St. Anthony’s Church

About Us

Who are the Order of Augustinian Recollects (O.A.R.)?

The Recollects trace their history back to St Augustine of Hippo, now called Annaba, which is on the north coast of Algeria. St Augustine lived from 354 to 430 and was a great philosopher and theologian. He also wrote a rule for his friends to live in community.

After his death many of the communities who followed his rule were abandoned due to the Vandal invasions. His rule was treasured by many holy men who formed independent Augustinian communities. These independent communities became so numerous that Pope Alexander IV decided they should unify and form one great order. In 1256 the Great Union of Augustinians took place. From this the Hermits of St Augustine began and soon spread through the known world.

At the time of the reformation the Council of Trent pleaded with all the orders to attempt a spiritual renewal. In their response the Augustinians set aside a house for those Friars who wished to be more 'Recollected’. It proved very popular and soon they were joined by young men called to the recollected way of life.

At this time the order was semi-enclosed but in response to a request from the Pope the Order sent many Friars to the newly discovered Philippine Islands and later to missionary territories including South America and Japan.

From these humble beginnings grew the community of Augustinian Recollects. In 1912 Pope Pius raised this community to the status of an Order, the last to be so designated.

The Order of Augustinian Recollects now has 1200 priests and brothers working in 19 countries around the world: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, England, Guatemala, Italy, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Sierra Leone, Spain, Taiwan, United States and Venezuela.

For the Augustinian Recollects, like the early Christians, the key word is community: they pray in community, live in community, work in community. Their pastoral work is conditioned by the needs of the country they are in. And so they run schools and universities, parishes and missions, centres of social integration and hospital and immigrants chaplaincies.



Catholic Women League (C.W.L.)

The Catholic Women's League was founded in 1906 by Margaret Fletcher. The League encourages its members to work both in the parish and the wider community. Members are also concerned with issues on a national and international level, speaking out on educational, religious and social concerns. The Ottery St Mary Section was established in 1952.

They meet at 10.10 after morning Mass on the 3rd Tuesday each month.

More details from Jackie Crean on 01404 234327


Mothers Prayer Group

‘Mothers Prayers’ was founded in England in 1995 by two grandmothers who felt led by the Lord to pray in a special way for their children. There are now groups spread throughout the world. Mothers, grandmothers and spiritual mothers come together to pray for their own children and all children. The spirituality of Mothers Prayers is surrender: we give our hopes and joys to the Lord and trust in His love and care.

Coming together to pray in this gentle and special way the mothers discover new friendships in one another and their burdens are lightened as they unite their prayers with mothers all over the world.

A ‘Mothers Prayer Group’ meets weekly on Thursdays after morning Mass. All ladies, whether mothers, grandmothers or not, are welcome to join us – just come along or call Carol Russell on 01404 813526.


Friday Fitness

Is held at St Anthony’s church hall, Ottery St Mary, on Friday mornings. This is a ladies class which is suitable for age fifty- plus and is suitable for those wishing to do some gentle exercise to music. Led by a qualified fitness instructor. Class starts after morning Mass at about 10.15 a.m and is one hour’s duration. Coffee/tea and chat afterwards. For details contact Sue Wakley-Stoyle on 01404-822554.


Marian Prayer Group

They meet in one of the upstairs rooms after the 9.30am Mass on first Tuesday of the month. All are welcome to come and spend time in prayer with Our Blessed Mother.

Organizations, groups and activities