Monastery of the Ascension is a community of twelve Benedictine monks which has been in Southern Idaho since 1965. We live a life of prayer, work and reading accordng to the Rule of St. Benedict and try to serve the Catholic Church and the people of southern Idaho through various ministries which include parochial work, retreats, teaching and scholarship, ecumenical activities, counseling and spiritual direction, and social service.
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Oblate Manual

The idea for making this handbook for the oblates of the Monastery of the Ascension emerged at the 2001 oblate directors' meeting. In the year and a half since then, many oblates have been at work writing, editing, photocopying and collating. Only the writers have their names in the book, but many more people helped. Thanks to everyone who contributed to the project. The handbook is evidence of how much the oblates mean to the monastery.

Although each oblate received a printed copy of the handbook, we are also putting it on the monastery website so that others may profit from the work that has gone into it. There is a detailed table of contents, so it will not be too difficult to find whatever section you are looking for. Printed copies are available for $25.

The contents of the handbook are divided into five sections. The first section concerns oblates: who they are, how the oblate community at functions at the Monastery of the Ascension, how one becomes an oblate. This section includes the names of oblates (and of a few who are not oblates.) There are also autobiographies of many of the oblates. The last entry in the section is a bibliography for oblates.

The second section tells the history and historical antecedents of the Monastery of the Ascension, back to Mt. Angel Abbey (founded 1882) and Engelberg (founded 1120).

The third section is devoted to monastic history. It begins with an overview, then has sections on monasticism before Benedict, Benedict and the Rule, and Benedictine and Benedictine oblate saints after Benedict.

The fourth section is devoted to prayer, prayers, and devotions. It includes discussions of the liturgy of the hours, personal prayer and the medal of St. Benedict.

The final section includes articles on monastic virtues and practices. An article is included on anger, to illustrate the long monastic tradition of coping with what Evagrius called “thoughts” and Medieval Christianity called the capital or deadly sins.

This first edition of the oblate handbook has imperfections. There are no doubt still typos that escaped our dedicated proofreaders or were introduced after they did their work. There could be much more about Benedictine history and Benedictine and other saints. There is no article on discernment/discretion, and so forth. There is probably too much information on some topics. Any suggestions for corrections will be welcomed.

Anyone who would like to use materials from this handbook should request permission, which in most cases will be readily granted provided the source is acknowledged.

We have tried to acknowledge the sources used in writing articles and other entries. If we have overlooked any, please let us know and we will rectify that omission in future editions.

Once again, thanks to all who have had a hand in the production of this handbook. God bless you all.

Monastery of the Ascension
541 E - 100 S
Jerome, ID 83338
September 2002/May 2003

Fr. Hugh Feiss, OSB
Oblate Director

Oblate Manual
Table of Contents


  • What Is An Oblate?
  • History Of Oblates
  • A History Of The Oblates Of The Monastery of the Ascension
  • Oblate Meetings And Retreats
  • Becoming An Oblate
  • Rite For The Reception Of Candidates
  • Oblation Rite
  • Bibliography
  • Ascension Priory And Its Antecedents

  • Abbey Of Engelberg
  • Mount Angel Abbey
  • History Of The Monastery of the Ascension
  • Monastic History

  • Benedictine History
  • Before Benedict

  • Antony
  • Macrina, Basil and Family
  • Evagrius
  • Augustine
  • Cassian
  • Benedict and His Rule

  • Life of Benedict
  • Scholastica
  • After Benedict

  • St. Bede the Venerable
  • St. Anselm
  • Elisabeth of Schönau
  • Sts. Gertrude and Mechthild of Hackeborn
  • St. Thomas More
  • Bl. Columba Marmion
  • Dorothy Day
  • Prayer and Devotion

  • The Divine Office or Liturgy of the Hours
  • Structure, Printings, History and Theology of the Liturgy of the Hours
  • Personal Prayer
  • The Benedictine Medal
  • St. Benedict Medal Poem
  • A Prayer to St. Benedict and St. Scholastica
  • Bona Opera
  • Monastic Virtues, Values and Practices

  • Reverence
  • Humility
  • Silence & Words
  • Obedience
  • Conversatio or Conversio?
  • Stability
  • Place
  • Community
  • Hospitality
  • Lectio Divina
  • Work
  • Coping with Anger
  • The Monastery of the Ascension
    541 East-100 South
    Jerome, ID 83338

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