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

Oblates of St. Paul’s Monastery are Christian women and men who associate themselves with the Monastery so that they can share in the spiritual work of the Community. Through this association with the Benedictine Community, Oblates receive help and guidance in living a full Christian life. This is accomplished through regular scheduled meetings at the Monastery and through correspondence and mutual prayerful support.

The expression of Benedictine Spirituality, as spelled out in the Rule of Benedict, is so flexible that it can be adapted to the life of anyone who is generously seeking God and desiring to live out the Gospel message. Oblates have the opportunity to view the world from a different perspective as they meet the challenges and demands of their everyday life. They are an extension of the spirit of the Monastic Community into their family circle, their place of work, and in their civic and social activities.

In response to the question: “What do you do in your everyday life to support your oblate commitment,” one Oblate wrote:

“I try to center my life around the Rule of St. Benedict, letting it be a compass of sorts as I live in a world filled with so many distractions to my spiritual life. In my daily life, I make every effort to do morning prayer and read a passage of the Rule, go to Mass, then off to my work life, and finally to end the day with evening prayer. Sometimes I cannot do all in any one day, but I try at the very least to read the daily readings and the Rule to make every effort to avoid the temptations of the secular world.”

Christians who choose to become Oblates are attracted to Benedictine Values of living a life centered in God, the present moment, wholeness, moderation, prayer and the Gospel. Oblates are an extension of the Monastery to a needy world. They love their Monastery and are advocates for its values and spiritual life. They are bonded together as they pray for the Monastic Community and the Monastic Community prays for them.
For more information, e-mail or call Sister Mary Lou Dummer, Oblate Director, at mldummer@stpaulsmonastery.org or 651-777-8181.

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