Oblates! Join the discussions on the new Oblate Message Board!

Oblate Director

  • Sr. Hilary Decker, OSB
    1 (479) 783-4147
  • 1205 S. Albert Pike Avenue, Fort Smith, Arkansas
  • Email: hilarye1@yahoo.com
     

Oblate Co-Director

  • Sr. Rose Maria Birkenfeld, OSB
    1 (479) 783-4147
  • 1205 S. Albert Pike Avenue, Fort Smith, Arkansas

Upcoming Meetings

All Meetings Held on Sundays

Oblate Meeting: 2:00 PM

  • Sunday, October 16
  • Sunday, November 20
  • Sunday, December 18
    Mass @ 9:30 AM
  • Sunday, January 15, 2017
  • Sunday, February 19, 2017
  • Sunday, March 19, 2017
    Mass @ 9:30 AM
  • Sunday, April 23, 2017*
  • Sunday, May 21, 2017
    Mass @ 9:30 AM

Enrollment and Oblation following by brunch

* April meeting date has been changed due to Easter falling on the third Sunday.

The Oblate Center

An Invitation... The Sisters of St. Scholastica Monastery extend to the Oblate an invitation to unite his/her prayer life to the Community and to share in its liturgies and enrichment opportunities, to extend the Benedictine charism to others, and to be a faithful witness to Christ with their support.

What is an Oblate?

An Oblate of St. Benedict is any Christian--Catholic or Protestant--affiliated with a Benedictine community for the purpose of enriching his/her Christian way of life by sharing in the spiritual life, prayers, and good works of the community. Since St. Benedict founded his order in the early sixth century A.D., Christian laypeople from different walks of life have associated themselves with his monasteries for spiritual enrichment.

Oblates do not live in monastic communities, but continue to carry out their usual duties at home, work, and in their churches and communities. Encouraged by the wisdom of the Rule of St. Benedict, Oblates strive to live a balanced life of work, prayer, and holy leisure.

Oblates are encouraged to pray some of the Liturgy of the Hours each day. Oblates become extensions of the monastic community and give witness to the Benedictine charism in the secular world. Oblates are encouraged to honor God’s presence in all people, places, and occasions, and to show love and concern for others.

2016 Oblate Enrollees

2016 Oblate Enrollees

Rule of St. Benedict

The Rule of St. Benedict, written in the 6th Century, is composed of a Prologue and 73 chapters. The Sisters of St. Scholastica Monastery listen to the Rule and commentary at evening praise, going through all the chapters three times a year. The Rule is the leading guide in Western Christianity for monasticism, and is used in Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican, and Protestant traditions. It has had a strong influence on Western society, embodying the idea of a written Constitution and incorporating a degree of democracy in sixth century nondemocratic society. Although there had been earlier monastic rules, St. Benedict’s became preeminent for its spirit of Christian humanism, common sense, moderation, and wisdom.

Basic Benedictine Values

Some basic values of Benedictine life that Oblates share are:

  • seeking God through prayer
  • developing attentiveness to the Word of God through Scripture
  • cultivating a deep reverence for life and all of God’s creations
  • preferring simplicity to extravagant living
  • understanding work as service
  • participating fully in one’s own faith community
  • working for peace and justice in the world
  • living a balanced life of prayer, work, and holy leisure
  • service to others
  • hospitality and respect to all people.

If you are interested in making reservations or in learning more about Hesychia, please contact the Sisters directly at the address and number on the left side of this page.

Want To Learn More?

Please contact the Directors if you have any questions about this program or are interested in becoming an Oblate. New members are registered for a period of one year, followed by a year of enrollment. A year after enrollment, full oblation is made. Both enrollment and oblation are ceremonies conducted at the monastery. Oblate meetings are also held at the monastery. We look forward to meeting with you!

Sister Barbara Bock is the Director of the Columbia, Missouri Oblate group, and Sister Stephanie Schroeder directs the Springfield, Missouri group.  Both Sisters Barbara and Stephanie can be contacted at the monastery.

About The Meetings

Meetings are held the 3rd Sunday of the month from September to May. Monthly letters contain news of community activities and of the Oblates and program information for the following meeting. Our Sunday Mass is at 9:30 a.m. and Oblate meetings begin immediately after Mass. We serve coffee and cookies and have a short time to visit prior to the presentation. We encourage Oblates to attend the 9:30 a.m. Mass with us on Oblate Sundays. Oblates are welcome to attend our Daily Prayers and Mass.

Oblate Discussion Board NEW!

Oblates are welcome to join us in an online discussion of "Monastery of the Heart" and the "Rule of Benedict." Just join our message board. The contents of the message board will only be visible to oblates and sisters who register for this discussion group. In addition, the posts will be moderated and, in the unlikely instance that a "spam" message is posted, it will be deleted.

The purpose of our discussion group is to offer hospitality and community to our oblates who cannot come to St. Scholastica very often because of distance or difficulty traveling. In the discussion board, we will have the opportunity to discuss the month's questions together, post prayer intentions, and join in 'spiritual bouquets' for special intentions of the oblate group.

Join the Oblate Discussion now!

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