Becoming a Benedictine Oblate

A Christian person, lay or ordained, who wishes to become a Benedictine oblate of Saint Meinrad Archabbey must:

  • Be of upright character and have an earnest desire for spiritual advancement according to the Christian ideas set forth in the Rule of St. Benedict.

  • Not be an oblate of another monastery.

Here are the steps to becoming an Benedictine oblate:

  1. Submit an application for acceptance into the oblate community. (Contact us for more information). It should be completed with a short explanation of why you want to become an oblate on the back of the application (the application is provided in the packet that will be sent when you send a message on our webpage in the “Request for more Information” area).
  2. The novitiate will last a minimum of 12 months with a maximum allotted time of two years. There will be 12 lessons to complete in that 12-month period, along with two self-assessments at lessons #4 and #8. When your response is received with answers to the 4-6 questions at the end of each lesson, the next lesson will be sent by email from the novice mentor. 
  3. Minimum age to become an oblate is 21 years of age.
  4. Proof (copy) of baptismal records.
  5. Letter of Recommendation from your priest/pastor or spiritual director.
  6. Schedule a time for the investiture ceremony, where you will receive a small religious habit called a scapular. In this ceremony, you become a novice or "beginner" in the Benedictine oblate vocation.

Receiving the scapular introduces you to a spiritual life in which you assume a few obligations and share many spiritual privileges. The obligations do not bind under any pain of sin, for St. Benedict prefers that one serve God with love rather than with fear.

After a year as an oblate novice, you may participate in a ceremony called the act of final oblation and become a permanent member of the monastic family.

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Listen to oblates witness to their vocation.

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Echoes from the Bell Tower, a podcast devoted to stories of wit and wisdom from the monks of Saint Meinrad.

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