All Christians are called to be disciples of Jesus Christ and to
seek the presence of God in their lives. Those who listen to their
hearts will recognize a longing, an unnamed desire that draws them
to a search for a fuller life. This desire is planted in the human
heart by God who calls all persons to find their happiness by living
for Christ and for others.
St. Benedict, a Christian layman of sixth century Italy, heard this
call, lived it out with others, and eventually wrote a Rule or way
of life applying the principles of the Gospel to daily life.
The Sisters of Sacred Heart Monastery, who follow this Rule of Benedict,
invite Christian women and men to take up this Rule as a guide for
their lives by becoming Benedictine Associates or Oblates.
Benedictine associates are women and men who have a formal association
with the monastery in order that they may experience a reciprocal
relationship with the Sisters in prayer and in good works. The spiritual
journey of an associate will be enriched by the prayer, support,
and encouragement received from the Sisters. The Sisters in turn
are enriched by the prayer, faith, and witness of the associates.
Persons who enroll in the associate program are asked to attend
the regular associate meetings and enter into a relationship with
the community for one year prior to a formal commitment. The formal
association is renewed annually. Persons who enroll in the associate
program are invited to:
- Reflect daily on the Word of God and nurture a deeper relationship
- Pray some portion of the Liturgy of the Hours daily.
- Give witness
to Benedictine values in their daily lives.
- Attend the regular
meetings of the Associates at the monastery
- Interact with the
monastic community in retreats, liturgies, and celebrations of
Benedictine oblates enter into a formal
commitment to live the Benedictine values in their
daily lives. They become part of an international oblate
community that dates back several centuries. To become
an oblate is more than joining a program; it is to
enter a Benedictine way of life.
The obligations are similar to those of a Benedictine associate
with the added commitment to:
- Spend some time in lectio divina (spiritual reading)
- Undertake a serious study of the Rule of Benedict.
regular meetings of the Oblates or write personal
reflections on the topics under consideration.
an annual retreat at the Monastery.
- Submit Lenten
resolutions to the prioress for her blessing.
Persons interested in becoming oblates of Sacred Heart Monastery
are asked to first become a Benedictine associate for a year, then
enter into a one-year oblate formation program as a novice. After
the period of formation and upon discernment, the person may make
his/her oblation to God in a formal ritual in the presence of the
Sisters of Sacred Heart Monastery. This commitment is understood
to be a lifetime obligation, but is renewed annually in the presence
of the monastic community. However, upon mutual agreement with the
monastery, the oblate may cancel the commitment, or transfer the
commitment to another monastery.
If you are interested in the associate or oblate way of life, we
invite you to “come and see.” The Benedictine Sisters
and oblates of Sacred Heart Monastery are open to accompanying
you on your journey to God.
For further information, please contact Sacred
Heart Monastery at 701-974-2121 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
See also yanktonbenedictines.org/oblates.html for information on
an online chapter of Benedictine oblates.
Prefer nothing to Christ and may he bring us all together
to everlasting life. (Rule of Benedict, Chapter