The Brothers of Saint John from the priory of Blessed Réginald d’Orléans will celebrate 25 years in Orléans on Saturday 30 November and Sunday 1 December, 2019, with Mgr Jacques Blaquart, Bishop of Orléans, and Br François-Xavier, Prior General of the Brothers of Saint John.
A mass of thanksgiving will be celebrated on the Sunday morning, followed by a festive meal.
1994 – 2019 “God is Love”
The Orléans priory was founded in 1994 on the first Sunday of Advent. It is situated near to the city centre and the Loire River and is easily found, thanks to its elevated position. The building (presbytery) adjoins the church to a rich past, which goes back as far as the 9th Century. What is now Saint Laurent became a Clunisian priory in 1107, was destroyed in 1428 and was rebuilt in 1446 and 1626, then again in the second half of the 17th Century following a fire.
On one side of the priory there is a more modern building called “The Franciscans”, in memory of the Franciscan convent that used to occupy that space. On the other side of the priory there also used to be a convent of nuns.
The brothers’ main mission is the parish of Saint Laurent, but they also give courses, conferences, offer pilgrimages, preach at retreats and accompany different groups. Sometimes they do these in collaboration with the Apostolic Sisters of Saint John, who are based in Saint-Jean-Le-Blanc, only a few kilometres away. The brothers regularly visit the sisters to celebrate mass, hear confessions, undertake intellectual work together and meet fraternally.
In addition to the sisters, the Family of Saint John also includes many lay oblates from the surrounding area who offer support, both on a material level and an apostolic level, such as welcoming people to the parish.