Oblates of Saint Benedict’s Monastery, St. Joseph, Minn.
The Benedictine Oblates engage in regular practices of Benedictine spirituality based on the Gospel and The Rule of Saint Benedict while uniting with the professed monastics in ongoing formation and participating with the work of the monastery.
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
Oblate Renewal Day
For the first time since 2019, oblates and sisters gathered for a full Oblate Renewal Day. Pat Pickett, OblSB, our presenter, creatively engaged all in the theme of “Together We Go To God!” Exploring Benedict’s use of Scripture in the Rule, Pat focused on Chapter 7, On Humility. Oblates and sisters entered into the day grateful for the insights and the opportunity to be together again.
Three oblate inquirers became oblate candidates at Morning Prayer. Congratulations to Mary L. Parks, Mary Ann Marschall, and Mary Eisenschenk (pictured left to right).
Three oblate candidates made their Perpetual Oblation at Eucharist. Congratulations to Mary Kay Reichow, Christina Uribe Nitti and Alisa Kasmir (pictured left to right).
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 perpetual oblation 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 perpetual oblation as an Oblate of Saint Benedict’s Monastery.
Can I be married/have children and still be an oblate?
Yes, Benedictine oblates may definitely be married and have children.
What goes on during the one-to-five year formation period?
During this time, you are called an oblate candidate, and for the first year, you may be mentored by another oblate. Together, you study the Rule of Benedict and learn about Benedictine spirituality.
Can I be an oblate if I am a baptized member of another Christian faith denomination other than Roman Catholic?
Yes, you certainly can. There are Benedictine oblates who are from other Christian faith traditions.
Are there male oblates at your monastery?
Yes, there are. Men have been received as candidates in recent years and have also made their final commitments.
Do oblates make vows?
No, Benedictine oblates are not professed members of a monastic community, but at their final oblation, they do promise to dedicate themselves to the service of God and all people according to the Rule of Benedict.
Spirituality Center●Studium Fall/Winter 2022 Events
The Spirituality Center●Studium’s programs and retreats for September through December 2022 are open for registration!
Oblate Sunday: November 20, 2022
Community – How One Oblate Lived It
The Story of Dorothy Day, OblSB
Presenter: Clarey McInerny, OblSB
Clarey McInerny, OblSB, shares the life and legacy of Dorothy Day, OblSB, as she lived community and engaged the Rule of Saint Benedict.
Oblates in rapt attention.
Julianna Howard, OblSB, shares a spontaneous sung response, “Do It,” to hearing about the life of Dorothy Day.
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.
Other Upcoming Events
Advent Retreat 2022
Saturday, December 10, 2022
Tending Wholeness in a Season of Darkness
Christine Luna Munger, OblSB
Wednesday, February 8, 2023
The next Inter-Faith Service will take place February 8. Rev. Julie Lepp and the good People at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 421 S. Farwell St., Eau Claire, WI, will host us. 6:30 p.m. start. We will be in person and using Zoom. This will begin our eighth year coming together to pray together for Peace and Unity for All People. Humankind. Be both.
Bob Lesniewski, OblSB
Lenten Retreat 2023
Saturday, February 18, 2023
Sam Rahberg, OblSB, St. Paul’s Monastery
Oblate Renewal Day 2023
Saturday, September 16, 2023
Rest, Rhythm and Renewal: Experiencing a Benedictine Sabbath
Jessie Bazan, OblSB
Oblate Congress in Rome
September 9–16, 2023