Aren't the Oratorians Supposed to Be Orthodox?!

If so, how do we explain these activities listed on one of their websites:

Oratory Labyrinth Prayer Garden on the grounds of the Rock Hill Oratory is open to all seeking to walk this prayer experience. Labyrinth prayer touches many parts of our lives and faith communities. We welcome all whose prayer and sense of God make this a sacred place. Open during daylight hours.

. . .

Liturgical Ministers - An Evening of Renewal

Tuesday, September 15, 2003, 6:00-9:00 p.m.

Sister Mary Laura Lesniak, SSMN will lead this evening of reflection for liturgical ministers ???]. Come and spend some time reflecting on how your personal life is transformed by the Eucharist, by your ministry in the assembly and by your experience of being ministers to the people of God. This reflection time will enrich the spirituality for cantor, choir member, usher, greeter, member of the assembly, presider ???], deacon, Eucharistic minister ???] or acolyte. Those who have been involved in Disciples in Mission will find this evening beneficial. The program beings with a light supper at 6:00.

Sister Mary Laura served in the Diocese of Charleston in many capacities from 1991-2001. She was a presenter for retreats and for the Diocesan Institute for Parish Leadership Development. Currently, Sister Mary Laura is a staff member of the St. John Eudes Center, West Seneca, NY. She leads parish missions and retreats for lay ministers and evangelization teams throughout the United States.

Cost: $15 (includes supper) Please register by mail only by September 11.

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Celebrating Womenspirit

J Saturday, March 6, 2004 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

A new and deeper exploration of the spirituality and holiness of women. Building on Womanspirit I we will spend the day in prayer, reflection and conversation.

Presenters are Mary Miller and Dolores Paque. Both women have Master’s Degrees in Pastoral Studies, are spiritual directors, and are grounded in Ignatian spirituality.

Cost: $30

The rest of the site just has a . . . Modrnist stench to it. How can this be an orthodox religious order? Or is each Oratory an autonomous institution?

Oh, don’t forget to check out this image of their celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Beautiful, huh?

:rolleyes:

Nice to see what passes for orthodoxy these days.

Religous Orders are different in their various provinces. The Norbortines in Southren California who are very traditional are quite different from the Norbortines in Wisconsin for example.

The traditional Oratorians are of course in London UK and in Toronto CA, who celebrate the normative missal with almost Tridentine rubricss.

Are there any orthodox Oratorians in this country?

[quote=Sacramentalist]Are there any orthodox Oratorians in this country?
[/quote]

In New Jersey I think. Overall the order seems very good, and it’s PONTIFICALLY approved which is good.

[quote=misericordie]In New Jersey I think. Overall the order seems very good, and it’s PONTIFICALLY approved which is good.
[/quote]

What does “Pontifical” approval have to do with orthodoxy? The Jesuits are “pontifically” approved, as are all the bishops, and mainstream religious orders that are Modernest. To that we can add the Charismatic Renewal and other heretical enterprises . . .

Does anyone think that the South Carolina oratory is orthodox, based on the information I posted?

[quote=Sacramentalist]Does anyone think that the South Carolina oratory is orthodox, based on the information I posted?
[/quote]

I used to live in Charlotte, NC (which is right across the state line from Rock Hill, SC - they are right next to each other) and I once made a retreat at this Oratory. Now, this was 16 years ago, but it was perfectly orthodox (but they didn’t have a labyrinth, either).

But (like most retreat centers) the Oratory hosts many different retreats organized by many different groups (the Oratory only provides food, lodging, and meeting space - it does not plan or control the program). At a retreat center here in Portland, I attended a session led by Fr. Benedict Groeschel, and noticed a feminist type program on the calendar for the following weekend.

[quote=DavidFilmer]I used to live in Charlotte, NC… and I once made a retreat at this Oratory.
[/quote]

Just to add a bit to my comments, I just checked out the photos on their website. This

and this
http://www.rockhilloratory.com/photo/FFFFF.png
were NOT there when I made my retreat!

It looked like

and

(my room was middle window on the upper floor).

My, a lot has changed.

You might not know that labyrinths are not as new as you might think, though they may be thought so today.

newadvent.org/cathen/08728b.htm

Regardless of its legitimate history, however, there is definitely something about its use by touchy-feely New-Age types that makes me queasy.

