What is an Oblate?
Oblates are Christian laypeople of any age and of many Christian faith traditions who seek a deeper relationship with God. For Benedictine Oblates, this means following the ancient principles and practices of the Benedictine monastic way of life. Oblates study and ponder the Rule of St. Benedict. With its emphasis on prayer, silence, obedience, building community, and humility, the Rule guides their Christian lives in their parishes or churches, families, workplaces, and in the world.
Oblates affiliate with a particular Benedictine monastery, which is their monastic “home base” forever, unless they transfer their oblation to a closer monastery after moving. Through their relationship with the Sisters and with other Oblates, they grow in their ability to live the Rule faithfully and mindfully, carrying the Benedictine charism into the modern world. Oblates live in their own homes, although many choose to make a retreat or have “desert days” at the monastery.
At the time of their oblation, after a period of study and prayer, Oblates make commitments:
- to put a priority on daily prayer, especially some portion of the Liturgy of the Hours,
- to apply the teachings of The Rule in their daily lives and relationships wherever possible,
- to practice lectio divina (a meditative reading of Scripture), and
- to maintain connection with the Oblate community and the monastery, usually through monthly meetings.
Grow in the understanding of the Rule of St. Benedict
The Oblate Director, Sister Pauline Micke, provides spiritual guidance through monthly group meetings and keeps in contact with the Oblates through newsletters and e-mail. All Benedictine Oblates are welcome and invited to join the monastic community of St. Scholastica for the daily Liturgy of the Hours and Eucharist.
Becoming an Oblate
People who are interested in becoming an Oblate usually begin by contacting the Oblate Director, then attending a few meetings as an Inquirer.
If they discern that they are drawn to Benedictine spirituality, they choose to formally become Oblate Candidates. As a candidate, they study St. Benedict’s The Rule, begin to adopt its practices, and continue to attend Oblate meetings regularly.
After a period of one to two years in which they study and live The Rule and increase their connections with other Oblates and Sisters at our Monastery, candidates may request to make their Oblation at a ritual celebrated in Our Lady Queen of Peace Chapel.