Oblates of Saint Benedict’s Monastery are Christian individuals who associate with a Benedictine community in order to enrich their Christian way of life. Their lives are shaped by living the wisdom of Christ as interpreted by Saint Benedict. A Benedictine oblate seeks God in their chosen way of life. They offer themselves (the word ‘oblate’ means offering) to God in the service of others. Through their prayer, service and community, they witness to Christ’s presence in today’s world.
A Benedictine oblate seeks God in association with a monastic community. As individuals and as members of a community, they grow in love of God and neighbor. With the Rule of Benedict as their guide, oblates engage in practices that are part of the very fabric of Christian spirituality. Some of these include spending time daily to reflect and pray with the sacred scriptures, as well as offering hospitality where they live and work.
Acquaintance with these and other Christian practices presented in the Rule of Benedict enable oblates to experience the peace and joy that Christ promised to all who follow Him. Oblates regularly receive the Oblate News to support them in their spiritual life. There are also opportunities to share and form community including Oblate Sundays, Oblate Renewal Day and small-group gatherings.
For more information on becoming a Benedictine oblate, contact:
Michaela Hedican, OSB
What Is An Oblate?
Oblates are women or men who associate themselves with Saint Benedict’s Monastery. They desire to deepen their relationship with God in the places where they live day-to-day. Benedictine oblates are people seeking to serve God in their chosen way of life. Christians of all faith denominations may become oblates and may be married or single.
One of the gifts of being an oblate is the opportunity to extend a Benedictine presence from Saint Benedict’s Monastery to parishes, churches and civic organizations. As an oblate, a person can, through their manner of life and daily prayer, bear witness to the teachings of Jesus as seen through the lens of Saint Benedict. Ongoing formation is also important, and oblates stay in touch through small-group meetings, the Oblate News, Oblate Sundays and Oblate Renewal Days.
Why Become An Oblate?
By becoming an Oblate of Saint Benedict’s Monastery, the opportunities to deepen your spirituality increase by:
- having a spiritual home at Saint Benedict’s Monastery;
- receiving support and encouragement from other oblates and the Sisters of the Order of Saint Benedict;
- gathering with others to enrich and revive your spiritual life, including an annual Oblate Renewal Day and Oblate Sundays;
- visiting the monastic community at Saint Benedict’s Monastery for prayer and events; and,
- seeking God in the way of life offered by Saint Benedict through prayer, offering hospitality to others and nurturing relationships.
Process Of Formation
Benedictine oblates are supported in their commitment to the oblate way of life by the prayers of the community, by their association with the monastery and by taking advantage of ongoing formation programs offered at Saint Benedict’s Monastery.
There are three stages for the seeker:
- Contact the Benedictine oblate director at email@example.com to become familiar with the monastic community and to learn what it means to live the ‘oblate way of life.’
- Be received as a candidate for a minimum of one year.*
- Make a final commitment as an oblate by reading the Document of Oblation which is signed on the altar by the candidate and the prioress of the Sisters of the Order of Saint Benedict. This is done on the annual Oblate Renewal Day.
*Other Information About the Candidate Process
A candidate is received in a Rite of Reception. At this time, the candidate is presented with a copy of the Rule of Benedict and a Benedictine medal.
The next year is spent in study, under the direction of the oblate director. During this time, the Rule of Benedict is reviewed, the life of Saint Benedict is explored and practices integral to Benedictine spirituality are learned.
A candidate may be mentored by another oblate or a sister of the monastery. The candidacy can extend up to five years, if necessary.
When a candidate has discerned her/his readiness to make a final commitment, the candidate writes a letter to the prioress of Saint Benedict’s Monastery asking to make her/his final commitment as an Oblate of Saint Benedict’s Monastery.
Oblate Lenten Retreat
Listening Our Way Through Lent
Saturday, February 13, 2021
Presenter: Mary Stommes, OblSB
This will be a virtual retreat for oblates only. Registrants will receive a Zoom link to participate. There is no fee.
“The life of a monastic ought to be a continuous Lent,” says Saint Benedict (RB 49:1). Surely, he could not have known that Lent 2020 would feel as if it were a year-long season, a desert wandering extending all the way to Lent 2021. Tired—weary and exhausted—as we are, where and how do we even begin Lent 2021? And how can we sustain the journey? “Listen,” we can imagine Saint Benedict answering, “Listen with the ear of your heart” (RB Prol.).
Through scripture, story, and the Rule of Benedict, Mary Stommes will lead a morning of reflection on listening as a rich and fruitful Lenten practice. If our Lent is a “continuous listening”—to God and to everyday life—then we will more easily recognize the hope and joy of Easter that await at journey’s end.
Registration ends at midnight on Sunday, February 7.
- February 13 @ 8:30 am - 11:30 am
Oblates have the opportunity to form community and deepen their spiritual life through Oblate Sundays and Oblate Renewal Days. These events are for oblates only, and oblates can view previous presentations by clicking the button below.
Sunday, January 10, 2021
Presenter: Christian Morris, OSB
Ancient Prayers for Every Season: Praying the Psalms Today
- If you would like to access a recording of the Oblate Sunday presentations on September 21, 2019, November 17, 2019, or January 19, 2020, please contact Sister Michaela Hedican.
- Access a recording of Oblate Sunday on May 17, 2020. If you do not have the password to view this recording, please contact Sister Michaela Hedican.