For nearly 15 centuries the Rule of St Benedict has inspired and guided the lives of countless men and women. However, it is not only monks and nuns who find the Rule attractive. Lay people, married and single, from diverse walks of life, as well as diocesan clergy, have found in the Rule principles which can be applied to their life “in the world”. The Rule’s moderation and understanding of human nature will never date, and will ﬁnd a universal resonance. They point to the goal to which every Christian rightly aspires: a balanced life.
Oblates are those lay people or clerics who afﬁliate themselves, in a looser and less formal way than monks, to a particular monastery, seeking in the process to integrate into their daily lives the three foundations of Benedictine living:
- Prayer - not least through saying at least part of the monastic office;
- Work; and,
- Spiritual reading - or more popularly, lectio divina, using Scripture as its basis.
As a result, oblates should:
- help build up the Church at large by witnessing to Christ at home and in the workplace;
- serve as active members of their local parish;
- support the monastic community to which they are affiliated by prayer, by regular contact, and by practical means according to the community’s needs; and,
- make a retreat once a year.
The oblates of Douai Abbey are to be found across the country, including chapters centred in Norfolk, Warwickshire, London and the monastery itself, though oblates are not restricted to these areas. The process of becoming an oblate is inspired by that of monastic formation, though it is quite different from it. After a period of initial enquiry and discernment, there is a novitiate of at least a year after which a candidate may admitted to oblation. If you would like more information then please email the Oblate Director, Fr Gervase.
Our oblates now have their own website, Douai Abbey Oblates, at which you will find more information and extensive resources.