The Fathers and Brothers of the Brisbane Oratory in Formation are delighted to share with you the following exciting news.
One of the topics discussed with Father Michael Lang during his recent visit was the theological education of the seminarians of the Brisbane Oratory in Formation. Our seminarians currently begin their priestly formation at the Toronto Oratory, Canada. There they undertake the canonical novitiate, and also complete a Bachelor's degree in philosophy through Saint Philip's Seminary, which is attached to the Oratory.
After discussions with Father Michael Lang (the delegate of the Procurator General of the Confederation of the Oratory of Saint Philip Neri), and with Archbishop Coleridge, the community of the Brisbane Oratory in Formation has decided that our seminarians will undertake their theological studies at Blackfriars in Oxford, UK. Blackfriars is run by the English Dominicans, and specially caters for religious and seminarians. It offers the STB programme (Baccalaureate in Sacred Theology) granted by the Pontifical University of St Thomas, Rome (the Angelicum), a course which is designed to meet all the requirements for ordination to the priesthood. Various religious orders send their seminarians to Blackfriars, and in the coming academic year the Oratories of Oxford and York will have some of their seminarians there. Because Blackfriars serves religious communities in the formation of seminarians, its fees are quite reasonable.
In conjunction with the academic studies at Blackfriars, our seminarians will live at the Oxford Oratory. We are very grateful to Father Daniel Seward and the community of the Oxford Oratory, for the welcome they have extended to our Brother Shawn, who will be the first of our seminarians to begin theological studies in Oxford. This is scheduled to commence in January 2017. We acknowledge as well the great generosity of the Oxford Oratory community and the Toronto Oratory community who ask for only a very small contribution in return for welcoming the Brisbane men to share fully in the life of their communities.
In coming to a decision about the theological studies of our seminarians, we were keen to build on the excellent foundation that has been laid during their time in Toronto. We were also looking for a way to continue a solid Oratorian formation in conjunction with theological studies that prepared our men well for priestly ordination. We are confident that the Oxford plan meets these needs. It is our overriding desire, in all of this, to have the highest standard of formation for our seminarians in order to form the best priests possible for the service of the laity who will be in any way attached to the Oratory. It is also a way that the Oratory can make a lasting contribution to our Archdiocese, by providing well formed priests who are available to serve the faithful in our Archdiocese. The Congregation of the Oratory exists to serve the Secular Oratory. In other words, the community of priests and brothers exists to help the lay faithful be holy and advance towards salvation through all the means that Christ has given to His Church.
All that has been accomplished in the Brisbane Oratory in Formation so far, and especially the fact that we are now in our fourth year of training men for the priesthood, is due to the extraordinary generosity of our supporters and benefactors. It simply would not have been possible without this support. Thank you!
As we now look to send Brother Shawn to Oxford in January 2017, and not long after Brother Tyson in October 2017, we appeal for your continued support and generosity, both prayerfully and financially. We especially invite you to consider becoming a regular giver to the Oratory. Direct Debit and Credit Card options are available.
To make a pledge, or to make an offering today, please go to: http://brisbane-oratory.org/donations/
The Brisbane Oratory in Formation community is delighted that, through God's providence and through the intercession of Saint Philip and our other heavenly patrons, doors have been opened so that this wonderful possibility is available for our seminarians, the future priests of the Brisbane Oratory. Deo gratias!