The Pursuit of Wisdom:
Living the Truth about God and man from an ultimate perspective
Present in 22 countries on 5 continents and numbering nearly 1,000 Brothers and Sisters, the family of St. John desires to be for Jesus in today's Church what John was for Jesus in the Gospels. By placing the spirit of the Beloved Disciple in the context of the New Evangelization, the Congregation of St. John reaches out to young people by providing the milieu for their authentic personal growth and formation in our Catholic Faith.
THE SPIRIT OF SAINT JOHN
The members of the Community of Saint John seek to fully live the evangelical counsels of poverty, virginity, and obedience in a spirit rooted in the Gospel of St. John. Their spirit flows from three of the salient features of St. John’s holiness found in his Gospel.
First, St. John’s personal covenant with Jesus in the Eucharist is at the source of the Community’s silent adoration and liturgical prayer. This liturgy follows the monastic spirit, but its celebration is lightened because of the demands of the apostolic life, so that more time might be given to silent prayer in common.
Secondly, St. John’s personal covenant with Mary, mother and guardian of the growth of the divine life of Faith, Hope, and Charity in its members, and the divine milieu of contemplative life. Just as “the disciple took her into his home,” (John 19:27) this covenant is the foundation for the unity of fraternal charity lived in communal life.
Third, St. John’s personal covenant with St. Peter, found today in the person of the Holy Father: filial obedience to the Successor of Peter and to the Bishops in order to live the Church’s Tradition most faithfully and profoundly.
The members of the Family of St. John seek to give themselves to God without reserve for the salvation of souls. Such a total consecration of oneself to the Blessed Trinity can only be realized fully through the sacrifice of Christ, our High Priest, who offers himself as a holocaust victim of love of the Father on the Cross. For this reason, each member of the Family of St. John has at heart to strive to share in the mystery of the priesthood of Christ as profoundly as possible. This priesthood, which is the most precious gift given by Christ to His Church, is brought to completion (cf. Col. 1:24) in two ways: the royal priesthood of the faithful and the ministerial priesthood. By their religious life, all of the members of the Family of St. John seek to follow St. John's example: they seek to follow the Lamb wherever he goes (Rev. 14), even to the Cross where he accomplishes his sacerdotal work as Beloved Son. This contemplative priesthood calls the members of the Family of St. John to constantly seek the Face of Christ so as to communicate his light and love to those to whom they have been sent. In and through this, the Community strives to glorify the Father with Christ and help today's world rediscover a sense of adoration and fraternal charity.
Another key dimension of the spirit of the Family of St. John is found in their call to constantly seek to know and live in the truth as fully as possible. To accomplish this, members strive above all else to know and love the Word of God as found in the living Tradition of the Church (especially the Fathers of the church and St. Thomas Aquinas) and presented by the Church’s Magisterium. This desire to receive God’s revelation both for its own sake, and in a way that will enable them to dialogue with others, opens the members of the Community to engage in a genuinely philosophical inquiry, centered on the human person. This philosophical formation, done in the footsteps of Aristotle and with reference to St. Thomas Aquinas, does not neglect the major modern-day problems that confront Christians today, especially the various forms of atheism. And yet, this rigorous formation in Theology and Philosophy is firstly undertaken with a view to communicating the mystery of our Divine Savior in its fullness to a world in desperate need of his saving truth. In this way, each member of the Community seeks to respond to Christ's mission to "present the patrimony of the faith to men of our time... in an understandable and persuasive fashion" (Evangelii Nuntiandi, 3).
Father Marie-Dominique Philippe, O.P. is considered the founder of three religious congregations – the Brothers of St. John, the Contemplative Sisters of St. John, and the Apostolic Sisters of St. John – who seek to live in the grace of St. John the Apostle. The Brothers of St. John came about when Father Philippe was a professor at the Pontifical Dominican University of Fribourg in Switzerland. Born in 1912 in northern France, he entered the Dominican Order in 1930 and taught full time in Fribourg from 1945 until 1982. While he was there, he founded the Community of the Brothers of St. John on December 8, 1975. They were recognized by the Bishop of Autun (Burgundy, France) as an Institute of Diocesan Right in 1986.
In 1982, the Contemplative Sisters of St. John were begun. In 1994, these Contemplative Sisters were recognized by the Bishop of Lyons (France) as an Institute of Diocesan Rite. The Congregation of the Apostolic Sisters of Saint John came to be in 1984, and were recognized by the Bishop of Autun as an Institute of Diocesan Right in 1993.
In the United States, the Brothers (quickly followed by the Contemplative Sisters) first founded a house in Laredo, Texas in 1986. Ten years later, they founded a second house, in the Diocese of Peoria, Illinois. This house eventually became the foundation of the Community’s Novitiate for the Brothers and Contemplative Sisters in the year 2000. In 2006 the Brothers and Apostolic Sisters came to the inner city of Orange, New Jersey for the third American foundation. And, most recently, in 2012, the Apostolic Sisters also opened their Novitiate in Princeville, Illinois. The Brothers in Laredo, Orange, and Princeville also have groups of Secular Oblates who live the spirit of St. John in the world and cooperate with them in their apostolic work.
THROUGHOUT THE WORLD
France, Cameroon, Togo, Ivory Coast, Ethiopia, Guinea, Senegal, United States, Cuba, Canada, South Korea, India, New Zealand, Philippines, Brazil, Mexico, Taiwan, Austria, Belgium, Spain, Great Britain, Northern Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, The Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Russia, Switzerland
In the United States
- Orange, NJ
Eagle Eye programs are only part of a whole series of apostolic efforts specifically geared towards young people, including: Campus Ministry programs at Seton Hall University, the Texas A&M International University in Laredo, Texas, and Laredo Community College; summer mountaineering expeditions; children’s adoration programs around the world (www.childrenofhope.org), youth pilgrimages, camping excursions, and volunteer programs. The formation offered through Eagle Eye is part of this overall effort by the Community to bring the best in our Catholic Faith to young people of all ages. In addition, members of the community also participate in other apostolates including humanitarian missions, houses for those overcoming addictions, work with orphans, and prison ministry.