Today Father Dominic and Fr Peter Edwards go to the Sacred Heart in Bournemouth to begin the new Oratory-in-formation. Please pray for them that the Oratorian life may grow and flourish there, and that many may come to know and love the heart of St Philip.
The new community has a website: bournemouthoratory.org.uk where you can find out about their parish, church and life.
"At last we are on our way to Bournemouth! Our arrival was delayed by the sad illness and death of our Father David, back in March, but now the time has come to commence this great adventure to establish the Congregation of the Oratory of St Philip Neri at the Church of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, in the heart of this city.
We thank Bishop Philip for inviting us to his Diocese, and are delighted to be coming to Sacred Heart Parish to begin the new Bournemouth Oratory-in-Formation on the Feast of Our Lady’s Visitation, 31st May 2017. On that day, in addition to the usual 12.15pm daily Mass, there is an additional 6pm Mass for this inaugural occasion, followed by drinks in the Catholic Institute, when we look forward to meeting Parishioners and friends. The Tower Captain and Bell-Ringers have asked to ring a Quarter Peal that evening to welcome the arrival of the Oratory.
Formed by St Philip Neri in 16th century Rome, and brought to England by Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman, the Oratory is here to serve the Parish, University, and all who choose to come to the Sacred Heart.
In addition to Fr Dominic (a Co-Founder of the Oxford Oratory 27 years ago), who is the Moderator of this new Oratorian Community, and Fr Peter, as Parish Priest, there are two brothers, who come initially as Postulants - Wojtek and Kari (respectively from Poland and Finland). A further arrival is expected in the summer, while much work needs to be done on the Oratory House to make room for other enquirers - priests or laymen - who are welcome to make contact.
From the first Monday (5th June), in additional to the usual 12.15pm daily Mass, Mass will be offered at 7.30am on weekdays, with Confessions before every Mass. The existing Wednesday 11am - 12 noon Eucharistic Adoration will be extended from the end of the 7.30am Mass until mid-day so that, in the words of Bishop Philip, more people will have opportunity to “meet the Lord Jesus in Person, and take to heart the salvation and eternal life He offers”.
While nothing will initially change, additions to the existing programme of devotions will naturally be in the spirit of St Philip Neri, with the ‘daily distribution of the Word’, prayer, and the Sacraments - the foundations of the Oratory. The Fathers and Brothers gather together for half-an-hour of prayer twice every weekday - and invite others to join us - for meditation at 7am, and at 6pm for evening Oratory (silent prayer, and then a litany and devotions). There will be the traditional Blessing with the Relic of St Philip after Mass on Mondays, and from the Solemnity of Corpus Christi (18th June) we start Oratory and Benediction at 6pm on Sundays.
We greatly look forward to being with you, working with and for you, and introducing St Philip, the Apostle of Christian Joy, to the Parish, University and beyond. St Philip said: ‘The great thing is that we become saints'. He saw the work of the Oratory essentially as 'making people saints in their own homes'. This is our hope and our aim. It is our vocation. May the Lord bless us all."