About The Oratory
Video by Josh Smith
The Oratory is a community of homeschooling parents who seek to support each other in the noble mission of cultivating in our children a love for all that is good and true and beautiful. We invite you to explore the website to learn more about our mission.
For more information, email us or phone 540-248-1277.
Registration deadline for the 2022-2023 academic year is August 30, 2022 (note change from previously announced deadline).
At The Oratory we meet together 2 days a week for high school and 1 to 2 days a week for younger students. St. Philip Neri is our patron saint and one of our guides in the education of our children and the betterment of the Church and society. In the spirit of St. Philip Neri, our emphasis is on prayer, music and fine art. Other guides are Charlotte Mason and Laura Berquist, educators and writers.
The instructor leads class in the study of high school biology
Classes for older students include: Pre-Algebra, Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry, Physical Science, Biology with lab, Latin (all levels), Natural History, History, Art History, Ballet, Masonry, Knitting, Oration, Geography, and Singing. Other classes may be added upon request. Our goal is to provide every class a high school student needs to graduate and apply for college admission.
Classes for younger students include: Writing, Narration, Latin, Geography, Art Study, Nature Study, Poetry and Recitation, Ballet, Masonry, Knitting, Math tutoring, and Singing.
The Oratory: Our Name
It is our earnest desire that always, the chief end of every thing we do at The Oratory is to glorify God.
One way we aim to accomplish this end is through prayer. The word “oratory” means a place of prayer. We have chosen this name because we hope that God will accept the work that we do in educating our children as a prayer to Him. It is increasingly clear that in the face of the errors that permeate most modern education, we parents need to take more seriously than ever, the task of educating our children in the Truth. And so, we envision the building where we meet as a place of prayer, where every effort will be as incense rising up to God as we strive to recognize in every area of the children’s education, the beauty of His Truth.
The instructor leads students in the fundamentals of sacred music
Furthermore, we have dedicated ourselves to the task of teaching the children to sing skillfully to the Lord. No other class is scheduled during Choir class so that each child will grow in his love for beautiful, sacred music and his ability to praise God with song. The children sing at Mass from time to time, and it is our great hope that in so teaching the children, we will be supplying the Church with skillful singers and musicians for the future. The words spoken about David in the Book of Sirach inspire our efforts and we pray that we may please God in this area as David did:
“In all that David did he gave thanks to the Holy One, the Most High, with ascriptions of glory; he sang praise with all his heart, and he loved his Maker. He placed singers before the altar, to make sweet melody with their voices. He gave beauty to the feasts, and arranged their times throughout the year, while they praised God’s Holy Name, and the sanctuary resounded from early morning.” Sirach 47:8-10
A prayer, too, is our attempt to create unity, a striving to “be of the same mind and having the same love.”
And finally, we humbly ask the prayers of godly men and women who have been dedicated to the education of children in other ages:
- St. Philip Neri, who founded the first Oratory—and we seek to imitate him who was famous for his joy and cheerfulness and the love for God which his heart could not even contain, and his dedication especially to the salvation and education of young men—his virtue a light to our path;
- St. John Bosco, who also established an Oratory wherein he educated young men, most of whom would have been destitute, without his help—his service to others a light to our path;
- St. John Henry Newman, who loved St. Philip Neri, and held him as his personal patron and who also established an oratory; who wrote eloquently of the greatness of a liberal arts education—his intellect a light to our path;
- St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, a mother and a religious who founded schools in a needy country;
- St. Katharine Drexel, who worked tirelessly establishing schools for underprivileged children;
- St. Rose Duschesne, who also established schools for the love of God.
We plead for their prayers who have faithfully served God, that we, too, will do God’s will on our watch. Thus, The Oratory.