1st Sunday of Advent (C)


The Good Shepherd Company is based in Nottingham and works alongside with St. Vincent De Paul Society for orphans and elderly in the Holy Land. Their goal is to support and help Christian families to stay and make living work. Many of them leave in search of better work opportunities. According to a survey made by the bishops of Jerusalem, only forty-one thousands Christians are left in the area. Olive woodcarving is one of the most important sources of income for Christians in the Holy Land. After all Masses this Sunday, rosaries, crosses, cribs and religious statues carved from olive wood will be on sale. This will help Christians to stay in their home country.



The Brothers of the Little Oratory invite you to the annual Advent Musical Oratory with the Oratory Junior Choir on Sunday 2nd December at 4.30pm in the Little Oratory. There will be readings, Advent hymns and choral pieces. All welcome. See also here.



Saturday 8th December is the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. There will be Solemn First Vespers & Benediction on Friday 7th at 5:30pm, followed by Mass at 6:30pm, and a Solemn High Mass on Saturday 8th at 11.00am. The preacher will be Fr Kenneth Macnab, Chaplain of the Oratory School in Reading. Mass setting: Missa Osculetur me by Lassus, with period instruments (cornetts and sackbuts). Other Masses will be at the usual Saturday times. See also here.



The Oratory Fathers and SVP host a Christmas lunch for those who may be alone and wish to join with others on Christmas Day. The lunch will be served in St Joseph’s Hall from 1.30pm. You can also attend Mass before or after the lunch, in the Oratory Church. Please note that the venue is now at the Oratory (St Joseph’s Hall) and NOT at More House.

If you wish to attend, or know someone who would, please leave name and contact details, also stating if you would like to be picked up, at the Oratory House by Monday 3rd December or email oratoryoutreach1@gmail.com. Numbers are limited, so please book early.

If you would like to volunteer either on Christmas Eve to help with the set up or on Christmas Day itself, please email oratoryoutreach1@gmail.com.


The Oratory’s group for young adults will meet again on Monday 3rd December at 8pm in St Wilfrid’s Hall for an Introduction to the Oratory’s Outreach Programme. Opening prayers, individual speakers, open discussion/questions, closing prayers and social (with light refreshments). All welcome. This replaces the meetings for our group that fell through. A new programme for 2019 should be announced shortly. See also here.



The next meeting will be on Friday 7th December at 7pm. For more information, email youthgroup@bromptonoratory.co.uk. See also here. 



On Monday 17th December at 7pm the Schola Cantorum of the London Oratory School will perform J. S. Bach’s Christmas Oratorio in the Oratory Church. Tickets are now on sale from the Oratory House. See also here.


The annual Carol Service with the choirs of the London Oratory will be on Thursday 20th December at 7.30pm. Doors open at 7.00pm. See also here.


In our Repository and Bookshop we offer a great range of gifts to help you prepare for and celebrate Christmas at home and among your friends. As well as the many regular items, we have some new ones that we hope you might like to by from us and so help support the Oratory’s work here in London! We have newly cast medals with St Philip Neri and Our Lady on in either solid silver and solid brass. These are exact copies of old medals and would make wonderful Christmas presents or be ideal as gifts for Baptisms, Confirmations or first Communions. If you want to create a warm atmosphere at home and make sure you are truly ready for all the festivities then look to our range of Christmas candles, scented candles, Advent calendars, Christmas cards, and children books. Treat yourself, family and friends with special organic and natural skincare products made by the the Trappist monks of Abbey of Nový Dvůr, located in West Bohemia. The range includes crème reparatrice and crème apaisante – organic restorative creams for face and body designed for dry or very dry skin. Crème apaisante also helps people with psoriasis. And on cold windy days, make sure you look to Lip Balm enriched with avocado, shea butter and sweet almond oils, shower gel with linden flower extract and hand made saps with selected natural oils and orange peel. We hope you will find perfect Christmas presents in the shop. The shop’s guaranteed opening times: Sunday 10.45–1.15pm, 3.15pm–5.25pm. Tuesday–Saturday 3.15pm–5.45pm.



We need a larger pool of volunteers to cover absences due either to holidays or illness. It would be good to have some who are willing to be called upon at short notice. We need volunteers especially for Tuesday, Thursdays and Saturdays to help fill-in. We aim to offer these guaranteed opening times: Sun 10.45am–1.15pm, 3.15pm–5.25pm; Tue–Sat 3.15pm-5.45pm. Those interested should either be known to one of the Fathers or have some letter of reference. Please email generalenquiries@bromptonoratory.co.uk.


