Sunday, September 02, 2012

Manchester Oratory to be established!

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EF Low Mass at the Holy Name
This is really fantastic news: the proto-Oratory in Manchester, under Fr Ray Matus, which has been using (and restoring) the magnificent Holy Name church, is finally to be erected canonically: the Bishop of Salford, Bishop Brain, has agreed to give it its official status. This has already been agreed by the international Congregation of St Philip Neri, so this is the final step.

Sadly they will be moving away from the Holy Name, which has been their home for ten years. The Jesuits, perhaps surprisingly, are returning to it, and will be running the University Chaplaincy as well. But the Oratorian community are being given another church in Manchester: St Chad's, Cheatham Hill.

Fr Matus' confrere Br Richard Bailey was the second tutor at the Latin Mass Society's Latin Course at Pantasaph in Wales this Summer.

Here is the announcement on the Diocese's website; and on the Holy Name website, which I also reproduce below.

St Chad's Cheatham Hill

With great thanksgiving to Almighty God, our Blessed Lady and our Holy Father St Philip, we can announce that the Bishop of Salford given his approval for the erection of the Congregation of the Oratory of St Philip Neri in Manchester. 

The Manchester Oratory will be close to the city centre at St Chad’s, Cheetham Hill, which is the Mother Church of the City. 

We will continue to be at the Holy Name until Advent, or when arrangements have been finalised. 

The Holy Name will then be part of the Chaplaincy to the Universities on Oxford Road staffed by the Society of Jesus. 

A Letter from His Lordship will be read the weekend of 1st / 2nd September to the Congregations at the Holy Name and St Chad’s. 

Please keep us in your prayers at this time.

Following the canonical erection of the Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer on Papa Stronsay, just a few days ago, which had also been long delayed, this news gives me great joy. I feel as though the ice sheet of immobility which has been covering the Catholic Church in the UK, preventing the most promising things from growing, is finally cracking, and water is flowing again. If new apostolates, new religious communities seeking the recovery of tradition, are allowed to establish themselves and develop, then we can begin to think, not about managing the decline of the Church in our country, but actually of re-evangelising it.

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