What is an Oblate?

“Oblate” means “offered”, as bread and wine are “offered” on the altar, and refers to those who have chosen to affiliate themselves to a particular Benedictine monastery. Oblates do not take vows but make a commitment to live by the values of St Benedict’s Rule insofar as these are relevant to the circumstances of their lives. Their commitment will normally be to balance their prayer, work family life and leisure in a way that puts first things first. The strong sense of community and hospitality at St. Anselm’s extends itself to our oblates in a special way.

Under the guidance of a monk Oblate Director, the Oblates meet monthly to listen to a conference on some aspect of Benedictine spirituality applicable to their own way of life. The Oblate Director also provides direction and instruction through letters or meetings, group discussions, and common prayers. Participation in St. Anselm’s community’s liturgical life affords Oblates the opportunity for spiritual growth.

Oblate Resources

Please visit the a page of helpful resources for our current oblates using the link below. You will find recordings of our oblate conferences, helpful links, and more.

Why Choose the Oblates of St. Anselm’s Abbey?

The Benedictine community where Oblates make their oblation becomes their life-long spiritual home. The Oblates of St. Anselm’s Abbey reflect the cultural and social diversity associated with the Abbey’s location in the Nation’s capital. Our Oblates lead interesting lives; share aspirations and ideas; and seek peace, stability, and growth in a fast-moving and uncertain world. Come join us and grow spiritually with great joy.


  • Coffee and refreshments after Mass
  • Monthly oblate newsletter
  • Email notices to keep oblates informed of oblate activities, prayer requests, news of the Abbey, and other matters of interest

Conferences & Retreats

  • Monthly conferences (in person and on Zoom)
  • Annual day of recollection
  • Oblate retreat (during Lent)
  • Biennial oblate regional conference
  • Quadrennial worldwide oblate congress

Connect with St. Anselm’s Abbey

  • Pray for vocations to the abbey
  • Enjoy occasional dinners with the monks
  • Participate in Abbey liturgical services and in other events and activities at the Abbey
  • Make individual and group donations to support the monastery
  • Labora in service to the abbey, including transportation, manual work, scheduling lectors, assisting with the Abbey newsletter and doing sewing, clerical work and other tasks as needed.

Connect Beyond the Abbey

  • Participate in summer programs or make retreats at other abbeys worldwide
  • Minister within the your own parish
  • Communicate and pray over special-need requests
  • Participate in occasional events such as a group pilgrimage to Rome

What is the Process to Become an Oblate?

First, attend one or several of our Oblate Sundays to see who we are and what we are about. When you are ready, contact the Oblate Director, who will enroll you as an Oblate candidate — you will then spend a year studying the Rule of St. Benedict and undertaking other formation activities. At the end of the year, the candidate makes an Act of Final Oblation, promising to follow the Rule of St. Benedict “Insofar as my state in life permits.”

We invite you to join our monthly oblate meeting

On the first Sunday of each month oblates of St. Anselm’s take part in the conventual Mass at 9:00am. They join the community afterward for coffee and at 10:30 return to the Chapel for a spiritual conference usually given by the Director of Oblates. Our oblate meetings are now hybrid and can be joined by Zoom for those unable to come to the abbey in person.

Join Our Email List

The oblates have an email list that you may join to keep up to date with the latest news. Email oblstaamail@yahoo.com to join our email list.

Oblate Library

Access a list of books recommended by members of our oblate community by clicking here. You can also borrow books from our oblate library, located in the Fort Augustus Room after Mass on Oblate Sunday.

Contact Us

Would you like to learn more about becoming an oblate? Please contact Fr. Ignacio Gonzalez at oblatedirector.osb.dc@gmail.com.

Oblate Prayer

Raise up, O Lord, in your Church,
the Spirit with which our holy Father, the Abbot Benedict was animated:
that filled with the same, we may strive to love what he loved, and to practice what he taught.
Grant us, we beseech you, O Lord, persevering submission to your holy will;
that in our days the people dedicated to your service may increase both in merit and in number.
Through Christ our Lord. AMEN.