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Report after Father Michael Lang's Visit 2016
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Dear <<First Name*>>

Father Michael Lang of the London Oratory visited us here in Brisbane recently.  Father Michael is the delegate of the Procurator General of the Confederation of the Oratory of Saint Philip Neri, appointed to guide the formation of the Brisbane Oratory in the time before its establishment by the Holy See as a Congregation of the Oratory of Saint Philip Neri.  The time of the visitation with Father Michael was very profitable.  We discussed various matters, and Father Michael's input confirmed what we have already begun and gave us good guidance for the future.

Father Michael has prepared a report for the benefit of our supporters and benefactors, which appears below.
Visit to the Brisbane Oratory-in-Formation
 
From Friday 26th August to Saturday 3rd September 2016 I had the opportunity to visit the Oratory-in-formation in Brisbane in my capacity as the delegate for the Procurator General of the Oratorian Confederation, whose responsibility it is to oversee and facilitate the path towards the canonical erection of a Congregation of the Oratory of St Philip Neri.

My contacts with the members of the community go back to the summer of 2008, when I met Fr Andrew Wise in Rome during his sabbatical and the idea of an Oratory was first discussed. In September 2013, I met with a group of priests from different Australian dioceses, who were interested in adopting the Oratorian rule of life, for a several days of prayer and discussion in Cowwarr, Victoria. This was a very blessed and fruitful meeting, at which the foundations for the present community were laid. Soon afterwards, Archbishop Mark Coleridge of Brisbane welcomed the project, in January 2014, Fr Paul Chandler and Fr Adrian Sharp took first steps towards an Oratorian vita communis in their residence at Annerley parish, to which they had been assigned. In January 2015 the members of the community came to London, where we had a number of meetings to reflect upon this first stage in the process of foundation, according to the Modus procedendi in praeparandis congregationibus (1998), Chapter II. The second stage of this process was initiated on 26 May 2015, when Archbishop Coleridge’s decree to establish an Oratorian Community-in-formation came into effect.

This has been my first visit to the Oratory-in-formation in Brisbane, and I was delighted to experience the joy and charity that shapes the community in the spirit of St Philip Neri. As I noticed at previous meetings with the Fathers, there is a good understanding in the community on a natural level, and a strong unity in the Faith, both of which are essential for an Oratory to work. The Fathers and Brothers can only be recommended for having established essential elements of Oratorian life.

A stable house (domus) is essential for the development of Oratorian community life and spirituality. The community presently lives in a residence belonging to Annerley parish, which was built as a convent for the Sisters of St Joseph. This building is in many ways suitable for an Oratory, since there is a clear distinction between the cloister area with the Fathers’ and Brothers’ rooms, and the area used for community life (chapel, refectory, kitchen, recreation room, parlour). It is advantageous that the building is spacious enough and has the feel of a religious house rather than a large presbytery. At the same time, however, the residence is austere and requires considerable discretion on the part of the community. While I highly recommend them for their spirit of simplicity, I strongly encourage them to invest into the building. An Oratorian should feel at home in his house, and his room should be his nido (“nest”), not his cell. It has been agreed that the Moderator, Fr Adrian Sharp, should approach the Archbishop and ask for his permission to make changes to the residence.

The Brisbane-Oratory-in-formation has been blessed with many enquirers and is in the fortunate position to exercise careful discernment. At the time of my visit, there is one Brother in triennial status and three novices in their second probation. The Toronto Oratory has been very generous in offering all of them an Oratorian formation and the opportunity to pursue their philosophical studies. During my visit the question of the Brothers’ theological studies have been discussed. Thanks to the generosity of the community’s benefactors, there are sufficient funds to cover the financial cost for these studies in preparation for the priesthood.

May Almighty God, through the intercession of Our Lady and St Philip, continue to bless the Brisbane Oratory-in-formation.
 
London, 16th September 2016
(signed) Michael Lang
The Fathers and Brothers of the Brisbane Oratory in formation are very grateful to Father Michael for all his assistance and guidance at this stage of our formation.

If you would like to make a once-off or regular offering, especially to assist us in the formation of our seminarians for the priesthood, please go to http://brisbane-oratory.org/donations/ or simply send us an email at enquiries@brisbane-oratory.org and we'll assist you.
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