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Page 4 Links to
Benedictine Oblate Resources

First Book to Read (Page 1)

What's an oblate? (Page 2)

Becoming an Oblate (Page 3)

Links to Oblate Resources (Page 4)

Index (Page 5) to: 
Mini Index
Expanded Index

What's New (Page 6)





With prayer and a computer, this is where you can hear God and instantly join a world-wide community of  Benedictine oblates. 

You have a place like this in your heart.





Internet resources for Benedictine oblates

On page 4 and 4.1 you will find: [Reformatted]

Websites — Four of the best overall websites for Benedictine oblates

Websites — By other oblates. Visit the growing online community of web sites by other Benedictine oblates around the world Jan 10

Websites — International — Non-English language web sites Jan 10

Commentary — on the Rule of St. Benedict for Benedictine oblates

Encyclopedia —  Monastic articles

Message board and Online Forums — Monastic and Benedictine oblates

Podcasts — online daily office, beautiful

Retreats — Find one near you   

Monastery — Find one near you

Benedictine Spirituality and St. Benedict biography — Overview of key facts and history.

Oblate Guides and Manuals — In-depth foundational documents for Benedictine oblates

Early Desert and Monastic Fathers — Ancient authors you should know

Vatican — Monastic documents from recent Popes 

Books — A basic Benedictine library (on page 4.1)

Books — A list of Benedictine book lists and where to buy (on page 4.1)

Books — Most influential books in my oblate growth (on page 4.1)

Rule of St. Benedict — My favorite translation (on page 4.1)

Books for the divine office — My favorites (on page 4.1)



Order of St. Benedict. A major/primary resources for all things Benedictine on the Internet.  As a tip, look at the entire site, that’s when I was able to find the things that were of most interest to me.

Christ in the Desert Monastery

Excellence, depth, relevance.  A desert rose.

New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia

I have this classic work bookmarked on my Windows toolbar on my computer.  Having the Encyclopedia just one mouse click away makes it easy to look up virtually every Catholic topic.

"...widely considered to be the best Catholic reference work in the English language." From New Advent Store.

E-Benedictines - Online Guide to St. Benedict

A good overview of St. Benedict

WEBSITES BY OTHER BENEDICTINE OBLATES — Enjoy the growing online community of web sites by other Benedictine oblates around the world


From the web site:

"We are a small group of volunteer oblates from various monasteries who, since the first World Oblates Congress in 2005, have formed a team to act as a conduit for information for oblates and thus established this website for oblates and monastic communities, who may wish to make use thereof.

"This site has been designed to provide information about oblates and for oblates, and about the different Benedictine monastic communities that exist in Great Britain and Ireland."


OBLATI Insieme Italty

French Benedictine Oblate Website


Key monastic articles from New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia:


Benedict of Nursia, Saint - His life and monasticism under his Rule.

Benedict, Medal of
- Many rich traditions and history.

Benedict, Rule of Saint - The Rule for monks.

Benedictine Order - Extensive history.

Compline - My favorite divine office. The last office of the day.

Divine Office - Praying the Psalms and reading through the day according to a traditional pattern.

Vigils - Night watch and prayers

Nocturns - Historical development of Vigils

Lauds - Morning Prayer

Vespers - Evening prayer

Compline - My favorite divine office. The last office of the day.

See also this article from Christ in the Desert Monastery:

Jewish roots — Brief summary of how Jewish practices before Christ shaped the daily prayer practices of the earliest Christians. These are the roots of the divine office still prayed today in Benedictine monasteries around the world.


Monasteries in England, Suppression of - Tragic history we still feel today.

Suppression of Monasteries in Continental Europe

Monasticism - A must read This ancient Christian practice is closely associated with deep spirituality.

Monasticism, Eastern - A general survey.

Monasticism, Pre-Chalcedonian - Must read for knowing the early Eastern practices before 451 AD.

Monasticism, Western - OK, read this too, major article.

Monk - Gives meanings of the different terms.

