Oblates and Associates  

The vocational call to be an Oblate of The Servants of the Sacred Cross represents a "via media" between the vocation of the Sisters and that of the Associates. The Rule and obligations are less demanding than those required of a Sister but, on the other hand, fuller than the Associate commitment. The Community has recently implemented this additional category which very well accommodates many of the women who are discerning a vocation with SSC.

Oblates render service to God, His Church and to His people according to their need. They commit to live and spread the Gospel in the work of evangelization. They do so in the spirit of love, humility and obedience exemplified by Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Women who feel called to the vocation of an SSC Oblate will be accepted following a period of discernment with the Director of Oblates in consultation with the Superior.

Aspirants enter into an application process very similar to the process for the Sisterhood. Applicants must be at least eighteen years of age. There is no upper age limit. Married aspirants should have the support of their husband. Ideally, aspirants should meet in person with the Superior or Director of Oblates. If such is impossible other means of communication are arranged.

Oblates are admitted at a celebration of the Eucharist or at one of the Offices of Morning or Evening Prayer, either in their own parish or in the parish of one of the Professed SSC Sisters if feasible. The Superior or Director of Oblates should be present if at all possible. It is especially appropriate for Oblates to be received and make their Promises at the Annual General Chapter gathering of the Community.

There will be a probationary period of about one year, but a minimum of six months. Although the formation period is not as formal as the Sisters'  it is suggested that Oblates undertake some basic study of the Catechism and Holy Scripture.

Oblates do not profess Vows but, following the probationary period, make Promises that mirror the Sisters' Vows. They  are bound by the Rule of the Oblates of The Servants of the Sacred Cross. The Rule includes the attendance at Mass on all Sundays and also on major Feast Days whenever possible. Morning and Evening prayer are prayed daily. Time is given to spiritual reading, meditation and personal prayer. Oblates are advised to have a Spiritual Director with whom they meet regularly.

Oblates do not wear a habit but, after making their Promises, a simple form of identifiable garb will be worn on specified occasions, such as attendance at Mass. They are invested with a plain wooden cross, worn on a navy cord, when they are received. When they make their Promises, they will receive a wooden cross which bears a silver anchor, in keeping with the Sisters' Profession cross and the Community's motto, "The Cross is my Anchor".

Oblates are not required to attend the Annual General Chapter, but are welcome to do so if desired. They report twice each year to the Oblate Director.

Fr. Stephen Hill with Sister Elaine and SSC Associates,
Margaret and Joan, in Australia.a
  Sister Carole, Director of Oblates and Associates with Oblate, Patricia, after making her Promises. Fr. Michael Wastag, O. Carm. received her commitment during the Community Mass.

The Sisters welcome men and women, both clergy and lay, who are called to share in the prayer, work, and fellowship of the Community. The Rule of the Associates provides a discipline under which is learned obedience to the Will of God, in the spirit commanded by our Lord. Living the Rule is a means to a deeper spirituality.

Associates do not profess Vows but make a pledge to follow the Rule of the Associates. This Rule of Life is in keeping with, and focused on, what is expected of all Christians, in accordance with the Baptismal Vows. Much less stringent than the Sisters’ Rule it is, nevertheless, in the “spirit” of the Rule of the Sisters.

The Rule requires regular attendance at the celebration of the Holy Eucharist, the praying of at least one of the Daily Offices, time for personal prayer, study and meditation. Associates, like the Sisters, render loving service to God and neighbour in emulation of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. They pray for the Community and provide personal service and financial support when possible. A report must be made to the Associate Sister each year at Holy Cross Day, September 14th.

All members of the Community, Sisters, Oblates and Associates, pray for each other daily.

Oblate & Associate inquirers please contact:

Sister Carole Barker, SSC
# 92 - 2600 Ferguson Road
Saanichton, British Columbia
V8M 2C1, Canada
E-mail: associates@thesacredcross.org