The Bournemouth Oratory-in-Formation received its first visit, on Tuesday, from Bishop Philip (accompanied by Fr JP), who was delighted and encouraged by all that is happening. In the two months since the Oratorians’ arrival at Sacred Heart, the Community has already grown from four to five, with last week’s arrival of a third Brother.
In the photograph, from left to right: Brother Andrew Wagstaff (of Southampton, just arrived from 5 years at the Birmingham Oratory), Fr JP, Fr Dominic Jacob (Moderator of the Community), Bishop Philip, Fr Peter Edwards (Parish Priest), and Postulant Kari Hintikka (from Finland).
The Oratory Fathers have increased the number of weekday Masses with a 7.30 Mass on most mornings (in addition to the 12.15pm daily Mass). In the usual style of the English Oratories, Confessions are heard 20 minutes before every Mass; also on Wednesdays from 11am to 12 noon, on Saturdays 11am to 12 noon, and from 4 to 5pm. There’s now Eucharistic Adoration all morning on Wednesdays (and planned to expand). Benediction has begun on Sundays at 6pm; and the usual Blessing with the Relic of Saint Philip at the end of the Monday Masses.
Last month the Oratory began hosting “Hope for Food” – feeing 80-90 of Bournemouth’s homeless, from the Catholic Institute beneath the church, every Tuesday and Thursday evening (with provision elsewhere on the other five days).
The Oratory Parish has just registered participation in the worldwide “40 Days for Life” campaign of prayer, fasting, community out-reach, and peaceful vigils at one of Bournemouth’s five abortion clinics (27th September – 5th November). Bring your pro-life friends (whether Catholic or not) to the next preparatory meeting on Sunday 13th August immediately after 6pm Benediction.
The Parish Fellowship Group – eager to be reformed into the Secular (or Little) Oratory, following the pattern and principles of St Philip Neri in 16th century Rome – has just outlined its summer / autumn programme including Street Evangelization amid the summer holiday-makers, the Universities’ Freshers Fairs, Night Fever, DVDs and talks on St Philip, the Oratory, prayer and the spiritual life.
Fr Dominic has just returned from conducting the Hallam Diocesan Priests’ Retreat. The Oratory Fathers are supplying during the interregnum in their neighbouring parish of Westbourne. From previously derelict areas of the house, guest rooms, and a new bathroom are being prioritised for Priests who may like a short Retreat or few days of quiet prayer, as the Oratorians seek to be hospitable and of service to their diocesan brethren.