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First Oratory in Australia raises $100,000 in donations

(CNS photo/Paul Haring)

The first Oratory community in Australia has raised more than AUS$100,000 (‎£61,000) in donations towards running costs in its second year.

The Brisbane Oratory in Formation, established by Archbishop Mark Coleridge in May 2015, welcomed more than 220 people to its Oratory Winter Ball on July 22, a fundraising initiative that helped the Oratory towards its $100,000 target.

The community of four seminarians and three moderators is the first Congregation of the Oratory of St Philip Neri in Australia.

It was established two years ago by Archbishop Mark Coledridge on May 26, the feast day of the Oratory’s founder St Philip Neri.

The seminarians studying for the Oratory are Brisbane men Br Conor Power and Br Matthew Buckley, Br Shawn Murphy and Br Tyson King, and the moderators are Fr Adrian Sharp, Fr Andrew Wise, and Fr Scot Armstrong.

According to the Catholic Leader, Fr Sharp said: “We are very grateful for this tremendous show of support. The Oratory community thanks all those who so generously support it, especially for the training of its seminarians.”

The Brisbane Oratory is required to spend at least two years in formation before it can petition to the Pope a request to found a congregation in Australia.

Br Murphy and Br King will head to Oxford to begin their theology studies at Blackfriars and live in the Oxford Oratory community, while Br Power and Br Buckley will return to Toronto at the end of next month to complete their philosophy degrees.

Throughout history, Oratory congregations have attracted well-known Catholics, including Oxford scholar Cardinal John Henry Newman.