The Holy Father Approves the Red Bank Oratory at St. Anthony Parish

April 19, 2024 at 4:08 p.m.

Rev. Alberto Tamayo, CO, Provost

The following text is background information on the Red Bank Oratory of St. Philip Neri that was prepared by Father Alberto W. Tamayo, Oratory provost and pastor of St. Anthony of Padua Parish, Red Bank.

What is an Oratory of Saint Philip Neri?

The Oratory of St. Philip Neri is a community of priests and brothers who live, pray and work together as a community of brothers and friends after the spirit and rule of St. Philip Neri and the first Oratorians in Rome. The nature of the Oratory is found in its name: it is a place of prayer. Though Oratories are very active in various apostolates, the heart of the life and work is prayer.

Although Oratorians do not take vows or promises in addition to those required by the Sacrament of Holy Orders (for priest or deacon members) members strive to live the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity and obedience along with stabile presence in and commitment to the Oratory.

Oratorians stay live in one location for their entire lives, dedicating themselves to one place and one people for life. By God’s grace, Oratorians try to do this in the same spirit of joy, love and friendship with which Saint Philip Neri re-evangelized Rome in his day.  Saint Philip is known as the patron of joy.

What was the origin of The Red Bank Oratory of Saint Philip?

It all started with a desire to find a new way of being parish priests here in our Diocese. The members each felt a call to be more deeply faithful and more alive in serving God and our people, with a community of brothers and friends in the spirit and charism of Saint Philip Neri.  In time, the members discovered the existence of “oratories” in other places and local churches and came to know and love Saint Philip Neri from the first moment of encounter. His example and spirituality and that of the first Oratorians lit a fire in the members’ hearts to follow Jesus in their footsteps.

This project --- to establish an Oratory within the Diocese of Trenton --- officially began in September of 2015 with the permission and support of our Bishop, the Most Reverend David M. O’Connell, C.M., and, later, with the permission of the then-Procurator General of the Confederation of Oratories, Father Mario Aviles, CO who was later consecrated Auxiliary Bishop of Brownsville, Texas.

From the very beginning, our Bishop and Bishop Aviles were so gracious and generous with the Oratory community. What Bishop O’Connell has done here in Red Bank shows how deeply he cares for all his priests, diocesan and religious, as a father.

In 2016, Bishop signed the canonical decree permanently connecting the Diocese of Trenton and the Parish of St. Anthony of Padua with the new Red Bank Oratory of St. Philip Neri. The parish Church would become the Oratory Church, the seat of the new community once canonically erected as a Congregation of Pontifical Right by the Holy Father.

This has meant so much to the members of the Oratory. The Bishop could have chosen any parish to entrust to us as the center of our life and ministry, but he chose this one, where we had already been serving. For the Oratorians, nothing could have been better. Here on the West Side of Red Bank, it is a bustling community full of life. It’s multi-ethnic and multi-racial, with families and individuals from all different economic backgrounds and situations, and everyone works and worships together in friendship and love. It is an amazing place! The Oratory itself is also close to several nursing homes where members minister and also, a hospital, where members assist the priests of our sister parish, St. James. The Diocese could not have offered a better place than the one our Bishop chose for the Oratory.

What does this approval mean for the Oratory?

Now that our Holy Father, Pope Francis, has canonically erected our Oratory as a Congregation of Pontifical Right, is permanently established. The Congregation of the Oratory now has the stability to continue to forge ahead into the future to do all that God desires of the community here in Red Bank, with the Holy Father’s blessing.

Now that “Peter has spoken,” the members of the Oratory are confirmed in their vocations with a certainty that this establishment is from God. It also means that men who join the Oratory (there are 7 Oratorians here now), will have the surety that this community is permanent and stable, serving God’s people for life.

Plans for the Future of the Red Bank Oratory

While no one knows all that God has in store for us, there are some things that he has placed in our hearts. First, once more of our men are ordained we hope to do more ministry in the local hospital on behalf of the local parishes. We will also greatly expand our hours for confessions, which are currently offered every day and several times on the weekend. We hope, once we have more brothers ordained, that we can have a few hours of confession daily.

We also hope to expand our catechesis and evangelization efforts in the area, as well as to assist one or two local parishes in the future with blessing of the Bishop. Whatever the future brings, we just pray to be able to bring more men and women to faith in Jesus Christ and life within His family, the Church.

Priests and Brothers of the Oratory

Father Alberto W. Tamayo, C.O. - Provost

Father Nicholas R. Dolan, C.O. – Vicar

Brother Donald J. Ronning, C.O. - Secretary

Brother Daniel J. Bower, C.O.

