St. Procopius Abbey is a Benedictine monastic community, founded in 1885 and located in Lisle, Illinois, nearly 30 miles southwest of Chicago. Numbering 50 men, they strive to come closer to God through prayer and service to the Church, especially in educational apostolates at Benet Academy (a college-preparatory high school) and Benedictine University.
www.procopius.org (will open in a new window)
Oblates of St. Benedict are Christian individuals or families who have associated themselves with a Benedictine community in order to enrich their Christian way of life. Oblates shape their lives by living the wisdom of Christ as interpreted by St. Benedict in the Rule he wrote for monks.
Oblates seek God by striving to become holy in their chosen way of life. By integrating their prayer and work, they manifest Christ's presence in society. The role of oblates is to live in the world, to become holy in the world, to do what they can to bring the world to God by being witnesses of Christ by word and example to those around them.
Oblates concern themselves with striving to be what they are, people of God and temples of the Holy Spirit. Their prayer life will flow from this awareness, and from their willingness to offer themselves (that is the meaning of the word oblate) for the service of God and neighbor to the best of their ability.
Oblates do not take on a new set of religious practices and are not required to say a certain number of prayers or engage in special devotions. They do not live in a religious community or take vows. The obligations assumed by the oblate do not bind under any pain of sin whatever, for St. Benedict prefers that his children serve God with love rather than with fear.
Perhaps the most frequently asked question regarding oblate life is what is expected of the oblate. The duties are not difficult or overwhelming. If these duties of prayer and work are faithfully carried out, the oblate will become a spiritual person whose life is truly caught up in Benedictine spirituality. The duties offer a wonderful opportunity for turning the ordinary Christian life into something more spiritually satisfying.
The following are duties expected of each oblate:
The oblates pray for the members of their monastic community and for other oblates.
The purpose of the oblate program is to assist and support the oblate in living the Christian way of life. This is done in prayer and periodically gathering together as an oblate community.