Members of the Congregation of the Oratory, founded by St. Philip Neri in 1564 and approved by Pope Paul V in 1612. St. Philip's Oratory is a congregation of secular priests, technically a society of common life. For years there was a variety of autonomous oratories, finally formed into a confederation in 1942. Members are priests and brothers living a common life, without public vows. The director is elected every three years. Their purpose is to promote spiritual and cultural development by pastoral work, preaching and teaching, especially among students and the young.