The Process of Discernment
A man wishing to test his vocation to the Oratory should contact the Provincial of the Province in which he resides or they may contact the Superior. Their contact details can be found here.
If you are interested in testing your vocation with us, you will be invited to join the brethren and companions at a College or Provincial Chapter as an enquirer. If you wish to proceed, there is a period of postulancy, during which you can study the Notes, Manual and Rule of the Oratory. A more senior brother is chosen to guide you through this period of discernment. If you continue to feel called to the life of the Oratory, you can be admitted as a probationer (novice) for around two years, during which the probationer lives the Oratory life under the guidance of a senior brother.
After you have served as a probationer, you can be elected to full membership and make a profession for one year and this may be renewed annually until such time as you are eligible to make profession for longer periods or for life.
Members of the Oratory regard each other as brothers and find within the Oratory friendship, trust and love. A commitment to the Oratory way of life is a commitment to God and to each other so that we might serve Jesus the Good Shepherd both as individuals and as a religious community.
You can click here to read more about what the Oratory life means for different brethren.
‘Obedience to a Calling’ was written by Dominic Walker OGS and John Thorold OGS in 1994 and gives an insight into Oratory Life. You can read it here.
A Prayer of Eric Milner White
You may find this prayer of Eric Milner White, a founding brother of the Oratory, useful as you discern God’s will in your life:
Enter our hearts, O Holy Spirit.
Come in blessed mercy and set us free.
Throw open, O Lord, the locked doors of our minds.
Cleanse the chambers of our thoughts for thy dwelling;
light there the fires of thine own holy brightness
in new understanding of truth.
O Holy Spirit, very God,
whose presence is liberty
grant us the perfect freedom
to be thy servants today, tomorrow, evermore.
The Sisters of the Good Shepherd
The Sisters of the Good Shepherd, is a new Religious Community, which is open to women who wish to live a dispersed Religious Life in the style of the Oratory of the Good Shepherd. Their website and contact information can be found here.
Anglican Religious Communities
For more helpful information on discerning a vocation to the Religious Life, please do visit the Anglican Religious Communities website by clicking here. On the site, you will find some information on discerning a vocation to a religious community and also a very useful list of suggested reading, which may help you in your discernment.
Loving God you call your people to serve you in building a kingdom of love,
so we pray that you will continue to call men and women to become members, companions and associates of the Oratory
that together we may find strength and joy in following Jesus the Good Shepherd.
And grant that whether we be many or few,
we shall persevere in our calling and daily be renewed by the Holy Spirit.
To you be all glory and praise, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.