Press communiqué

Publié le 7 May 2019

Logo Brothers of Saint John

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This Tuesday, 7th May 2019, in St Jodard in the presence of Mgr Rivière, Bishop of Autun and Ordinary of the Brothers of St John, the General Chapter of the Brothers of St John elected Brother François Xavier Cazali as Prior General, with a majority of two-thirds of the vote, for a mandate of six years, according to the Constitutions of the Congregation.

Brother François-Xavier, aged 45 from France, spent many years in Lithuania, where he was superior. Since 2016 he was Vicar General of the Community and member of the Commission treating cases of abuse, in which he showed determination to tackle abuse.

The General Chapter, made up of about fifty delegates, will continue the process of elections until 10th May. It will elect a Master of Studies and Councillors of the Prior General.

The election of the new Prior General was preceded by several days of work during which the Brothers looked together at the truth of the history of the Community, its relationship to the founder and the report given by the Commission treating cases of abuse.

In this context and in a united, fraternal climate, each brother expressed what he identified as the challenges and priorities of the Community for the years ahead.

These questions will nourish the second session of the General Chapter, which will take place from 22nd to 30th October 2019. The brothers at the chapter will need to give orientations for the years ahead, so that the Community will always put its charism at the service of humanity and of the Church and continue the reforms already begun.

The Community of the Brothers of St John includes around 500 brothers (of which 270 are priests), who come from 34 countries and who are spread out in about fifty priories on five continents.

Contact brother for the media: Brother Jean-Yves, contact.presse@stjean.com

Regina Caeli Hermitage in Denver Colorado

Publié le 19 March 2019

Regina Caeli Hermitage of the Brothers of Saint John: prayer cabins for individual retreats

The Regina Caeli Hermitage has some exciting news to share! We want you to know that we are opening two of our prayer cabins for individual retreats. The cabins are named “Patience” and “Faithfulness” and each cabin has a special area designated as a prayer room.

These prayer cabins are for tough and brave people because there is no electricity, running water, sewage, or kitchen stove in them! However, there is a heating wood stove that runs on pellets. The cabins are equipped with some rechargeable lanterns for lighting, and showers and restrooms are accessible at the Dome House where you can also access your water supply, unless you bring your own. You will need to bring food that is already prepared and ready to eat as there is no kitchen in these cabins. However, hot meals in thermoses can be provided by Gigi if you desire. In this simplistic and rustic environment you will experience the presence of the Lord in the silence and solitude, and this is “worth the price” – sólo Dios basta! (God alone suffices)! Please go to the “Individual Retreats” menu of our website to find the online booking for a retreat in one of these cabins and if you desire to have meals provided then check the appropriate box when making your reservation. We also have one other cabin named “Peace” that is still undergoing some updates and when they are completed it will also be available for a solitary wilderness retreat.Other news concerning the RCH is that this summer there unfortunately will not be any novices residing at the RCH. Usually summertime is when the men in formation (to become a Brother of St. John) come to the RCH for two months to pray and spend time in discernment. This news saddens us so please join us in our prayer for vocations to our Community! Meanwhile, the RCH will remain available for group and individual retreats throughout the summer so check the website for available dates to book your retreat.

Lastly, please put these dates on your calendar:
Saturday, June 22, for the Annual Potluck Picnic
Saturday, August 24, to celebrate the Regina Caeli – Queen of Heaven Feast Day (this is the weekend nearest to the feast of Our Lady Queen of Heaven which is liturgically celebrated on August 22nd). This year we will have a Hog Roast Fundraiser event instead of our traditional Potluck, which may become an annual gathering of all the friends of the RCH, if it turns out to be a hit.

We will also have a Spring Volunteer Work Day, but the date of this event will be determined later on, depending on the snow-melt at the end of spring. We have been blessed with over 2 feet of snowfall in just January alone so our Spring workday might be closer to Summer! We’ll keep you posted!

Please feel free to come and visit the Regina Caeli Hermitage, Tom and Gigi will be happy to welcome you and show you around!

Facebook

Website

Press communiqué

Publié le 5 March 2019

Logo Brothers of Saint John

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5/03/2019

Following the distressing testimony given by a victim of Fr Marie-Dominique Philippe that has been broadcast over the past few days, the Brothers of Saint John first would like to ask forgiveness once again of all of the victims of Fr Phillipe.

