What is an oblate?
Oblates of St. Benedict are Christian men and women who choose to associate themselves with a Benedictine religious community in order to strengthen their baptismal commitment and enrich their Christian way of life. The life of any Christian is a self-offering to God in gratitude and in loving response to the God who has first so lovingly and graciously offered Himself to us in Jesus Christ. "Oblation" means offering. Oblates seek to offer themselves more fully to Christ and to the Church by pondering the wisdom found in the Rule of St. Benedict and by entering into fellowship with their community of affiliation. By these means Oblates discover ever anew that God calls us to holiness of life and that the Rule and the Benedictine community can be instruments of God’s grace in their vocation to become holy in the world.
Oblates do not take vows or live in a monastery. They continue to live in the world while they strive eagerly to live out the values of the Gospel. On the other hand, they do make promises to seek God more intensely through the principles of the Rule of St. Benedict and in partnership with the monks or sisters of the Benedictine community with which they are affiliated.
Oblates may be single lay people, married lay people, or secular clergy. Whatever their state in life, Oblates have discerned a call to deepen their Christian commitment through association with a Benedictine religious community. In their promise to live according to the spirit of the Rule, they commit themselves to seek God above all things and to prefer Christ to all else in the ordinary circumstances of their lives. This commitment is meant not only to enhance their personal spirituality but also to help them become better witnesses of Christ by word and example, just as it is the role of vowed religious to give witness to Christian values which the secular world often tends to ignore or reject.
How can I become an oblate?
An Oblate of St. Benedict is a special calling to grow deeper in prayer and in one's spiritual life. Anyone interested in becoming an Oblate of Mother of the Redeemer is recommended to attend an Oblate meeting (held every other month; upcoming dates listed on the NEWS page of the website). While there, one is encouraged to visit with other Oblates and get to know the community.
Additional information on Benedictine Oblates: