As I was running about the LA region offering Valentine’s Day Masses, you were reading my blog on the proposed San Francisco Oratory. I’m encouraged by your zeal to see this accomplished! One seminarian writes: “I saw your blog on St. Philip Neri Oratory; that's awesome! Can't wait to visit once it's up and running. I'll be praying for the Oratory.” Another promised prayers: “Daily Memorare for the success of the Oratory in San Francisco—my hometown, so much in need.” Another seminarian wrote that he has been prayfully thinking of the Oratory since a retreat in 2007: “Please keep me in mind in the future.” Thank you all for your correspondence, and please be patient until I can respond after the weekend.
A few of you sent in some questions about the oratory, so here are some answers:
Q: When will the Oratory begin in San Francisco?
A: That depends on several factors, such as priests’ availability and parish availability. We hope to begin either this summer (July 2014) or next summer (July 2015).
Q: When will I be asked to fulfill my pledge?
A: Not before September 2014, and perhaps not before September 2015, depending on how soon we can establish the Oratory.
Q: How will funds be managed?
A: The Archbishop will establish a Foundation and Board of Trustees to receive and oversee disbursement of funds. Some of our benefactors will be asked to serve on this oversight board.
Q: How will the money be spent?
A: Funds will be used to cover living expenses of the Oratorian Fathers until the community becomes self-sustaining. One will immediately receive the pastor’s salary, and all will share living expenses. As we establish ourselves in the City, we will find means to support the entire community. Although the community may not need much support (we intend to live evangelical simplicity), the Archbishop wanted to make sure we had promises of financial support in case of need.
Q: Do Oratory priests remain at one parish or are they moved about?
A: Oratorian Fathers commit themselves to stability and remain in their community for the rest of their lives.