I received wonderful Brick By Brick news from Cincinnati.

An Oratory of St. Philip Neri has been officially established at Old St. Mary’s Church.  HERE  and HERE

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Not bad, huh?

Here’s their Mass and Confession schedule.

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Here’s the press release.

This is, of course, delightful news.

Fr. Z kudos to them.   I look forward to my first visit there for a, say, Solemn Mass.

I have a great interest in the Oratory and in their founder, St. Philip Neri, on whose feast I was ordained.  Oratories are springing up as a clear need in the Church.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Cranky Old Man says:

    I lived in Cincinnati for my college and graduate school years, 1967-1975, those days when altars were being chipped to fragments, bonfires were being kindled with maniples and altar cards, and anything too valuable to be thrown away outright was being stored in the confessionals. In those difficult days, Old St. Mary’s was a refuge and beacon. It was staffed by German Dominicans. As I recall, the three Sunday Masses were English, German and Latin–and not the Novus Ordo Latin Mass either! There must have been some diocesan complicity: for a couple years, the choir at the Latin Mass consisted of seven or eight seminarians who arrived in the seminary van! Even then, parking in the neighborhood was at a premium, and one of the more erudite seminarians claimed that the OCAS sign on the Ohio College of Applied Sciences parking lot actually stood for Omnium Catholicorum Associatio Sancta; the van thereby found a parking spot. The Dominicans were wonderful men: tough, well-educated, generous, unafraid, and certainly “smelling of the sheep” in that edgy neighborhood. Nothing could be more fitting than this joyful development. May the Oratory carry on the happy legacy of those wonderful German Dominicans ad multos annos!

  2. GrumpyYoungMan says:

    I have attended both TLM and Latin NO Masses there while traveling. A beautiful church with holy priests and reverent Masses. This is excellent news!

  3. G. Thomas Fitzpatrick says:

    The establishment of a new Oratory in these United States is indeed a cause of rejoicing! If anyone in authority among the Oratorians might happen be reading this thread, allow me to perhaps sow two seeds to think about for future further expansion: Boston, and Hartford.

  4. crownvic says:

    I attend church at Sacred Heart, minutes from Old St. Mary’s. The Oratory Priests care for Sacred Heart as well. The Extraordinary Mass is done Sunday at Sacred Heart at 11:00 AM, Rosary at 10:30. Fr. Bevak and Fr. Hilton are both wonderful Priests. The Tenebrae service at Old St. Mary’s is excellent. so happy to see this happen.

  5. Geoffrey says:

    Many of the Oratorys are the model of the ideal parish. EF Mass in Latin, OF Mass in Latin, OF Masses in the vernacular. Every parish should be like that. Oremus!

  6. Phil_NL says:

    Now, by no means I’d like to sound like sour grapes (they’re doing great work), but one thing does strike me:
    Confession times are frequent (great), but also very, very short. Unless the parish has a well established custom of very quick confessions, or the priest can in fact hear them for much longer, this strikes me as odd. Moreover, if people come solely for the confession, they need to be right on time, or it will be over again. I’m pretty sure that will be – at least for some – a lame excuse not to go. If Father has more than the 15 minutes that are listed (or 45 on Tue), perhaps it would help if it were written as an open-ended interval, i.e., just announce the start time.

    [Perhaps you should reveal to us the confession schedule you have established at your parish. Let the Oratorians how it ought to be done?]

  7. krissylou says:

    I had the same thought as Phil_NL. They seem terrific in so many ways but the idea of having designated confession times for 15 minutes struck me as strange.

    Although the Tuesday evening slot seems great and very useful. So often it seems to me that the places that offer regular confession times each week will have something like at “from 1 to 2 on Wednesdays” which is not an option for anyone who regularly works a 9-5 job. So I think it’s great that they regularly have a significant chunk of time available on an evening.

    I guess for the others they’re saying “hey you can catch a priest quickly before or after Mass” which lots of places do informally and they’re being more formal about it. Nothing wrong with that. :)

  8. Geoffrey says:

    Perhaps there are multiple confessionals with multiple priests hearing confessions?

