An Oblate is a non-religious layperson or secular priest who finds Benedictine spirituality resonate closely with their heart. This person makes an oblation (or “offering”) of themselves to God and becomes affiliated with a Benedictine monastery. They promise to lead a more perfect Christian life in the world according to the Rule of St. Benedict. The Oblate is thus entitled to share in the spiritual treasures of the Benedictine order, and to enjoy the special favors and indulgences granted by the Church to Oblates. Faithful Oblates will also, as far as lies in their power, pray for and promote the good of their monastery and of the entire Benedictine Order. Any practicing Christian, not under fifteen years of age, and not a member of any Third Order, may become a Secular Oblate of St. Benedict.
“Those who live amidst the tumult of the world,” but are, at the same time, earnestly seeking some special means to enrich their lives spiritually, will find much consolation and inspiration by becoming Oblates of St. Benedict. This will bring them into intimate contact with the spirit and ideals of the Benedictine Order and its fifteen hundred years of spiritual wisdom, culture, and tradition.
One who wishes to become an oblate takes the following steps:
- Intend to live daily life as a Christian, according to the spirit of the Rule of Saint Benedict, as described in the Manual for Oblates of Saint Benedict, and in the Holy Rule of Saint Benedict.
- Ask Saint Martin’s Abbey Oblate Director, Br. Edmund for an application, and return it to the him when completed.
- Once the candidate’s application is accepted by the Oblate Director, the candidate can be invested as an Oblate Novice. This occurs usually in May or September. At investiture, the candidate receives a copy of the Rule of Saint Benedict and a medal of Saint Benedict. At this time, a Manual for Oblates can be purchased through the Oblate Director.
- A year and a day after being invested, or as soon thereafter as convenient, make your Final Act of Oblation.
After your Final Act of Oblation you are an Oblate of Saint Benedict for life, and are expected, to observe the Statutes and Rules of the Oblates to the best of your ability, and according as your state in life permits. These Statutes and Rules are given in the Manual for Oblates. The Oblate, in return for his or her zeal, shares in the prayers and good works of Saint Martin’s Abbey and is remembered by the monks in their prayers both during life and after death.