Category: Brisbane Oratory

Oratory logoWhile most of us slept here in Australia, the Brisbane Oratory in Formation quietly came into existence, as the Decree of Archbishop Mark Coleridge of 24 December 2014 came into effect.  [I set the alarm to be awake for the exciting moment]!  We are indebted to Archbishop Coleridge for his support of this project.

We now formally begin our common life as an “Oratory in Formation” and continue the journey towards eventual – God willing – establishment by the Roman Apostolic See as a Congregation of the Oratory of Saint Philip Neri.  The Fathers and Brothers of the Brisbane Oratory in Formation humbly ask you to pray for us in this endeavour.

Archbishop Coleridge will celebrate Solemn Mass in the Ordinary Form tonight – Tuesday 26th May 2015 – at 7:00 p.m. in Mary Immaculate Church, Annerley, on this the Feast of our holy founder, Saint Philip Neri, and to mark the foundation of the Brisbane Oratory in Formation.  All are invited and welcome to this Mass.  Supper will follow in Our Lady’s hall.

May our holy patrons, Our Lady Help of Christians, Saint Philip Neri, Blessed John Henry Newman, and Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati intercede for us!

Oratory community

BRISBANE ORATORY IN FORMATION COMMUNITY: Fr Paul Chandler (Moderator), Fr Scot Armstrong, Fr Andrew Wise, Fr Adrian Sharp, Br Shawn Murphy, Br Francis King



Two Masses

News from the Oratory

Oratory logoThe Fathers of the Brisbane Oratory in Formation have elected our first Moderator.

Read about it here:

Oratory logoHere is news of our new student who has been accepted to begin formation:

Oratory logoIf you would like to keep up-to-date with news from the Brisbane Oratory in Formation, sign up to our email list here.

Oratory logoI thought I’d put a little update up about some of the happenings in the Brisbane Oratory in Formation (BOF).

Since the blessing of Casa San Girolamo (CSG), the residence of the members of the BOF, back on Ash Wednesday (at which the four priest members of the community were present), all five members of the community were able to gather at CSG at the end of April.  Brother Shawn Murphy, our seminarian, was home in Australia during the summer break in Toronto, where he is currently nearing the end of his first year of formation.  The gathering of the whole community was a blessed and happy time, since it is rare at this stage for us all to be together.  With the exception of Father Paul Chandler and myself who are living in community in Annerley Ekibin Parish in Brisbane, the community is still scattered geographically.  Our time together was also fruitful, and our meeting times enabled us to more clearly articulate the process we will follow as we discern with the men who indicate a desire to join our community.   We were able to catch up on other items of business and administrative issues.  Even at this preliminary stage there is plenty to be done.  Brother Shawn gave a presentation to the community based on his first year of formation which he has undertaken at the Toronto Oratory.  We hope to get that uploaded to the Oratory website shortly.

At our gathering in April we also received the Oratory lapel pins which Father Andrew Wise had arranged to be made.  They are a good conversation piece: I wear mine most of the time.

Much time was spent in recent months, especially by Father Paul and the organizing committee, in preparation for the inaugural Vallicella Dinner, which was held last Saturday evening.  The night was a wonderful success, bringing together supporters and friends of the Oratory for a very enjoyable social occasion.  A panel discussion during the evening helped explain the purpose and objectives of an Oratory, and this aspect of the night was appreciated by many.  One of the goals of the evening was to raise funds to pay for the formation of our seminarians, and we were very pleased that we seem to have raised in the vicinity of $30,000, which will pay for two seminarians for one year.  This was a wonderful achievement, and we are most grateful to our benefactors and friends for helping us achieve this.  The formation of priests for the Church is certainly a worthy cause which many are pleased to be able to assist.

