American-Cassinese Congregation

The Constitutions and the Directory


Part I: Matters Pertaining to the Individual Monasteries

Chapter III: The Growth and Formation of the Monastic Community

Article 5: Claustural Oblates

C 62. Following a long tradition, the monasteries of the Congregation may receive claustral oblates. Though they are not monks, claustral oblates are men who seek God by following the Rule of Saint Benedict in a manner adapted to their status and by sharing in some measure the common life of a specific monastery.

D 62.1. The abbot, with the consent of the monastic chapter, may admit a candidate for a year of probation.

D 62.2. During the period of probation the candidate is to receive appropriate formation for life in the monastery from the master of novices or from another capitular whom the abbot appoints for this duty.

D 62.3. At the end of the probationary period, the abbot, with the consent of the monastic chapter, may admit the candidate into the community with the status of a claustral oblate. The oblate is to make a promise of obedience to the abbot in the presence of the community.

D 62.4. Oblates are to make a written contract, valid also under civil law, that they will undertake the work or service the abbot requires of them in full obedience and without claim to payment of any kind (see Appendix 2).

D 62.5. Before making his promise of obedience to the abbot, the candidate may be asked to make provision for his temporal goods in the manner described in D 54.1.

D 62.6. The promise of obedience may be withdrawn by the oblate at any time, in which case he is to leave the monastery. The abbot may, for good reason and after consultation with the council of seniors, dismiss the oblate, in which case the obligation of obedience is automatically cancelled.

D 62.7. The custom of the local monastery determines the appropriate garb for claustral oblates, which is to be different from that of the monks.


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