Meet the Brothers
About our Community
“the life was made manifest,
and we saw it, and testify to it”
– 1 Jn 1:2
he charism of the Community of St. John is to seek to follow Jesus Christ, in the footsteps of the apostle John, “to give witness, for the Church and the world of today, to the one thing that is above all others: the love of Jesus’ heart. His filial love that glorifies the Father and his saving love for mankind.” – Father Marie-Dominique Philippe
The founder of the Community of St. John, Father Marie-Dominique Philippe, o.p. (1912-2006), wanted us to be for the Church what St. John was for Christ.
Saint John is the apostle who rested on the Heart of Jesus during the Last Supper. So following John, we anchor our lives in the contemplation of the Word of God through silent prayer, adoration, daily Eucharist and the divine office. The life of prayer is the source of our religious life. Our religious life aims to express a total consecration to Jesus and the Father, and thus show the transcendence of divine love.
This life of prayer should then flourish in brotherly charity. Saint John insisted a lot on brotherly charity in his writings. It is in his Gospel that we find the “new commandment” of Jesus: “As I have loved you, that you love one another” (Jn 13:34). The brothers choose to live this commandment of love by means of a common life in small communities called priories.
The life of study is an essential part of our consecration to Christ. Jesus prayed for his disciples, that they be “consecrated in truth” (Jn 17:17-19). In response to this prayer of Christ the brothers place their philosophical and theological study at the heart of their religious life. This constant searching nourishes our contemplation of God. When we study we are also seeking a deeper understanding of what man is, in order to be more attentive to the questions people have today.
By our apostolic activity, we go into the world to share with others the light and love of God we have received in our prayer life, community life and study life. We would like each of our priories to be a “spiritual oasis” where people can come and relax with the God who is Love and Light (cf. 1 John 1:5, 4:8).
We are at the service of the Church. Each priory is founded in response to a request from a bishop. Different missions are entrusted to us, such as spiritual centers or retreat houses, parishes, shrines, chaplaincies… We aim to accomplish these missions, according to our charism, with particular attention to youth and families. Often we open in our priories a spiritual center (a “St. John School”) to be a place for forming the mind and heart through teaching. Finally, charitable initatives have developed in some priories where the brothers felt a particular calling of the spirit.
Today, the Community of the Brothers of Saint John is present in thirty countries (63 priories) and consists of 540 brothers. It has two sister branches, the Contemplative Sisters of Saint John and Apostolic Sisters of Saint John. Along with our secular oblates (lay people involved in the community), the three branches of the Community of Saint John form a new family in the Church: the Saint John Family.