Benedictine Oblates have been associated with the Abbey of Niederaltaich since 1930. Since then more than 300 men and women have chosen to become Oblates. An Oblate is someone (lay person married or single, priest or deacon) who has chosen to associate themselves with the monastery as a spiritual path. For more information see “what is an Oblate” below.
Oblates are bound to the monastery, not to one of the two rites practiced in Niederaltaich. As of September 2012 the Niederaltaich community of Oblates numbered about 64 men and women of all ages and professions. Persons from all over German, from Austria, the Czech Republic, Switzerland, Sweden and Israel have become Oblates at Niederaltaich.
The Abbey of Niederaltaich offers four- or five-day retreats in spring and fall for Oblates and those interested in becoming an Oblate. As mentioned, you will find more information under “What is an Oblate”.
One Oblate from Niederaltaich was Prelate Dr. Peter Werhun (his Oblate name was Pachomius), who died in 1957 of health problems incurred during his internment in Siberia. He was beatified by Pope John Paul II in the year 2000. He celebrated the first Divine Liturgy in the Byzantine rite in Niederaltaich in 1936. A reliquary of the Blessed Pachomius has a place of honor in the Chapel of St. Nicholas at the Abbey. His feastday is February 7th.
The Rector of Oblates is Abbot Dr. Marianus Bieber. He is the contact person for all matters of the Institute of Oblates at Niederaltaich. He is happy to provide contacts to other Oblates. Fr. Pirmin Wolf is acting as the Oblate Coordinator.
An article written for our Magazine “Die beiden Türme” entitled “What is an Oblate?” can be read in English here (soon).