Our lay members are referred to as oblates.
Oblates are men and women, married or single, active in any Christian denomination, who closely associate themselves with the Monastery of St. Gertrude through an initiation process and formal oblation (promise). There are currently over 70 oblates of the Monastery of St. Gertrude throughout the Pacific Northwest.
People become oblates because they find that God’s call to daily conversion is facilitated in their lives through Benedictine spirituality. This spirituality is illuminated by the Rule of Benedict and the lived example of the sisters at St. Gertrude’s.
Oblates meet regularly as a community to deepen their personal and communal prayer and to explore ways to live Benedictine values in their daily lives. They develop deep and lasting friendships with the monastic community and with one another.
At the Monastery of St. Gertrude, oblates take an active participatory role in areas such as the Raspberry Festival, Monastery committees, and retreat ministry. Oblates also volunteer where needed – the kitchen, garden, museum or library.
The Oblate Community has nine area groups:
- Boise, Idaho
- the Prairie (Cottonwood, Idaho area)
- Lewiston, Idaho
- Palouse (Moscow, Idaho and Pullman, Washington area)
- Spokane, Washington
- North Idaho (Coeur d’Alene area)
- Missoula, Montana
- Puget Sound North, Washington
- Puget Sound South, Washington
Becoming an Oblate at the Monastery of St. Gertrude includes developing:
- an understanding of Benedictine wisdom
- a shared prayer life within the Oblate and monastic communities, and
- an outreach or ministry that incorporates the monastery’s values of healing hospitality, grateful simplicity and creative peacemaking.
Learn More About This Process
The process of becoming an Oblate at the Monastery of St. Gertrude is modeled after both the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) and the process of initiation into the monastic community. The model draws from both traditions, each of which have elements of developing lived tradition, a wisdom source, shared prayer and outreach. These elements are developed in the three phases, outlined under the aspects of Community, Message, Worship, and Service. The three phases are:
Step 1: Inquirer. A time to acquaint yourself with the monastic and Oblate communities via visits to the monastery and participation in oblate activities. You deepen your personal prayer and continue your local ministry. Listen and observe — it is a time for gathering information.
Step 2: Oblate Novice. During this time you learn more about Benedictine spirituality through formal study, regular sharing, and participation in the liturgy and work of the monastery. You and your Sponsor communicate regularly as you discern your oblation. Listen and learn — it is a time for formation.
Step 3: Oblate. As an Oblate you live out your Benedictine spirituality and continue your contacts with the monastic and oblate communities. Your service will reflect the monastery’s mission in your local situation. Listen and live — it is a lifetime of transformation.
Let us know if you would like more information about becoming an oblate…