The Brothers of Saint John condemn every occasion of sexual abuse and abuse of power, and reaffirm their commitment, in communion with Pope Francis, to fight against abuse. They are aware that their community’s 45 year history is sadly marked by the sexual abuse committed by their founder – which the Prior General made public on his own initiative in 2013 – and that of other brothers in the community, as well as by errors in dealing with cases of sexual abuse in the past, notably through insufficient acknowledgment of the victims’ suffering, insufficient formation for the brothers and insufficient procedures to deal with such situations.

There is no possibility that the mismanagement of the past could take place today, and this has been the case for a number of years now. Every case of abuse that is raised with us is treated in conformity with civil and ecclesiastical law.

We understand that the victims may continue to be angry with our community. In a letter addressed to all the brothers on 20 February, 20191 , to update them on the sad issue of abuse, the Prior General wrote: “I would like to take this opportunity to ask forgiveness of the victims who feel they were not sufficiently listened to and / or accompanied (…). I want to apologise to the victims of our founder and to the victims of our brothers.

Important work has been undertaken with courage and determination for several years now by the government of the Brothers of Saint John, to ensure that the errors and faults of the past are not repeated. On 18 February, 2019, the Vatican addressed a letter1 to the Prior General: “acknowledging the work that has been undertaken, [the Dicastery] wants to encourage the Brothers and Sisters of Saint John to continue along this path, humbly and with courage, confidence and determination.

In his letter to the brothers on 20 February, 2019, the Prior General said: “To combat multiple cases of abuse, and the internal culture that made them more easily possible, we have had to work on at least four domains: 1) formation of the brothers; 2) making sure victims are listened to immediately; 3) treating reported cases seriously and quickly; 4) accompanying victims of abuse and truly helping them.” Indeed, for several years now a number of measures have been put in place with respect to discernment of new members of the community, the brothers’ initial and continued formation in issues relating to affectivity and sexuality, the prevention of paedophilia, spiritual accompaniment and procedures to be taken if accusations are made against a brother. Most notably, in 2015 a commission was created that includes two laypeople (one of whom is a psychologist) and that works in full collaboration with Rome and with the civil authorities. For all of these measures we call in competent persons from outside the community.

We reiterate that any person can contact the SOS commission on abuse directly by email at the following address: sos.abus@stjean.com; or the helpline of the Conference of the Bishops of France: paroledevictimes@cer.fr.

Our efforts to correct what needs to be corrected is also motivated by the desire that the good done by the 50 or so priories of the Brothers of Saint John over 5 continents will not be completely eclipsed. It is indeed our hope that the life of the majority of the brothers, who dedicate their lives to God and their fellow man, continues to be a sign of hope in the world.

The Prior General concluded his letter to the brothers on 20 February by saying: “Given the strength of the Johannine charism we have received, the fraternity that has continued to surprise me during our recent Vicariate Chapters, all the trials we have been through together and all the work accomplished, I am convinced that Cardinal Braz des Aviz [Prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life at the Vatican], in his letter of June 2016, had good reason to say: “The prospect of young people being called to religious life in your Family of Saint John is a good both for them and for the Church.” The work we have begun together will certainly bear fruit for our community in the foreseeable future, even if it is in tears that we must sow.

1 Letters are available on the website: https://brothers-saint-john.org/who-we-are/our-history/key-moments/
Press contact:
 Brother Jean-Yves
 contact.presse@stjean.com
Frères de Saint-Jean
Notre Dame de Rimont, 3 rue de l’ancien séminaire, 71390 Fley, France
+33(
0)3 85 98 18 98

World Youth Day, Panama

Publié le 26 January 2019

World Youth Day, Panama

The 34th World Youth Day has just begun in Panama. The brothers attending give us their first impressions of the event.

The opening Mass was presided over by the Archbishop of Panama City, Msgr José Domingo Ulloa Mendieta. The Archbishop preached movingly, evoking the fact that all young people should be able to achieve their dreams, whatever their race, sex or socio-economic standing. He also expressed his thanks that Panama City made every effort to welcome the young, putting their whole heart into the event.

The brothers and young people of their group were able to participate in the Way of the Cross with the Pope. Numerous American countries were able to prayerfully express their faith in God through the hands of the Virgin Mary, whilst confiding to her the sufferings of many nations.

The young people and brothers accompanying them are getting ready to leave for a time of prayer. The sun is not up yet and everyone is expecting a beautiful sunny day, humidity and faith-filled activity. From the Isthmus of Panama, they pray for all whom they know and who are confided to them.

