4th International Oblates Congress

4th World Congress of Benedictine Oblates (4th – 10th November 2017)


Submit a poster for the Congress

ALL oblates and oblate communities worldwide—whether they will be able to take part in the Congress or not—are invited to create posters that showcase oblate life around the world in one or more of the following themes:

    1. Oblate life around the world: Create a poster that reflects your local oblate and monastic community – its history, structure, values, challenges etc.
    2. New channels of communication between oblates.: Introduce others to flourishing oblate websites, prayer circles, WhatsApp groups etc
    3. The oblate’s responsibility in a broken world: Make posters about activities/projects that show how oblates/oblate communities have responded to one of the many challenges outlined in Pope Francis’s Laudato Si’ or the Congress Announcement (please click the link and select your language for access to the page). Selected posters of this kind will be presented to all participants during the Poster Presentations session during the Congress (9-9.45am on Day 4, 7th November 2017)

Please make sure that

  • You create your poster in an electronic format (e.g., high-quality photo, single Powerpoint slide, PDF, Word document). If you wish to use an image as your poster, please save it as a .png or an uncompressed .jpg file.
  • You use English as your main language for any text (feel free to add translations in other languages on the poster)
  • Your poster displays well in (both of) these two formats:
    • A2 format (420 x 594 mm; 16.5 x 23.4 inches): Posters will be selected for local printing in A2 format for exhibition during the Congress. If you wish your poster to be considered, please make sure that you use photos of high-resolution (at least 300DPI), so that they display well in this large format. You can test how your poster will look in this format by setting print to A2 and preview or:
      • PDF/Word document: zoom out to 400% and scroll through your poster
      • Image: copy your image into a Word document, zoom out to 400% and scroll through your poster
      • Powerpoint slide: right at the beginning, set the A2 values as the size of your slide.
    • A4 format (210 x 297 mm; 8.3 x 11.7 inches): All posters will be compiled into an eBooklet following the Congress. Image resolution needs to be at least 72DPI and font sizes should be readable.
  • If you wish to exhibit a poster of an even larger size (A1 or A0), please bring the printout to the Congress with you or send it along with a participant.
  • You send your poster(s) as attachment(s) to the email address englishoblate@anselmianum.com
  • Your email with the poster(s) attached arrives by 31st August 2017.


Places still available for the Congress

Over 200 oblates and oblate directors have now signed up for the 4th International Oblate Congress. Further places are still available, however, so if you are interested in attending, it’s not too late to talk to your oblate director as advised on the Congress website, fill in the registration form and pay the deposit to reserve your place. Follow the link for your language from the Congress homepage:



Behind the scenes, Congress preparations are in full swing, coordinated by Fr Edward Linton based in Sant’Anselmo and with the help of an international team representing the around 50 countries with monasteries with oblates worldwide.


Help sponsor participants from the developing world

The team coordinating fundraising efforts have produced a brochure and sponsorship form to invite donations in support of the upcoming Congress. Please also read this plea from Fr Edward to all oblates/oblate groups for help with sponsoring participants from the developing world and Eastern Europe. If you or your organisation would like to make a donation, however small, please fill in this form hosted by St Meinrad Archabbey on behalf of the Congress.


General information

The 4th International Oblates Congress will take place from 4th to 10th November 2017 at the Salesianum just outside Rome, Italy. It is aimed at Benedictine oblates, oblate novices and oblate directors keen to discuss, to share, to celebrate, to pray and work together, exploring the Congress theme ‘A way forward – The Benedictine Community in Movement’.

The official Congress language will be English, with plenum lectures translated into French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish. Further language groups can be added if participants contact the organisers and offer to help with translation.

The total number of voting delegates will be capped at 150, with each country or region assigned its own quota. However, additional participants are very welcome as non-voting representatives!


Since November 2015, when Fr Edward Linton at Sant’Anselmo in Rome (Italy) officially launched the preparation of the 2017 Congress, representatives of the international team (including UK National Coordinator Klara Brunnhuber) have held numerous meetings at Sant’Anselmo, the Abbey of Niederaltaich (Germany) and London (UK).


Together they developed the theme for the Congress and summarised their aspirations in the following Congress Announcement:


The brothers (and sisters) should serve one another (RB 35)

What does it mean to be an oblate in the 21st century? Formed by the Rule of St Benedict, what is our responsibility for our broken world? How can we act as peacemakers showing hospitality in the face of war, terrorism, refugee crises and religious fanaticism? How can we serve as stewards of an abused planet as challenged and inspired by Pope Francis and his encyclical “Laudato Si”? How can we experience stability when monastic communities are shrinking and disappearing? How can we live a life of silence, contemplation and simplicity surrounded by chaos, idolised entertainment, digital noise and consumerism? How can we as oblates create and contribute to communities around us – in our oblate groups and chapters, in our families and neighbourhoods, in our workplaces and in society as a whole (and even, in our own monasteries of oblation)? The 4th World Congress of Benedictine Oblates, to be held in Rome 4-10 November 2017, invites participants who want to take an active role in facing these challenges, sharing their stories, working and volunteering, searching for answers. We are looking for participants who want to carry their newly gained knowledge back home to become change agents in their own communities – together finding a new way forward.

A formal invitation for the 2017 Congress has now gone out to oblate directors, so if you would like to represent your monastery at this wonderful gathering of oblates from all over the world, please talk to your oblate director today.

Even if you can’t attend in person, there are numerous ways to get involved:

  • Translations: The organisers are very keen to hear from you if you are able to help with translations into or from the different Congress languages.
  • Posters: All oblates are invited to submit electronic posters introducing their oblate communities, chapters and monasteries; showcasing innovative channels of communication with other oblates; or showing how oblates/oblate communities have responded to any of the challenges outlined in the Congress Announcement above. Posters will be exhibited during the Congress and compiled into an eBook following the Congress.
  • Donations: Please get in touch if you would like to support the Congress financially (for example sponsor a delegate from the developing world): oblate@anselmianum.com.
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