The Oblate Vocation  Oblatus est, quia ipse voluit.

Part of the Institute Family

2022 09 partoftheinstitutefamily

Since the founding of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, Divine Providence has been gradually forming a beautiful and large family of clerics and religious which is now spread throughout the world.

During the early years of its development, the Institute of Christ the King was joined by young men who felt a strong vocation to community life but who did not feel as though they had a calling to serve the Lord as priests. These young men proposed to offer their diverse talents to Christ the King by helping the priestly members of the Institute in their daily apostolic duties. 

These men are the clerical oblates of the Institute.

Oblates in History

Clerical oblates are not a modern invention. Throughout the history of the Church, there have always been men received into the service of the Church by way of the Tonsure, which is a special sacramental that makes them clerics and official servants of the Church. These men would also receive certain minor and major orders which would spiritually animate the work that they did for the Church. Some were ordained porters, others lectors and so forth.

In receiving these orders, clerics were aided by supernatural grace in a most special way to perform their tasks well. Additionally, through these orders, their simple life of service became a participation in Christ’s mission from the Father: to glorify the Most Holy Trinity and to save souls.

Clerical Oblates, such as those in the Institute, are clerics and so, unlike lay brothers, through their participation in the sacrament of Holy Orders, their ordinary life of work and prayer is transformed into a participation in Christ’s priestly mission and more specifically in Christ’s sacrificial mission.

Oblatus est, quia ipse voluit. “He was offered because it was his own will, and he opened not his mouth: he shall be led as a sheep to the slaughter, and shall be dumb as a lamb before his shearer, and he shall not open his mouth.” (Is 53:7-9)

Being an Oblation

2022 09 beinganoblation An oblation is an offering to God. The oblates give themselves up like incense, a sweet odor that is edifying to all those present and whose purpose is to give Adoration and praise to God in the liturgy. This includes preparation in the sacristy, serving on the altar, playing the organ and singing for the liturgies. 

The spiritual life of the oblates is directed towards a spirit of service and charity, following the example of the Holy Family which had at its center Our Lord, Incarnate Priest and King. Consequently, the oblates see their life as a charitable service rendered to the Priesthood of the Lord, in the Church and in our Institute. They will give their whole life as a total oblation to this service, which will make them participate, by the travail of divine grace in them, in the work of the Redemption.

This love of the Lord, King and Sovereign Priest, shows forth firstly in a regular spiritual life, anchored in the frequent reception of the sacraments, daily assistance at holy Mass and by participation in the Divine Office, both in common and in private. Mental prayer, Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, daily Rosary and spiritual reading are also necessary parts of the spiritual life of each oblate.

Being an oblate involves completely dedicating oneself to the service of the Church. Following closely to the spirit of St. Francis de Sales, the Institute’s primary patron saint, the oblates do their best to bring about the spirit of charity in all the work that they do, regardless of whether that work is chosen themselves or assigned by a superior. They are aware that the service requested of them could take them just about anywhere in the world. They will cheerfully go wherever requested by their superiors and they are willing to be sent wherever and whenever, always practicing generosity of spirit.


Oblates possess first and foremost an intense love of Our Lord, King and Sovereign Priest, expressed in a vibrant spiritual life anchored in the frequent reception of the sacraments, daily assistance at Holy Mass, and by participation in the Divine Office. This great emphasis on the liturgy is based primarily on the first of the three patrons of the Institute: St. Benedict

The patronage of St. Thomas Aquinas helps the oblates to study well the truths of the faith so as to live them out more completely and to teach them to others. The oblates also study to perfect the skills that God has given to them specifically. In this way, intellectual and practical studies are another way in which they offer themselves completely.  

St. Francis de Sales ties the whole spirituality of the oblates together. His spirituality is well suited for clerics who strive to live “in the world but not of the world”. The simple, balanced approach of St. Francis de Sales, to love God in all the ordinary aspects of human life, brings the oblate spirituality to completion: to give their whole life as a total oblation in God’s service, which makes them participate in the work of His Redemption.

Practical Life

2022 02 practicallifeThe role of an oblate is first and foremost to be a man of the Altar, being there to serve Our Lord Jesus Christ at the sacred liturgies of the Church including Mass, Adoration, the Divine Office (Breviary) in a non-priestly way. In addition to participating in these liturgies, they prepare and clean up after the ceremonies.

However, the service of these dedicated souls does not stop there, as there are additional aspects to service. The oblates have as part of their charism the administration and maintenance of the physical church buildings, including the repair, cleaning and the beautification of the buildings which exist for the service of the God and His Church.

Their vocation also includes having a sound formation in the Catechism of the Church. Each of the oblates are formed with basic training in the Latin and French Languages as well as specific training in a service in which they may serve the community and the Institute as a whole in their special way. Some of these include, but are not limited to, liturgical music such as chant, organ or violin, teaching catechism classes, church restoration, majordomo, office management, building maintenance and repair, vehicle repair, sacristan, apostolate cook, and community barber.

The oblates work closely with the Canons with whom they are assigned, doing their best to complete the necessary, non-sacramental background work so that the Canons are available to accomplish the important priestly duties of the parish life such as hearing confessions, spiritual directions and caring for the sick and dying. From this point of view, one could say that the Oblates can be called the Guardian Angels of the Priests.

Indeed, the Institute oblates have many practical skills which are an integral part in helping the community to thrive. They go from the above-mentioned works associated with the liturgical and prayer life of an apostolate all the way down to cultivating their favorite past times which also vary from oblate to oblate. Some enjoy spending community time playing their musical instruments or singing, while others have interest in wood carving, drawing, writing stories and even building computers. All these activities are beneficial to the community as well as to their own rest and relaxation.

Formation of Oblates

2022 09 formationofOblatesThe oblates begin their formation with two years of candidacy in one of the Institute’s houses in order to begin learning the spirituality of the Institute which consists largely in the spirituality of St. Francis de Sales, as well as the learning of Latin and French Languages (the worldwide common language of the Institute family).

They are introduced to the liturgy of the Holy Mass and the Divine Office for a twofold reason: not only to serve and direct ceremonies, but also to understand the reasons for the solemnity of the rite and the details of its execution in the Extraordinary Form.

After two years, the Candidates are asked to make the step of receiving the Cassock. From there, their formation continues for another 5 years before becoming a full member of the Institute of Christ the King and receiving the Cross of St. Francis de Sales, which the oblates wear when assisting in the choir for the Holy Mass, Adoration and Divine Office. This silver choir cross indicates that the oblate has made formal promises to the Prior General offering their life long service to the Church through the Institute.

The oblatehood within the Institute of Christ the King has truly been a special gift from Christ the King to all of us. Their continuous display of service and charity after the example of the Lord and His Blessed Mother has been instrumental in conversions to the Catholic Faith and for bringing back those who have fallen away. Their presence in the Institute has inspired many to a more dedicated Catholic life. Deeply grateful for all of our oblates, the priests of the Institute of Christ the King feel a truly fraternal bond with these wonderful men who help spread the reign of Christ the King together with them.

Requirements for Prospective Candidates

The conditions for entering the formation program to the oblatehood are the following:

  • normally, be between the ages of 18 and 40
  • high school diploma or equivalent, and/or working experience
  • two-page resume, which includes date of birth, main schooling and working experiences, and a photograph
  • have the recommendation of at least two priests

After these requirements have been fulfilled, prospective candidates may email our U.S. Provincial Headquarters in Chicago to contact the vocations director.  

Pray that God may call young men to His service and that those men may generously respond in imitation of Christ!