual oblate Christmas party at Saint Leo Abbey. The oblates decorate the abbey’s lake room for Christmas and provide all the party supplies. Prior to the party the good monks prepare their Christmas-gift wish list.  Oblates may request the name of a monk drawn from a hat.  Those requesting the name of a monk are given the monk’s wish list as a suggestion for a gift the oblate may get for the monk. Oblates personally give the gift to their monk at the party.  All oblates bring a dessert to share as their ticket to the party.  Everyone had a fun time meeting and talking with the monks and the two new postulants Brother Felix and Father Michael. 

Silent Night Monks and Oblates from John Bakas on Vimeo.

Small groups of oblates and monks gathered for conversations. It is one of the main purposes of the party, meet and get to know the monks. Enjoying the desserts, the monks and oblates were catching up with old friends and new on the balcony of the lake room overlooking Lake Jovita, in the retreat library, or the coffee room.  The party included the monks and oblates singing Silent Night led by Brother Felix. Here is the video of singing and all the pictures of the party. [Links below]
If you are reading this, the oblates invite you to the next Christmas party which will be held near the first of December 2019.  For more information about the oblate program for all lay women and men, both Catholic and non-Catholic, contact oblate Brother Giovanni at or call him at 813-228-8015.