Brisbane Oratory News
We are excited to announce that from the 24 March the Brisbane Oratory will now have weekly Vespers at 4:00pm on Sundays.
Vespers is the evening prayer of the Church and comes from the Divine Office, which is the official prayer book of the Church. From the very beginning of Christianity, Christians would sing or chant the psalms as the model of prayer to God, and from this practice grew the Divine Office which has different prayers for different times of the day.
The Church has long encouraged the public recitation of Vespers and the participation of the laity. Pius XII wrote that “ it is greatly to be desired that the laity participate in reciting or chanting vespers sung in their own parish on feast days.” Likewise the Second Vatican Council encouraged Vespers especially on Sunday’s: “Pastors of souls should see to it that the chief hours, especially Vespers, are celebrated in common in church on Sundays and the more solemn feasts.”
In accordance with the desire of the Church, we are happy to now be able to invite you to join the Fathers and Brothers of the Brisbane Oratory in chanting Vespers every Sunday at 4:00pm.
Ash Wednesday begins the 40 day period of penance in the lead up Christ’s passion, death, and resurrection from the dead. Ashes are imposed on our heads as a sign of conversion, penance, fasting and human mortality, a practice which comes from ancient times. We are reminded that from dust we came, and to share in the resurrection of Christ, to dust we shall first return. The ashes serve as a humiliation in which we seek to, in union with Christ, appease God for our sins so that we may receive the promise of eternal life.
The Brisbane Oratory in Formation has passed the necessary three years as an Oratory “in formation”, and at the present time we are in the phase when we can petition the Holy See for establishment as a Congregation of the Oratory. According to the norms which outline this process, the Procurator General of the Confederation of the Oratory indicates to a community-in-formation when he judges it ready to petition the Holy See. A new Procurator General for the Confederation was elected last year, and we have been in contact with him since his election. He has visited the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life in Rome, and discussed there the situation of all the Oratories-in-formation. At present we are furnishing the Procurator General with further information about our own case.
Some of the things that an Oratory-in-formation needs to demonstrate, in order to be established, are sufficient members; financial independence; stability in a place; and the capacity to live the Oratorian Constitutions. With all of this in mind, we have decided that now is the most appropriate time to bring some of the Brothers back home to Brisbane permanently. Accordingly, Brothers Shawn, Tyson and Conor will be returning to Brisbane in February, and will do what remains of their theology studies at ACU Banyo. The Brothers have gained much from their studies overseas, and especially from their time in other Oratories, but we feel that it will be beneficial for our community – as we prepare for establishment – for more of us to be home under the one roof. In doing this we think we will be in an even better position to demonstrate our capacity to live the Oratorian way of life, and also our stability in our parish. We already can demonstrate our financial viability, and we’re so grateful to our many benefactors who make this so. Needless to say, we rely on your continued support of the Brothers for their study and Oratory living expenses. Brother John Henry will be remaining in Toronto to complete his novitiate year, and most probably will continue there for the further two years to do the philosophy course there, before returning to Brisbane to do his theology. It will be great to have the Brothers back, and knowing that they are back for good.
An extract from the Moderators Message in the Oratory Newsletter. If you would like to read the rest be sure to view the latest newsletter and don’t forget to subscribe!
Buongiorno from Roma! Br Matthew’s and my time in the Eternal City has been moving along very quickly. It is just shy of the two month mark since we left Brisbane. As you can imagine it has involved a rather steep learning curve. However with each week I find myself becoming more and more acclimated with the goings on of the city and the Pontifical University of St Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum). Our studies are well under way and we are currently preparing for several midterms. Only in Rome can one take a study break by visiting one of nearly 900 churches or chapels to be found in the city. Already I have had the wonderful opportunity to visit two art galleries and several important historical basilicas. We learn a great deal in the lecture hall but these trips are just as formative I believe. To be able to spend time in the presence of these great saints and pray quietly is a truly awesome gift and one I am very grateful for. At Christmas time we have been fortunate enough to be invited by the Oxford Oratory to join them and obviously Brs Shawn and Tyson. It will be a great opportunity to spend time with the brothers and soak up the atmosphere of the city that was so critical in the making of our beloved Blessed a John Henry Newman (co-patron of the Brisbane Oratory). It will also afford us the chance to visit the Birmingham and London Oratories too which is very exciting!
An extract from the Reflection in the Oratory Newsletter. If you would like to read the rest be sure to view the latest newsletter and don’t forget to subscribe!
It has been a great blessing over the past months to have our whole community home in Brisbane. We had the joy of welcoming Brother John Henry amongst us; Brothers Tyson, Conor and Matthew were instituted as Acolytes; we held another successful dinner celebrating the third anniversary since Archbishop Coleridge established us as an Oratorian community-in-formation; we had several Solemn High Masses whilst we had available the necessary number of sacred ministers; to name just a few of the things that have been happening.
At the end of August Brother John Henry made the journey to Toronto, to begin his canonical novitiate in the Oratory there, where he’ll continue on to do his philosophy studies. He reports that he is learning the ropes over there and settling into the rhythm of his classes. This semester he will be studying the life of Saint Philip, the Excellences of the Oratory, the Constitutions of the Oratory, and also Latin. He has also been given various duties in the house. He was clothed in the Oratorian habit on September 9th. We look forward to Brother’s next visit home to Brisbane, which will be in time for Saint Philip’s day next year.
From the Moderators Message of the Oratory Newsletter. If you would like to read the rest be sure to view the latest newsletter and don’t forget to subscribe!