By membership in the Little Oratory, the laity are united with the liturgical, spiritual, and catechetical work of the Pittsburgh Oratory. The congregation of priests constituting the priestly congregation of the Oratory and the laity forming the Little Oratory are, as it were, the “two lungs” of the Oratory.
Throughout the larger Oratorian world, there are many expressions of the Little Oratory. They may take the form of prayer groups or bible studies, of grade schools, high schools or even seminaries. In our own case, the Newman Center and other related Oratorian ministries provide the occasion for the collaboration of the Oratorian Fathers and the Little Oratory.
We welcome all who attend the functions of the Little Oratory to register. By registering, we can more directly and intentionally engage you in Oratory events and ministries. Please note that our Oratory is not a parish nor is it tied to a particular parish. "Little Oratorians" will need to register as parishioners at their home parish. The Oratorian priests are always happy to assist in the sacramental needs of the members of the Little Oratory according to the hospitality and regulations of local pastors. Even so, we are unable to celebrate baptisms, first communions, confirmations, or weddings, and rarely funerals in our house chapel. These rites are performed in local parishes.
Keeping Philip’s original way in mind, the Little Oratory is not so much a formal confraternity or third order as it is an association of all those who wish to serve God under Philip’s gentle guidance. No specific commitment is required, other than the desire to attend when one can and to grow in one’s faith. It is also a special blessing for us to receive St. Philip’s spirit from the hands of Blessed John Henry Newman. Newman understood that spirit; he knew that in our relations with God and with each other, we must try to leave behind all that is wrong, false and pretentious, so that, in all simplicity, heart can speak to heart. This is what Saint Philip wants for those who take him as a special patron: simply and intimately, to know Christ. It is the aim of the members of the Little Oratory, each one as far as he or she can, to seek that knowledge in Saint Philip’s way and Newman’s: in prayer and devotion, through the bonds of Christian friendship and in works of practical charity.
Our hope is that all Oratorians – each in our own manner of participation – will remember the challenge of St. Philip Neri:
Gaudete Semper – “Rejoice always, again I say rejoice” (Philippians 4:4).