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Frères de Saint-Jean Province de France
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Discerning a call

Discerning a call with the Brothers of Saint John

The word ‘vocation’ comes from the Latin, vocare, to call. Just as at the time of the first disciples, Christ continues to issue a call to certain people: “Come and follow me”. The response to such a call is an eminently personal and free act. The Church, through her appointed authorities, accompanies the person who senses a call and confirms his choice to leave everything to follow Christ and proclaim the Gospel.

The Lord’s call

When Jesus calls someone to become a Brother of Saint John, he draws that person interiorly toward this particular community and gives him the desire to become one of its members. Jesus alone can do this.

If this desire continues to grow, then the moment has come to speak with a spiritual director. If you do not already have one, now is the time to seek one out.

It would also be a good idea to get to know the brothers a little better and the life they choose to live together. This could be through personal meetings with the brothers, a retreat or some time spent in a priory, a holiday camp, or festival, etc.

A retreat is essential at this time of discernment. In most of the countries where the Congregation is present, an annual retreat for discernment is offered.


If the Lord is calling someone, these initial encounters will increase his desire and deepen his discernment. After speaking with his spiritual director, the prospective candidate can decide whether or not he would like to meet with the Director of Postulants and inquire about becoming a postulant.

During the postulancy, which lasts approximately one year, the candidate will be introduced to the life of the brothers, the foundations of the Church’s life of prayer, the sacraments and will receive instruction in the faith. He will study the documents of the Church and Tradition on the religious life and be led to discover the vocation of a Brother of Saint John.

The Director of Postulants accompanies each candidate in order to discern the strength of his call and whether he has the necessary aptitudes to live a life in community.

Throughout a brother’s initial formation and at each stage of commitment (entrance to the noviciate, clothing, simple vows, perpetual vows, etc.) the community also discerns whether or not to accept the candidate into the Congregation.

Whom should I contact?

Young people who wish to join the community or who have questions about their vocation can contact one of the brothers responsible for vocations on their continent.

In France
Contact the responsible of the Postulants, Brother Gaetan
Address: Frères de Saint-Jean, 44 rue de l’Est, 92100 Boulogne-Billancourt, France

In Europe
Contact the responsible of the Postulants, Brother John-Luke
Address: Comunitatea Sfantul Ioan Manastirea Sfanta Familie – Str. Jiului 35-37, Sector 1 – 013211 Bucuresti, Romania

For the USA, the novitiate is in Princeville, USA
Contact the Vocation Director Brother Johannes Pio
Address: Saint Joseph Friary, 11223 West Legion Hall Road, Princeville, IL 61559, USA

For Latin America, priory San Juan, Mexico
Contact Brother Toribio, Director of Observership
or Instagram: hno_toribio
Address: Parroquia Francesa – Horacio 1758, Chapultepec Morales, Polanco, Ciudad de Mexico CP 11510, Mexico

For Africa, the novitiate is in Simbock, Cameroon
Contact the novice master, Brother Jean-Sidoine
Address : Tchitchao Wayaa, S/C Évêché de Kara, BP 45 Kara, Togo

For Asia, the novitiate is in Cebu, Philippines
Contact the master of studies, Brother Marie-Étienne (Brother Steban)
Address: Brothers of Saint John, Good Shepherd Road – Banawa Hills, PO BOX1160, Cebu City, Philippines
Tel: 0063 94 22 97 84 79

Delve a little deeper

What is a religious?

A Brother of Saint John leads what is called a ‘religious life’. ‘Religious’ means ‘fastened to’ or ‘bound to’ (from the Latin religare). Someone in religious life has received a call from Jesus to bind themselves to Him through vows and the common life.

He is thus bound to, or ‘fastened to’ God, by following Jesus in poverty, chastity and obedience, and by keeping His new commandment to “love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (Jn 13 :34-35). In order to live this relationship with God and with our brothers and sisters, we rely on the Church, founded by Jesus upon Peter and the apostles.

What are the 3 vows?

We take three vows: the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. Life according to these vows corresponds to “that form of life which he, as the Son of God, accepted in entering this world.” (Vita Consecreta, 16)

That is why, as we make this promise to live according to the three vows, we rely upon God’s mercy and the help of our brothers (Cf. Rite of Profession). We desire to unite ourselves as closely as possible to Jesus, choosing to live the form of life he himself chose in his earthly life and seeking a “gradual identification with the attitude of Christ towards the Father” (Vita Consecrata, 65).

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