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Rome Reports

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Oratory that inspired Cardinal Newman’s foundation still active in Rome


We are in the “Chiesa Nuova” in Rome, the complex founded by St. Philip Neri to stimulate and improve the catechesis of this historic city.

John Henry Newman, the great English saint who will be canonized in October, decided this would be the model for his foundation in England.

FR. SIMONE RAPONI
Congregation of the Oratory

“He understood that the Oratory of St. Philip Neri was a place where much attention was given to the cultural dimension. There was also a strong dedication to discovering truth. A great pastoral activity that worked directly with the people developed. This union between culture and attention to souls was fundamental for him.”

John Henry Newman really liked this church, in

which he venerated the remains of St. Philip Neri. He walked around places like this garden of orange trees. Here, above all, he became excited about the rule of the congregation’s founder.

FR. SIMONE RAPONI
Congregation of the Oratory

“For him, the so-called liberal education, which we define as humanistic education, was extremely important. He found in St. Philip, in the Oratory, a distinguished place to put it into practice.”

The cultural and formative activity of the Oratorians is maintained in this center in Rome.

Parts of the complex, including a library, were expropriated about 150 years ago during the unification of Italy.

Despite this, Fr. Simone Raponi and another eight Oratorian priests currently live here.

Today about 500 priests work in dozens of oratories all over the world, like this one. The priests follow in the footsteps of St. Philip Neri and of Cardinal John Henry Newman.