The Oratory provides an ambulance service to bring people to Mass on Sunday who would otherwise be unable to come (for 11am). Sadly our rota of drivers is now short and on certain weeks we are not able to offer this service. Helpers can either be drivers or simply assist with getting the elderly on and off the ambulance and by staying with them during Mass. No qualifications are required other than a driver’s licence for the drivers. Helpers and drivers are on a rota and on average help once every 4 weeks subject to their own availability. If you would like to volunteer or to find out more about helping, please email oratoryoutreach1@gmail.com or call the Oratory House at 020 7808 0900.


During the 10am, 11am and 12:30pm Masses, St Gregory’s Library is usually available for parents with small children who become restless. There are books and some toys. Entrance is through the Sacred Heart Chapel at the back of the church. Children must be supervised by their parents at all times. We need more help to maintain this service, especially during the 11am and 12:30pm Masses. If you can spare a few hours on a Sunday occasionally, please tell Farah, Giulia or David (call 07768 176 848).


Father Michael Lang will lead an Oratory Parish pilgrimage to the Holy Land from 29th April to 6th May 2019. Going on pilgrimage to the places where our Lord lived, preached, worked miracles, was crucified and rose from the dead has been described as the “Fifth Gospel”, and it is a profound experience of faith. Our tour will include the major sites, beginning in Jerusalem and then going to Galilee. Detailed information and booking forms are available here.


Loving 4 Life is a Catholic Marriage Enrichment apostolate, dedicated to strengthening spousal love through weekend seminars, sharing the beauty and truth of lifelong love open to life, and allowing couples to discover the depths of their sacramental vows. There are several Saturday/Sunday retreats (with the option to stay overnight) in 2018. For the dates and venues, and for more information, see here.


Retrouvaille offers a welcoming and loving space to couples who have been living with the misery of a failing marriage. Retrouvaille offers hope: hope that it is not too late, hope of a different and better marriage. Retrouvaille helps couples to show each other mercy through the opportunities it provides to listen, to forgive, to be reconciled and to move into their futures believing that God loves them and with His help and their effort, their marriages can be healed and restored. Retrouvaille provides help for marriage problems, difficulties and crises. See www.retrouvaille.org.uk. Phone or text 07887 296 983 or 07973 380 443.


There is a way of making a donation to the Oratory Parish via your mobilephone. You can text £5 as an offering to help us with our many pastoral and charitable activities, and for the upkeep of our church. Simply type: “Parish”, then space, then “ORATO”, and send the text message to the number 70800. £5 will be added to your mobile phone bill, as a donation that will go directly to the Oratory Parish. This is authorised by the Diocese of Westminster. You will not receive unsolicited calls or spam texts. You are in complete control of when to donate. There is nothing to sign-up for or log into. The Oratory Parish receives 97 pence for every pound donated, which is good stewardship. The Diocese of Westminster is sponsoring this programme in all 215 parishes across the Diocese, so there is no cost to us. If you have any questions, contact the Oratory House, or the Diocese at 020 7798 9375.


If you are a UK taxpayer, the Oratory can claim back from the Inland Revenue 25p of every £1 you give, at no cost or inconvenience to you. Setting up a Gift Aid arrangement helps the Oratory to increase its income, which is much needed for the upkeep of the church and for the many pastoral activities in the parish. For further information contact the Oratory House. 


Parents who wish one of the Oratory Fathers to give their child a school reference must register with the “Mass Attendance” scheme. Registration forms are available from the Oratory House. 


Wilfrid Faber Counselling and Support (WFCS) is a Registered Charity (no. 1180137) staffed by volunteer profession­als who can help people in need to address a range of personal issues including anxiety, bereavement, depression, rela­tionship difficulties, stress and other emotional challenges. WFCS also offers support for parents who are struggling to cope and can give assistance to those suffering from addictions, if necessary guiding them to­wards more specialised agencies. All volunteers are either accredited to, or working towards accreditation with, the BACP, ACC, BPS or other professional body and most are practising Catholics. Clients may request to be seen by a Catholic counsellor, if that is their preference. We ask that clients help support the work of the Charity by making a small donation, although this is not obligatory. Contact can be made through the Fathers of the Oratory or via email info@wfcslondon.org.


