Benedictine Oblates of Nebraska
Who We Are
Oblates of St. Benedict are Christian men and women of all faiths—single, married, divorced, and widowed—who associate themselves with a Benedictine monastery in order to enrich their Christian way of life. Oblates shape their lives by living the wisdom of Christ as interpreted by St. Benedict. Oblates seek God by striving to become holy in their chosen way of life. By integrating their prayer and work, they manifest Christ’s presence in society. (Source: “An Introduction to Oblates of St. Benedict.”)
Oblates commit themselves to live in the spirit of the Rule of Benedict and the directives of Oblates of their particular monastery. Oblates become representatives of their monastic community; most do not live in a monastic house.
If you are interested in finding out more about becoming an Oblate, please contact the chapter. One of the deans will be in touch to provide information about the steps to take to become an Oblate. In brief, an inquirer enters the program, makes an initial commitment for one year, and then makes a final Oblation at the Oblation Ceremony.
Becoming an Oblate
“Laity are Called to be Holy, Experience Benedictine Lives as Oblates”
As we begin this second millennium, we examine how Christianity evolved in the first millennium. One notes that Christian men and women fled to the desert to live ascetic lives, observing the disciplines of poverty, chastity, and obedience. These became the basis of the Rule of Saint Benedict, “… one of the most influential documents of Western civilization.” Monastics established monasteries as places set apart for those called to deeply “participate in the life of Christ.” Monks became Christianity’s greatest missionaries, planting the church in England, Ireland, and other outposts beyond Rome and Constantinople.
Today men and women of all Christian traditions can grow in holiness by becoming Benedictine Oblates. Benedictine Oblates associate themselves with a Benedictine Monastery to receive help and guidance for living a full Christian life. They are guided by the teaching of Christ as set down and interpreted by St. Benedict. Besides the study of the Rule of Saint Benedict, they are guided in the great monastic tradition of Lectio Divina (holy reading, meditation, prayer, and contemplation). An Oblate’s role is not one of a monk or nun. Rather, he or she strives to live in the world, to become holy in the world, and to do what he or she can to bring the world to God by being a witness of Christ. After one year in the Formation Program as an inquirer, a person may become an Oblate.
2019 Oblation Ceremony
ANNUAL OBLATION CEREMONY
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 10, 2019
MADONNA REHABILITATION HOSPITAL
JAMES E. RYAN MEMORIAL CHAPEL
Join your fellow Nebraska Oblates for the annual Oblation Ceremony as we welcome our new novices to our chapters. Oblates will also have an opportunity to renew their final vows as well. Visit with S. Maribeth Westzlaff, Prioress; S. Patricia Heirigs, Oblate Director, and S. Phyllis Hunhoff, Assistant Oblate Director.
Winter Trip: The St. John’s Bible
Please join us for a Sunday trip, December 9, 2019, 11:00 am to 4:30 pm, to Joslyn Museum in Omaha, NE, to experience the St. John’s Bible. There will be a tour of the St. John’s Bible exhibition 1:00-2:00 pm with a $10.00 charge.
The tour will be followed by a one-hour presentation by Dr. Susan Calef from Crieghton University – “Gospel Portraiture and the Art of Interpretation.” This talk will present an exploration of the distinctive features of each of the four Gospel “portraits” of Jesus and their contributions to Christian spirituality. We will return to Lincoln in time for our regularly scheduled Benedictine Oblate Chapter meeting.
Finding Out More
Contact the Nebraska Chapter to ask about becoming an Oblate of Saint Benedict. One of the deans will respond and offer you answers to the questions that have come to you. God’s blessings be with you as you discern how God is calling you to follow Jesus Christ.