Dear Friends, I am happy to announce our second newsletter. It is the Community’s hope that this letter will help keep everyone informed and updated about the happenings of the Community-in-Formation as we progress in becoming the Cincinnati Oratory. I am humbled in this work of founding an Oratory, because this endeavor could never be brought to completion if it weren’t for the prayers and support that our family and friends have shown us. Saint Philip began the Oratory in the city of Rome in similar conditions that we began our work in Cincinnati. The culture was collapsing all around Saint Philip. The youth lived as if there was no God. Faith did not play an important role in the lives of the faithful. Yet, God raised up this joyful man to go into the world, into the places where it seemed God had abandoned. And it was in those places that Saint Philip would have his greatest successes in helping to reinvigorate the faith of the Apostles. With this knowledge, one can understand why Saint Philip was declared the third Apostle of Rome, after Saints Peter and Paul. Much of what Our Holy Father Philip did is applicable to life today. Much of his spirituality can be used to help bring the faith back into the hearts of our people. It is for this reason the Community is working tirelessly, with you, to establish the Cincinnati Oratory. I realize that Saint Philip is still relatively unknown. I know that explaining what the Oratory is to others can be difficult. And so the Community hopes to use these newsletters, in addition to giving general updates about the Community, as a means to help teach about Saint Philip and the Oratory. Enabling you to be our hands and feet in the places we can’t reach. Please look for future newsletters, and watch our webpage for more events with the Community as we continue to form ourselves into the Cincinnati Oratory. Please be assured of our daily prayers for you, and please continue to pray for us. May Saint Philip pray for us and may God Bless you all.
The Community chanting Tenebrae 2013
The Community celebrating the Easter Vigil 2013
The Community awarding Bishop Binzer the Saint Philip Award at the Annual Banquet
Fr. Jon-Paul Bevak Vicar
Br. Adrian with a future Cincinnati Oratorian?
Br. Adrianâ€™s pilgrimage to the Holy Land After the completion of the Pastoral Internship Year, the seminarians of Mt. St. Mary Seminary are privileged to go on pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Most who attend this pilgrimage say that it is special to go to Rome and a variety of other popular pilgrimage sites, but that these other sites are nothing in comparison with being in the Holy Land. This is, indeed, my opinion as well. There is something very special and sanctifying about being in the same places where Christ walked, taught, performed miracles, and, ultimately, died for our salvation. While on our pilgrimage, we visited the tomb of Christ, Mt. Calvary, the Sea of Galilee, the Mt. of the Beatitudes, the place of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes, the location of Peterâ€™s three fold confession of love for Christ, the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, and much more! As I was in these places, it was hard not to imagine our Lord in the very same spots and drawing so many to Himself and to His heavenly Father. I have no doubt that such an experience would move anyone to grow stronger in his faith, and I believe the same has happened for me. Many have asked me what my favorite part was, and I have consistently said the same thing: I had the opportunity to make an early holy hour on Mt. Calvary followed by Mass on the hill itself. It was hard to believe that I was praying and even receiving communion in the very same place where Christ gave his life for our sins. This was truly an awe-inspiring event in my life and one that I will not easily forget. While on pilgrimage, I made it a point to pray for all of our benefactors and supporters. May God bless you for your generosity and support.
At the Basilica of the Annunciation
View of the Sea of Galilee from the Mount of Beatitudes
Overlooking the City of Jerusalem
Oratory Lesson Who was Saint Philip Neri? It would be impossible to know what an Oratory is, without first understanding who its founder is. Saint Philip was born in 1515 in the City of Florence. From his youth, he was known to be particularly saintly and devout, earning the name of Pippo buono, good Philip. He is particularly known for his purity, and is often depicted with the white lily of purity. Moving to Rome at the age of 18, he never again left the city. Having gathered young men from around the city to pray with them and teach them the faith, his Spiritual Director ultimately strongly encouraged him to be ordained a priest at the age of 35 to care for these young souls. It was from this band of young men that the Congregation of the Oratory was born. Through his gentle but firm proclamation of the Gospel and his encouragement of frequent reception of the Sacraments, he was able to be a faithful Apostle of Christ, and has since become known as the third Apostle of Rome, after Sts. Peter and Paul. His contemporaries were St. Ignatius of Loyola, St. Teresa of Avila, and St. John of the Cross. He died on the Feast of Corpus Christi, 1595.
