The Oratory of Rock Hill


The Parish of St. Philip Neri is directed under the auspices of the Rock Hill Oratory, an Oratorian house that was founded in 1934 in Rock Hill, SC. The priests of St. Philip Neri, Fr. John and Fr. Joe, are Oratorians, or members of the Rock Hill Oratory. The local Oratory is part of a worldwide federation of 60 independent Oratorian houses collectively known as The Oratory. This international alliance was founded by our patron, St. Philip Neri, in Rome in 1556. The Rock Hill Oratory is the oldest and largest house in the United States.


Members of The Oratory are not bound by vows, oath or promise, but by bonds of love and common purpose. Each house of The Oratory is self-governing and independent of all others, with the community remaining deliberately small to encourage interpersonal relationships. Governed democratically, the entire community shares in making major decisions with all members having equal rights and responsibilities.


The local Catholic community in York County, SC, which is comprised of five parishes and one mission church, falls under the direction of the Rock Hill Oratory. Local residents have long received the pastoral care, spiritual leadership and complimentary services of the Oratorians. Fulfilling the spiritual needs of local Catholics is a primary, full-time ministry, although the Rock Hill Oratory also provides other services, including:


The local Oratory serves local Catholics and non-Catholics alike, and provides for the spiritual needs of individuals in hospitals, nursing homes, college campuses, elementary and middle schools, and the soup kitchen.

In addition to parish ministry, the Oratorians staff and direct the Rock Hill Oratory’s Center for Spirituality, which provides retreats, faith formation programs, and workshops conducted by renowned scholars.

Since 1934, the Rock Hill Oratory has recruited and educated every priest or brother that has served, or currently serves, in York County parishes and missions.

Since its establishment in 1934, the local Oratorian house has been a totally self-sufficient community. The Rock Hill Oratory receives no funds from the Diocese of Charleston, but instead relies on donations from area parishes and the local community. Oratorians live together in a community way of life at the Rock Hill Oratory, with the parishes that it serves in York County consequently not bearing the expense of providing a rectory and its associated costs. A group of concerned York County residents generates support for the local Oratory and assists with its financial support. Known as “Friends of the Oratory,” this group solicits financial donations and physical assistance for the Rock Hill Oratory in order to ensure its long-term security.


St. Philip Neri parishioners are encouraged to support the spiritual and ministerial efforts, daily operations, and mission of the Rock Hill Oratory through financial donations. Parishioners may make contributions by:


Completing the The Oratory Bank Draft Form/Pledge Form;

Submitting donations through the regular offertory collection at St. Philip Neri; and/or

By contacting the St. Philip Neri Parish Office or the Rock Hill Oratory.

The Oratorians ask that each family prayerfully consider their contributions and be as generous as their means permit. They realize that, due to circumstances beyond control, not every family has the wherewithal to make the same size gift. One can, however, make a sacrifice that is in proportion to the extent to which God has blessed our parishioners and their loved ones. The Oratory and the Oratorians greatly appreciate all contributions, and gratefully extend their prayers to all.


The Rock Hill Oratory


434 Charlotte Avenue 803.327.2097

Rock Hill, SC 29730


Saint Philip Neri Catholic Church - 292 Munn Road East ·  Fort Mill, SC 29715 ·  Phone: 803-548-7282 ·  Fax: 803-547-2999