Thomas More College Alumnus Enter Novitiate for Oratory of St Philip Neri in Lewiston, Maine

Here are some photos of Br Tyler Tracey’s entrance into the Novitiate of the Fraternity of St Philip Neri at the Basilica of Ss Peter and Paul, Lewiston, Maine. This is an Oratory in Formation founded just last August and Br Tyler is their first novice. So it is a young community just beginning to establish itself and making a great start. There are three priests. I attended the ceremony which was last Friday afternoon and which was followed by Vespers and Benediction. I was especially glad to be able to make it as Br Tyler is a former student of Thomas More College of Liberal Arts and I know him well. I have additional personal reasons for wanting to support this new community and that is that my experiences of the liturgy of the London Oratory was so influential in my conversion and my continued contact with the London Oratory and with the Birmingham Oratory has been so nourishing for my faith. Both are churches where the liturgy reduced me to tears…for the right reasons!

Mgr Caron, the superior of the community described proceedings as follows: ‘On Friday, May 3, at the Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul in Lewiston, Bro. Tyler Tracey was admitted as a member of the Fraternity of St. Philip Neri for the probationary period of one year in the course of a rite which was taken in part from the one prepared by Blessed John Henry Newman for the Birmingham Oratory.  It begins with singing the hymn to the Holy Spirit, Veni Creator. The postulant is questioned as to his desire to live according to the Oratorian charism, and all pray for him using the Litany of St. Philip, composed by Blessed JH Newman. After publicly stating his intention to life according to the statutes of the Fraternity for the coming year, he is given the habit of the community. Each member of the community offers him a fraternal sign of peace, and all venerate the relic of our holy father St. Philip. 

He joins the community for the celebration of Vespers and Benediction. It is the custom in the Oratory to sing Vespers publicly on feast days. May 3 is the feast of the Apostles Philip and James. St. Philip the Apostle was the patron of St. Philip Neri. St. Philip Neri retained devotion to his namesake the Apostle throughout his life. Vespers, or Evening Prayer, concluded with a brief period of adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, followed by Benediction.’

Congratulations to all! My prayers are with you.

Above: people starting to gather in the church early (yours truly closest to us on the rhs). The basilica was completed in the 1930s inspired by the French gothic. There is extensive and beautiful woodwork throughout the church. If I turned around from my position in the pew, the photo below shows the sight I would see.

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David is an Englishman living in New Hampshire, USA. He is an artist, teacher, published writer and broadcaster who holds a permanent post as Artist-in-Residence and Lecturer in Liberal Arts at the Thomas More College of Liberal Arts. The Way of Beauty program, which is offered at TMC, focuses on the link between Catholic culture, with a special emphasis on art, and the liturgy. David was received into the Church in London in 1993. Visit the Way of Beauty blog at

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