Mexico: Men’s retreat

Publié le 20 January 2019

Mexico: Men's retreat with the Brothers of Saint John

A retreat for men was organised by the French parish run by the Brothers of St John in Tlalpan, Mexico, on a weekend in late January, 2019. The retreat took place within the same environment as the retreat for women, but the programme was different for the men. The weekend began on Friday 18th January with Mass, followed by dinner and a conference to set the tone of the retreat.

During this extraordinary weekend, those on the retreat reflected upon the theme of fatherhood and manhood. A walk through the Tlalpan forest on Saturday afternoon provided an occasion for the men to pray the rosary. During the walk, under the trees and free from noise and pollution, another talk was given. Everyone participated in a night vigil of adoration, beautifully enhanced by those who were musicians and singers. The retreatants ensured someone was always present before the Blessed Sacrament until 8am on Sunday, when they sang Lauds together. It was a real moment of grace!
On the Sunday, families and friends gathered for the celebration of a final Mass, with retreatants contributing to readings and music. Following Mass, everyone shared a picnic in a leafy park under bright sunshine.

All who attended give thanks for this fervent retreat. Each returned home transformed, like the water changed in to wine at Cana. The Lord gave them a superabundance and they drank their fill of Jesus, drunk with joy at having tasted how much the Lord is good to us! Glory to God!

Chapter of the Southern Europe Vicariate

Publié le 12 January 2019

Chapter of the Southern Europe Vicariate

The chapter for the Southern Europe vicariate took place in a snowy Bucharest from 7-12th January.

It began, as is the tradition, with reports from the various priories. The priories are all doing well; they are seeing growth in both their apostolic life and their fraternal life. However, it was noted that each priory experiences certain difficulties due to not having enough brothers.

The reports from the Prior General and the Master of Studies helped the brothers understand the work that has taken place over the last three years. The brothers were grateful for the freedom with which the superiors expressed themselves, and which enabled them to receive their reports in a calm and constructive way.

Refreshment and enrichment were provided by excursions and visits enjoyed together. The brothers were particularly moved by a pilgrimage to Jilava Prison, where Blessed Vladimir Ghika died a martyr for the faith on 16th May 1954: a Romanian priest and an intellectual giant, he had a deep Johannine spirituality, and prepared the way for the work of the Brothers and Sisters of Saint John.

The rest of the chapter focussed on the particular issues faced in this vicariate. The closing of the priory in Nalchik was discussed, as well as the future of the priory in Bucharest and of the whole of the Southern Europe Vicariate. It seemed important that its current structure should be maintained, even though it may not be very robust.

During the chapter, the brothers benefited from a remarkable presentation by the Romanian Jesuit Fr Marius Talos on spiritual accompaniment. A Francophile and Francophone, Fr Talos delighted the brothers with his approach to the biblical figure of Samuel, who was both a master and someone who accompanied others. His talk was full of culture and humour, and generated a reflection together on the different ways we can accompany people spiritually.

The brothers elected to take part in the general chapter are brothers Dan, Gabriel-Mary and Johannes; the ‘subs’ are brothers Johann and Jean Bosco.

Everyone was united in giving thanks for how much life there is in the vicariate and in hoping that things will go from strength to strength in the future.

A new step for the mission of the Brothers in the Philippines

Publié le 3 January 2019

A new project for the Brothers of Saint John in Cebu

The Brothers of Saint John want to ever increasingly serve the youth of Cebu in the Philippines. In the video below some of the young people of Cebu testify to what they have discovered with and received from the Brothers. It is for these young people that the community wants to seize an opportunity to expand their youth ministry.
Watch the video below to discover more about our project to build a place of mission, consisting of a house for young people and a new priory in downtown Cebu.

Visit the website for the Brothers of Saint John in Cebu

A new project for the Brothers of Saint John in Cebu

Meeting of the Lector Brothers

Publié le 2 January 2019

Meeting of the Lector Brothers

The brothers who are lectors for each vicariat meet every year to take stock of heir brotherly service and discuss together. This year the brothers concentrated on the question of culture and inter-religious dialogue.

They invited Father Louis Marie Coudray, director of the national service for Judeo-Catholic relations, who gave them two presentations. Of note was his presentation on Nostra Aetate, the declaration of Vatican II on the Church’s relations with non-Christian religions. The brothers also reflected on the duties and tasks of the Orthodox Jew.