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Benedictine Sisters

What is an oblate?

They are women and men, married or single, who, in their own way of life, with their ordinary family and social duties, find support and ongoing growth in holiness through spiritual association with a particular monastic community.

Oblates are strengthened by affiliation with a vowed monastic community in worship, reverence, humility, universal love, and stability of purpose, incorporating the spirit of the Rule of St. Benedict and adapting monastic practices to their chosen way of life. Increasing their vital participation in the life of their own faith community, they offer themselves (the meaning of the word oblate) for the service of God and neighbor by word and example. No specific additional prayers, practices, or devotions are required of them although having a personal prayer practice is essential to the monastic value of mindfulness of God and unceasing prayer.

Oblates are not vowed members of the Benedictine Order, nor are they a Third Order in the Church. They are committed by their oblation to a particular monastic community and seek to adopt its spirit and share its charism. In some places, Oblates also help with the ministries of the community. If they live near a Benedictine monastery they are most welcome to join the community for liturgy and attend Oblate meetings.

Who can be an oblate?

Monasticism is a way of life in which the desire and search for God is all-important. Its spirituality is a process of transformation into Christ through self-emptying in order to be totally available to God. As such it is not necessarily tied to any single belief system.

Since it predates the separation of the Christian churches, monasticism forms an ideal basis for ecumenism in today's world. The main forces transcending all our differences are the deep love of God, of Sacred Scripture, prayer, and our genuine love and concern for one another.

So, yes, all Christians can be Oblates and engage in scripturally based prayer, practice prayerful reading, seek contemplative union with God, and expend themselves lovingly for others. Anyone can practice this way of spirituality that is essentially the same as taught by St. Benedict over 1500 years ago.