Who We Are

Meet the Oblates

Our lay members are called 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).

The Oblate Community has nine area groups: Boise, Idaho; Prairie (Cottonwood, Idaho area); Lewiston, Idaho; Palouse (Moscow, Idaho and Pullman, Washington area); McCall, Idaho; Spokane, Washington; North Idaho (Coeur d’Alene area); Missoula, Montana; and Puget Sound, Washington.

Meet our oblate leaders:

Jane Somerton

Jane Somerton

Lead Coordinator

Oblate since: 1988

What being an oblate means to me: The Benedictine Community (sisters and oblates) at St. Gertrude’s have been my friends, spiritual guides, and mentors for 35 years. The monastery itself is a place of peace, respite, and restoration. The hallmarks of Benedictine spirituality (contemplation, stability, peace, prayer, balance…) continually challenge, comfort, and tug me toward openness, truth, and compassion. I cherish the counter-cultural stance that helps me to maintain balance in a very busy daily life. And when I slip out of balance, which is a very human thing to do, the stability and love of this community gently guide me back into right relationship.

Barb Wodynski

Barb Wodynski

Formation Coordinator

Oblate since: 2002

What being an oblate means to me: To me, being an oblate gives me a way of life and a spirituality that fits me like a glove. The prayer of the hours, lectio, and the charisms of St. Gertrude’s are the path I want to follow—don’t always follow it well or consistently, but I always know that it’s what I need to return to and begin again and again. Having a community of beautiful people with whom I can share this path is essential; it even becomes a possibility and a hope that we can change the world!

Debbie McCoy

Debbie McCoy

Communications Coordinator

Oblate since: 2006

What being an oblate means to me: Being an oblate means I attempt to live my life according to the Rule of Benedict in my own daily life. I heard a Benedictine monk describe this way of life as a 3-legged stool consisting of work, prayer, and holy leisure which includes study and reading. This is how I see my spirituality unfolding in the oblate community. I also am connected to the sisters in community and pledge to support them as I am able to do so.

Meet the Sisters

Our Chaplain

In Memoria