“…that in all things God may be glorified…”

Rule of St. Benedict

Saint Benedict and Oblates

Saint Benedict lived in the sixth century. He was born in a small town north of Rome and came to Rome for his education. Before long he abandoned his studies and for several years lived as a hermit at a place called Subiaco. In time, he acquired a reputation for holiness and miracles. Attracting many followers, Benedict established monastic communities at Subiaco, Terracina and Monte Cassino. It was at Monte Cassino that he wrote The Rule, which combined moderation with fidelity to the best traditions in Christian Monasticism. During the centuries, his monastic way of life spread throughout Europe, and Benedictine monasteries became the principle centers of prayer, culture and education.

In the course of time, lay people asked to be associated with the work of the monks and nuns, without leaving their homes, families and occupations. These too, were received, offered themselves to God, became Oblates of men or women’s monasteries and promised to regulate their lives according to the spirit of the Rule of Saint Benedict. They applied the teachings of the Rule to their lives in the world, in their family circles, in their places of work and in their civic and social activities. Today, throughout the world there are thousands of Oblates praying and working in spiritual union with Benedictine men and women of various communities, and receiving spiritual strength and inspiration from their association as Oblates.

What is an Oblate of Saint Benedict?

Oblates of Saint Benedict are women and men of any christian faith tradition who…

  • Have associated themselves with a Benedictine community.
  • Desire a closer union with God.
  • Bind themselves by a promise to share in the Benedictine way of life.
  • Continue to live in the world carrying on their usual activities, or if qualified, may become a resident Oblate.

The Dwelling Place Monastery has Oblates who do not live at the monastery, and we also have ‘Resident Oblates’ who live in community with us. Our resident Oblates are those who are either married or single and are without dependent children. They participate in our daily life of prayer, work, leisure and ministry in the area. They do not make vows, but commit themselves year by year. Though they may move on to other things, they remain an Oblate for life, or as long as they wish.

Who May Become an Oblate?

Women and men over the age of fifteen (15) may become Oblates of Saint Benedict if they…

  • Have a desire to seek God daily.
  • Wish to offer themselves to the service of God and to all people.

How Can One Become an Oblate?

Three steps are involved in becoming a full-fledged Oblate…

  • SEEK INFORMATION
    Contact our Benedictine Monastery for information about our Oblate Program.
  • ENROLL AS AN OBLATE
    A year in which to learn more about the Oblate program and how it can apply to your life.
  • MAKE FINAL OBLATION
    This act makes the individual an Oblate for life, or as long as one desires to remain an Oblate.

Why Become an Oblate?

The reasons for becoming an Oblate of Saint Benedict are to…

  • Receive spiritual strength and inspiration from the Benedictine Way of Life.
  • Share in the works and prayer of the community.
  • Spread the spirit of Saint Benedict to those with whom they come in contact.

The Dwelling Place Monastery Resident Oblate Program

A resident oblate is a person who in in the regular oblate program and desires to make a temporary commitment to the Monastery. The oblate works or volunteers in the area and pays room and board. He/she lives in a separate house yet prays and eats the evening meal with the community. Only those who have been in the oblate program and have an established relationship with the community are considered for the residency program.

COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION

  • The resident oblate is to attend morning and evening prayer with the community when possible.
  • The evening meal is taken with the community.
  • At least once a month the resident oblate is invited to attend the regularly scheduled community meeting.
  • The resident oblate participates in welcoming visitors and guests.

STUDIES for ONGOING FORMATION

  • The oblate director is responsible for presenting opportunities for continuing spiritual formation of the resident oblate.

RESPONSIBILITIES of OBLATES

  • Room and board
  • Own car and insurance
  • Medical insurance
  • Personal needs
  • Assist with indoor and outdoor duties of the monastery

RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE MONASTERY

  • Welcomes the oblate into the community and provides them with adequate lodging and food.
  • The Sisters strive to nourish the oblate spiritually through participation in the Liturgy of the Hours, classes in Benedictine spiritually etc.
  • The oblate is included in the work and recreational activities of the monastery.

LENGTH of COMMITMENT

  • Minimum of one (1) year (renewable)
    3 – 6 month probationary period
    Evaluation at six (6) weeks, three (3) months and thereafter, every six (6) months

For more information contact Sister Eileen Schepers, OSB Oblate Director at mtabor150@hotmail.com Put the words “Oblate information” in the topic line.