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The Commitment: An annual promise
During their period of formation, oblate candidates and initiates are asked to discern two important questions:

  • Am I called to be an oblate?
  • Am I called to be an oblate with this community?

The answers to these questions are not necessarily the same. The Rule of Benedict guides the life of Benedictine, Cistercian, and Trappist communities in both Catholic and Protestant traditions. Despite this common perspective, one finds great diversity among Benedictine communities throughout the world. Each community is different and it takes time to discern if a particular community resonates with one’s heart. Oblates know the community history and the corporate commitment of the community and make an annual promise to live the values of the community in very concrete ways. Oblates visit frequently and engage in the work of the community as their lives permit. Those living at a distance discover ways to bring the spirit of the Erie Benedictines to their home communities. 

Each year, at a ceremony of Evening Praise, the community welcomes new oblates and Initiates as they promise to live the Benedictine Charism and Corporate Commitment of the Benedictine Sisters of Erie. Along with renewing oblates, they choose to associate themselves with this particular Benedictine community and join the sisters annually in promising to “seek God in community and respond in prayer and ministry” (Benedictine charism) and to take concrete steps “to be a healing presence and prophetic witness for peace and justice by actively addressing the climate crisis and the rights of women and children.” (Corporate Commitment)

Continue to Oblate Journey

Annual Oblate Commitment Ceremony 2022

Sister Stephanie Schmidt, prioress, leads the community in blessing oblates at the 2023 Oblate Commitment Ceremony.

Oblate Joanne Cahill and Sister Annette Marshall

Oblate Joanne Cahill and Sister Annette Marshall

If you wish to learn more about becoming an oblate, contact:
Joanne Cahill OSB Obl and Annette Marshall, OSB
Oblate Co-Directors
T: 814-899-0614 ext 2402
F: 814-898-4004
E-mail: [email protected]