- Who are Oblates?
What is Oblation? Who is a Benedictine Oblate? Father Gabriel Brasò OSB explained it in a clear way: An Oblate is a Christian who, with conviction, wants to deeply live the Gospel; which he discovered in the Rule of St. Benedict illuminating the path that makes it easier for him to follow Christ and that stimulates him to serve God and his brothers with a purer love, a path that makes him more generous in living his state of life…
An Oblate may be a man, woman, lay person, priest, or a married or single person. The Benedictine Oblation is a way that serves as a support and helps a person to live his or her own calling.
The Benedictine Oblates are not an association, a third order or a movement, but people who are more aware of their baptismal consecration, and want to live the spirituality of St. Benedict, associating themselves with a specific convent.
This baptism is the true Christian sacrifice (Latin oblatio) in which a person is reborn in Christ. Therefore, baptism is a model and a measure of any sacrifice, every life offered to God and to brothers.
The Benedictine Oblate is called to bring into the community of the Church the reality in which he or she lives and acts, the characteristics of the Benedictine charisma: Christ in the center, the prayer of God’s word and life, intense participation in the liturgy, a deep inner life and love of neighbor.
- What is required?
There are three predispositions required to become an Oblate:
– A sincere desire for spiritual growth, a striving to gradually become like Christ, return to God, true search for God, as encouraged by Saint Benedict: Listen, son, to the teachings of the master and incline to them the ear of your heart. Accept willingly and effectively the admonition of the benevolent Father, so that through the hardships of obedience, you may return to the One whom you have left by the sloth of disobedience (Rule, Prologue).
– Love for Saint Benedict and knowledge of his Rule, because its essential points should give direction to the spiritual path of the Oblate. Therefore, the Benedictine Oblation is irreconcilable with belonging to other movements or orders that draw upon other spiritual traditions.
– Membership in a particular convent. A characteristic feature of Benedictine life is the constancy through which nuns pledge to live until their death in the convent in which they made their profession. In the same way, Oblates offer themselves to God in a particular convent that they consider to be a second family, with whom they feel vital communication, participating in prayer, in initiatives and, according to their abilities, serving with their skills and time.
As for the Oblates of the Benedictine cloister of perpetual adoration, it is clear that they should possess and specifically demonstrate a special love for the Eucharist: through more frequent and conscious participation in it and by spending time in Eucharistic adoration, each according to her possibilities.
Through Oblation, a person is included in a monastic family through the bonds of deep fraternity and mutual cooperation.
In order to revive the Benedictine spirit in Oblates as well as to facilitate and strengthen mutual knowledge and brotherly love, there are several meetings organized each year in the monasteries. The programs of such meetings include time for spiritual formation and prayer.
Oblation also has a community element that cannot be overestimated. Oblates from the same convent build among themselves bonds of sisterly friendship, which are an expression of their spirit of love of neighbor. Just as love connects them with the community of the convent, it also unites them with each other.
- Admission to Oblation
Admission to the preparatory stage of an Oblate is made by the Mother Prioress. The duration of this stage varies but is usually not shorter than one year. During this time, an Oblate novice has the opportunity to deepen her knowledge of the specific features of Benedictine spirituality and to identify with them
Contact for those interested in learning more about being an Oblate at our convent: