All Introduction Pages

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Saint Benedict in abbey church




"Let us then at length arise, since the Scripture stirreth us up, saying: 'It is time now for us to rise from sleep.' And our eyes being open to the deifying light, let us hear with wondering ears what the Divine Voice admonisheth us, daily crying out: 'To-day if ye shall hear His voice, harden not your hearts.'”



From Prologue of the Rule

This section of the Rule is the reading for Jan. 2, May 3, and Sept. 3 each year.





























































Your first visit to the Oblate Program on an Oblate Sunday

Bell tower

We are fortunate that the Oblate Director is Abbot Isaac, O.S.B., and the Oblate Novice Director is Brother Stanislaw, O.S.B., because they and the monks of Saint Leo Abbey welcome everyone to discern if Benedictine spirituality is their path to dwell with God.


QUESTION: What is the best way to know what's happening in the oblate program at Saint Leo Abbey? Is there a newsletter?

ANSWER: The best way is to sign-up for the email list which serves as the oblate program's electronic newsletter. It is easy and free. More info.

QUESTION: Are the Oblate Sundays, events, classes and retreats open to anyone from the public?

ANSWER: Yes. You do not need to be Catholic. Men, women, and young adults are welcome.

QUESTION: Do I just show up at the next meeting or event?

ANSWER: Yes, but please RSVP for Oblate Sundays and Oblate Circles.

QUESTION: What is an Oblate Sunday and an Oblate Circle?

ANSWER: The RSVP pages also describe Oblate Sundays and Oblate Circles.

Oblate programs are described in the Programs section.

QUESTION: How do I RSVP for Oblate Sundays and Oblate Circles?


RSVP for Oblate Sundays here.

RSVP for Oblate Circles here.

QUESTION: When is the next Oblate Sunday and Oblate Circle?


Oblate Sunday meetings are held on the first Sunday of every month beginning with 10:00 am Mass. But if you are on the Oblate Email List and have not received an email about an upcoming meeting or seen the meeting date on the Calendar page on Blog for the Oblate Chapter check with the Oblate Office by email to in case a meeting has been canceled. We do not have Oblate Sunday meetings every month.

Oblate Circles are the third Sundays of the month.

QUESTION: What should I bring to Oblate Sundays?

ANSWER: Most people bring a Bible and the Rule of St. Benedict to the classes. Abbot Isaac uses the RB 1980 version of the Rule in Oblate class. You may know that the RB 1980 Rule comes included in a large reference edition of 672 pages and a small booklet of the Rule only. The large reference edition includes a comprehensive survey of all-things Benedictine. You might also like to get the pocket-sized Doyle translation of the Rule that has dated sections for reading the Rule three times a year. It is easy to hold in your hand during class.

QUESTION: What should I wear?

ANSWER: Most Oblates wear casual clothes for Mass and the Oblate classes. The abbey requests that shorts not be worn in the church and that women dress modestly. Many people bring a light jacket because the Abbey church and the Lake Room can be cold anytime of the year.

QUESTION: Where should I sit in Mass?

ANSWER: We do not sit together as a group, so sit anywhere in the church you like -- but to hear everything better sit in the 1/3 of the church closest to the altar.

QUESTION: Did you say it can be cold in the Abbey Church and Lake Room?

ANSWER: Yes, this is a second friendly reminder to bring a sweater or jacket.

QUESTION: What are the costs?

ANSWER: There is no cost to attend Oblate Sundays, the Oblate Circle, become a novice or Oblate, or attend the Christmas party.

However, if you attend the annual Oblate weekend retreat (held in the fall) you pay the abbey for the retreat. The cost for 2012 was $215 per person and includes meals on Saturday and Sunday morning.

The optional lunch for the Oblate Circle is available for a $10 donation.

Like most Church functions, the abbey has a donation basket set out on Oblate Sundays/meetings/classes for donations, but such donations are optional.

Name Tags

There is also a cost — about $8 — for name tags if you want one before becoming an Oblate. The Oblate name tags are paid for by the Abbey. Email

QUESTION: Who is a typical Benedictine Oblate?

ANSWER: The most common characteristic is a contemplative spirit toward God and a detachment from the world. Beyond those characteristics, Saint Leo Abbey's Oblate program has one of the youngest Oblates in the US, clergy from Protestant churches, teachers, retired people, business owners, law enforcement officials, Anglicans, convert Catholics, revert Catholics, and cradle Catholics.

Saint Benedict was born into the collapsing culture of the Western Roman Empire. With far-reaching vision, Saint Benedict refashioned Egyptian-desert monasticism for self-sufficient monastic communities. The Benedictine Order is one of the oldest institutions in the world and all Benedictines share that independent relation to the surrounding culture.

QUESTION: I know Oblate Sundays begin with 10:00 am Mass. I am active in my parish and cannot attend Mass at the abbey. May I join the Oblate Sunday classes when I arrive later in the day?

ANSWER: Yes. Oblate Sundays last from 10:00 am until about 2:30 pm. Come when you are able. The Oblate class begins about 1:15 pm. Oblate novices should attend the novice classes for a year, but if you have a special situation, don't let that keep you away or from exploring what might be done.

QUESTION: On my first visit to the abbey I will be coming a long distance and would like to stay overnight. What are the options?

ANSWER: Contact Guest House Office about reserving a room in the guest house anytime you want to stay overnight at the abbey. The donation is $75 per person, includes meals, and your stay will give you a good introduction to Saint Leo Abbey. See the private retreat page for how to contact Guest House Office. The best option for a nearby hotel is in Dade City, Florida about 20 minutes from the abbey.

QUESTION: I have another question, who do I ask?

ANSWER: Please e-mail

We like to receive questions. Virtually every question on this page came from a first-time visitor. Your question will help make the next visitor's first visit more welcoming.