28 March 2014
More Oratories Emerging
There are 55 Oratories around the world, most of them in western Europe. This number is likely to increase in the next few years with Oratories in formation in Manchester, York, San Francisco, Jamaica and Brisbane. The notion of the Oratory was invented by St Philip Neri in the middle of the sixteenth century with the creation of the Congregation of the Oratory in Rome. During the next 100 years, further Oratories were opened, parti9cularly in Italy, France and Germany. The first Oratory to be opened in England was by John Henry Newman who founded the Birmingham Oratory in 1847. A few years later Frederick Faber founded what eventually became the Brompton Oratory in London. There was not to be another Oratory founded in England until about 20 years ago when some priests left the Birmingham Oratory to form one in Oxford. More recently, there have been efforts to establish an Oratory in Manchester. Initially, it was to be formed around the Holy Name Church, but has now settled at St Chad's Church. This community is likely to be declared an Oratory soon. The latest development has been in York, where priests from the Oxford Oratory have made the first moves to establish an Oratory there. Priests of the Congregation of Oratorians live in community, but differ from monks in that they take no special vows.