|Sacred Heart, Bournemouth|
A new Oratory in formation is being inaugurated at Sacred Heart Church in Bournemouth on September 8 2016. Bishop Philip Egan of Portsmouth has invited Fr Dominic Jacob CO (co-founder of the Oxford Oratory) and Fr Peter Edwards and Fr David Hutton, generously released by the Archbishop of Southwark for this project in his Province, to begin an Oratorian Community of St Philip Neri as part of a major evangelisation drive. Fr Peter, Fr Dominic and Fr David will begin their ministry on the feast of Our Lady’s Birthday, at the church which is situated in the heart of Bournemouth, surrounded by university accommodation, many language school students, diverse ethnic communities, and homelessness, beside long-standing residents, the hospitality industry, business and commerce. In accordance with the charism of their Patron, St Philip Neri, the Oratory in formation will be devoted to offering sacramental support through daily Mass and Confessions, Eucharistic Adoration and formation in the spiritual life, alongside pastoral care of students, the growing number of homeless, others in need, all who make up the local population, and the thousands who pass the doors of Sacred Heart each day.
Following the announcement, Bishop Philip Egan of Portsmouth said: “The Diocese has areas of real deprivation and poverty. There are immigrants and foreign nationals from Eastern Europe and overseas, as well as university and college students away from home. This is a pastoral situation that is urgent. It impels action. “We need to engage with those who have not yet met the Lord Jesus in Person nor taken to heart the salvation and eternal life He offers. More than ever we need today to be confident and clear in witnessing to the Person of Jesus Christ and the truths of the Catholic faith, in order to help people find the Way to authentic humanism and happiness. This is why I am delighted by the new project beginning at Sacred Heart parish.” St Philip Neri, Apostle of Rome and Saint of Joy, continues to inspire secular priests today to form communities, without vows, living together in the bond of charity, with the Oratorian charism of prayer, preaching and celebration of the Sacraments, not least in the Confessional.
St Philip’s primary apostolate of forming young people in the life of prayer and pastoral care, particularly for the sick and needy, also attracts many by excellence in liturgy and music, through catechesis, and in the New Evangelization through culture and the arts. This latest Community of St Philip Neri is a Society of Apostolic Life under the direction of the Oratorian Confederation’s Procurator General in Rome for whom the Oxford Oratory and York Oratory-in-Formation have been the formative inspiration.