One of the Oratory’s main missions is that of bringing the Word closer to those who frequent this place and follow the pastoral programme. Although the majority of people attending the Oratory form part of the lay communities that are part and parcel of the Oratory itself, the focus on providing formation goes beyond. The variety of opportunities caters, both to those who are still searching and curious to come closer in their faith journey, and also for those in the community who wish to deepen further their experience.
In following and living closely the liturgical year, the start of the holy seasons of Advent and Lent are central to the Oratory. A half day retreat is held at the beginning of these important seasons. Catechesis on the word of God is held once a month – throughout the years the topics have varied in such a way as to provide a deeper and holistic understanding of key books, topics, and characters in the Bible.
The courses that are offered vary in style and in scope. Whilst a minimum of four courses are held every pastoral year, the content varies from biblical to psychological, however always keeping at the core a spiritual outlook on the topic itself. Half day seminars are organised on a regular basis and led by people who are outside of the Oratory and MSSP realities. Spending time in reflective prayer whilst receiving input of a catechist nature is strongly encouraged and the Communities are asked to hold an annual retreat.
TThe strong presence and varied roles carried out by the lay communities, especially their responsibilities with a number of different ministries, has, throughout the years, brought the concept of formation to be key and crucial. Spaces and opportunities, particularly for leaders and those involved in ministry are created in order to sustain their service, and also to bring them together so as to form one another through their own sharing of experiences.