June 12, 2015
Three priests of the Diocese of Little Rock: Rev. Jason Sharbaugh, Rev. Jack Sidler, and Rev. Rick Hobbs became Oblates of Subiaco Abbey during Vespers in the Abbey Church on June 11, 2015. Br. Edward Fischesser, OSB, officiating at the oblation ceremony asked the three: “What do you seek?” The three oblate novices responded: “I seek to offer myself to Almighty God as an Oblate of St. Benedict of Subiaco Abbey in union with its monks.”
Oblates of St. Benedict are Christian men and women who choose to associate themselves with a Benedictine religious community in order to strengthen their baptismal commitment and enrich their Christian way of life. “Oblation” means offering. Oblates seek to offer themselves more fully to Christ and to the Church by pondering the wisdom found in the Rule of St. Benedict and by entering into fellowship with this community at Subiaco. By these means Oblates discover ever anew that God calls us to holiness of life and that the Rule and the Benedictine community can be instruments of God’s grace in their vocation to become holy in the world.
Oblates do not take vows or live in a monastery. They continue to live in the world while they strive eagerly to live out the values of the Gospel. On the other hand, they do make promises to seek God more intensely through the principles of the Rule of St. Benedict and in partnership with the monks of the Benedictine community with which they are affiliated at Subiaco.