Our lay members are known 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 nearly 100 oblates of the Monastery of St. Gertrude, living 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 St. Benedict and the lived example of the entire community of St. Gertrude’s.
Oblates meet regularly in local area groups, and at the monastery, 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 annual Raspberry Festival, monastery committees, and retreat ministry. Oblates also volunteer where needed – the kitchen, garden, museum, library, monastery offices, and during liturgies.
The Oblate Community has nine area groups:
- Boise, Idaho
- Prairie (Cottonwood, Idaho area)
- Lewiston, Idaho
- Palouse (Moscow, Idaho and Pullman, Washington area)
- Spokane, Washington
- North Idaho (Coeur d’Alene area)
- Missoula, Montana
- North Puget Sound, Washington
- South Puget Sound, 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 the process of initiation into the monastic community as developed in the Rule of St. Benedict and through monastic tradition.
- First, one would become a Guest of an oblate area group and attend an Inquiry Day at the monastery. You would become acquainted with oblates in your local area group and be introduced to the fundamentals of Benedictine spirituality as lived by the sisters and oblates of the Monastery of St. Gertrude. Listen: it is a time of introduction.
- Second, you become an Inquirer. This is a time to acquaint yourself with the cenobitic and oblate communities through visits to the monastery and participation in oblate activities. You deepen your personal prayer life and continue in your local ministry. Listen and observe: it is a time for gathering information.
- Third, as an Oblate Novice you learn more about Benedictine spirituality through formal study, regular sharing, and participation in the liturgy and work of the monastery. You and a mentor communicate regularly as you discern your oblation. Listen and learn: it is a time for formation.
- Fourth, as an Oblate you live out of your Benedictine spirit and continue your contacts with the community of St. Gertrude, sisters and oblates. Your service will reflect the monastery’s mission in your local situation. Listen and live: it is a lifetime of transformation.***