A lay Associate is a person who feels a calling from God to lead a contemplative and spiritual life in the world, a life modelled on the wisdom of Cistercian values and practices, and who seeks a community of like-minded people...
— Cistercian family website

What is an Oblate/Lay Associate?

A Bernardine associate or oblate may not have the same form of life as a Cistercian associate or oblate even.  We look to discern ways to share our Bernardine Cistercian charism. Each associate discerns with one of the sisters the way God is calling them to live out their association and there will be regular retreat days during the year for oblates associated with either of the houses. Hyning and Brownshill run their own oblate programme at the moment. It is different for each community of the Order and most houses of the Order have oblates.  We welcome oblates from all the different Christian traditions.  


A Vocation

Click below to see a video from one of our oblates at Hyning, Maureen describing how she sees her vocation as a Bernardine Cistercian oblate.

If you are interested in becoming an oblate or finding more about why people feel called to be an Oblate or lay associate, especially a Bernardine oblate, contact the two houses for more information.  

Why I chose the 'Oblate journey'

"Having visited the Sisters at Hyning on a number of occasions and been to Retreats conducted by them, we were particularly attracted by the spirituality of the Bernardines. This is based on the Rule of St Benedict and the writings of the Cistercian Fathers and Mothers. We approached the Sisters to see if it would be possible to form some attachment to the Community whilst living outside the monastery. We now visit Hyning on a regular basis and under the guidance of the Sisters are sharing in their charism by prayer and spiritual reading."

Andrew Markham and Jeff Hirst 

For some useful links that might be of interest in regard to becoming an Oblate/Lay Associate, please see our links page.