Clerical Oblates, Serve the Sovereign Priest
Everything about the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest has always seemed providential. One of the most providential gifts to the Institute is the birth of a special group among the early members of our community.
The Birth of Our Oblatehood
In the beginning years, the Institute of Christ the King was joined by young men who felt a strong vocation to the community life but without having a calling to serve the Lord as priests. These young men decided to offer their many talents to Christ the King by helping the priestly members of the Institute in their daily apostolic duties in many different ways. They are so dedicated to this service and linked to the work of our priests that sometimes, overwhelmed by the enormous demand for the Institute’s assistance, they have frequently been called the “guardian angels of the priests.”
The Life of the Oblate
Our oblates come from various nations and age levels, backgrounds and schooling. Some have worked in very responsible places in the world and others have just decided after high school to serve Christ the Sovereign Priest.
They are an integral part of our Institute and are considered full members with all of the rights and duties that this entails. According to their skills and preparation, they work in all kinds of positions within the Institute: deacon, art director, office administrator, majordomo, sacristan, teacher, gardener, organist, accountant, or cook. They take part in all of our official liturgies and are trained to participate in different functions to enhance the solemnity of our liturgical celebrations.
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
The Formation Program
The candidates for the oblatehood have a five-year-long training in one of our houses in their native country. This training comprises an introduction to Latin and French (as far as that is necessary) learning thoroughly about the Institute’ spirituality and liturgy, and an ongoing study of the Church’s doctrine and history. In addition, the oblates are schooled to use their respective talents even better for the greater glory of God. They may even be asked to pursue practical or academic studies pertaining to their responsibility in the Institute of Christ the King.
After the first year of his practical and academic training, the oblate will receive the cassock and surplice. The oblate will then already wear the biretta with the Institute’s signature blue pom-pom, while the cross will be given to him in a later ceremony. During the following years, they may, at the discretion of their superiors, receive minor orders, and perhaps even the sub-diaconate or diaconate.
After these five years, during which he will regularly visit our International Seminary and participate in major events of the Institute’s worldwide family, the oblate will promise in a special ceremony a lasting obedience to the superiors of the Institute. By doing so, he becomes a full member of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest.
A Providential Gift
The oblatehood in the Institute of Christ the King has truly been a special gift from Christ the King to all of us. The oblates are frequently the link between those who search the contact of a priest and the priest himself. Their continuous display of service and charity after the example of the Lord and His Blessed Mother has been vital for 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 every single oblate, the priests of the Institute of Christ the King feel a truly fraternal bond and a strong responsibility to care for these wonderful men who serve Christ together with them.