David—I prefer the look of the place when you were there!

[quote=Sacramentalist]If so, how do we explain these activities listed on one of their websites:

The rest of the site just has a . . . Modrnist stench to it. How can this be an orthodox religious order? Or is each Oratory an autonomous institution?
[/quote]

Semi-autonomous - they are grouped in a confederation, much as the Benedictines are. What goes in one house, does not necessarily go in another.

Oh, don’t forget to check out this image of their celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Beautiful, huh?

:rolleyes:

Nice to see what passes for orthodoxy these days.

Some notes:

Oratory Labyrinth Prayer Garden on the grounds of the Rock Hill Oratory is open to all seeking to walk this prayer experience. Labyrinth prayer touches many parts of our lives and faith communities. We welcome all whose prayer and sense of God make this a sacred place. Open during daylight hours.

. . .

I see nothing wrong there.

St.Philip was accused of Lutheranism - and investigated under St. Pius V, among others. He wasn’t defensive in his approach - so he was accused of error. No wonder if his sons should be: accusation does not mean they are unorthodox.

When I read that notice, it reminded me of his habit of taking his disciples on the pilgrimage to the seven Churches in Rome (now no longer possible, thanks to urban development). This looks like something similar. ##

Liturgical Ministers - An Evening of Renewal

Tuesday, September 15, 2003, 6:00-9:00 p.m.

Sister Mary Laura Lesniak, SSMN will lead this evening of reflection for liturgical ministers ???].

What are:

deacons, extra-ordinary ministers of Holy Communion, lectors, acolytes, servers and others who receive a ministry for the service of the People of God in the Liturgy, if not “liturgical ministers” ? So is a priest. It’s a general term for Catholics who have a part in the liturgical action on behalf of the rest of us, and who are otherwise unclassifiable - since some have received ordination, & some have not.

For a list see the quotation below.

Ministeria quaedam (1972) extended certan ministries to the laity, while suppressing others. It is a Papal letter, not an invention of “Modernists”. ##

Come and spend some time reflecting on how your personal life is transformed by the Eucharist, by your ministry in the assembly and by your experience of being ministers to the people of God. This reflection time will enrich the spirituality for cantor, choir member, usher, greeter, member of the assembly, presider ???], deacon, Eucharistic minister ???] or acolyte. Those who have been involved in Disciples in Mission will find this evening beneficial. The program beings with a light supper at 6:00.

“Presider” was the term used in the first version of the 1969 GIRM (or whatever the document was called) which accompanied the reformed Roman Missal. IIRC, it is of Patristic origin.

It is a very bad idea to impute unorthodoxy to others if all one has to go on is a website - nine times out of ten there is a perfectly good explanation that does not justify such a suspicion.

As for the photograph - at least the Act of Contrition is prominent. And the vessels are of a noble metal, or overlaid with one - either is permitted. At least there is an altar-frontal.

The Mass is not dependent for its worth upon our surroundings - that is a measure of the goodness of God. There is nothing intrinsically better in a golden chalice than in (say) a paper cup - both are unworthy of God’s glory. A paper cup is less likely to hide this truth from us than something outwardly much more beautiful. ##

Michael,

you wrote: “It is a very bad idea to impute unorthodoxy to others if all one has to go on is a website - nine times out of ten there is a perfectly good explanation that does not justify such a suspicion.”

Thank you, thank you for pointing that out. There’s enough real heterodoxy around without having to assume any—and it’s hardly charitable (or indicative of a joyous Christian faith) to do so. But then, Sacramentalist was willing to call the entire Church “obsessed with money” and “sick” on another thread because (horror of horrors) he was asked to pay $150 to attend a Priests for Life event for would-be seminarians.

