Australia is to have its own version of London's Brompton Oratory Catholic Church in Knightsbridge. The Archbishop of Brisbane, Mark Coleridge, has scored a coup, with an Oratorian congregation to be established in the city, reports The Australian.
Oratorians are communities of priests founded by Italian Saint Philip Neri in the 16th century, and they counted Oxford scholar John Henry Newman in their ranks in the 19th century. They are famous for traditional "bells and smells" liturgies -- including some Latin masses, choirs, decorative churches, high-quality schools with rigorous teaching and adult education programs.
The Oratory, to be set up in 2015 or 2016, will further boost the turnaround of the church in Brisbane, where the Queensland seminary has reached its capacity of 32 students and there are plans to transform the post-modern interior of St Stephen's Cathedral along more traditional lines.
Brisbane parish priest Paul Chandler, a former teacher, will be one of four founding members of the Australian Oratory. He will be joined by two senior priests from NSW and Victoria and eventually by the group's first seminarian, Shawn Murphy, 23, who left Melbourne last month to begin his studies for the priesthood at the Oratorians' seminary in Toronto.
Mr Murphy, who graduated with an arts degree in literature and journalism from Monash University last year, was inspired to join the fledgling congregation after five years worshipping at St Aloysius, Caulfield, a traditional Latin mass community that has produced five vocations in 10 years.
FULL STORY Oratory community destined for Brisbane