“Benedict’s way is the way of Christ, who welcomed without distinction and set before people a vision of what they might become.”
Elizabeth Canham

Can the “connection” between the members of a monastic community and the married and single women and men who come regularly to the monastery door be as simple as setting before one another a vision of what we might become in Christ? In what ways might an Oblate make real this vision?

  • What is a Benedictine Oblate and what opportunities does this connection offer ?
  • Why would anyone seek such a connection?
  • What might the mutual grace of such a connection mean for you and for our world today?

Live into the answers to these questions together with us. The vision of what we might become in Christ will be revealed in the mutuality of the monastic journey.

Who are Benedictine Oblates?

Oblates are everyday people with jobs, families, and other responsibilities. They come from a variety of faith traditions. In today's hectic, changing world, being an oblate offers a rich spiritual connection to the stability and wisdom of an established monastic community. By their commitment to the Rule of Benedict, oblates benefit from an ancient spiritual tradition that has led countless other monastics and oblates to holiness. Just as a candidate for the monastery is tested to see whether s/he "truly seeks God" (RB 58), so also those who become oblates
are committed above all else to seek God in Jesus Christ.

Oblate meetings are on Sundays (see calendar) 2:30-4:30 PM. Candidates meet at 1:45-2:25 prior to each gathering.

An Oblate’s Commitment

  • Oblates are committed to the monastery, its values and culture and its prayer.
  • Oblates are expected to keep the spirit of Saints Benedict and Scholastica alive by the way in which they live:
  • Keep faithful to their promises made at oblation
  • Pray the Liturgy of the Hours/Daily Prayer
  • Do Lectio Divina regularly
  • Attend retreats and scheduled oblate meetings as often as possible.
  • Maintain fidelity to one's faith tradition.
  • Oblates are persons whose lives are shaped by Benedictine Spirituality. They follow the Rule of St. Benedict in their daily lives as far as their way  of life permits.
  • Oblates are representatives of Emmanuel Monastery "in the world."
  • Oblates pray for the community of Emmanuel Monastery and for the other Oblates.


O Loving God,
We ask your blessing on all the Oblates of Saint Benedict, on those with whom we are affiliated, and on all Benedictines throughout the world. Help us to become people of prayer and peace.

Though scattered far and wide, help us to be together in the spirit of your love. Give us hearts wide enough to embrace each other as well as those whose lives we touch. Enable us to listen and to learn from each other and from those around us each day.

May we be models in our homes, neighborhoods and communities of wise stewardship, dignified human labor, sacred leisure and reverence for all living things.

Above all, O God, may our presence among others be a constant witness of justice, compassion and hope to all.

For more information contact:

Sister Joan Marie Stief, OSB
Emmanuel Monastery
2229 W. Joppa Rd.
Lutherville, MD 21093