[quote=Sacramentalist]What does “Pontifical” approval have to do with orthodoxy? The Jesuits are “pontifically” approved, as are all the bishops, and mainstream religious orders that are Modernest. ***To that we can add the Charismatic Renewal and other heretical enterprises . . . ***

Does anyone think that the South Carolina oratory is orthodox, based on the information I posted?
[/quote]

I’m not a Charismatic, nor do I wish to be. The movement has, however, been approved by TH Paul VI and John Paul II. I think it unwise to call something approved by the Vicar of Christ on earth heretical. It may, in fact, even be heretical to do so. Also, there was nothing inherently unorthodox about the picture of the liturgical celebration you linked. It looked like a church camp Mass. Not having attended, I cannot say that it was celebrated according to GIRM and it doesn’t look like the kind of Mass I would wish to attend, but I wouldn’t presume to question the orthodoxy of it unless I attended and heard heresy espoused. Finally, while I don’t get the labyrinth thing, they were a part of several ancient CATHOLIC Cathedrals. There is nothing inherently unorthodox about them, either.

[quote=Sherlock]. But then, Sacramentalist was willing to call the entire Church “obsessed with money” and “sick” on another thread because (horror of horrors) he was asked to pay $150 to attend a Priests for Life event for would-be seminarians.
[/quote]

Yes, I also noted that he said that when he saw a bishop wearing his pectoral cross outside his chasuble, he felt like smacking him with a 2x4!!! “Would-be seminarian?” Let us pray for him.

In my couple of visits to Pittsburgh, I found the Oratorians at University of Pittsburgh / Carnegie Mellon University to be quite orthodox.

I think it unwise to call something approved by the Vicar of Christ on earth heretical.

How do you then explain most of the U.S. Bishops?

But then, Sacramentalist was willing to call the entire Church “obsessed with money” and “sick” on another thread because (horror of horrors) he was asked to pay $150 to attend a Priests for Life event for would-be seminarians.

My generalization in this regard was based on more than just the specific retreat in question, which in my opinion still entails an unjust cost. But I digress . . .

Yes, I also noted that he said that when he saw a bishop wearing his pectoral cross outside his chasuble, he felt like smacking him with a 2x4!!! “Would-be seminarian?” Let us pray for him.

I was obviously joking. :rolleyes:

[quote=Sacramentalist]How do you then explain most of the U.S. Bishops?

[/quote]

I don’t know that most of them are heretical. There some I suspect of being disobedient, but heretical? There is a difference.

All personal bickering aside, I would like to put in my own opinion.

When anyone or any ad uses the term “Womenspirit” … RUN!!! That term was co-opted by the extremely radical feminists as a codeword for “re-imaging” the Church according to their own specifics. Womenspirit conferences have frequently involved heretical speakers and rituals, even neo-pagan rituals. The speakers often called for nothing less than destroying the Church from the inside.

I can’t offer an educated opinion on labrynths, but since they have been so frequently associated with the usual suspects of heterodoxy, I would personally prefer to avoid them.

[quote=TeriGator]All personal bickering aside, I would like to put in my own opinion.

When anyone or any ad uses the term “Womenspirit” … RUN!!! That term was co-opted by the extremely radical feminists as a codeword for “re-imaging” the Church according to their own specifics. Womenspirit conferences have frequently involved heretical speakers and rituals, even neo-pagan rituals. The speakers often called for nothing less than destroying the Church from the inside.

I can’t offer an educated opinion on labrynths, but since they have been so frequently associated with the usual suspects of heterodoxy, I would personally prefer to avoid them.
[/quote]

I, too, have heard of this weird feminist theology. I think some of the post were merely trying to point out what’s become something of a problem on some of the threads: people batting around the terms “unorthodox,” "modernist, " etc., without actually knowing what they are talking about.

I am from Pittsburgh, and I can testify from personal knowledge that the Congregation of the Oratory of St. Philip Neri in Pittsburgh is orthodox. In addition. I have heard good things about the Houses in Birmingham, London, Oxford, Toronto, and Pharr, Texas. I’ve heard decidedly mixed opinions on the House in Rock Hill, South Carolina, and I don’t know enough about the Houses in Monterey, Philadelphia, Brooklyn, New Brunswick, or Sparkhill to give an informed opinion.
The Oratorians have a very loose structure - per the desire of their founder. There is a “Confederation” , but in many ways each house is unique.
BTW, two members of the Pittsburgh Oratory, Br. Joshua Kibler and Br. Stephen Lowery, were ordained to the diaconate in November. Their ordination to the priesthood is scheduled for May 16th. :extrahappy: Prayers would be most welcome ! :

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