Mystical Theology - "extraordinary forms of prayer, the higher forms of contemplation in all their varieties or gradations, private revelations, visions, and the union growing out of these between God and the soul, known as the mystical union."

Before St. Teresa of Avila (a Carmelite) "mystics were concerned principally with ecstasies, visions, and revelations."  Part of the reasons St. Teresa is one of the most read mystics today and most admired is that St Teresa "was the first to attempt a scientific analysis of the process of mystical union brought about by contemplation."

St Teresa of Avila (another short overview)

Mysticism - Don't worry "mysticism" is not a bad word in the Catholic Church!

Throughout history monastics, (monks, nuns, and sisters) have carried the mystical traditions of the Church.

From the New Advent Encyclopedia:

"To some souls...even in the present life, God gives a very special grace by which they are enabled to feel His sensible presence; this is true mystical contemplation. In this act, there is no annihilation or absorption of the creature into God, but God becomes intimately present to the created mind and this, enlightened by special illuminations, contemplates with ineffable joy the Divine essence."

Rule of St. Benedict --- Of course you must read this, it's the Rule!



Vatican’s International Oblates hosts a conference every 4 years has papers online from first conference in 2005, the next is in 2009.

Monastic Life Yahoo Group Fun, friendly, open, substantive teaching, well-run and administered by mature Benedictines, a perfect places for newbies. 
My favorite message board/mailing list forum and where I post and have received the best response is the first one listed, Monastic Life.

Holy Rule Daily Meditation by Brother Jerome Leo (Picture of Brother Jerome).

Best Daily Online Commentary on the Rule of St. Benedict as applied to oblate life:

This site illustrates the “small-world” character of the Benedictine life.  Brother Jerome Leo is a monk at St. Mary Monastery in Petersham, Massachusetts.  He wrote/writes a daily commentary on the Rule.  Everyone wants his daily reflections so you will see them all over the place — but that is good because his reflections are often the best thing on any message board.  He is loved by all.  I think his writing is some of the best modern thought on the Benedictine monastic life. He also has a mailing list that contains only his daily reflections.  He used to be a monk at St. Leo Abbey and he frequently uses events/monks he knew to illustrate a point.  You can easily read his past reflections on this site which contains only his reflections.  His reflections are an easy way to learn the Rule and what it means to be an oblate.


Everyone has different tastes in discussion forums, here are the ones I have found, most are not too active, but a few are.   

Just as John Soule said in 1851, "Go West, young man, and grow up with the country, (which was popularized and then attributed to Horace Greeley), I advise oblates today, "Go on the Internet, young oblates, and grow up in a new era of monasticism."

The Benedictine Way

Benedictine Daily Prayer

Online Daily Office -- Liturgy of the Hours and Podcasts 

Divine Office online podcasts. Words and music of the divine office right on your computer.

Monastery Podcasts Beautiful Lauds and Vespers podcasts from a great Benedictine monastery.

Universalis.  When away from home and "out and about" I read the Office of Readings at Universalis. when it is more convenient to read on a handheld devise. 

Use their calendar.  I find the Universalis calendar very handy and keep a printed copy with the "Benedictine Daily Prayer."  It's a good way to know which Psalm week we are in.

Keller Book.  Short Breviaries in 20th and 21st Century America.  "Source book for those who have an interest in the breviary and its prayer."  Contains charts and information on the structure of the Divine Office in many publications.





1. Benedictine Retreat Centers

2. Catholiclinks.org

3. Order of Saint Benedict Retreat Centers

4. RetreatFinder.com

5. Lists of religious orders. You might also find more — out of the way — retreats by finding a monastery or group near where you live by using this alternate list:

Order of St. Benedict Confederation,
Anglican Benedictines,
Camaldolese Hermits of Monte Corona,
The Carthusians (hermits),
The Cistercians and Trappists,
The Friends of St. Benedict,
The Lay Community of Saint Benedict,
Orthodox Monasteries and Monasticism

6. The wider circle of spiritual retreats.

If your circle of interests extends beyond the Benedictine, you might find a spiritual retreat at “Find the Divine” which has a large list of other forms of spiritual retreats as well.