Brother Zachary F. Holland – Novice

Brother Anthony J. Gaudino – Novice

Mr. James Bonanno – Candidate (Postulant beginning May 26, 2024)



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The following text is background information on the Red Bank Oratory of St. Philip Neri that was prepared by Father Alberto W. Tamayo, Oratory provost and pastor of St. Anthony of Padua Parish, Red Bank.

What is an Oratory of Saint Philip Neri?

The Oratory of St. Philip Neri is a community of priests and brothers who live, pray and work together as a community of brothers and friends after the spirit and rule of St. Philip Neri and the first Oratorians in Rome. The nature of the Oratory is found in its name: it is a place of prayer. Though Oratories are very active in various apostolates, the heart of the life and work is prayer.

Although Oratorians do not take vows or promises in addition to those required by the Sacrament of Holy Orders (for priest or deacon members) members strive to live the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity and obedience along with stabile presence in and commitment to the Oratory.

Oratorians stay live in one location for their entire lives, dedicating themselves to one place and one people for life. By God’s grace, Oratorians try to do this in the same spirit of joy, love and friendship with which Saint Philip Neri re-evangelized Rome in his day.  Saint Philip is known as the patron of joy.

What was the origin of The Red Bank Oratory of Saint Philip?

It all started with a desire to find a new way of being parish priests here in our Diocese. The members each felt a call to be more deeply faithful and more alive in serving God and our people, with a community of brothers and friends in the spirit and charism of Saint Philip Neri.  In time, the members discovered the existence of “oratories” in other places and local churches and came to know and love Saint Philip Neri from the first moment of encounter. His example and spirituality and that of the first Oratorians lit a fire in the members’ hearts to follow Jesus in their footsteps.

This project --- to establish an Oratory within the Diocese of Trenton --- officially began in September of 2015 with the permission and support of our Bishop, the Most Reverend David M. O’Connell, C.M., and, later, with the permission of the then-Procurator General of the Confederation of Oratories, Father Mario Aviles, CO who was later consecrated Auxiliary Bishop of Brownsville, Texas.

From the very beginning, our Bishop and Bishop Aviles were so gracious and generous with the Oratory community. What Bishop O’Connell has done here in Red Bank shows how deeply he cares for all his priests, diocesan and religious, as a father.

In 2016, Bishop signed the canonical decree permanently connecting the Diocese of Trenton and the Parish of St. Anthony of Padua with the new Red Bank Oratory of St. Philip Neri. The parish Church would become the Oratory Church, the seat of the new community once canonically erected as a Congregation of Pontifical Right by the Holy Father.

This has meant so much to the members of the Oratory. The Bishop could have chosen any parish to entrust to us as the center of our life and ministry, but he chose this one, where we had already been serving. For the Oratorians, nothing could have been better. Here on the West Side of Red Bank, it is a bustling community full of life. It’s multi-ethnic and multi-racial, with families and individuals from all different economic backgrounds and situations, and everyone works and worships together in friendship and love. It is an amazing place! The Oratory itself is also close to several nursing homes where members minister and also, a hospital, where members assist the priests of our sister parish, St. James. The Diocese could not have offered a better place than the one our Bishop chose for the Oratory.

What does this approval mean for the Oratory?

Now that our Holy Father, Pope Francis, has canonically erected our Oratory as a Congregation of Pontifical Right, is permanently established. The Congregation of the Oratory now has the stability to continue to forge ahead into the future to do all that God desires of the community here in Red Bank, with the Holy Father’s blessing.

Now that “Peter has spoken,” the members of the Oratory are confirmed in their vocations with a certainty that this establishment is from God. It also means that men who join the Oratory (there are 7 Oratorians here now), will have the surety that this community is permanent and stable, serving God’s people for life.

Plans for the Future of the Red Bank Oratory

While no one knows all that God has in store for us, there are some things that he has placed in our hearts. First, once more of our men are ordained we hope to do more ministry in the local hospital on behalf of the local parishes. We will also greatly expand our hours for confessions, which are currently offered every day and several times on the weekend. We hope, once we have more brothers ordained, that we can have a few hours of confession daily.

We also hope to expand our catechesis and evangelization efforts in the area, as well as to assist one or two local parishes in the future with blessing of the Bishop. Whatever the future brings, we just pray to be able to bring more men and women to faith in Jesus Christ and life within His family, the Church.

Priests and Brothers of the Oratory

Father Alberto W. Tamayo, C.O. - Provost

Father Nicholas R. Dolan, C.O. – Vicar

Brother Donald J. Ronning, C.O. - Secretary

Brother Daniel J. Bower, C.O.

Brother Zachary F. Holland – Novice

Brother Anthony J. Gaudino – Novice

Mr. James Bonanno – Candidate (Postulant beginning May 26, 2024)


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