  9. It astonishes me that, in this fine moment for the new Oratorian community, people would pick at them.

  10. Prayerful says:

    That’s wonderful news for anyone in the locality. What a fine looking church. Also, if a person is concerned about limited confession times in a church or chapel, usually a priest can hear a confession outside the posted schedule on request.

  11. Imrahil says:

    As for Confessions, their main Confession day seems to be Tuesday and the time is 7:30-8:15 pm. Which is absolutely exemplary, because it means that normally you can go home from work and to Confession afterwards.

  12. introibo2016 says:

    I have been inside Old St. Mary’s only a handful of times. Each and every time, I am awed by it’s beauty.

    May God, through the intercession of Our Blessed Mother, St. Philip and Bl. John, continue to bless the Oratory at Old St. Mary’s.

  13. Jared Clark says:

    I like that confession schedule. It looks to me like a very busy priest took a careful at his weekly schedule and said “I have a few minutes here and there, why not use them to save souls?”. It’s only a bad schedule if you assume he’s holding back time, rather than looking for any free moment when he can hear confessions. May the Lord make good work of those fifteen minute blocks!

  14. credo84 says:

    Thank you Fr. Z for posting this. I am one of the priests for the New Oratory. We are very excited. Hopefully you can visit…

    A parishioner here pointed out the conversation about the Confession times to me.

    To clarify, we have three priests spread between four different assignments, two parishes, a hospital, and the county justice system. The priest who is offering the next Mass is the priest who takes the confessions before Mass. Before we had our second parish, a separate priest would hear the confessions and would stay in the confessional until the Gospel and then assist with distribution of Holy Communion. Since then we have added a second parish and care of a hospital. So at the moment, with only three of us (though we have two seminarians) this is what we are able to offer. We have not been given the gift of bi-location at this point. The daily confessions do go until the last confession is heard, or until 1:00 p.m. if there is no one else in line. Usually the priest gets into the confessional early, but it can’t be guaranteed so we only advertise what we can promise.

    We are currently finishing up our planning for a chapel, which will be next to our main house. In the chapel building we are planning on having a confessional that can be accessed from the street and by a bell. As we grow, we want to offer confession 24/7, so a priest will be on duty at any time. We hope we are able to finish the chapel in the next year and then hopefully we grow to be able to offer this in the near future. Please keep us generally in your prayers as we begin this next stage in our life…

    [Let’s find an occasion for a visit! I’d love to come. I’ve never been to Cincy and there is a priest there – a frequent commentator here – whom I’d also like to visit.]

    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

  15. Spade says:

    Based on my experience going to confession in DC at a church that does 30 minutes before noon Mass everyday, a priest can crank through a fair number of Confessions in that time so long as the people don’t narrate a novel.

    Plus that short 15 minute one is just on Sunday. Most places don’t even do em on Sunday.

  16. chantgirl says:

    When in Cincy, I assist at Mass at either Sacred Heart (11am Sun TLM) or at Old St. Mary’s. They are both gorgeous churches, and if I remember correctly, Old St. Mary’s has a privileged altar.


  17. IHSV says:

    Ah yes they presided at my wedding. They were kind enough to do a solemn high nuptial Mass TLM for us, got the feeling it may have been the first so we were very grateful for their willingness to step in and up after our previously arranged priest has gotten moved.

    They certainly seemed busy, so I know these folks aren’t withholding times but rather sacrifice themselves for their flock.

    Good work Frs and Brs.

  18. Gabriel Syme says:

    Great news – the Oratorians are fantastic – and this is a very beautiful Church to boot.

    To make a suggestion: I wonder if the Sunday TLM might eventually be scheduled at a more accessible time (i’m thinking of those who wish to attend and who have young children etc).

    Where I am, the Bishops tend to prefer TLMs held at times when only older people can attend – very late or very early – they dislike hearing about children at such masses. I wonder if its the same in Cincinnati, or if the Oratorians are just “taking it easy” at first, to avoid scaring the horses?

    I have been to St Wilfrids (York, England), which the Oratorians run, on a few occasions. When I first went, the sunday TLM was in the evening, but I note with satisfaction that it has now been moved to 12 noon and so is now a main mass of the day.