Pious House/Apostolic Center Update When St. Philip founded the Congregation of the Oratory, he incorporated various aspects of different religious orders. A native of Florence, he was extremely influenced by the Dominicans and their mission of preaching. Having lived with an uncle near the Benedictine Monastery Monte Cassino, we see his love of permanence of location (stability) and contemplation. And being a contemporary of St. Ignatius and living in the aftermath of the Protestant Reformation, we see his zeal for liturgy, evangelization, beauty, and teaching. The Community has every intention of implementing these influences in what will be the Cincinnati Oratory by establishing our own Pious House and Apostolic Center. In order to aid in the idea of stability and contemplation, having a Pious House is extraordinarily important. Owning the piece of property that one lives in not only brings peace of mind, but is also an essential aspect in the foundation of an Oratory. This guarantees that the Community will not be transient or forced to move around. It brings stability. It is important for the Oratorian to feel at home in his home, his Pious House. Saint Philip called his room his nido, his nest. It is the place where Oratorians are able to strengthen their faith and knowledge of God, and then, being renewed, go out into the world. Each room in our Pious House will be equipped with a bedroom, a private bathroom, and a study. This configuration will aid the future Oratorian in his relationship with his brother Oratorians, and most importantly, in his relationship with God. The Pious House is the place where the Community can grow together as a family, drawing close to God and receiving the strength and support needed to go out and evangelize the world. At the center of the Pious House will be the Community’s Oratory Chapel, where the Community will gather for prayer. It is equally important, however, that the Oratorians engage the world. Through their example as a family, bonded only by charity, they provide an example to a society in which the family is attacked. The Apostolic Center and Old St. Mary’s Church will become the center of activity for the Community to engage the world. The center and the parish will be the places in which the Community prays with, sanctifies, and teaches the world. The Apostolic Center itself is vital for the Community’s outreach. When the Community grows, a priest can always be on duty for the faithful to approach him for the Sacrament of Penance, Spiritual Direction, and other matters related to the world of faith. This center will provide offices, classrooms, a large library, and offer a place for us to engage the world and for the world to engage us. The Community will also have to go out into the Community and invite others in, not being confined to the idea that we have to wait for people to come to us, an idea that Pope Francis has said the Church must embrace in order to shepherd the people of the 21st Century. The Apostolic Center will be the basis for our apostolic activity and this shepherding. Having completed the purchase of these buildings, the work to renovate these buildings now begins. We are in the planning phases, but it is projected that we will need to raise another $750,000 to complete the work. Please pray for us… Pious House Pictures Apostolic Center Pictures
Community News General News: Archbishop Schnurr has named Fr. Jon-Paul Bevak as the Parochial Administrator of Old Saint Mary’s Church effective June 17th. He remains the Chaplain of LaSalle High School and will work with Fr. Lawrence, who remains in his role as the Parochial Vicar of Old St. Mary’s. General News: Br. Adrian will be returning to the seminary in late August after his internship year. He will be ordained a deacon on April, 26th 2014. Please continue to keep him in your prayers. Annual Banquet Update: The Banquet was a huge success, with $25,000 pledged for the operating expenses of the Community. Next year’s date is May 3rd, 2014. Mark the date now and lets make next year’s bigger and better! Vocations Update: Interest from all over North America continues to pour in about our Community. We have several visitors and prospects looking at joining the Community. Please continue to pray for vocations to the Priesthood and Religious Life! Worldwide Oratory News: Fr. Avilés, the Procurator General of the Congregation, will visit the Community towards the end of August.
Secular Oratory Update Men’s Little Oratory (18+): Sundays at 5 P.M. Young Adult Oratory: Beginning this fall, contact Fr. Jon-Paul for more info Youth Oratory Catechesis: 2nd and 4th Sundays starting September 15th. More details to follow Oratory for All: Beginning in January 2014
Upcoming Events August 15th – Solemn Mass of the Assumption of Our Lady into Heaven September 12th – Year of Faith Night at Old Saint Mary’s May 3, 2014 – 3rd Annual Fundraising Banquet
Words from Saint Philip Neri “It is not a good thing to load ourselves with many spiritual exercises; it is better to undertake a little, and go on with it: for if the devil can persuade us to omit an exercise once, he will easily get us to omit it the second time, and the third, until at last all our pious practices will melt away.”
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