**Oblate Blog**

About/Contact Oblate Spring

How to use the Oblate Spring

Example of the Divine Office

Signup for E-mail Notifications


Oblate Spring
Web Site

Lay Associates and
Third Orders

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)


See endnote on this page for more explanations. In general, Third Orders, Tertiaries, and lay associates are lay people who are in spiritual union with a formal religious order.

Here is a list of some of the more well-known Third Orders and lay associates:

Benedictine oblates (link to the Order of St. Benedict web site).   

Saint Meinrad Archabbey produced six videos explaining the oblate life.  While the video is about Saint Meinrad oblates, it gives an excellent overview of the oblate life at any monastery. Remember, oblates do NOT live at a monastery, we wear regular clothes, are regular lay, married, unmarried, men and women living in the world.

At many monasteries Benedictine oblates are not required to be Catholic and may be from any Christian denomination.

Lay Cistercian Communities 

Secular Augustinian Recollects

Secular Franciscan Order(1)

Lay Carmelites - Third Order, T.O.C.s or T.O.Carm.s

Secular Carmelites, Discalced Carmelite Secular Order, O.C.D.s, (2)

Fraternities of St. Dominic

Carthusian Spirituality, International Fellowship of St. Bruno

The Confraternity of Penitents

Norbertine Lay Associations The Norbertines are also known as the Premonstratensians (OPraem) and in Britain and Ireland as the White Canons.

Lay Missionaries of Charity

Servite Secular Order


Long list of Abbreviations

The Catholic Door Ministry has a list of those abbreviations you see after names of religious men and women.  I see them all the time on Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) shows and mostly have no idea what they mean.  Well, now I will just look them up on this handy and Long list of Abbreviations.



(1) Some religious groups who live in community and take private vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience are called Teriaries, such as the Franciscan Tertiary Sisters of the Immaculate.

(2) Two traditions exist in the Carmelite community. The differences are described here, scroll down to the FAQs paragraph 7.


Some readers of this blog may be surfing the Internet looking for spiritual information and may land on this web site, but not be drawn to the Benedictine shore.  To help you in your sailing on the spiritual sea, you may want to explore these other groups.

I wrote a blog on contemplative prayer.  In the blog I gave a list of Third Orders, and you will also hear such groups called tertiaries or confraternities.  After I wrote the blog, I found more of such groups and have listed all of them on this page for better customer service.

Such Third Orders are groups of lay people associated with a particular religious order (such as Benedictines, Franciscan, Dominican, or Carmelite). 

Such members do not take vows or wear religious clothing or live in a community residence.  They are regular folks, often married, who seek to live in the world while following the spirit or charism of the religious order with whom they are associated. 

This Oblate Spring web site and the Oblate Blog are about Catholic Benedictine oblates the lay associates of the Benedictines.