The Oratory of St John Vianney is an international ecumenical fraternity of Sacred Ministers and laymen, who have chosen to share their committment to and love of Jesus Christ together following the particular spirituality of St John Vianney (known as the Curé d'Ars) and St Philip Neri (founder of the Congregation of Oratorians) in a bond of perfect charity i.e. without vows.
The aims of the Oratory of St John Vianney are,
- to encourage, sustain and support in a true fraternal bond of charity its members in the Sacred Ministry, that they may be strengthened in their resolve to live and fulfil their vocation to serve Christ and His Church;
- to sanctify the life of the brethren in the Sacred Ministry, deepening their spiritual faith and belief, enabling and facilitating their service to the people of God, especially those committed to their pastoral care and sacramental ministry;
- to promote the Sacred Ministry as a worthy and fulfilling way of life, seeking and fostering vocations to the same, and to promote unity within the Church Catholic, that Christ may ever be available to His people through the Sacraments of The Church.
The Oratory of St John Vianney seeks to fulfill these aims by,
- promoting true fraternity amongst those whom God has called to the Sacred Ministry and to pray for each other's vocations;
- promoting sacerdotal spirituality amongst themselves and their colleagues and together to grow in the sanctification of their lives;
- promoting and practice ongoing formation in the Sacred Ministry by sharing experiences, knowledge and skills;
- promoting prayer and to foster vocations to the Sacred Ministry in their respective Churches and
- expressing both inwardly and outwardly true Christian fraternal charity with each other and all Christ's Faithful.
There are two ways within the Oratory of St John Vianney in which a man may live out his Oratorian vocation; either by living "in the world" i.e. in his own home and locality ("in domibus propriis") or in a communal house ("in communitas"). Depending upon the custom of their particular denomination Oratorians may be married, celibate or single whether laymen or Sacred Ministers (Anglican, Orthodox and Old Catholic clergy may marry).
The vocation of an Oratorian may be lived wherever he lives and serves. Oratorians live and work in their own homes and communities, or as regular Clergy in the service of their particular Church. The Oratorian vocation is not to 'come out' of their particular Church but rather to enhance their service and ministry within it for the greater glory of God and of the whole Church Catholic. Lay-brothers of the Oratory may live their vocation as married men, as fathers, or as chaste or celibate men in their ordinary homes and work places supporting the work of The Church in their locality.
A communal life may be lived as an Oratorian of St John Vianney and Oratories may be established wherever two or three brothers feel so called to live such a life. The first such communal house, the Oratory of Our Lady of Hope, was established at Cosgrove, Northamptonshire in January 2007.