Enquiries are welcome from those seeking to explore an Oratorian Vocation as a student for the Priesthood (or Lay Brother), and from men who are already Ordained.
Initial steps – as well as growing in love of God – are to develop an understanding and love of S Philip Neri (1515-1595), and the Oratory way of life which he founded. Read about S Philip, and our Oratorian Saints on our website at www.bournemouthoratory.org.uk (Go to <Menu> then to <Oratory>, and <Oratorian Saints>) . One of the best but reasonably short recent biographies of our Founder is: ‘Philip Neri: The Fire of Joy’ by Fr Paul Turks of the Aachem Oratory.
S Philip encouraged the use of ‘arrow prayers’ – short phrases which, like arrows, can be shot up to heaven, as brief but frequent prayer. He is also famous for his many memorable short sayings (or Maxims). Being guided by one of these at the start of each day is another good way of getting to know S Philip, and allowing ourselves to be guided by him in our daily spiritual life. You can have these delivered (free) to your In Box by signing-up via the Sacred Art Series website, and clicking on at: www.sacredartseries.com You can also access the whole year of Maxims at: http://www.liturgialatina.org/oratorian/maxims.htm
The English Oratories publish many of our works at www.lulu.com where you might begin by ordering the following three books:
- “Devotions to Saint Philip Neri” which includes the year-round Maxims (as above), S John Henry Newman’s Litany to S Philip, and various prayers.
- “Primordia Orartorii – The Beginning of the Oratory”, by Agostino Manni (a companion of S Philip).
- ”The Legacy of S Philip”, by Fathers of the Oxford Oratory.
All Oratories of S Philip are directed by the Constitutions and General Statutes, compiled by our Saint’s first disciples immediately after his death, ratified by the Holy See in 1612, and occasionally revised. https://pittsburghoratory.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/constitution-of-the-oratory.pdf
Beyond that, each Oratory is independent and autonomous (once it is formally erected by the Holy See, after a period ‘in Formation’), has its own Particular Statutes, and develops its character according to local needs and the abilities of the Community – so each House of S Philip has a familiar but different feel and apostolate.
It is therefore important to become familiar with a particular Oratory and its environment, as each House develops its own character, and Oratorians ordinarily remain in the same House for life, living with the same Community, and serving the same people.
For an article on the spirituality and life of the Oratory please click the link at the foot of this page.
If you are interested in exploring the possibility of an Oratorian vocation we suggest:
- Visit our live-stream (via our website) typically the Sunday 10.30am Solemn Mass.
- Come to Mass here, or to an Oratory event in Bournemouth, and introduce yourself.
- Contact the Moderator of the Bournemouth Oratory for more information about Oratorian life, or to make an appointment with him.
- Then visit us for a weekend, and then for a few longer periods of mutual enquiry.