In Christian monasticism (especially Catholic, Anglican and Methodist), an oblate is a person who is specifically dedicated to God or to God's service.

Oblates are individuals, either laypersons or clergy, normally living in general society, who, while not permanently professed monks or nuns, have individually affiliated themselves with a monastic community of their choice. They make a formal, private promise (annually renewable or for life, depending on the monastery with which they are affiliated) to follow the Rule of the Order in their private life as closely as their individual circumstances and prior commitments permit. Such oblates do not constitute a separate religious order as such, but are considered an extended part of the monastic community, and as such, Benedictine oblates also often have the letters OblSB[1][2] or ObSB after their names on documents. They are comparable to the tertiaries associated with the various Orders of friars.

The term "oblate" is also used in the official name of some religious institutes as an indication of their sense of dedication.

Origins and history

The word oblate (from the Latin oblatus - someone who has been offered) has had various particular uses at different periods in the history of the Christian church.

The children vowed and given by their parents to the monastic life, in houses under the Rule of St. Benedict, were commonly known by this term during the century and a half after its writing, when the custom was in vogue, and the councils of the Church treated them as monks. This practice continued until the Tenth Council of Toledo in 656 forbade their acceptance before the age of ten and granted them free permission to leave the monastery, if they wished, when they reached the age of puberty. The term puer oblatus (used after that Council) labels an oblate who had not yet reached puberty and thus had a future opportunity to leave the monastery,[3] though puer oblatus can also refer to someone entering an abbey.[4] At a later date the term "oblate" designated such lay men or women as were pensioned off by royal and other patrons upon monasteries or benefices, where they lived as in an almshouse or homes.

In the 11th century, Abbot William of Hirschau or Hirsau (died 1091), in the old diocese of Spires, introduced two kinds of lay brethren into the monastery:

  1. the fratres barbati or conversi, who took vows but were not claustral or enclosed monks
  2. the oblati, workmen or servants who voluntarily subjected themselves, while in the service of the monastery, to religious obedience and observance.

Afterwards, the different status of the lay brother in the several orders of monks, and the ever-varying regulations concerning him introduced by the many reforms, destroyed the distinction between the conversus and the oblatus.

The Cassinese Benedictines, for instance, at first carefully differentiated between conversi, commissi and oblati; the nature of the vows and the forms of the habits were in each case specifically distinct. The conversus, the lay brother properly so called, made solemn vows like the choir monks, and wore the scapular; the commissus made simple vows, and was dressed like a monk, but without the scapular; the oblatus made a vow of obedience to the abbot, gave himself and his goods to the monastery, and wore a sober secular dress.

But in 1625, we find the conversus reduced below the status of the commissus, inasmuch as he could make only simple vows for a year at a time; he was in fact indistinguishable, except by his dress, from the oblatus of a former century. Then, in the later Middle Ages, oblatus, confrater, and donatus became interchangeable titles, given to any one who, for his generosity or special service to the monastery, received the privilege of lay membership, with a share in the prayers and good works of the brethren.

Canonically, only two distinctions ever had any consequence:

  1. that between those who entered religion "per modum professionis" and "per modum simplicis conversionis" the former being monachi and the later oblati
  2. that between the oblate who was "mortuus mundo" ("dead to the world," that is, who had given himself and his goods to religion without reservation), and the oblate who retained some control over his person and his possessions – the former only (plene oblatus) was accounted a persona ecclesiastica, with enjoyment of ecclesiastical privileges and immunity (Benedict XIV, "De Synodo Dioce.", VI).[5]

Oblates today

Secular oblates

In modern practice, many Benedictine communities have a greater or smaller number of secular oblates. These are either clergy or laypeople affiliated in prayer with an individual monastery of their choice, who have made a formal private promise (annually renewable or for life) to follow the Rule of St Benedict in their private life at home and at work as closely as their individual circumstances and prior commitments permit.

