This option is open to men who complete monastic formation (see #10), but are not in a position to make Solemn Profession (see #11). This may be by choice or due to limiting factors such as health, outside responsibility, or age. An Internal Oblate may progress from a temporary to a life-long oblation.
Contact: Bro. Francis, Vocation Director
(417) 683-5110 Ext. 3
Before entering monastic formation, or along the way toward Solemn Profession, a man may recognize that he is not in a position to make life-long solemn vows as a Trappist monk. For example, he might have an existing marriage bond that is not open for annulment. He may have children or parents who, while adequately provided for now, may later require his personal presence or care. Age or poor health that would prevent the person from full participation in our monastic community life might also be a prohibitive factor. In such cases, the person may wish to consider the possibility of becoming an Internal Oblate.
An internal oblate follows the normal open-ended program designed for all persons exploring entrance into the community, beginning with several visits in our Guest Wing for discernment, leading to a live-in Observership. This is followed by a year-long Postulancy and a two-year Novitiate. Having reached this point in his formation, if the candidate and our formation committee are satisfied with the results, he may make a temporary oblation, offering himself to live our monastic life in community for a designated period of time.
After three or more years as a temporary internal oblate, he and our Monastic Council may discern that the person is ready to make a permanent, life-long oblation to live with us in community. Like the Solemn Professed he will wear a white habit and black scapular, but not a leather belt and choir cowl. Instead, the internal oblate wears a cloth belt and a choir cloak.
The internal oblate covenant is a mutual agreement in which the man promises to persevere in our monastic way of life, and the community accepts and provides for him as a true member of our spiritual family. Only for a most serious or just cause may either covenant partner revoke this life-time agreement.