During the summer of 1999, several of our friends approached Brother Brendan and asked him to teach a course on the practice of lectio divina. He began to meet with this group once a month, and before long, they were asking for a more permanent basis to the classes, as well as a closer connection to the monastery. Fortunately, in our tradition, we have the Rite of Oblation to formalize just such a relationship between the monks and laypersons.
Oblates of Saint Benedict are laypersons who attach themselves to a Benedictine community and promise to live their lives according to the spirituality and principles of the Rule of Saint Benedict as their state in life permits.
We presently have 25 Oblates living in Chicago, the suburbs, even in other states: men and women, married couples and singles, young and old. The Oblates are invited to participate in conferences given after Mass on the first and third Sundays of each month. The conferences cover spirituality, Gregorian chant, the Psalms and monastic history. In addition, Oblates play a prominent part in the major liturgies of the year, assisting with preparations for Easter and Christmas and events such as the Solemn Vows of a monk or ordination of a priest within the community.
Twice a year the Oblates are invited for a more intense time of recollection, during which the Oblates stay in the monastery guest houses and receive spiritual conferences given by the monks.
If you would like more information on Benedictine Oblation, contact our Oblate Director, Brother Ignatius, OSB at firstname.lastname@example.org, or at (773) 927-7424 ext. 203.