The Oblates of the Passion (or Passionist Oblates as we are also called) are an Association of Christ's Faithful, men and women from every walk of life-- married, single and the ordained-- who desire affiliation with the Passionist community. Each Oblate community is essentially connected with a Passionist residence, and is under the spiritual leadership of the superior of the house to which they are attached. We have our own specific spirit, different from other third order groups in this area.
The Passionist Oblates of St. Joseph's Monastery, Whitesville, Kentucky, share a close spiritual union and human friendship with the cloistered community here at the monastery. Our purpose is to form a spiritual family that studies and prays together, with special devotion to our Lord Jesus Christ's Passion and Death. As Passionist Oblates, we make a special commitment to promote devotion to the Passion of Christ through prayer and the opportunities found within our state in life.
What does the name "Oblate" mean?
It comes from the Latin word "oblatus" and indicates a special offering or dedication of oneself to God. We make this oblation, this dedication of ourselves to God in order to intensify our baptismal commitment to Christ and to his Gospel. This gift of self (Act of Oblation) is a personal response to him who has loved us and laid down his life for us on the cross. Actually, this personal response of grateful love is what being a Passionist Oblate is all about. It is to share the spirit of Mary, the faithful Mother of the Redeemer, who shared in the work of her Son.
What does Membership involve?
Membership involves committing oneself to strive for holiness by cherishing the memory of Christ’s Passion in one’s heart, and gradually ordering one’s life according to the handbook, “The Oblate Companion” for Oblates or the booklet “Living in the Light of His Love” for Oblate Associates. Membership for Oblates likewise involves attendance at monthly meetings, making room in one’s busy life for personal prayer, spiritual reading, and some Passion-centered devotions.
Formation takes place in the monthly meetings. Meeting attendance helps one prepare to make the Act of Oblation, and to grow in one’s relationship with God. Dedicating ourselves to God, we make the characteristic promise of the Passionist Institute which is that of promoting devotion to the Passion of Christ through prayer and the means available in one's state in life. Oblates also take part in an annual retreat and other opportunities for prayer with the monastic community.