Apostolic Oblates are women who desire to respond to Jesus’ thirst for souls. Consecrated to the Redemptive Love of Christ, Apostolic Oblates spend their lives striving to the maximum, so that all people may know the infinite love of the Father.
The Institute of the Apostolic Oblates, founded by Bishop Giaquinta in Rome, Italy in 1950, is an international secular institute of pontifical right. Oblates are lay women who consecrate themselves to the Lord through vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, and a promise of apostolate, in order to be fully available to spread the universal call to holiness and encourage people to deepen their interior life. Women discern with the Institute whether the Lord is calling them to live in community as internal Oblates or on their own as external Oblates. All Oblates are called to live the spirituality of redemptive love as hidden leaven in the world.
What is a secular institute? A secular institute is a form of consecrated life in the Catholic Church. Members are in the world, but by dedicating their lives to God through vows and an apostolate, they are not of the world. Unlike religious orders whose charism includes being a visible reminder of God’s presence, secular institutes are called to be like leaven, hidden, transforming the world from within.
What is the primary apostolate of the Oblates? Though their work is abundant and varied, the primary apostolate of the Apostolic Oblates is the Pro Sanctity Movement. The apostolate includes: retreats, summer camps for girls, college and young adult ministry, parish work, secular jobs, spiritual direction, and family formation.
What is the prayer life of the Oblates? Daily life of prayer includes: Daily Mass; Morning, Evening, and Night Prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours, Meditation, Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, Rosary, and spiritual reading.
The core of the Oblates’ efforts towards perfection is a profound interior life that leads them to continual union with God and shapes their life of prayer. – Constitution #37
Do Oblates wear habits? To remain faithful to their call to secularity, Apostolic Oblates do not wear an external sign in the world. When an Oblate takes her vows, she receives a gown, worn only for special liturgical celebrations, as a sign of her consecration.
Do the Oblates live in community? Members of the Apostolic Obaltes are either Internal or External Oblates. Internal Oblates live in community (the Bethany) and are available as missionaries for the Institute. External Oblates live on their own, infusing the structures of society, especially through their profession, with the presence of Christ through their consecration in the world.