“Peace! In the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Amen. I offer myself to Almighty God, to the Blessed Virgin Mary and to our Blessed Father Benedict as an oblate of Mount Angel Abbey, Saint Benedict, Oregon; and I solemnly promise, before God and His saints, the reformation of my life in order to more perfectly dedicate myself to the love of God and neighbor. This I will do by God’s grace, according to the Holy Rule of Saint Benedict, in so far as my state in life permits. Amen.” (Form of Monastic Oblation)
Benedictine Oblates of Mount Angel Abbey
What is an Oblate of Saint Benedict?
Oblates of Saint Benedict are Christians who have experienced in some way a call to embrace Benedictine spirituality. After a time of prayer and discernment they have desired a more formal, permanent commitment to a monastic community. By making this formal self-giving to Christ in communion with a monastic community, the oblate embraces the time-tested traditions and values of the Benedictine way. Oblates are united to the prayer and good works of the monastery to which they are associated while they continue to live out their Christian vocation in the world.
The word “oblate” comes from a Latin root word denoting the offering of a gift, or an out-pouring. In the monastic context it is referring to the total gift of self to Christ. At Mount Angel Abbey monastic oblations always take place in the context of the Eucharistic liturgy, for the oblate is offering his or her life in union with Christ in his perfect and complete sacrifice of praise to God, our heavenly Father.
Benedictine oblates of Mount Angel Abbey are encouraged to pray some form of the Liturgy of the Hours each day, as well as practice daily Lectio Divina and reading of the Holy Rule. It is hoped that oblates will live out their Benedictine vocation of prayer and work through active lives of faithful service in their parish communities, their business or professional associations, and in their family and social relationships.
No, oblation is not a juridical or legal commitment. Monastic oblation is, however, a public and solemn promise made in the presence of the Church which effects a spiritual association with a particular monastic community. Oblation is intended to be an aid in the fulfillment of one’s baptismal vows. Saint Benedict teaches that his Rule of Life is a way to help Christians live the Gospel more faithfully.
Oblate Retreats at the Guesthouse
Benedictine Oblate retreats are intended specifically for oblates interested in deepening their Christian lives through the spirituality of the Benedictine tradition.
For the majority of the retreats that begin on Friday evenings, retreatants arrive in time for vespers and Adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament in the Abbey church: these begin at 5:15 pm. Dinner follows, then compline (also in the Abbey church). A welcome and first conference are given after compline to open the retreat. The retreat follows the monastic horarium (schedule), with retreatants joining the monks for Holy Mass and the Divine Office. Meals are silent, served buffet or family style in the retreat house dining room, accompanied by spiritual reading.
Silence ends with breakfast on Sunday. Many retreats will include the ceremony of Final Oblation that takes place at the monastic community’s Sunday celebration of the Holy Eucharist. A light reception is held afterward, followed by the final of four spiritual conferences. Before this final presentation, those wishing to begin the process of becoming a Benedictine Oblate of Mount Angel Abbey can do so by participating in the induction of oblate novices, where they will receive their own copy of the Holy Rule of Saint Benedict and receive a blessing. The retreats conclude with the noon meal, at which retreatants have an opportunity to visit with one another, and make plans for their next visit to the monastery.
(Retreats are limited to oblates and those interested in becoming oblates.)
Oblates of St. Benedict are Christians who have experienced in some way a call to embrace Benedictine spirituality. After a time of prayer and discernment they have desired a more formal, permanent commitment to a monastic community. By making this formal self-giving to Christ in communion with a monastic community, the oblate embraces the time-tested traditions and values of the Benedictine way. Oblates are united to the prayer and good works of the monastery to which they are associated while they continue to live out their Christian vocation in the world.
For more information on becoming on oblate, or if you are in need of financial assistance, please email Ariel Lynch, Associate Director of Oblates.
To register for a retreat, email email@example.com.
(Please note: All weekend retreats begin with Vespers on Friday at 5:15 and end with lunch on Sunday.)
September 23-25: Praying the Psalms: Living in the Divine Current
Oblate Retreat led by Fr. John Paul Le, O.S.B.
November 4-6: Praying Deeply: the Liturgy as the Marriage of Heaven and Earth
Oblate Retreat led by Br. Louis Nguyen, O.S.B.
February 3-5, 2023:
Oblate Retreat led by Fr. Andrew Schwenke, O.S.B.
May 19-21, 2023:
Oblate Retreat led by Br. Ignatius Olivarez, O.S.B.
September 22-24, 2023:
November 3-5, 2023: Br. Jesse Ochoa, O.S.B.
The oblate council is dedicated to promoting the mission of the oblates of Mount Angel Abbey. This is done by discerning the call and direction of the Holy Spirit regarding the oblate association, advising the Abbot and Director of Oblates, and supporting oblate group leaders and all oblates.
Director of Oblates
Fr. John Paul Le, O.S.B.
Assistant Oblate Director
Br. Jesse Ochoa, O.S.B.
Assistant Oblate Director
Fr. Ephrem Martinez, O.S.B.
Spanish Program Director
Oblate Sunday Coordinator
Fr. John Paul Le, O.S.B.
Associate Director of Oblates
Appointed Members of the Oblate Council
Dan & Donna Bevens
Michael & Cheryl Schwartz
Mount Angel Abbey is blessed to have over 600 oblates in spiritual association with its monks. These men and women live in many different states and provinces, and all find a spiritual home at Mount Angel Abbey. Those who live near the Abbey can join the monks in person for prayer and work quite often. Those far away from the Abbey usually enjoy a visit about once or twice per year. Whether near or far, all are in communion with one another and with the monks in the monastery through the spiritual bonds of monastic oblation.
This spiritual association or communion is confirmed and enhanced when oblates gather together for prayer, work, study and fellowship in small groups away from the Abbey. Group participation is optional, but it is an opportunity provided to oblates through the enthusiasm and efforts of their fellow oblates. Some groups meet in order to study the Holy Rule or to share a time of prayer. Other groups will meet to enjoy a good meal and conclude their gathering with the part of the Divine Office appropriate to the time of day. Each group has its own character, and is facilitated by a “group leader” who dedicates his/her time and talents to this good work. There can be an “oblate group” wherever there are two or more oblates who would like to come together for this purpose. If you are in one of the areas which has an oblate group, please feel free to contact its facilitator. If you would like to participate in an existing group, or even begin a new one in your area, please contact the Director of Oblates for more information.