As the oblate is in an individual relationship with the monastic community and does not form a distinct unit with the Catholic Church, there are no regulations in the modern canon law of the Church regarding them. One consequence is that non-Catholic Christians can be received as oblates of a Catholic monastery.[6] Similarly in Methodist monasteries, non-Methodist Christians can be received as oblates.[7] The same is the case with many Anglican monasteries, which accept non-Anglican Christians as oblates.[8]

Conventual oblates

To be distinguished slightly from other secular oblates, there is a small number of conventual or claustral oblates, who reside in a monastic community. If the person has not done so previously, after a year's probation they make a simple commitment of their lives to the monastery, which is received by the superior in the presence of the whole community. More on the level of committed volunteers, they would share in the life of the community and undertake, without remuneration, any work or service required of them. They are not, however, considered monks or nuns themselves. Often they wear a religious habit similar to, but distinct from, that of the monks or nuns. A conventual oblate may cancel this commitment at any time; and it is canceled automatically if the superior sends the oblate away for good reason, after simple consultation with the chapter.

Religious congregations that use "Oblate" in their name

There are several religious orders (i.e., living the consecrated life according to Church Law) that use the word "Oblate" in their name, or in an extended version of their common name. These are not oblates like the oblates (secular) and (regular), and should not be confused with them.

Examples include the:

Notable oblates

See also


  1. ^ OblSB, Norvene Vest. "Norvene Vest, OblSB. Presentation about Benedictine Oblates, July 1999, Conception Abbey, MO". www.osb.org. Retrieved 16 March 2018.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on February 5, 2015. Retrieved January 11, 2015.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ Little, A. G. (1932). "JSTOR: The English Historical Review, Vol. 47, No. 188 (Oct., 1932), pp. 568-582". The English Historical Review. jstor.org. 47 (188): 568–582. doi:10.1093/ehr/XLVII.CLXXXVIII.568. JSTOR 553067.
  4. ^ http://phonoarchive.org/grove/Entries/S13475.htm
  5. ^ Catholic Encyclopedia
  6. ^ "World Congress of Benedictine Oblates "Comments from National Coordinators" 2009" (PDF). benedictine-oblates.org. Retrieved 16 March 2018.
  7. ^ "Discernment". Saint Brigid of Kildare Monastery. 2013. Retrieved 10 June 2014. Can Persons Other than United Methodists be Oblates of Saint Brigid's Monastery? Monasticism is a way of life in which the desire and search for God is all-important. Its spirituality is a process of transformation into Christ through self-emptying in order to be totally available to God. As such it is not tied to any single Christian denomination or tradition. Since Benedictine monasticism predates the separation of the western Christian churches, monasticism forms an ideal basis for ecumenism in today's world. The main forces transcending all our differences are the love of God, of sacred Scripture, of prayer, and our genuine love and concern for one another. So, yes, all Christians can be Oblates and engage in scripturally based prayer, prayerful reading, contemplative union with God, and the loving gift of self for others. Anyone can practice this way of spirituality that is essentially the same as was taught by Saint Benedict over 1,500 years ago.
  8. ^ "Membership". English: Companions of St. Luke - OSB. 2014. Retrieved 10 June 2014. The Companions of St. Luke, OSB welcome any Baptized Christian who is a member in good standing within their church community as candidates for Novice-Oblation.

Further reading

External links

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainHerbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Oblati" . Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton.

Architectonic and catoptric tessellation

In geometry, John Horton Conway defines architectonic and catoptric tessellations as the uniform tessellations (or honeycombs) of Euclidean 3-space and their duals, as three-dimensional analogue of the Platonic, Archimedean, and Catalan tiling of the plane. The singular vertex figure of an architectonic tessellation is the dual of the cell of catoptric tessellation. The cubille is the only Platonic (regular) tessellation of 3-space, and is self-dual. There are other uniform honeycombs constructed as prismatic stacks (and their duals) which are excluded from these categories.

