Oratorian Community of
St. Philip Neri
The care of the parish of St. Thomas Apostle is entrusted to The Community of St Philip Neri, a community-in-formation for the Oratory established by canonical decree of Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the Archbishop of Washington, in July 2013. Our pastor, Fr. Richard A. Mullins, is assisted by Msgr. Andrew R. Wadsworth, who is also Moderator (Superior) of the Community of St Philip Neri. It is hoped, in due course, that the Oratorian community here will number four or five priests and brothers.
The Congregation of the Oratory was founded by St. Philip Neri (1515–1595) in the city of Rome. The first Oratory received papal recognition in 1575. The new community was to be a congregation of secular priests living under obedience but bound by no vows. Speaking of Neri, whom he called, “the saint of joy”, Pope John Paul II said, “As is well known, the saint used to put his teaching into short and wise maxims: ‘Be good, if you can’…. He did not choose the life of solitude; but, in exercising his ministry among the common people, he also wished to be “salt” for all those who met him. Like Jesus, he was equally able to enter into the human misery present in the noble palaces and in the alleys of Renaissance Rome.”
The core of St. Philip’s spirituality focused on an unpretentious return to the lifestyle of the first Disciples of Christ. The object of the institute is threefold: prayer, preaching, and the sacraments.
Timeless quotes from St. Philip:
"First let a little love find entrance into their hearts, and the rest will follow."
"Give me ten truly detached men, and I will convert the world with them."
"Cast yourself into the arms of God and be very sure that if he wants anything of you, He will fit you for the work and give you strength."