An invitation… The Sisters of St. Scholastica Monastery extend to the Oblate an invitation to unite his or her prayer life with the Community, to share in its liturgies and enrichment opportunities, and to extend the Benedictine charism to others.
The Oblate Center
What is an Oblate?
An Oblate of St. Benedict is any Christian (Catholic or Protestant) affiliated with a Benedictine community for the purpose of enriching his or her Christian way of life by sharing in the spiritual life, prayers, and good works of the community. Since St. Benedict founded his order in the early sixth century A.D., Christian laypeople from different walks of life have associated themselves with his monasteries for spiritual enrichment.
Oblates do not live in monastic communities, but continue to carry out their usual duties at home, work, and in their churches and communities. Encouraged by the wisdom of the Rule of St. Benedict, Oblates strive to live a balanced life of work, prayer, and holy leisure.
Oblates are encouraged to pray some of the Liturgy of the Hours each day and become extensions of the monastic community by giving witness to the Benedictine charism in the secular world. Oblates are encouraged to honor God’s presence in all people, places, and occasions, and to show love and concern for others.
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.
Want to Learn More?
Please contact the Directors if you have any questions about this program or are interested in becoming an Oblate. New members are registered for a period of one year, followed by a year of enrollment. A year after enrollment, full oblation is made. Both enrollment and oblation are ceremonies conducted at the monastery. Oblate meetings are also held at the monastery. We look forward to meeting with you!
Sister Barbara Bock is the Director of the Columbia, Missouri Oblate group, and Sister Stephanie Schroeder directs the Springfield, Missouri group. Both Sisters Barbara and Stephanie can be contacted at the monastery.
Staying Engaged: Meetings, Newsletters, and Activities
Oblate meetings are held the 3rd Sunday of the month, from September to May, immediately after 9:30 a.m. Mass. We serve coffee and cookies and have a short time to visit prior to the presentation. We encourage Oblates to attend Mass with us on Oblate Sundays. Monthly newsletters contain news of community activities, Oblates, and program information for the following meeting. Oblates are welcome to attend our Daily Prayers and Mass.