The pairs of architectonic and catoptric tessellations are listed below with their symmetry group. These tessellations only represent four symmetry space groups, and also all within the cubic crystal system. Many of these tessellations can be defined in multiple symmetry groups, so in each case the highest symmetry is expressed.


The Benedictines, officially the Order of Saint Benedict (Latin: Ordo Sancti Benedicti, abbreviated as OSB), are a monastic Catholic religious order of monks and nuns that follow the Rule of Saint Benedict. They are also sometimes called the Black Monks, in reference to the colour of the members' religious habits.

Despite being called an order, the Benedictines do not operate under a single hierarchy but are instead organised as a collection of independent monastic communities, with each community (monastery, priory or abbey) within the order maintaining its autonomy. Unlike other religious orders, the Benedictines do not have a superior general or motherhouse with universal jurisdiction. Instead, the order is represented internationally by the Benedictine Confederation, an organisation that was set up in 1893 to represent the order's shared interests.

Cubic honeycomb

The cubic honeycomb or cubic cellulation is the only proper regular space-filling tessellation (or honeycomb) in Euclidean 3-space, made up of cubic cells. It has 4 cubes around every edge, and 8 cubes around each vertex. Its vertex figure is a regular octahedron. It is a self-dual tessellation with Schläfli symbol {4,3,4}. John Horton Conway calls this honeycomb a cubille.

A geometric honeycomb is a space-filling of polyhedral or higher-dimensional cells, so that there are no gaps. It is an example of the more general mathematical tiling or tessellation in any number of dimensions.

Honeycombs are usually constructed in ordinary Euclidean ("flat") space, like the convex uniform honeycombs. They may also be constructed in non-Euclidean spaces, such as hyperbolic uniform honeycombs. Any finite uniform polytope can be projected to its circumsphere to form a uniform honeycomb in spherical space.


An ellipsoid is a surface that may be obtained from a sphere by deforming it by means of directional scalings, or more generally, of an affine transformation.

An ellipsoid is a quadric surface;  that is, a surface that may be defined as the zero set of a polynomial of degree two in three variables. Among quadric surfaces, an ellipsoid is characterized by either of the two following properties. Every planar cross section is either an ellipse, or is empty, or is reduced to a single point (this explains the name, meaning "ellipse like"). It is bounded, which means that it may be enclosed in a sufficiently large sphere.

An ellipsoid has three pairwise perpendicular axes of symmetry which intersect at a center of symmetry, called the center of the ellipsoid. The line segments that are delimited on the axes of symmetry by the ellipsoid are called the principal axes, or simply axes of the ellipsoid. If the three axes have different lengths, the ellipsoid is said to be tri-axial or rarely scalene, and the axes are uniquely defined.

If two of the axes have the same length, then the ellipsoid is an ellipsoid of revolution, also called a spheroid. In this case, the ellipsoid is invariant under a rotation around the third axis, and there are thus infinitely many ways of choosing the two perpendicular axes of the same length. If the third axis is shorter, the ellipsoid is an oblate spheroid; if it is longer, it is a prolate spheroid. If the three axes have the same length, the ellipsoid is a sphere.

Equatorial bulge

An equatorial bulge is a difference between the equatorial and polar diameters of a planet, due to the centrifugal force exerted by the rotation about the body's axis. A rotating body tends to form an oblate spheroid rather than a sphere.

Missionaries of St. Francis de Sales

The Missionaries of St. Francis de Sales (MSFS), also known as the Fransalians, was founded in Annecy, France on 24 October 1838 by Fr. Peter Mermier under the patronage of St. Francis de Sales. The political disturbances in the country, especially the French Revolution had its impact in the spiritual realm too as it left the people in a deep spiritual crisis and indifference towards their religious duties. Sensing the signs of the time Fr. Mermier took upon himself the task of a spiritual renewal in his people by preaching parish missions. This special apostolate in turn gave rise to a community of preachers gathered around Fr. Mermier.

Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate

The Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate (OMI) is a missionary religious congregation in the Catholic Church. It was founded on January 25, 1816, by Saint Eugène de Mazenod, a French priest born in Aix-en-Provence in the south of France on August 1, 1782. The congregation was given recognition by Pope Leo XII on February 17, 1826. The congregation is composed of priests and brothers usually living in community. Their traditional salutation is Laudetur Iesus Christus ("Praised be Jesus Christ"), to which the response is Et Maria Immaculata ("And Mary Immaculate"). In 2011, the congregation had approximately 4,400 members, including 580 in formation. In 2016, there were 3,924 members.

Oblate School of Theology

Oblate School of Theology is a Catholic graduate school for theological studies in San Antonio, Texas. It is run by the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate.

Oblate Sisters of Providence

The Oblate Sisters of Providence is a Roman Catholic women's religious institute, founded by Mother Mary Elizabeth Lange (1784 - 1882), OSP, and Rev. James Nicholas Joubert, SS in 1828 in Baltimore, Maryland for the education of girls of African descent. It was the first permanent community of Roman Catholic sisters of African descent in the United States. The Oblate Sisters were free women of color who sought to provide Baltimore's African American population with education and "a corps of teachers from its own ranks." The congregation is also a member of the Women of Providence in Collaboration.

Oblate Sisters of the Virgin Mary of Fatima

The Congregation of the Oblate Sisters of the Virgin Mary of Fatima (O.M.V.F.) is a religious institute of women of pontifical right founded in northern Italy on 13 May 1978. It gained pontifical status on 31 May 2001.

Oblate Youth Australia

Oblate Youth Australia (OYA) is a network of Catholic youth who identify with a particular Charism of the Religious order of The Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate. Created in 2000 by Fr. Christian Fini at St. John Vianney's Parish, the community has grown into a national group, gathering yearly at the National Oblate Youth Encounter and participating in a variety of youth ministry events within Australia and across the world.

Oblate spheroidal coordinates

Oblate spheroidal coordinates are a three-dimensional orthogonal coordinate system that results from rotating the two-dimensional elliptic coordinate system about the non-focal axis of the ellipse, i.e., the symmetry axis that separates the foci. Thus, the two foci are transformed into a ring of radius in the x-y plane. (Rotation about the other axis produces prolate spheroidal coordinates.) Oblate spheroidal coordinates can also be considered as a limiting case of ellipsoidal coordinates in which the two largest semi-axes are equal in length.

Oblate spheroidal coordinates are often useful in solving partial differential equations when the boundary conditions are defined on an oblate spheroid or a hyperboloid of revolution. For example, they played an important role in the calculation of the Perrin friction factors, which contributed to the awarding of the 1926 Nobel Prize in Physics to Jean Baptiste Perrin. These friction factors determine the rotational diffusion of molecules, which affects the feasibility of many techniques such as protein NMR and from which the hydrodynamic volume and shape of molecules can be inferred. Oblate spheroidal coordinates are also useful in problems of electromagnetism (e.g., dielectric constant of charged oblate molecules), acoustics (e.g., scattering of sound through a circular hole), fluid dynamics (e.g., the flow of water through a firehose nozzle) and the diffusion of materials and heat (e.g., cooling of a red-hot coin in a water bath)

Oblates of St. Francis de Sales

The Oblates of St. Francis de Sales (Latin: Oblati Sancti Francisci Salesii, O.S.F.S.) are a congregation of Roman Catholic priests and brothers who follow the teachings of St. Francis de Sales and St. Jane de Chantal. The community was founded in Troyes, France in 1875 by Louis Brisson and are affiliated with the Oblate Sisters of St. Francis de Sales.)

Reference ellipsoid

In geodesy, a reference ellipsoid is a mathematically defined surface that approximates the geoid, the truer figure of the Earth, or other planetary body.

