Benedictine Oblates of the Norfolk Priory
Message from the Oblate Director
Life is a journey. All of us are on this journey. This journey has many options for life. We make daily choices and choose the road that we wish to walk during our earthly life. Discernment, Listening and being open to the will of God is very crucial as we look for the right road for ourselves. There are many enticing side roads that look open and easy to follow. Life would be a breeze on these roads but they usually have a dead end. Some roads are very appealing as they look so smooth, easy and full of successes. Even attractive materialistic ornaments sparkle down the way. They too usually have a dead end. Other roads are not paved. Stones, brushwood and other distractions seem to be hurdles. These roads even have curves and it is hard to see too far ahead. The choice of road is ours to make. Regardless of what road we take we are on the journey of life
The road that seems frequently chosen is “The Tool of Good Works” road. Yes, on the journey of life there are many opportunities for doing good works if we are open and ready to commit ourselves to service. These rest stops renew our desire to follow Christ and energy to continue on this way of seeking Christ above all things and to give glory to God for everything. It seems that there are other men and women on the way who likewise have chosen the Benedictine way of life. What a blessing it is to have some time with the Lord and to meet other God-seekers.
At these stops we are encouraged to invest in conversion of morals, good seal, simplicity of lifestyle so that we do not become burdened and attracted to take other appealing side roads. Fortunately the road is decorated with hospitality, which helps us bond into a community of God-seekers. Belonging to a community, following the rule helps us to stay on the right road as we continue in our journey of life. What a blessing it is to have chosen this road.
Sister Celine Schock, OSB
Frequently asked Questions about Oblates
What is an oblate?
An oblate is anyone who wishes to deepen their relationship with Christ by living the Rule of St. Benedict according to the Constitution of a given Benedictine Monastery.
Who may become an oblate?
Any baptized man or woman who wants to deepen their relationship with Christ through the Benedictine way of life.
How old do you need to be to become an oblate?
Each monastery establishes the age of when individuals are accepted into the program.
Do oblates take classes?
There is a formation process whereby interested men and women learn about the Benedictine way of life. After a period of at least a year, and after the individual feels called to this way of life, they ask to be accepted as an oblate. Study of the Rule and the Gospel continue as an oblate.
What are the works of the oblate?
Oblates continue living in their given situation in their homes and work places. The main work of the oblate is deepening their relationship with Jesus through a life of prayer and interior silence. Each monastery may have projects which the oblates adopt as their projects.
What are the dues?
There are no dues in our program. We stress that it is a love relationship with God. Dues are developing a prayer life.
Are there any requirements?
Since oblates are following the rule which encourages a deeper relationship with God, the requirement is to do just that. Oblates are encouraged to take prayer time each day by praying the office of the Church and time for personal prayer. They are encouraged to also do something of service, of helping someone in need and being active in their parish community.
Do I need to live close to a monastery to belong?
No, but it does help to be close to the monastery to which an oblate is affiliated. Every oblate needs a sense of belonging and it helps when an oblate identifies himself/herself with a given monastery.
Do oblates take vows?
No. They make promises to live faithfully to the community to which they affiliate themselves with.
Am I good enough to be an oblate?
If we can appreciate that we are on a journey to God that question falls away. God made us good. God loves us for who we are. We are called to follow our God and maker.
Need More Information? Contact Our Oblate Director: Sr. Celine Schock