From Your Pastors
The word “church” can evoke varied and even disparate concepts about faith and community. It may lead to a notion of parish buildings or ecclesiastical organizations such as a diocese or religious orders. Or it may reference an international community of believers of every race, language, and way of life. For many Catholics in the 20th century, the sense of “church” was a large, anonymous parish where people went once a week for an hour-long service and then retreated to their homes and private activities. This of course was an inadequate expression of “church” and over the course of the last 60 years, we have developed various ways to reclaim and strengthen the
experience of “church” as the living Body of Christ.
Following the Second Vatican Council, The German theologian Karl Rahner, S.J., wrote at the time, “The Church in the future will be one built from below by basic communities as a result of free initiative and association.” Across the world, this has become the case, small groups or base communities have become the lifeblood of the faith. In reality, small groups, intimate circles of companionship, help us flourish in the midst of what can be a complicated world. Our Oratory parishes flourish in part because of the sense of commonality and shared faith that has been fostered over the years in small group settings. Whether in social moments, meals, coffees, prayer groups, sharing circles or mini retreats, interpersonal connections have made us richer as a community.
Some years ago, we began to grow and encourage small faith groups, first with Renew and then with a focus on the charisms of the Oratory. We have the prayer groups for men, Oratory Women’s Community, Charism groups, RCIA and more.
Oratory Small Groups continue to flourish and Season 5 begins soon: Humility: Becoming Our Truer Selves in Christ” Please see the information below to participate in a group this season. Many groups continue after the season ends in various formats. We are identifying additional materials to support groups between the seasons. The find our more email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and see the information contained below.
The RCIA (Rites of Christian Initiation for Adults) is another opportunity for seekers to grow in faith. The process happens in a small group that shares our Catholic faith to help others prepare for Baptism, Eucharist and Confirmation. Perhaps you or someone you know wants to be Confirmed or learn more about the faith to be received into the church. If so contact us at: email@example.com to join our new RCIA small group which kicks off this Wednesday. Details are below.
Whether for a season of the Charism of the Oratory, or another faith opportunity let us follow the exhortation of St. Paul: “Therefore, encourage one another and build one another up, as indeed you do.” 1 Thes. 5:11
Fr. Michael Callaghan, c.o. and Fr. Mark Lane, c.o.