Our History…

The History of the foundation of the New York Oratory spans from 1967 to 2007, from being Hallel communications, an independent Catholic Production Company, to the New York Oratory of St Philip Neri. We are a community of friends who support each other in the service  of Jesus Christ; of His Church and in the mission to evangelize the world through Mass Media and other means of social  and/or personal communications.

1967:  The beginning of our Oratory goes back to Italy in 1967, when our work in communications started under the title of Hallel Communications.

1968:  Hallel Communications became an independent Catholic production company and transferred its activities to the United States in 1968.

1974: Under the legal title of Hallel Institute, the production company was incorporated in New York State as a not-for-profit and tax-exempt corporation. The stated purpose of this corporation was to produce audiovisuals for communicating Catholic traditions and faith.

1994:  Cardinal John O’Connor approved a community which was forming in Hallel Institute as a Private Association of the Faithful under the name of “Hallel Missionaries”.

1997:  The first contact with the Procurator General of the Confederation of the Oratory took place in 1997 and Hallel Missionaries began the process of forming The New York Oratory of St. Philip Neri.

1999:  With a letter of July 29, 1999, Cardinal John O’Connor granted “nihil obstat”, an Episcopal permission to found the Oratory in New York Archdiocese.

2000: In response to a petition, Cardinal O’Connor established on January 14, 2000 The Archdiocesan Oratory of St. Philip Neri as a clerical society of Apostolic Life of Diocesan Right.

2005:  After death of Cardinal O’Connor, the new Archbishop of New York, His Eminence Cardinal Egan conferred with the Procurator General P. Edoardo Cerrato, met with him on January 19, 2006 and on July 18, 2006 gave his support for the Foundation of New York Oratory by the Holy See in Rome.

2007:  P. Edoardo Cerrato received the Decree of Foundation of the New York Oratory on June 29, 2009, the Feast of the Apostle Peter and Paul. The Oratory, formed by Rev. Vladimir Chripko, Rev. Martin Kertys, Rev. Francis Conka and Rev. George Torok became a Clerical Society of Apostolic Life of Pontifical Right. On the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, August 15, 2007, the Procurator General P. Edoardo Cerrato consigned the Decree of the Foundation of New York Oratory to its members, during the celebration of the Eucharist, presided by Cardinal Egan, in the presence of Archbishop Alojz Tkac, Metropolitan of Kosice Slovakia, participating honorable guests, parishioners of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, visitors from other parishes and friends.

2008:  New York Oratory of St. Philip Neri, Inc. was also instituted as a federal and a New York State not-for-profit and tax-exempt organization, respectively September 15, 2008 and March 11 2008. Since most of the priests belonging to the NY Oratory come from the Archdiocese of Kosice, Slovakia, a special gratitude goes to the Archbishop Metropolitan of Kosice, His Excellency Alojz Tkac, who should be looked upon as truly a cofounder of this Oratory. The Cardinals O’Connor and Egan will be held for ever in our memory as benefactors and founders of this Oratory. Without the help of Fr. Edoardo Cerrato, the New York Oratory would not have existed. Not only his help, but his friendship sustained the oratorians on a journey of foundation which was sometimes arduous and testing.

Deo gratias!