Friday 6 May 2016

Oratory Explosion

Cardiff Oratory in formation.
At the minute there is a lot of soul-searching in Hexham and Newcastle. We are well into the three year programme `Forward Together in Hope`. This has involved parish meetings to respond to a big questionnaire about what goes on in the parish and what our hopes for the future are.We attend deanery meetings at which we are asked `What is the Church for?` I thought that had been worked out by Christ and the apostles but, while I suppose it is useful to ask if only to remind ourselves, it does suggest that the `Forward` bit of FTIH doesn`t really know where the it is going. Then we have the deanery meetings of clergy where we spend hours mulling over `What is confirmation for?`The last discussion was drawn to a close after nearly two hours so we have to meet again to continue mulling. I have developed an inability to listen to the word `community` as it gets mentioned sometimes in every sentence.

In the meantime decline goes on.

Not everywhere however. Today on Facebook I came across something I`d not seen: a page on the Oratory in Formation in Cardiff. This was the first I`d heard of it. So in recent years the two original houses of the Oratory in London and Birmingham have been joined by new houses in Oxford, Manchester and York and now Cardiff. This is quite amazing growth at a time when most the time all we hear from the Catholic Church in England and Wales is about places closing down. So we don`t have to be in decline. Vocations are there. The FSSP draws many inquirers and I imagine the Institute of Christ the King does too,  yet I don`t bother mentioning this in the deanery meetings as people wouldn`t be interested. Lancaster, Middlesborough, Salford, Liverpool and Shrewsbury now all have either an Oratory or the house of an Ecclesia Dei institute and the new bishop of Leeds is said to want to create a centre in his diocese for the Extraordinary Form. Hexham and Newcastle is looking like the odd man out in the Northern Province.

This is from the Archdiocese of Cardiff website.

Oratory of St Philip Neri in formation in Cardiff

On 11th February 2016 The Archbishop of Cardiff, Most Rev George Stack, gave his permission for the establishment of an Oratory of St Philip Neri at the University Chaplaincy, Cardiff. This ‘community in formation’ was established by decree on 22nd March 2016 of Fr. Mario Aviles, Procurator General of the Confederation of the Oratories, Rome. Fr. Ignatius Harrison was appointed Delegate to the community in Cardiff. Fr. Sebastian (Gareth) Jones was appointed Moderator of the community in formation.
On Friday 29th April, Fr. Ignatius Harrison visited Newman Hall and the University Church to formally cloth Fr. Sebastian and Bro Ambrose Jackson establishing this new community of ‘Oratorians’.  The Congregation of St. Philip Neri is Pontifical Society of Apostolic Life.  It is made up of priests and lay brothers who live in community in a bond of charity, with no formal religious vows. Although some oratories may have a dominant mission, such as maintaining a school, in general the members of the Oratory spend the day involved in various ministries: teaching, parish work, spiritual direction, campus ministry, hospital chaplaincies, administration or maintaining the fabric of the community house. 
In order for the Cardiff Oratory to be formally founded, the community will need to increase to four members comprising two priests and two brothers.  Fr. Sebastian will continue his work as Chaplain to Cardiff University.
More information about the Cardiff Oratory information can be found here.  We wish the new community well as they start out within the Welsh Province.

1 comment:

  1. Catholic Lancashire6 May 2016 at 23:44

    Father,according to the Dome of Home summer newsletter there are two vocations from the North West to the ICKSP this year. Deo Gratias


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