Live the Benedictine Way of Life
Vowed membership is not the only way to formally affiliate oneself with a Benedictine community. At Queen of Angels and many other monasteries, lay men and women 18 or older may become Oblates. Oblates continue to live and work in their own home community, but essentially become "lay members" of a particular Benedictine community and promise to share the Benedictine way of life.
The Benedictine Sisters of Mt. Angel have accepted Oblates since 1975. They offer an active program that will enrich and deepen the spirituality of the Oblates who consider the Monastery to be their spiritual home and the Sisters their spiritual companions.
Why Become an Oblate?
To receive spiritual strength and inspiration from the Benedictine community and way of life;
To carry monastic values into the world by the teachings of St. Benedict in daily life;
To seek God daily through study, prayer, and conversion of life;
To develop a love and reverence for lectio divina (Scriptural reflection and prayer);
To become part of a spiritual community of believers.
Learn More About Oblates
Becoming an Oblate
Those interested in becoming an Oblate should contact the Director of Oblates at Queen of Angels Monastery. Over a period of time, the Oblate candidate comes to know the Sisters and discerns his or her call to being an Oblate. After a period of preparation, the candidate makes a formal promise – Act of Oblation – to share the Benedictine way of life and monastic values.
The commitment is not binding in the same way that religious vows are, but it brings the Oblate into the Sisters’ family and engages him or her fully in the prayer, work and spiritual life of the community.
Inquirer Stage: The first stage in the process of becoming a Benedictine Oblate is a time of inquiry. Its purpose is to help one become familiar with the Rule of St. Benedict under the guidance of the Director of Oblates, with the support of the Benedictine Sisters and the Oblate community. It is a time of discernment as one explores at a profound level one's interest in the Benedictine life. This stage generally takes one year.
Candidate Stage: The Inquirer becomes a Candidate in the Oblate community after completion of the Inquiry Stage. The focus of this stage is on deep prayer practice (as one's life circumstances allow) and deepening awareness of Benedictine Spirituality through reading, participation at meetings, and study of the Rule of St. Benedict. The Candidate Stage generally takes one year also.
Benedictine Oblate: After successful completion of the Candidacy stage, one may request acceptance as a full Oblate. If one chooses oblation, the Oblate promises in a ceremony before the Prioress of the Monastery and the Benedictine Sisters, Oblates, family, and friends to live according to Benedictine spirituality in affiliation with the Queen of Angels Monastery. The oblation and its promise is not a vow, but is a free gift of oneself to God.
The Spiritual Life of An Oblate
The term “Oblate” means “an offering of oneself” and the practice of associating with a Benedictine monastery dates back to at least the 9th century. Oblates seek God daily through study, prayer, conversion of life, and works of charity, justice and peace.
They attend regular Oblate gatherings at Queen of Angels and join the Sisters for Liturgy of the Hours and Eucharistic celebrations.
Through their study of the Rule of Benedict and their practice of lectio divina (prayerful reflection on the Word of God in Scripture and other spiritual texts), Oblates receive spiritual strength and inspiration.
Oblate Leadership Team & Council
Advisors: Sr. Maureen Niedermeyer & Sr. Dorothy Pulkka
Oblate Coordinator: Mary Blankenship
Formation Coordinators: Tom Kinzie & Nancy Hendricks
Communications: Terry Wright
Hospitality: Trish McConnell
Oblate Sunday Meeting Dates
May 19 (Adjusted for Mother's Day)
Mark Your Calendars
December 2 "Finding Treasures in Ancient Practices" retreated presented by Oblate Susan Black (see Events page for full details)
August 2 - 4, QAM Oblate Weekend Retreat at Mt. Angel Abbey Guest House
Reading Selections for Oblate Year
The Monastic Heart: 50 Simple Practices for a Contemplative and Fulfilling Life
Joan Chittister, OSB
Chapter 1 Bells: On Remembering
Chapter 2 Statio: On Involvement
Chapter 3 Antiphon: On Mantras of the Moment
Chapter 4 Monastic Procession: On the Display of Oneness/Unity
Chapter 5 The Rule of Benedict: On Seeking God
Chapter 6 Horarium: On Parsing Time
Chapter 7 Hospitality: On a Spirit of Welcome
No reading assignment. We will be hearing from two Oblates from Mt Angel Abbey who just attended the World Oblate Council in Italy.
Chaper 8 Choir: On Singing Praise
Chapter 9 Beauty: On the Invisible in the Visible
Chapter 10 Silence: On Inner Quietude
No reading assignment. We will be having our annual visit with Sr Jane Hibbard, Pastoral Administrator.
Chapter 11 Lectio: On Reading Between the Lines
Chapter 12 Cloister: On Sacred Space
Chapter 13 The Monastic Cell: On Privacy
Chapter 14 Metanoia: On Growth
Chapter 15 Fuga Mundi: On Living in the World or Not
Chapter 16 Community: On Spiritual Companionship
Chapter 17 The Oratory: On Holy Space
Chapter 18 Hermits: On the Solitary Life
Chapter 19 Solitude: On Discovering Calm and Clarity
Chapter 20 Blessing: On Recognizing the Gifts of Life
Chapter 21 Divine Office: On the Daily Presence of God
Chapter 22 Manual Labor: On the Purpose of Work
Chapter 23 Serenity: On Inner Peace
Chapter 24 Lauds: On Morning Praise
Chapter 25 Vespers: On Evening Praise
Inquirer Book Study
St Benedict’s Toolbox: The Nuts and Bolts of Everyday Benedictine Living (10th Anniversary Edition)
By Jane Tomaine
Resources Available for Download