The Oratory of St John Vianney is an international ecumenical fraternity of Sacred Ministers and laymen, who have chosen to share their committment to and love of Jesus Christ together following the particular spirituality of St John Vianney (known as the Curé d'Ars) and St Philip Neri (founder of the Congregation of Oratorians) in a bond of perfect charity i.e. without vows.
The aims of the Oratory of St John Vianney are,
- to encourage, sustain and support in a true fraternal bond of charity its members in the Sacred Ministry, that they may be strengthened in their resolve to live and fulfil their vocation to serve Christ and His Church;
- to sanctify the life of the brethren in the Sacred Ministry, deepening their spiritual faith and belief, enabling and facilitating their service to the people of God, especially those committed to their pastoral care and sacramental ministry;
- to promote the Sacred Ministry as a worthy and fulfilling way of life, seeking and fostering vocations to the same, and to promote unity within the Church Catholic, that Christ may ever be available to His people through the Sacraments of The Church.
The Oratory of St John Vianney seeks to fulfill these aims by,
- promoting true fraternity amongst those whom God has called to the Sacred Ministry and to pray for each other's vocations;
- promoting Sacerdotal spirituality amongst themselves and their colleagues and together to grow in the sanctification of their lives;
- promoting and practice ongoing formation in the Sacred Ministry by sharing experiences, knowledge and skills;
- promoting prayer and to foster vocations to the Sacred Ministry in their respective Churches and
- expressing both inwardly and outwardly true Christian fraternal charity with each other and all Christ's Faithful.
There are two ways within the Oratory of St John Vianney in which a man may live out his Oratorian vocation; either by living "in the world" i.e. in his own home and locality ("in domibus propriis") or in a communal house ("in communitas"). Oratorians are single, chaste and/ or celibate whether laymen or Sacred Ministers (Anglican, Orthodox and Old Catholic clergy may marry).
The vocation of an Oratorian may be lived wherever he lives and serves. Oratorians live and work in their own homes and communities, or as regular Clergy in the service of their particular Church. The Oratorian vocation is not to 'come out' of their particular Church but rather to enhance their service and ministry within it for the greater glory of God and of the whole Church Catholic. Lay-brothers of the Oratory may live their vocation as married men, as fathers, or as chaste or celibate men in their ordinary homes and work places supporting the work of The Church in their locality.
A communal life may be lived as an Oratorian of St John Vianney and Oratories may be established wherever two or three brothers feel so called to live such a life. The first such communal house, the Oratory of Our Lady of Hope, was established at Cosgrove, Northamptonshire in January 2007.
Please, pray for the Oratorians of St John Vianney and support us by your prayers, we are praying for you in return and supporting the wider Church as we are able and called. In return, we offer you our prayers for Christ's Church everywhere and we wish the peace and love of Christ for all.
CONFRERES & COMPANIONS are Sacred Ministers and lay people sympathetic to the aims of the Oratory and who desire to be spiritually connected with the Oratory. Confreres are Sacred Ministers unable to be Oratorians due to existing consecrations to religious life or being married or in some other way unable to be an Oratorion but who wishes to share in the fraternal aims and objects and spirituality of the Oratory. Companions are lay people willing to undertake the taks of praying for vocations for the Sacred Ministry.
The Oratory of St John Vianney is the development of a concept that began in the autumn of 2005 when a group of Catholic priests met in London, England to discuss the possibility of forming a fraternity that would develop their spirituality and ongoing formation as Sacred Ministers. Originally called the Society of St John Vianney, the group a year later changed it's name at it's first General Chapter, to the Companions of St John Vianney (to prevent confusion with the Apostolic Administration of St John Vianney a Roman Catholic fraternity of the extraordinary Roman Rite based in Brazil).
Within the first two years of its foundation the fraternity developed an ethos strongly grounded in priestly spirituality and met for retreats and conferences that provided both space to meet and pray together as well as learn and share knowledge and experiences. These events were exceptionally well received by those who attended and several attendee's sought membership of the fraternity. The reports of these events received much interest from other clergy keen to know more about the concept of the fraternity from all over the world. The fraternity became concerned then to open admission to its fellowship, ordained clergy from any orthodox Catholic denomination, thus bringing a truly ecumenical dimension and real desire to pray and work towards the unity of the Church Catholic.
In late 2006 two of the members expressed a shared desire to live their vocations and the spirituality of the fraternity in a more committed way, the Oratory of St John Vianney was conceived. By early January 2007, an amazing opportunity arose for these two members to found a communal house and with the support of the Companions and the blessing of their ecclesiastical superiors, the first House of the OSJV was founded and dedicated, the Oratory of Our Lady of Hope, Northamptonshire, England.
Since then a revision of the Statutes and Constitution of the original fraternity were developed and altered adopting an Oratorian spirituality and ethos that could apply to brothers living in community and externally in their own homes and ministries and changing the Companions of St John Vianney to a primarily lay apostolate of prayer for Sacred Ministers and vocations. Expressions of interest and support have been received from throughout the world since the development and adoption of the Oratorian model from clergy of various denominations and a growing interest amongst the lay faithful concerned for the lack of vocations to the Sacred Ministry. Membership of the Oratorians and Companions alike now represents several Catholic Churches all praying and working towards the reunification of Christ's Church on earth and the development, spirituality and welfare of Sacred Ministers.