Our Story

"He who wishes for anything but Christ, does not know what he wishes;"

Saint Philip Neri

None of us ever intended to found an Oratory. It was as if St. Philip Neri snuck up on us, captured our hearts and imaginations and set us on a journey that we had no intentions of making. Yet, here we are and what a great joy it is to have been captured by Him.

We now say that there are two kinds of people, those who love St. Philip Neri and those who have never had the great joy of learning about him. This has been true of us as well. From the moment we began to study his life, to study about the first Oratory in Rome and to invoke St. Philip’s intercession, we felt a growing inspiration to begin an Oratory here in this small part of New Jersey.

The Roman Oratory of Saint Philip Neri

Our Lady of Vallicella (Chiesa Nuova)

Built by our holy father, Saint Philip and the first Oratorians

Most people do not even know that we exist and we will never be a community of great fame or renown, which is fine by us because St. Philip would have preferred it that way. At the same time, we do have a small little part to play in the plan of God within His Holy Church. Our prayer is that others will also desire to live a life of prayer, joy, simplicity and obscurity all for the sake of the Kingdom of God.

Finally, some practical information about our beginnings:

It all began in the summer of 2014, when we began to discern the call to found an Oratory of Saint Philip Neri in the Diocese of Trenton. Our experience of communal life together led to a growing desire for a life more centered on prayer and community in service to God’s people. During that first year, we began to live a more intentional communal life in the Oratorian spirit after the example of Saint Philip Neri and the first Oratorians in Rome.

After a year of prayer, discernment and living together in community, we approached His Excellency, The Most Reverend David M. O’Connell, C.M., Bishop of the Diocese of Trenton and our founding Bishop, for permission to begin formation to establish an Oratory in our home diocese, the Diocese of Trenton.

Bishop O’Connell was overjoyed and very supportive of the idea from the very beginning and we are incredibly humbled by his generosity and trust in us. We received verbal permission from our Bishop in September of 2015 during that year's priest convocation. This was followed by written permission in December of 2015. After receiving our Bishop’s permission in September of 2015, we and Bishop O'Connell contacted the Procurator General of the Oratory for his permission and guidance. A written account of our project was then submitted to the Procurator General with our request for establishing an Oratory. Fr. Mario Aviles, C.O. was very gracious in supporting this new foundation and he has been a great support to us.

In March of 2016, Fr. Mario, Bishop O'Connell, Fr. Jason Parzynski (Bishop's Secretary) and Fr. Al, our Moderator, met to discuss the new foundation and to seek agreements between the new community and the diocese in order to give stability and clarity for the present and future of the Oratory. The result of this visit was the promulgation of a Canonical Decree from His Excellency, letters of Agreement between Bishop and the Community in Formation and a letter of acceptance of the project from the Procurator General. At this meeting the date was also set for the members to receive our habits from our Bishop. This took place on Corpus Christi, May 26, 2016, during the 10:30 a.m. Mass at our parish of St. Anthony of Padua.

During the meeting in March of 2016, the Bishop determined that the permanent home of this new community would be the parish where we had already been serving for three years, St. Anthony of Padua in Red Bank. The new community was given the Rectory to be our new Oratory permanently, for as long as The Red Bank Oratory is in existence.

Bishop O’Connell additionally entrusted the care of St. Anthony of Padua Church to our community in perpetuity and our church would become the seat of the Oratory for as long as the Red Bank Oratory exists. We continue to learn, pray and grow as we prepare for the time when, God willing, we may be formally established as a Congregation of the Oratory by the Holy Father.

The Fathers and Brothers of the Oratory

Father Alberto is one of the founders of the community which formally began in September of 2015 with the verbal permission of His Excellency, the Most Reverend David M. O'Connell, C.M.

Father Nicholas is one of the founders of the community which formally began in September of 2015 with the verbal permission of His Excellency, the Most Reverend David M. O'Connell, C.M.

Brother Donald received permission from the Bishop to enter the community in March 2016. He was fully aggregated on the Vigil of the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary 2019.

Brother Daniel came for his visitation with the community in September of 2017 and entered the community in December of 2017. He became a fully aggregated member on the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe 2020.

Brother Zachary came for his visitation of the community in October of 2021. He began his postulancy in May of 2022 and began his novitiate in July 2022.

Brother Miguel has worked in the parish church of the Oratory for a number of years before coming for his vocation visitation in January of 2022. He began his postulancy in May of 2022 and began his novitiate in July 2022.