    The Oratorians are doing a fine job in York, and elsewhere in England, and I send my prayers and best wishes that this new venture in Cincinnati will also reward their efforts with success.

  19. jbpolhamus says:

    You might be interested to know that the plan is to institute a 24hr confessional at the Cincinnati Oratory. Any time of day or night, someone can ring the bell and one of the Fathers will be shortly on hand to hear their confession. THIS is an important development, and in line with the custom at the London Oratory, where a priest is always in call for confessions, as they should be. Of course in the London case it means that you’re going to be greeted and shown into the parlour, where you’re confession will be heard, but you’d better be humble enough to be prepared for that, in the “I have a private spiritual director” sense, not in the “Vatican II doesn’t like anonymous confessionals” sense. So EVEN MORE kudos to the Cincinnati Oratorians!!!

  20. DeltBunyan says:

    This is fantastic news, and can I for one say I love the Liturgy schedule? As a parent of multiple small children, it is no small source of consternation for me that every TLM in my area is always in the 12:30-2:30 range (except the SSPX one). For small children under 6, that is a huge ask. They’re hungry, they’re tired, they’re cranky… So the end result is that I wind up saving my wife the nightmare and gutting through yet another NO. A 7:30 AM TLM? If only more were available!

    It also happens to make the natural fast from midnight much easier to keep, but now I’m just being selfish. :-)

  21. Semper Gumby says:

    This is great. Deo gratias.

  22. TradRN says:

    Congratulations to the Oratory! Old St. Mary’s used to be my home parish- it was where I first encountered the Extraordinary Form. At the time, my wife and I were living at the Ronald McDonald House while our daughter was inpatient for cardiac surgeries at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital (which is only 10 minutes or so from Old St. Mary’s). One morning while looking for a church close enough to the hospital (in case something happened with our little one), we found OSM. This discovery came at a time when the Lord was beginning to open my eyes to the richness of our faith. I will never forget first opening the door to the church and hearing the Ave Maria in plainchant as people were lined up in front of the confessional (I happily took my place at the back of the line). As I had never been to a Mass in the EF, I wondered where the Mass would be offered as there was no “table altar” in the middle of the sanctuary. After my confession, I knelt down in the back of the church close to a life like Grotto of Lourdes. It was all so beautiful- indeed I was like a child again- lost in wonder as everywhere I looked there was something lovely to behold- the icons of the saints on the ceiling, the various statuaries devoted to Our Lady- but even greater- at the center and on high- the tabernacle- it looked like a king’s castle. Then, the Holy Mass began- I cannot possibly describe what I felt in my heart as the priest ascended the steps to offer the Sacrifice- no I couldn’t follow it and I didn’t understand a word of the Latin that, at the time, was (sadly) completely foreign to me. But that was okay- I was a child again- lost in wonder. And as I saw the priest raise Our Lord above the altar, smelled the incense and heard the bells, I had chills as I was on Calvary. OSM galvanized what was beginning to form in my heart when it came to the gift of our faith and Her Sacred Liturgy. My life would never be the same… What Fr. Z promotes on these pages, “save the Liturgy, save the world” is not just theory- it is truth- I can attest to it. I came from your average, “watered down” faith kind of parish, threw away my inheritance on a life of dissipation and only by the unfathomable mercy of God, came to my senses and returned to the Father’s House. Not only did He take me back and embrace me- but I consider the Sacred Liturgy of Old St. Mary to have been the finest robe, the ring on my finger, and the sandals on my feet- the fattened calf- the lavishness of the Father’s Love on a poor sinner like me.

  23. Eric says:

    TradRN : Thanks for sharing that. I can see how the Old St. Mary’s experience would have that effect.

    I went to a mission at Old St. Mary’s years ago led by Father John Hardon.

    Old St. Mary’s is in a rough part of town.

    Father Hardon began the mission by coming out and observing the large “crowd.” He said something like, “They told me not to expect many people. They said people would be afraid of getting mugged.” In classic Father Hardon style he responded, ” I assured them that I have never mugged anyone in my life.”

    Thus began the best mission I have ever attended.

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