By Emilie Ng
SUPPORTERS for the Brisbane Oratory raised $30,000 at the inaugural Vallicella Dinner on Saturday, May 24.
The money will go towards sending two more men to study in the Toronto Oratory seminary.
Seven men have already made inquiries to join the Oratory community in Brisbane, with two men close to finalising an application to study in the seminary next year.
The two men will be funded by the money raised at the Vallicella Dinner.
Oratory member Fr Paul Chandler said the dinner was “an amazing success”.
Catholic speaker and producer Matthew Arnold gave a keynote address on Our Lady of Good Success, speaking of the Marian invocation’s prophecies and desires for Catholics.
Fr Chandler invited Mr Arnold by email to speak at the dinner.
“After a quick Google search to see if he was legitimate, I stumbled on the Oratory project website and immediately agreed to do the talk,” Mr Arnold said at the Vallicella Dinner.
Mr Arnold said the invitation to speak was “a gift”.
“The collaboration between lay people and men in the clerical state is so important,” Mr Arnold said.
“They are carrying the ministry of Our Lord.”
An overwhelming number of young supporters, many connected with young adult apostolate Frassati Australia, attended the dinner.
Fr Chandler said he was “surprised” to see that half the guests were young people.
“That’s a quality of the Oratory that we want,” he said.
Fr Chandler said the Holy Spirit was clearly “working and moulding” the Oratory to be a community that supported young adults.
“It’s those young adults,who are on fire, if you like, for the rebuilding of the Church, restoring what was lost, and taking the Catholic faith into the world,” he said.
The next step for the Oratory is to continue finding more students, a task that has not been difficult for the current three members, Fr Chandler, fellow Brisbane priest Fr Adrian Sharp and Sale diocesan priest Fr Andrew Wise.
“We’re not doing much looking because they’re coming to us,” Fr Chandler said.