Brisbane Oratory News
With the growth of Annerley in the early 1900’s, Catholics who were having to walk more than five kilometers to St Joseph Church Kangaroo Point, approached the then archbishop, James Duhig, who purchased land in October 1912, and then blessed the newly constructed church (with eventual classrooms underneath) on June 14 1914. This original wooden church stood where the Marymac Centre now stands, and could hold up to 300 people. Known as the “Ipswich Road Parish”, this new community of faith took in the present parishes of Coopers Plains, Corinda, Darra, Graceville, Inala, Moorooka, Oxley, Salisbury, Sunnybank and Woodridge(!) The parish priests travelled on horseback, until parishioners purchased a ‘T’ model Ford in 1920.
Only ten years after the opening of the original church, Archbishop Duhig announced the building of a new parish church, to meet the demands of the rapidly growing parish. It was to be built in memory of Fr James Gallagher, first parish priest of Annerley, who had only recently died of a heart attack while working on the fence along Ipswich Road. The foundation stone was laid on October 11 1931, and the church blessed during a High Mass on May 1 1932, under the title of “Mary Immaculate.” The archbishop remarked that “[b]y building a temple of God under the title of His Immaculate Mother, we can be assured of her assistance and help in every way.”
We can only begin to imagine the efforts and sacrifices of our forebears in this parish. It is a powerful reminder and incentive to strive in continuing their legacy which has been entrusted to our present generation, with God’s blessing and the assistance and help of Mary Immaculate.
Read more from this months newsletter by clicking below.Newsletter
On Friday 2nd August, the people of our Parish are being asked to pray for the fathers, brothers, and young men of the Brisbane Oratory in Formation. Intercessory prayer, sacrifice and penance are essential in the formation offaithful priests.
To this end, the prayer day will begin at 8:20am (before the 9:00am Mass) with a Rosary led by the Legion of Mary. Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament will then follow. The church will remain open all day to allow parishioners to pray privately. The day will come to its conclusion following Holy Hour at 8:30pm.
Coincidentally the Portiuncula plenary indulgence may be obtained on this day and is granted under the usual conditions to the faithful who visit a parish church and devoutly recite the Our Father and the Creed. Indulgences are a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1471).
The Fathers and Brothers of the Brisbane Oratory in Formation rejoice with our confreres around the world at the news that Blessed John Henry Newman will be canonized by Pope Francis on Sunday 13 October 2019. Newman was ordained a priest in the Church of England and became a leader of the Oxford Movement. He converted to Catholicism in 1845. He established the first Oratory of Saint Philip Neri in England at Birmingham in 1849, thus bringing Saint Philip’s Oratory to the English-speaking world. Cardinal Newman is widely considered to be one of the most significant figures of the 19thcentury.
At his Beatification in 2010, Pope Benedict XVI said: “The definite service to which Blessed John Henry was called involved applying his keen intellect and his prolific pen to many of the most pressing ‘subjects of the day’. His insights into the relationship between faith and reason, into the vital place of revealed religion in civilised society, and into the need for a broadly-based and wide-ranging approach to education were not only of profound importance for Victorian England, but continue today to inspire and enlighten many all over the world.” When he died at the age of 89, more than 15,000 people lined the streets of Birmingham for his funeral.
Cardinal Newman’s path to canonization was cleared by the recognition of a second miracle attributed to his intercession, consisting in the medically inexplicable healing of a pregnant woman with life-threatening complications due to her pregnancy. The cure took place in Chicago, U.S.A., in May 2013.
Information about Cardinal Newman including details of his life, of the miracle and the process of canonisation, links to his writings as well as photos and videos can be found at www.newmancanonisation.com
Br Conor writes this months reflection in the Newsletter
The last reflection which I shared with you was written from the cold and wet, yet always beautiful Eternal City, Rome. This time I am writing to you from sunny one day, perfect the next Brisbane (though if I am being honest, today is anything but sunny). A lot has happened since my last contribution to our Oratory Newsletter. Both Br Tyson and myself have returned home to continue our studies at the Australian Catholic University (ACU) and with Oratory Father, Scot Armstrong. We have also had to say goodbyes to Shawn and Hung after they decided that the Oratorian life wasn’t for them. Their departure gave me cause to stop and reflect upon my own vocation. While it always deeply regrettable to see someone leave the Community it is also an opportunity to reflect on where we are and where we are heading.
I have now been back in Brisbane for just over three months and it has been such a joy to be home. Only now after having returned do I appreciate fully the need for us, the Fathers and Brothers of the Brisbane Oratory, to be together in one place, living and working together. While my workload has certainly increased with both studies and responsibilities around the House and Parish I can say with confidence that I am in the right place! My vocation has been tested throughout my four years, which is to be expected, but with each test I grow in confidence and knowledge that I am truly following the path God has laid out for me. Being back in Brisbane really has been a blessing. Now that I am home for good I can start to set down roots, so to speak, and get to know parishioners and friends of the Oratory. I can now begin to settle down and create for myself a stable life which will see me remain here with the Oratory and in the Parish for the remainder of my life, God permitting.
To read the rest of this reflection and even more in this months newsletter please click the link below.Read Newsletter
Thank you to everyone who joined us in celebrating the Feast of St Philip Neri, founder of the Oratory, and principal patron of the Brisbane Oratory in Formation. This feast day also marks four years since our Oratory in Formation officially began and we continue to look to the future to our formal establishment.
After Mass we gathered on the lawn for drinks and canapés. It was a great opportunity to catch up with many of you our parishioners and supporters and thank you for your continued support.