The Port Elizabeth oratory
In November 2002, a group of Fathers and Brothers from the Oudtshoorn Oratory moved to Port Elizabeth and took up residence in the old Christian Renewal Centre (St Anne’s Convent) next to St Bernadette’s Parish, Walmer. This new community came with the intention of establishing an Oratory in Port Elizabeth.
The Fathers and Brothers of this new community took up various apostolic works and the community grew very quickly. In May 2008, the Holy See recognised this Port Elizabeth community as an independent Congregation of the Oratory of St Philip Neri.
Currently (December 2020), the resident community in Port Elizabeth consists of eleven priests and two novices.
The apostolates currently under the care of the Port Elizabeth Oratory are:
- St Bernadette’s Parish (including the Walmer Township apostolate)
- The St Philip Neri Collegium: a propaedeutic seminary preparing aspirant priests from disadvantaged areas for major seminary
- St Anne’s Pre-Primary: a Xhosa-medium pre-school and educare centre primarily educating learners from disadvantaged backgrounds and eligible for social grants
- Teaching and chaplaincy at St Dominic’s Priory School
- Chaplaincy to Nazareth House Old Age Home and the Nazareth Sisters
- Other parishes under the care of the Oratorians include St Patricks, Sydenham; St Paul’s, Kleinskool; and St Joseph the Worker & St Rita’s, Bethelsdorp/Chatty.