Youths are trading in the liberal life for a room with a pew
Hidden on the corner of Colum Road is Cardiff Oratory – home of a religious brotherhood who are currently housing 25 young Catholics by the North Road junction.
The Oratorians are a Catholic order whose main purpose is to stay ‘at home’ providing spiritual advice to those in need. However, since its launch in Cardiff last year the brotherhood has been building a youth community within their walls to connect with the left-wing youth of Cardiff.
Oratory resident Father Alexander Gee said he feels encouraged by the growing number of young people interested in the brotherhood, but believes that these foundations must be built upon as the community grows.
“I wouldn’t say we have a captive audience but we certainly have a very large young population among the student body from which we can attract people to the work we do here. I think there are many young people involved in the church but they are not necessarily making a lot of noise about it,” he said.
Brother Ambrose Jackson, a 28-year-old Oratorian and Cardiff native, maintains that young Catholics are treated as “second-class citizens” within society and that a lack of tolerance towards people of faith has left Catholics afraid to express their moral and ethical views.
He hopes that through extending an invitation for young people to light a candle in their church, the brotherhood has been encouraging Christians to practice their faith more openly.
Brother Ambrose said, “I would hope that the higher culture that we are trying to create would attract people from across the board, whether they are Christian or not.”
In spite of recently being robbed, the Oratory maintains an open-door policy, and maintains that the Cardiff community strive to help anyone who comes to them in need of money, food or a place to stay.