Because of their relative simplicity, reference ellipsoids are used as a preferred surface on which geodetic network computations are performed and point coordinates such as latitude, longitude, and elevation are defined.

In the context of standardization and geographic applications, a geodesic reference ellipsoid is the mathematical model used as foundation by Spatial reference system or Geodetic datum definitions.

Rhombic dodecahedral honeycomb

The rhombic dodecahedral honeycomb (also dodecahedrille) is a space-filling tessellation (or honeycomb) in Euclidean 3-space. It is the Voronoi diagram of the face-centered cubic sphere-packing, which has the densest possible packing of equal spheres in ordinary space (see Kepler conjecture).

Saint-Zacharie, Quebec

Saint-Zacharie is a municipality in the Municipalité régionale de comté des Etchemins in Quebec, Canada. It is part of the Chaudière-Appalaches region and the population is 1,913 as of 2009. The new constitution dates from 1990, when the township municipality and the village municipality of Saint-Zacharie amalgamated, but the area was settled as early as 1873. Saint-Zacharie is named after oblate Zacharie Lacasse, a missionary who brought settlers to the area in 1881.

Saint-Zacharie is located on the Canada–United States border and has a small border crossing for traffic coming from the United States, St. Zacharie Crossing.


Setoka (せとか, Setoka) is a seedless and highly sweet Japanese citrus fruit that is a tangor, a hybrid of the Murcott tangor with "Kuchinotsu No.37", which in turn is a hybrid of the Kiyomi tangor and a King tangor/Willowleaf mandarin cross, Encore No.2. It was registered as "Tangor Nōrin No.8" in 1998 and as "Variety registration No.9398" under the Plant Variety Protection and Seed Act

in 2001. Its weight is 200–280g and shape is oblate. The rind is thin and easily peelable. Its flavor is

pleasant, aromatic, and similar to the Murcott. The fruit ripens in February. Setoka are very sweet. Sugar level is 12–13°Bx and citric acid is low (0.8–1.0%).


A spheroid, or ellipsoid of revolution, is a quadric surface obtained by rotating an ellipse about one of its principal axes; in other words, an ellipsoid with two equal semi-diameters. A spheroid has circular symmetry.

If the ellipse is rotated about its major axis, the result is a prolate (elongated) spheroid, shaped like an American football or rugby ball. If the ellipse is rotated about its minor axis, the result is an oblate (flattened) spheroid, shaped like a lentil. If the generating ellipse is a circle, the result is a sphere.

Due to the combined effects of gravity and rotation, the figure of the Earth (and of all planets) is not quite a sphere, but instead is slightly flattened in the direction of its axis of rotation. For that reason, in cartography the Earth is often approximated by an oblate spheroid instead of a sphere. The current World Geodetic System model uses a spheroid whose radius is 6,378.137 km (3,963.191 mi) at the Equator and 6,356.752 km (3,949.903 mi) at the poles.

The word spheroid originally meant "an approximately spherical body", admitting irregularities even beyond the bi- or tri-axial ellipsoidal shape, and that is how the term is used in some older papers on geodesy (for example, referring to truncated spherical harmonic expansions of the Earth).

Tetragonal disphenoid honeycomb

The tetragonal disphenoid tetrahedral honeycomb is a space-filling tessellation (or honeycomb) in Euclidean 3-space made up of identical tetragonal disphenoidal cells. Cells are face-transitive with 4 identical isosceles triangle faces. John Horton Conway calls it an oblate tetrahedrille or shortened to obtetrahedrille.A cell can be seen as 1/12 of a translational cube, with its vertices centered on two faces and two edges. Four of its edges belong to 6 cells, and two edges belong to 4 cells.

The tetrahedral disphenoid honeycomb is the dual of the uniform bitruncated cubic honeycomb.

Its vertices form the A*3 / D*3 lattice, which is also known as the Body-Centered Cubic lattice.

Personal ordinariates,
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of the faithful
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of the faithful
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