And now for something slightly different.
Some may be surprised that the Congregation of the Oratory of St Philip Neri never made it to the Botany Bay penal settlement ever since that day when Captain (later Governor, later Admiral) Arthur Phillip first came ashore in 1788 very shortly before Jean François de Galaup, Comte de Lapérouse of the French Royal Navy did exactly the same thing. Well, that’s all changed now.
Since 2011 efforts have been made by a small group of secular clergy to establish an oratory in Australia and there is one such in formation now in the Archdiocese of Brisbane. They have the required four members to establish an oratory and there are also four young men in the St Philip Neri Seminary of the Toronto Oratory (not all that far from johnhenry’s stately pile in Ontario, I fully suspect). Archbishop Mark Coleridge of Brisbane, Queensland, did the needful and welcomed these secular clergy, who were mostly from outside the Brisbane archdiocese. (So far so good.)
The Toronto Oratory itself is not all that ancient (established 1979 after transferring from Montreal) and the story of its foundation mirrors that of the Brisbane Oratory in Formation. Which we’re all about to see the story of:
Archbishop Coleridge has given the fathers care of the Church of Mary Immaculate in Annerley, on the Ipswich Road a few miles south of the old city of Brisbane across the river and not all that far from the Gabba, which any cricket enthusiasts here would know about. It is therefore an old area, more working class than not historically, but now apparently on the sure path to “gentrification”. This is probably a result of all those young people moving in. You know, the ones the Bishop of Rome on youtube says have “restlessness” as their defining feature? (A condition, I suggest, more likely due to their maxed-out credit cards, Holy Father. Ahem.)
At Mary Immaculate the fathers seem to be quite focused on the Extraordinary Form (this story is getting better!). However, in two other neighbouring parishes also committed to their care they are acutely sensitive to the NO needs of Christ’s faithful there (excellent, couldn’t get any better than this!).
Our sincere prayers for God our Father’s abundant blessings on the Oratorian aspirants in Brisbane, that the fathers and brothers will obtain the years of stability required for their oratory to be pontifically fully recognised.