God has created me to do Him some definite service. He has committed some work to me which He has not committed to another. I have my mission. I may never know it in this life, but I shall be told it in the next. I am a link in a chain, a bond of connection between persons. (Meditations on Christian Doctrine 1848)
The Little Oratory, for men aged 19 and older, meets regularly and draws its inspiration from the original work of St. Philip Neri among the laity of Rome, out of which the Oratory, as we know it today, eventually emerged. Our evening meetings include spiritual conferences given by the Fathers and Brothers, silent prayer and music for meditation, followed by fellowship, food and drink. We come together in the conviction that, under the guidance of St Philip, it is in the experience of Christian friendship that spiritual life can be deepened and virtue take root and grow.
Meetings are held at 7:30p.m. in the Oratory chapel. More information can be found here.
St Philip’s Servers
St. Philip’s Servers (SPS) are the men and boys who serve the Liturgy at Holy Family. Boys in grade two and up, who have received their First Communion, are able to join this group of brothers. More information can be found here.
St Vincent de Paul Society
If you need assistance and are within our parish boundaries, or if you wish to join this international Catholic lay organization serving the poor, please call (416)-532-2879, or email [email protected].
The Fathers of the Oratory provide chaplaincies to three schools in the parishes: Holy Family, St Vincent de Paul, and Mary Mother of God, including its high school division The Saint Francis de Sales Centre. We provide regularly scheduled masses and confessions, and in addition try to visit each grade every week. Beyond the parish, the Fathers also provide the chaplaincy to De La Salle College ‘Oaklands’, where we celebrate mass daily during the school year, hear confessions regularly, and make occasional classroom visits for talks and discussion.
The Fathers and Brothers of the Oratory regularly visit the various nearby nursing homes to provide masses, groups prayers, and company for the residents. In addition, many of the seminarians and parishioners also regularly visit these nursing homes to provide valuable assistance to the ministries of the Fathers and Brothers.
Divine Office Group
The Divine Office Group was founded at the Oratory around ten years ago, according to an inspiration of the late John Bentley Mays. His idea was to bring together various friends and acquaintances to form a group dedicated to praying and thinking in common. Their prayer was to be the celebration of the Divine Office – the common prayer of the Church; their thinking was to be a collaborative reflection on literary, philosophical or theological topics, guided by the light of faith and by the singular experiences and interests of its members.
Although John himself died in 2016, most of the original members still attend the monthly meetings. And over the years, up to the present, the group has continued to attract new and dedicated participants, of diverse ages and backgrounds, drawn by its unusually inclusive, unpredictable spirit, unfolding over the ground bass of liturgical prayer.
Every month, for many years, following the recitation of Matins and Lauds, one member of the group would present a paper which became the point of departure for reflection, followed by Sext and then lunch, when the previous conversation would typically continue. Recently, however, the format has changed, and instead of a paper being given the group has come together, over many consecutive meetings, collectively to read and discuss Christian literary works. So far we have read and reflected on Claudel’s L’Annonce faite a Marie, Eliot’s The Cocktail Party and Polyeucte by Corneille. Our present text will be Solovyov’s War, Progress and the End of History: Three Conversations.
On October 4, 2017, a small reading group met for the first time. We have continued meeting once a month on Wednesday evenings from 7:30-9:00 for discussion and prayer. The group grew out of the regular Thursday night Adult Catechism classes as a kind of “graduate school” for those who wanted to continue learning and discussing. But our group is open to whomever would like to join us. We meet in the back room of the parish hall at Holy Family. Coffee and refreshments are usually provided. The meetings end with sung Compline in the church.
We have read through books like C.S. Lewis’ The Four Loves, Patricia Snow’s article in First Things, “Look at Me”, G.K. Chesterton’s Saint Francis of Assisi, and St Francis de Sales’ Introduction to the Devout Life.
The group has now become a nightly Zoom meeting paired with Compline. For more information, contact Fr. Michael Eades (416-532-2879 – [email protected]).
Bible Study classes meet on Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m., in the parish hall of Holy Family Church, under the guidance of one of the Fathers of the Oratory. The classes end at 9:00 p.m. Refreshments are served. Bring a Bible! Bring a friend!
The Legion of Mary
The Legion of Mary is a worldwide organization of lay Catholics whose members offer their services to the Church in her performance of spiritual works. The object of the Legion of Mary is the glory of God through the holiness of its members, developed by prayer and active co-operation with Mary’s and the Church’s work.
The members participate in the life of the parish through visiting families, the sick both in their homes and in hospital, door-to-door evangelization, and in every apostolic and missionary undertaking sponsored by the parish.
Senior meetings are on Thursdays at 7:30 pm beneath the Oratory Chapel in Holy Family Church. Intermediate and Junior meetings are on Sundays at 1:30 pm in the Parish Hall of Holy Family Church. Please contact the rectory for details of how to join.
Sisterhood of St. Philip Neri
A group that aims, through periodic events, to create an environment that nurtures and encourages the sisterhood of Catholic women in the two Oratory parishes. An event at the end of July 2022 (‘Appetizers and Adoration’) included a short reflection, an opportunity for socializing, prayers, and finally Adoration in Holy Family church. Women aged 18 and over are welcome. A small area for children and babies will be available; partners are encouraged to supervise the children and to get to know one another. To find out more please email [email protected]
St Francis Table
A group from Holy Family regularly volunteers at St Francis Table, a restaurant founded in 1987 by the Capuchin Franciscan Friars of Central Canada, dedicated to providing meals and a welcoming environment for the needy of our local communities. Patrons are asked to make a $1 donation towards their three course meal which is provided with full restaurant service. The Holy Family group regularly serves the Thursday lunch shift from 12pm-1pm, though volunteers are also welcome for other shifts. For more information, please contact coordinator Christopher Jared at [email protected].
The charismatic prayer group Cor Iesu meets every Friday at 7:30p.m. for praise and worship. All are welcome!
In addition Cor Iesu, together with the Catholic Charismatic Renewal Council in Toronto (CCRC), host the Life in the Spirit seminars at Holy Family Parish, on Friday evenings at 7.30 between July to September each year.