The Oratorian Community of St Philip Neri at Bournemouth began (by decree of the Bishop of Portsmouth and the Oratorian Procurator General in Rome) on the Feast of the Visitation of Our Lady (31st May 2017) and presently consists of three Priests and one Brother (from left to right):
Brother Francisco Hintikka – Sacristan & Priestly Studies at Oxford
Father Peter Edwards – Moderator & Parish Priest
Father Dominic Jacob – Delegate & Novice Master
Father Andrew Wagstaff – University Catholic Chaplain
You may say that this is but a small company of volunteers compared with the disciplined forces of the religious bodies which sustain the Church with so much strength and splendour; and you are right. But, although it may be a small band, it is still a reinforcement, and sometimes a small reinforcement arriving at the critical moment of the battle is worth the whole strength of the army by enabling it to gain a complete victory.”
The subjects of the Congregation are fishers and not hunters of souls, therefore they must seek to gain them quietly and gently. A fisherman throws his net or hook in silence, and a fish knows not that it is sought until it is taken; the huntsman scours the country with loud cries and firearms, and his prey takes fright, flies, and if possible escapes and hides. We may compare missionaries to huntsmen, but a Philippine (an Oratorian) must content himself with being a fisherman, and leave the trade of hunting to those generous souls who are called thereto by God.”
I do not know what end can be found more sublime than the one to which the sons of St Philip are called; for their vocation consists in three things, the highest and holiest which adorn Holy Church: prayer, the administration of the sacraments, and feeding the people with the daily Word of God. Even the Apostles themselves were not called to a nobler end.
“The Congregation is to be the home of the Oratorian. The Italians, I believe, have no word for home… It is remarkable then that the Oratorian Fathers should have gone out of their way to express the idea by the metaphorical word nido or nest, which is used by them almost technically…to arouse a fraternal feeling in the heart of the Oratorian.” Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman, C.O.