Discerning a call

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 towards 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 and their life together better. This could be through personal meetings with the brothers, a retreat or some time spent in a priory, a holiday camp, a festival, etc.

Every year we offer a retreat designed especially for those who want to discern their vocation.

Postulancy

If the Lord is calling someone, these initial encounters will increase his desire and make his discernment more mature. After speaking with his spiritual director about it, the prospective candidate is free to decide whether to meet the novice master and inquire about becoming a postulant.

During the postulancy which lasts approximately one year, the candidate will get to know the life of the brothers better, the foundations of the Church’s life of prayer, the sacraments and will receive instruction in the faith. He will study the Church’s documents on the religious life and the community’s foundational texts in order to understand the vocation of the Brothers of Saint John.

The brother in charge of postulants accompanies each candidate individually 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 as a whole also discerns whether or not to welcome the candidate into the community.

Whom should I contact?

If you wish to enter the community or have questions about your vocation we encourage you to contact the noviciate in the continent where you live.

In Europe, the novitiate is in Saint Jodard, France
Contact the novice master (in French or in English), Brother Jean du Cénacle, at noviciat@stjean.com
Address: Prieuré Saint Joseph, 42 590 Saint Jodard

For the USA and English speaking countries, the novitiate is in Princeville, USA
Contact the novice master, Brother John-Luke at brjohnluke@gmail.com
Address: Saint Joseph Friary, 11223 West Legion Hall Road, Princeville, IL 61559, USA

For Mexico and Spanish speaking countries, the novitiate is in Monterry, Mexico
Contact the novice master, Brother Léopold at frereleopold@gmail.com
Address: Priorato dan Juan, Brasil 100, Colonia Rincón de la Sierra A. P. 3-B, 67181 Guadalupe (Monterrey), NL Mexique

For Africa, the novitiate is in Simbock, Cameroon
Contact the novice master, Brother Jean at frjeansoro@yahoo.fr
Address: Prieuré Notre Dame de la Lumière, Simbock – BP 765, Yaoundé Cameroun

For Asia, the novitiate is in Cebu, Philippines
Contact the novice master, Brother Clément
fr.clement@stjean.com
Address: Banawa Hills P.O. Box 1160, 6 000 Cebu City Philippines

Delve a little deeper

What is a religious?

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

C’est ainsi qu’il est relié à Dieu; en suivant Jésus pauvre chaste et obéissant et en gardant son commandement nouveau de nous aimer les uns les autres; c’est à ceci que tous sont reconnu comme vrai disciple de Jésus (Jn 13, 34-35). C’est par l’Église, fondée par Jésus sur Pierre et les apôtres, que nous pouvons nous appuyer pour vivre notre relation à Dieu et nos frères.

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)

C’est pour cela qu’en faisant cette promesse de vivre selon les vœux, nous nous appuyons sur la miséricorde de Dieu et l’aide de nos frères (Cf. Rituel de profession). Notre désir est de nous unir au plus près à Jésus, en choisissant de vivre la forme de vie qu’Il a choisi sur terre et en cherchant à « s’approprier progressivement les sentiments du Christ envers son Père. » (Vita consecrata, 65).

The School of Life… Why not give it a go?

Since 1992, the Maison Saint Jean in Saint Quentin, France, has offered young people aged between 18-30 the opportunity to spend nine months with St John and Our Blessed Lady, close to the heart of Jesus. The young people who take this opportunity have a desire to offer this time freely to God in order to deepen their human and Christian life and to grow in their personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Cette année n’est à proprement parler un temps de discernement vocationnel même si certains jeunes peuvent venir pour découvrir notre communauté de plus près avant un possible engagement. La vie des jeunes est partagée entre la prière, les cours, la vie commune et de service et les apostolats. Visitez le site de l’école de vie.
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