Oblates of Saint Benedict
Saint Benedict lived in
in the sixth century. It is said that early in life he
formal education and a possible secular career and chose to seek
alone. As a hermit, Benedict became well known for his
of life and the signs he performed. As his reputation grew,
gathered his followers into monastic communities and wrote a “rule
life” for them. These Benedictine communities strove to be
“schools of the Lord’s service”, places where charity and
with God was learned and put into practice. With this vision
heart, the Benedictine vocation spread throughout Europe and
monasteries became centers of prayer, culture and education.
For centuries lay men and women have also offered themselves to
Latin, “oblatio”, that is, “offering”) as oblates of particular
Benedictine monasteries. While remaining “in the world“,
have become witnesses to Christ as they follow their own
of prayer and work in the spirit of St. Benedict. Growing in
awareness of God in their daily lives, oblates offer themselves
service of God and neighbor. And the formal bond of prayer,
and good works between oblates and monastic communities helps both
live holy lives, according to their own vocation.
What are the benefits of being an
Oblate of Saint Benedict?
Oblates of Saint Benedict are able to enrich their Christian way
life by following the wisdom and example of Saint Benedict.
spirituality reflects gospel values such as stability and
humility and conversion, obedience and a reverence for all human
persons. As one who sought peace in a world of conflict,
community in a place of isolation, and God in a time of empty
ambitions, Saint Benedict still has much to say to us.
Through the Oblate program here at Saint Benedict Monastery, we
foster the Christian spirit in all our members. Saint
teaches his followers to practice Christian values more profoundly
dedicating themselves in a meaningful way to regular prayer and
charity. Regular contact through meetings and newsletters,
liturgical prayer and a variety of talks and discussions on
spirituality help oblates to find spiritual strength and communion
their association with one another and with our monastic
How does one become an Oblate?
Christians of all traditions - not just Catholics - may become
Benedictine Oblates. An oblate must simply desire to learn
and follow the Benedictine way. He or she does do not make
religious vows as monks do, but the oblate’s association with the
monastery is recognized by the Church. Those wishing to join
formally enrolled as “oblate novices” for a period of one
During this time of formation they are introduced to the Rule of
Benedict and the important elements of his spirituality so that
can understand how Benedictine values are experienced and
their daily life.
Upon mutual agreement with the Director of Oblates, an oblate may
his or her “oblation” which takes place in a ceremony which
elements from the monastic profession of vows. This is a
commitment to live in the spirit of Saint Benedict, his Rule and
directives of the oblate program. One may remain an Oblate
Saint Benedict Monastery for life. The oblation is renewed
year and there are no formal dues for membership. Once
have been formally accepted they keep the spirit of Saint Benedict
their lives by maintaining a connection with the monastery and
oblates, and by regular prayer, study and acts of charity in
with the promises of their oblation and their state in life.
For further information:
The Oblates of Saint Benedict Monastery, Oxford, Michigan are
newly established this year. If you reside in or near
Michigan, we welcome your inquiries about our group. Please
contact the Director of Oblates:
Fr. John Martin Shimkus, O.S.B.
St. Benedict Monastery
2711 Drahner Rd.
Oxford, MI 48370-2815