Oblates are full members of the Community who function in concert with the Brothers, they are not "associates" with only a lose connection to the Community, but rather make an offering of themselves to the Church and the Community by public promises to live their lives by the Rule of St. Benedict and the Customary of the Community in their daily lives as single, married, lay and ordained persons of faith and service.
Basic requirements for candidacy:
Be at least 21 years of age,d a confirmed lay or ordained member in good standing of The Episcopal Church.
Provide written proof of praish affiliation, church membership and confirmation.
Be within driving distance of the community retreat facility
Submit a completed application, including character endorsememts from the candidate's own parish priest or spiritual director.
Have a personal interview with the Brother Superior.
Submit to a background check if requested.
The vocation of the Oblate is one that is very special and distinct from other forms of Religious Life and vital to our Community. Unlike "third order" or "associates" who are often attached to religious communities in name only, our Oblate members function as partners in community with the Vowed Brothers, yet with a slightly different set of responsibilites most suited to their state in life which does not include monastic celibaby. Oblates are required to give to the Community fund regularly as well as submit two reports annualy on their ministry and living/integration of the Rule of St. Benedict and Customary of the Community. Given our close knit family ethos, we only admit as candidates those persons who are within driving distance of our retreat facility in order to assure that they will be able to be present for community retreats.
Oblates are clothed in the Cassock and Belt of the Oblate Habit and given a Benedictine Medal. (The full Oblate Habit differs from that of the Brothers in not having a hood on the scapular- a specifically male monastic part of the Benedictine habit.) The habit is worn when appropriate exercising ministry and at Community retreats.
Upon acceptance of the candidate's application, he/she will be invited to attend the next retreat where they will be admitted as an Oblate Novice for a period of one calendar year of study. During this year the Novice reports regulary on reading requirements and progress toward integration of Benedictine principles into his/her life to the Oblate Formation Director. Additionally, he/she is assigned a Mentor by the Superior to assist them on their journey.
At the end of the novitiate year, the novice petitions the Brother Superior in writing to make their Final Oblation and is then elected and invited to do so by the Superior and his Council. At the Oblation ceremony in the midst of a Solemn Mass at a Community retreat, he/she receives the scapular and the Community Cross.