|Oblates Day of Recollection, 12 July 2014|
St. Joseph Abbey, St. Benedict, Louisiana
This is lightly edited from a presentation I gave on Wednesday, 1 October:
A while back, Fr. Ryan Humphries of the Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, Natchitoches, Louisiana, asked if I might be interested in taking one of the Wednesday night Adult Catechesis sessions at St. Mary’s School. After a bit of thought and prayer – in part during a day-long “Oblates’ Day” retreat at St. Joseph’s Abbey down by Covington – I proposed that I talk about the ways in which Catholic laymen can associate themselves with a religious order, as I do as a “Benedictine Oblate.” Father said that sounded good to him, so here I am.
The actual title for tonight is, “Third Orders and Oblates.” Those are the two most common “popular” terms for what I’m talking about. But in reading up on them, I quickly found something that surprised me: There is remarkably little information handy on the subject as a cohesive whole, probably because the subject is not a cohesive whole. It’s a bit more complex than I suspected. I’ve made up some information sheets [appended below], and the first thing I would direct you to on them is an online article that is the nearest thing I have found to an overview and is what I used as a starting point in my research: An essay by Elizabeth Scalia entitled “Oblates, Tertiaries, Professed Laypeople” [LINK]. It’s a very good short introduction to the subject.