Oblates

OBLATES INCORPORATE BENEDICTINE WISDOM AND VALUES INTO THEIR LIVES

"Listen carefully, my child, to my instructions, and attend to them with the ear of your heart." Prologue of the Rule of St. Benedict

Becoming an Oblate

The wisdom and practice of the Benedictine way of life has significant application for persons in whatever life vocation God calls them. For this very reason, St. Paul's Monastery invites people to form a relationship with the monastic community as a way to incorporate Benedictine wisdom and values into their lives and careers in the world. People who do this are called Oblates.

The word 'oblate' means offering. We use it to identify those who offer themselves to God in association with a monastic community. Oblates experience God's call to embrace a personal rule of life that guides them in the particular circumstances of their lives. As an Oblate, a person develops a secular life rich in Benedictine joy and encouragement supported by prayer, reflective reading and a new attitude toward one's work.

A Benedictine Way of Life for All People

The Rule of St. Benedict serves as an invitation to open our hearts to God. It summons us to recognize our responsibility in the world and the proper use of resources. Above all, the Rule reminds us of the fundamental value of living our lives in search and service of God, preferring nothing to the love of Christ.

 

WHAT IS A BENEDICTINE OBLATE?

Throughout the 1500-year history of the Benedictine order, there have always been women and men who wished to associate themselves with a particular monastery and to share in the prayer and work of a religious community without leaving their homes, families and occupations. These women and men were known as Oblates. They made a formal offering or “oblation” of themselves in a special ceremony of affiliation.

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WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A BENEDICTINE OBLATE?

Oblates of St. Paul’s Monastery are Christian women and men who associate themselves with St. Paul’s community of Benedictine Sisters to live Benedictine spirituality more fully. Through this association with St. Paul’s Monastery, Oblates share in the spiritual and apostolic ministry of the community. Through activities and retreats at the Monastery, through correspondence – written and online, and through mutual prayerful support, Oblates receive help and guidance to live full Christian lives as a Benedictine living the message of Gospel in the world.

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WHY BECOME A BENEDICTINE OBLATE WITH ST. PAUL’S MONASTERY?

As a member of St. Paul’s community, Benedictine Oblates are united with the Benedictine Sisters through: o Daily Praying the Divine Office o The life-giving and nurturing relationships o A stable, spiritual home at St. Paul’s Monastery o Living the Rule – unifies body, mind and spirit o Ongoing formation, retreats and programs deepens the Benedictine Spirit The association with St. Paul’s Monastery provides the Oblates with the opportunity to view the world from a different perspective as they meet the challenges and possibilities of their everyday lives. Benedictine Oblates reach out where the Sisters of the Community cannot be present and Oblates can extend the spirit of Benedictine community wherever their lives take them.

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WHAT IS THE PROCESS FOR BECOMING A BENEDICTINE OBLATE?

A woman or man with the desire for spiritual growth and a desire to seek God through the Christian ideals and values set forth in the Rule of Saint Benedict begins with an inquiry to the Oblate Director. After an initial meeting with the Oblate Director, the person will discern if they wish to begin a year of study and reflection. The Year of Formation officially begins with an Enrollment Ritual, where the person, referred to as a candidate, receives the Rule of Saint Benedict from the Prioress of St. Paul’s Monastery. In addition, the candidate creates a personal formation plan, attends monthly formation sessions, and spends time doing personal reading and in conversation with a Benedictine Sister, who is their sponsor (companion). The Year of Formation includes topics that explore the values and traditions of Benedictine life and application of the Rule to modern living. Through study and practice, the candidate discerns whether this way of life is what they seek. The Year of Formation ends with a weekend Discernment Retreat leading to the candidate’s decision for commitment. The Final Oblation ritual is celebrated by candidates, sponsors and the Benedictine Community at St. Paul’s Monastery.

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OBLATION IS A MEANINGFUL COMMITMENT

Different from taking monastic vows. The life of an Oblate has a flexibility that adjusts to the demands of life and is renewed each year during an annual retreat. Benedictine Oblates are encouraged to join in the prayer and ministries of the Monastic Community. The Sisters and Oblates provide for each other prayerful support and relationships that help each member to serve Christ by living Gospel values, according to the Rule of St. Benedict. Please contact the Membership Office for further information at 651-777-8181.

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RESOURCES

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VOCATIONS NETWORK

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THE ORDER OF ST. BENEDICT

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NATIONAL CATHOLIC SISTERS WEEK

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FEDERATION OF ST. BENEDICT

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AIM USA

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SISTERS ONLINE