The Rosary Shrine in Haverstock Hill looks forward to welcoming George Weigel from Washington, D.C. He is Distinguished Senior Fellow of Washington, D.C.’s Ethics and Public Policy Center, where he holds the William E. Simon Chair in Catholic Studies. He is the author of over twenty books, including The Fragility of Order: Catholic Reflections on Turbulent Times (Ignatius Press, 2018). His talk will highlight some of his reflections in this book. The talk on Wednesday 5th December is free of charge, and it is open to all. It will take place in the church (Southampton Road, London, NW5 4LB), starting at 7:30pm. The event is sponsored by the Thomistic Institute based in Washington, D.C., and co-sponsored by the Aquinas Institute in Oxford and the Catholic Union Charitable Trust. More information on https://rosaryshrine.co.uk/.



The British Association of the Order of Malta takes a group of sick, disabled and older pilgrims with us every year on pilgrimage to Lourdes, flying from and back to Stansted, from Friday 3rd May to Thursday 9th May 2019. The pilgrimage is part of the Order’s International Pilgrimage, with 7,000 to 8,000 people attending in total, and includes a full programme of religious events. In addition, lively and fun activities and opportunities for sightseeing are available. Nursing and medical care is provided as necessary. We invite applications from interested sick, disabled and older people to join the pilgrimage, with accommodation in the Accueil Notre Dame. Pilgrims in the Accueil are asked to make a contribution of £300 towards the cost of some £600, but this can be reduced in cases of need. For further information and an application form, please contact Mrs Kim O’Connor, our Head Nurse, before 14th January 2019, by post (32 Scalebor Gardens, Burley in Wharfedale, Ilkley, LS29 7BX) or by email (k6oconnor@aol.com).

A benefactor has offered to fund one pilgrim for the Accueil from the Oratory Parish. For further information, please contact Fr Michael Lang at the Oratory House or on michaellang@rcdow.org.uk.


Catholic Singles is an organisation that helps practising Catholics to meet other Catholics. It does this by providing a strictly confidential service, sending members a monthly bulletin, which includes brief personal descriptions of themselves, if they wish, and advertises social events organised by Catholic parishes and organisations free of charge. Phone 0161 941 3498, email info@catholicsingles.org.uk, or visit their website.


For diocesan job vacancies visit the website http://rcdow.org.uk/diocese/jobs/ where you can view all current vacancies. New jobs are regularly added to the site as they arise.


If you would like to be married at the Oratory, we will need at least 6 months notice. For the initial enquiry please come to the Oratory House in person and ask to speak to the priest on duty (see Hours of Duty below). All subsequent meeting, bookings and arrangements will be done through him, so please make a note of his name! No wedding bookings will be taken over the telephone or by email.

If you do not normally worship at the Oratory, please state the name of the church where you usually attend Mass and give the reasons you wish to marry here (for instance, personal connection to the Oratory or one of our schools). Please remember that it is important to approach the church first before making your plans for a reception venue. We do not have weddings on a Sunday.

There are various arrangements and legalities, both civil and ecclesiastical, which need to be attended to. You will also need to undergo a course of preparatory instruction about the sacrament of marriage. Please speak to the priest for more details. See also here.

Hours of Duty:
Monday-Friday: 9.30am-12.00pm; 3.00pm-5.30pm; 8.00pm-9.00pm.
Saturday: 9.30am-12pm; 3.00pm-5.30pm.


According to canon law, “Parents are obliged to see that their infants are baptised within the first few weeks. As soon as possible after the birth, indeed even before it, they are to approach the parish priest to ask for the sacrament for their child, and to be themselves duly prepared for it” (Code of Canon Law, can. 867 §1).

Those wishing to have their child baptised should contact the Oratory House and ask to speak to the priest on duty. All subsequent meeting, bookings and arrangements will be done through him. It will be necessary to meet with the priest for a class on the sacrament of baptism.

Normally baptisms take place in the parish where a family is resident. If you do not live within the territorial boundaries of the Oratory parish but have a good reason for wanting to have your child baptised here then please explain that to the priest on duty. In such cases your own parish priest will need to give permission for the baptism to take place at the Oratory.

The choice of godparents (sponsors), who are to help the baptised to live a good Christian life and faithfully to fulfil the duties inherent in baptism, is an important one. “There is to be only one male sponsor or one female sponsor or one of each” (Code of Canon Law, can. 873). A godparent must be a Catholic of not less than sixteen years of age, who has been confirmed and who lives a life of faith that befits the role to be undertaken. A baptised person who belongs to a non-Catholic ecclesial community may be admitted in company with a Catholic sponsor as a Christian witness. See also here.