Brisbane Oratory News
In Holy Week, the Church recalls the mysteries of Christ’s passion and resurrection. In this way “the Church opens to the faithful the riches of her Lord’s powers and merits, so that these are in some way made present for all time, and the faithful are enabled to lay hold upon them and become filled with saving grace” (SC, 102). Attending the Easter Ceremonies is a wonderful way to receive very many signal graces. We encourage you to attend all, or as many as possible, of them, as a most effective way to grow in the life of faith.
For our newsletter reflection this month, I would like to provide a brief outline of ways the Brisbane Oratory in Formation is living out some of the key traditional charisms of the Congregation of the Oratory. These are attributes of the mission given to the whole Church by Our Lord Himself before His ascension into heaven. They are given a distinctive form and expression through the service an Oratory community provides to Christ’s Faithful in the life of the Church.
The Sacred Liturgy, especially holy Mass, is firstly the ‘work of God’ for our ongoing sanctification through Jesus Christ and also the worship, adoration and thanksgiving that we, as members of Christ’s Body the Church render to almighty God. This is quite simply the ‘right and just’ way to live our lives as human beings made in the image and likeness of God Himself.
St. Philip Neri usually spent many fruitful hours in the confessional every day. The ministry of the confessional has thus always been a special charism of the Oratory and the Brisbane Oratory in formation is no exception in this regard. We have set periods for confessions every day of the week (except Tuesdays) during which time you will always find one of the fathers present in one of our traditional, anonymous confessionals, either hearing confessions, or prayerfully waiting for penitents to arrive. We have catholics from all over Brisbane choosing to avail themselves of the plentiful opportunities we provide to receive God’s forgiveness in this great sacrament of the Lord’s mercy. At the same time we also seek to offer each penitent sound advice in faithful harmony with the perennial teachings of the Catholic Church.
This extract from the Reflection by Fr Wise is in this month’s newsletter. To read the rest of the Reflection and newsletter please see the link below.Read Newsletter
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!