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Who Are the Sons of Saint Philip Neri?
Priests from the Archdiocese of Louisville, Kentucky, Fr. James Bromwich and Fr. Daniel Whelan were invited by Bishop Kevin Rhoades of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Indiana, to begin the process of forming a new Oratory of St. Philip Neri in May 2012. In August of 2012, we were issued a decree by Bishop Rhoades, making the Sons of Saint Philip Neri a clerical private association of the Christian faithful with juridic personality. In this decree, His Excellency also approved our statutes. We have now entered the second stage in the process of becoming an Oratory of St. Philip Neri in the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend. In February of 2014, the Procurator General of the Confederation of the Congregation of the Oratory in Rome appointed Fr. Peter Cebulka, CO, has our delegate to the Confederation. Fr. Peter, who is the procurator of the Oratory in New Brunswick, will aid us in our formation. As we establish our stability and receive vocations to our community, we will, with God's grace, eventually become a Congregation of the Oratory of Pontifical Right.
The Oratorians are considered a Society of Apostolic Life. Oratorians serve the universal Church and their local dioceses and parishes by living the charism imparted to them by Saint Philip. The characteristics of the Oratorian way of life are the same as in his day, namely:
• Priests of the Oratory are secular priests; that is, they do not profess religious vows. The Oratorian vocation is unique in the Church: secular priests living in community. Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman, an Oratorian himself, called the Oratorian life a bridge between diocesan and religious life.
• Oratorians live a fraternal life in a stable community. They make a commitment to one local Congregation and remain there for life. Living as a family is key to the Oratorian way of life.
• Their spirituality is marked by fervent prayer, reverent celebration of the Sacraments (especially Mass and Confession), familiar preaching of the Word of God, and a joyful love for God and neighbor, particularly their brothers in the Congregation.
• They remain connected with the chief concern of Saint Philip by a commitment to pastoral care of the laity, especially through the group known as the Secular Oratory.
- Specifically, our community will work within the milieu of the New Evangelization to build up at-risk families and promote the dignity of human life.