7. Florida, USA, Spiritual Retreats at St. Leo Abbey, Catholic Benedictine Monks

Map — Directions, map, and GPS coordinates. 

For spiritual retreats and praying the divine office with the monks, find a time of rest on holy ground. For anyone of any faith or denomination, anytime of the year.  Contact information page.

8. Getting started on a spiritual path to a deeper, fuller life of peace:

My wife and I can trace our path to becoming Benedictine oblates through some private retreats we planned on our own at nonreligious places of tranquility.


Find a Benedictine monastery:

Order of St. Benedict Confederation

A More General List:

If you want to explore other groups, Catholic and non-Catholic, try the following list:

Anglican Benedictines
Camaldolese Hermits of Monte Corona
The Carthusians (hermits)
The Cistercians and Trappists
The Friends of St. Benedict
The Lay Community of Saint Benedict
Orthodox Monasteries and Monasticism



Benedictine Spirituality and St. Benedict's biography. An eight-page PDF of the key elements of what makes Benedictine spirituality a powerful presence during the last 1,500 years.  The second part of the PDF document gives the most memorable and important parts of St. Benedict's life (480 - 543 AD).



Essential In-Depth Documents
on Benedictine Oblate Programs

Guidelines For Oblates of St. Benedict adopted by oblate directors

Oblate manual from the Monastery of the Ascension

Oblate Formation Booklet Saint Vincent Archabbey


Additional Excellent Resources that are
Highly Recommended

A well-written overview of everything Benedictine. A must for those who want to have a complete understanding.

The opus dei, or "work of God"

Detailed Divine Office history

Excellent summary of the Divine Office and that recognizes its ancient Jewish roots over 3,000 years ago. 

Jewish roots — Brief summary of how Jewish practices before Christ shaped the daily prayer practices of the earliest Christians. These are the roots of the divine office still prayed today in Benedictine monasteries around the world.

Good overall monastic web site — Christ in the Desert.  This is the monastery that was featured in the TV show the Monastery in 2006.  The material written by the Abbot especially has that great monastic feel about it -- to me at least.


An example of the good Benedictine Newsletters available online and see many online oblate Newsletters
The classic 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia at New Advent.  I use this almost like a dictionary and it has lots of articles on monasticism and St. Benedict and the Divine Office, etc.  Put the New Advent Link on your toolbar so it is available with just one click of the mouse, as you come to new terms, just look them up on New Advent.  Nothing is better or as complete.  They knew how to write encyclopedias in 1913.


The history of "Oblates in Western Monasticism," by Derek G. Smith.  This is an in-depth long article about which monasteries had oblates during the development of monasticism in the West.   My favorite points made by this article are following:

1. Throughout the long history of oblates in the West, the number of oblates has always expanded during times when monasteries "placed primary emphasis on contemplative prayer and a life of silence."  We are seeing the effects of Vatican II to help turn the church to a "serious commitment to simple, humble monastic prayer."  This has been a factor -- often repeated in history -- for the large increase in the number of oblates now. 

2. And this pleasing quote that looks to the future, "The free and supple structure of oblature adapts well to a wide variety of religious temperament and social circumstance. It seems to present marvelous and large opportunities for the life of intensive Christian meditation and prayer; it is a rich inheritor of, and contributor to, the life of evangelical humility and simplicity envisioned by Our Holy Father [St.] Benedict, a man of God for all times."

 Early Desert and Monastic Fathers — Ancient authors you should know

  • John Cassian, 360- 435 AD

    These are long documents from the Vatican, often by Pope John Paul II or Benedict XVI.  These will appeal mostly to those who want to spend considerable time in monastic study -- but who knows -- these may be just the words that might make someone want to explore the world of monasticism. 




    Go to Page 4.1 For Continued Links to Oblate Resources

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