Part of the fundraising on the evening was various auctions.  Auction items included three zuchetti (skull caps) which had been worn, respectively, by the Holy Father, Pope Francis, Cardinal Pell, and the newly ordained Auxiliary Bishop of Birmingham, Bishop Robert Byrne, who at the time of his election to the episcopate was a priest of the Birmingham Oratory.  He is the first Oratorian Bishop in England in 140 years.  The zuchetti generated much interest, and also generous bidding!

Father Adrian Sharp, Father Andrew Wise, Brother Shawn Murphy, Father Paul Chandler (the identy of the fourth priest member is not yet able to be released)

Father Adrian Sharp, Father Andrew Wise, Brother Shawn Murphy, Father Paul Chandler, taken during the community’s time together in April (the identity of the fourth priest member is not yet able to be released). Brother Shawn is wearing the distinctive Oratorian habit.

With the dinner concluded, one of the next things the community will be deciding is who will be sent to begin their formation in Toronto in September, the beginning of the academic year in Canada.  We have about seven men in varying stages of discernment at the moment, and several are close to the point of submitting a formal application.  Please keep all our enquirers in your prayers;  and also the community as it makes its decisions about who to accept at this stage.

Archbishop Coleridge continues to work on the matter of the Oratory’s eventual home.  This is also a matter that needs much prayer, because the proper venue and arrangement for the Oratory house is crucial.

All the members of the community will be travelling to Rome in January for the five-yearly International Clergy Conference jointly organised by the Confraternities of Catholic Clergy in Australia, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and the United States.  We will, of course, be making visits to important Oratorian sites in Rome, not the least of which is the tomb of our Holy Founder and Father, Saint Philip Neri.  After our stay in Rome, we will be going to stay for some days at the London Oratory.  There we will be meeting up with Fr Michael Lang who was appointed by the Procurator General of the Confederation of the Oratory of Saint Philip Neri as our liaison person with the Confederation, to assist in the proper establishment of the Brisbane Oratory.

So there is much happening in our community.  Please pray that all our efforts to establish the first Oratory in Oceania will be surrounded with God’s blessing and protection.  Saint Philip Neri, and our other patron saints, pray for us!

Screenshot 2014-05-15 15.52.34 (2)From May 23rd to May 27th Matthew Arnold of Pro Multis Media in the USA will be in Brisbane.

Matthew is well known for his audio, video and print materials for St. Joseph Communications, Lighthouse Catholic Media, Ignatius Press, and others, along with speaking, and hosting his weekly radio program Shield of Faith on the Radio Maria Network.

He is the guest speaker at the Brisbane Oratory’s Vallicella Dinner on Saturday, May 24th.

He will also speak on:

Monday, May 26th, 12:30-1:30pm, at the Francis Rush Centre, next to the Cathedral of Saint Stephen, Brisbane, on Our Lady of Good Success: Consolation for Our Times.  Entry by donation.   Facebook event page.

He will speak later the same day, from 7:30pm at the Marymac Community Hall, 616 Ipswich Road, Annerley, on Overcoming the New Age and his own conversion story.  Entry by donation.  There is some off-street parking accessible from Ipswich Road outbound.  Holy Mass will be offered in the adjacent Mary Immaculate Church in the Extraordinary Form at 7:00pm, prior to the talk.  Facebook event page.

Pro Multis Media



You are invited to our fundraising dinner … raising funds especially to pay for the tuition fees for our seminarians.  We currently have Shawn Murphy in formation at the Toronto Oratory.  Shawn is a member of the Brisbane Oratory in Formation project.  We have a number of other enquirers at this stage also.

Vallicella Dinner invitation

Screenshot 2014-03-12 Oratory blessingArchbishop Coleridge visited to bless the home of the members of the Brisbane Oratory in Formation on Ash Wednesday.  We have named our home Casa San Girolamo, after the church where our founder, St Philip Neri, lived with other priests before beginning the first Oratory.  Casa San Girolamo is located within the Annerley Ekibin Parish of Brisbane Archdiocese.

Read the story here.