Brisbane Oratory News

Here you can follow all the latest news and developments of the Brisbane Oratory in Formation. Don’t forget you can subscribe to our email updates and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Progress to Establishment

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!

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An update from Br Conor in Rome

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!

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Formation Continues

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!

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Spiritual Exercises for Daily Life

The Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius, 19th Annotation Retreat in Daily Life, are to be offered at the Oratory.

The dynamic of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius is a process towards interior freedom: Freedom from whatever burdens and constrains the soul and prevents heroic identification with Jesus Christ in His Paschal Mystery. It is a movement from pragmatism to Divine Love.

St Ignatius developed the main lines of his Spiritual Exercises between 1522 and 1528, based on his deeply experienced sense of God and His individual call to each of us through Jesus Christ His Son. St. Ignatius finalised this small handbook and had it printed for the first time in 1548. Since then his Spiritual Exercises have helped countless people hear Christ’s call to them in a more personal and intimate way and live this out daily with increasing interior freedom, courage and dedication.

The Ignatian Spiritual Exercises are normally meant to be experienced during an intense 30-day retreat; however St Ignatius knew that most lay people would find this very difficult if not impossible to manage. In his 19th Annotation to the Exercises he offers a way of fully experiencing them in the context of daily life over a nine month period, setting aside between half to one hour of prayer time daily for this purpose.

Several times over the last 15 years Fr Wise has directed the full Spiritual Exercises in daily life in a small group setting of about six people, meeting fortnightly over nine months.

If you have a reasonably well developed and committed prayer life, perhaps the Lord is calling you to experience these Spiritual Exercises in this setting between October 2018 and June 2019? If you believe so, you are invited to send a confidential email to Fr Wise, outlining briefly why you feel called to take part in this retreat in daily life at this point in your life. Email by 14th September please.

Sancte Philippe Neri, ora pro nobis. Sancte Ignati de Loyola, ora pro nobis

The Oratory Dinner and Dance Review

We recently celebrated our major fundraising and social event of the year with a dinner and dance at Riverside Receptions, New Farm.  235 people created a very happy buzz at what seems to have been an enjoyable night for those present.  Our final tally indicates that we raised in the vicinity of $29,000 through the event.  Also, new pledges have come in following the dinner and through our fundraising push during the month of July, and other regular givers have been able to increase their contributions.  We can’t say often enough how grateful we are to all our benefactors and friends who are so generous in helping to ensure the future of the Brisbane Oratory.  May God bless you for your generosity.

Wonderful evening at the annual Oratory Dinner & Dance! Thanks to all those who helped support our seminarians.

Posted by Maria Rose Anna Photography on Monday, 30 July 2018


From the Moderators Message of the Oratory Newsletter. If you would like to read the rest, and even more, including the Reflection by Br Shawn on learning to be a priest, be sure to read the latest newsletter and don’t forget to subscribe!

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