by Sister Pauline Micke, Oblate Director
On October 1, 2021, we held a long-overdue Oblation Ceremony for the men and women who have been journeying to become Benedictine oblates of St. Scholastica Monastery. At a rite in the Monastery Chapel, we welcomed two new oblate candidates, one transfer of oblation, and three final oblations.
Being an oblate is a vocation in itself. Oblates form a faith-based community and together study and ponder the Rule of St. Benedict. With its emphasis on prayer, silence, obedience, building community, and humility, the Rule guides them as they live and work in their parishes or churches, families, workplaces, and the world.
Oblates affiliate with a particular Benedictine monastery, which becomes their monastic “home base” forever, unless they transfer their oblation to a closer monastery after moving. On October 21, Rosemary Brewer transferred to our oblate community.
After an Inquiry Stage to explore what it means to become an oblate, a person becomes a candidate in the Rite of Enrollment and enters a period of discernment to learn about and grow into the oblate way of life. Mark Hakes and Thom Chartier are our new candidates. They will study the Rule of St. Benedict and learn about Benedictine spirituality and practices as they are lived in the 21st century. This is not just academic learning; rather, they will read, reflect, talk with oblates and Sisters, and listen in prayer for God’s call in their life.
For one to two years, they will attend oblate meetings regularly, study more deeply the Benedictine life, and make connections with the Oblate Community and the Monastery. This is an initial grounding in Benedictine spirituality and give a basis for discerning the desire and readiness to commit to the path of Benedictine spirituality and way of life as an oblate.
When they are ready, they will make their Oblation, a formal commitment to prayer, living the Rule daily, lectio divina, and being active in the oblate community. At the ceremony, we welcomed Sharon Rolle, Michelle Naar-Obed, and Christine Ketelsen as Oblates of St. Benedict.