Your way of acting should be different from the world’s way; the love of Christ must come before all else.
— St. Benedict of Nursia, The Rule of Saint Benedict

Anne Hebert (left) and Fr. Jeffrey Nelson (right) received as Benedictine Oblates by Br. James Dowd (center)

Anne Hebert (left) and Fr. Jeffrey Nelson (right) received as Benedictine Oblates by Br. James Dowd (center)

The Oblate Way is an endeavor to make our Benedictine tradition open and accessible to those who do not wish to live their lives as monastics but still feel a strong pull toward a contemplative life of service in a community context. The oblate will be a person who receives formation in The Benedictine Way and will, eventually, make promises of Obedience, Stability, and Conversion of Life (which is distinct from the vowed life of a monastic). The oblate might be partnered or single, more young or less young, lay or cleric. Their desire, like any Benedictine, is to “search for Christ”.

There are two types of Oblates: Residential and Non-Residential.

A Residential Oblate has a year or more to live with the community of The Benedictine Way; to participate in its life and mission of prayer and service with the intent that they will likely return to the communities from which they came to bring the message of the love of Jesus, as now honed by a Benedictine approach to life, to those communities. It is possible that a Residential Oblate will live for a considerable length of time in the community of The Benedictine Way.

A Non-Residential Oblate does not live in community. Rather, a period of formation with some amount of time spent with the community of The Benedictine Way will take place. A non-residential oblate is “searching for Christ” in their respective homes, vocations, and communities. They seek to bring the love of Jesus into their communities through their practice and understanding of Benedictine spirituality.

We hope you will consider this Benedictine Way as an opportunity to grow closer to Jesus, follow him ever deeply, and to serve God’s poorest and loneliest. If either the Residential or Non-Residential Oblate program is intriguing to you, please do not hesitate to contact Brother James Dowd, Prior of The Benedictine Way.