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?
- Oblates of St. Benedict are women and men who have formally associated themselves with a Benedictine monastery in order that they may experience a reciprocal relationship with it in prayer and other good works.
- Though oblates belong to a specific Benedictine community, juridically they are not considered members of the monastic order. (In keeping with this same spirit, no encouragement should be given for oblates to wear any semblance of a monastic garb.) Oblates are associated with monastic communities in a bond of prayer, love and commitment only.
- Oblates are associated with one particular community of Benedictine women or men and seek to incorporate Benedictine values into their everyday life. Thus oblates can be seen as extending the spirit of the monastic community into areas here the community cannot reach or be present. Oblate life is distinct from the various other groups within the Church, such as Marriage Encounter, Cursillo, Charismatic Renewal, etc., and is a true vocation of the Church.
- Oblates of most communities make voluntary donations. Oblates have no dues for membership and are not considered a source of financial support to the community.
- Oblates receive instructions in the Rule of St. Benedict during the first year.
- Oblates are encouraged to pray a shortened form of the Divine Office in union with the Sisters of St. Scholastica monastery in which they have made their oblations.
- Oblates are encouraged to assist in financing the honorarium of guest speakers and to volunteer in ministries within the monastery.
What is the Process?
There is a one-year preparation process to include: four-month introductory formation (September to December). Attending regular meetings (January to May) with a final in May. Registration can be sent any time before September using the registration form.
Sr. Hilary Decker, OSB
Sr. Maria DeAngeli, OSB
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
About The Meetings
Meetings are held every 3rd Sunday from September to May at St. Scholastica Monastery. Sunday Mass is 9:15 a.m., and oblate meetings will begin immediately after Mass.
Monthly letters are sent prior to the meetings containing news of community activities and of the oblates and program information for the following meeting. These letters also include Zoom links for oblates to attend meetings remotely.
Anyone interested in becoming an oblate is invited to any of the oblate meetings, though enrollment will not begin until September.