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.