The Oblates of Saint John
The Path of Gnosticism as explored in the Johannite Church, finds its foundation in the direct experience of the Divine and this path is equally one of engagement and direct experience with oneself.
This is enshrined in the Second Principle of the Apostolic Johannite Church:
We affirm that every Being contains the ‘Sacred Flame,’ a Spark of the Divine and that Awareness of the Sacred Flame within constitutes the highest level of Self-Knowledge and the Experience of God simultaneously. This act of Awareness, which is held to be liberating, transcendent and experiential, is called Gnosis.
This principle is present not because it is an expectation or an ideal but because it reflects the collective experience of the community.
Many people who feel called to the Johannite path are here because they have already begun to live out this principle through contemplation, reflection, active spiritual practice and self-examination.
The Oblates of St. John were born out of a recognition of radical self-responsibility, providing a means where those who are called beyond the lay state to a vowed pursuit of self-knowledge, may express and live out this vocation in a supporting environment with the recognition of the Apostolic Johannite Church
The word Oblate comes from Oblation, ‘a thing presented or offered to God’. The Oblate gives of her or himself to the path of the Divine, and here, we recognize that path and the Divine as being seen in the face of our fellow humanity. Thus, the Oblate offers their service to their path and the Divine in the person of the community- working to better each other and themselves thereby.
Like the oldest traditions of Christianity, the Oblates of St. John are vowed to follow a Rule, a codified way or guide of spiritual life. The Apostolic Johannite Church has no better rule than its Statement of Principles itself.
The Novitiate of the Order is open to all baptized, confirmed or received members of the Apostolic Johannite Church regardless of gender.
A postulancy of one year of active membership and the recommendation of a priest of the Apostolic Johannite Church is required to embark upon the process for being received as a Novice.
Postulancy commences when an individual submits their declaration of intent to the local Superior for the Oblates of St. John. While there are no strict requirements about practice during the Postulancy period, we highly recommend completion of the Apostolic Johannite Church’s Introduction to Johannite Concepts and Theology and Introduction to Johannite Practice courses via Johannite School
Upon entering the Novitiate, novices take religious vows for one year as a part of the discernment process.
The Oblates are expected to serve and assist with minor parish duties at a local Johannite Parish if one is nearby.
Should it be determined that the Novice is spiritually mature, stable and committed to their own path and public service, and with the concurrence of their local priest and the appropriate Superior, they will be admitted to Religious Profession.
Those Novices who are eligible for Solemn Vows are required to submit a national-level criminal background check prior to being allowed to take Solemn Profession.