The Family of Saint John

Soeur Apostolique de Saint-Jean

The Apostolic Sisters of Saint John

The Apostolic Sisters of Saint John were founded in 1984 and were recognised as a Religious Congregation of Diocesan Right by Mgr Séguy, the Bishop of Autun in 1993. Their motherhouse is in Semur-en-Brionnais (Département 71), France.

Like that of the Brothers of Saint John, the rule of life for the Apostolic Sisters of Saint John takes its inspiration from the twofold commandment of the Gospel that is particularly highlighted by St John: the need for a contemplative love of God and the incarnation of that love in a fraternal charity that is attentive to the suffering of people in today’s world.

There are nearly 200 Apostolic Sisters of Saint John of 21 different nationalities. Over 50 sisters are in formation, and of those 30 are novices. The sisters have 21 priories in 9 countries over 4 continents. In response to the request of local bishops, they undertake various missions such as school chaplaincy work, parishes and retreat centres, etc.

Visit website

Contemplatives sisters

The Contemplative Sisters of Saint John

The Community of the Contemplative Sisters of Saint John was erected as a Religious Institute of Diocesan Right by the Archbishop of Lyons on the 25th March, 1994. They were founded by Fr Marie-Dominique Philippe on 8th December, 1982. Their motherhouse is in Saint Jodard (Département 42), France.

Prayer is, first and foremost, at the very heart of the Contemplative Sisters’ life. Hence they live their consecration to God in silence and solitude, but also in fraternal charity. For, as St John says, ‘he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen’ (1 Jn 4:20). The sisters therefore live a common life of sharing, service and cooperation.

Through their prayer they support in particular the apostolates of their brothers and apostolic sisters.

The community comprises over 80 sisters of some ten or more different nationalities. They live in 6 priories around the world.

Visit website

Oblature

Oblates

Oblates are laypeople who desire to live their baptismal vocation in the footsteps of St John and who feel called to live the same charism as the brothers and sisters but in the world and who make the commitment of secular oblature. Oblates are attached to a particular priory of their choice, where they find welcome and accompaniment.

Oblates make a commitment to pray, to listen to the Word of God and to engage in fraternal charity. They offer an apostolic witness in the context of their respective families, parishes, and social and political responsibilities.

If you are interested in becoming an oblate, please contact the prior or prioress of the priory closest to where you live.

Where we are

Delve a little deeper

What is the Family of Saint John?

The Family of Saint John is comprised of three religious communities – the Brothers of Saint John, the Apostolic Sisters of Saint John and the Contemplative Sisters of Saint John – as well as laypeople who make up the Oblates of Saint John. These four branches were founded by Fr Marie-Dominique Philippe and share the same charism.

How are the different religious communities within the Family of Saint John linked?

Even though all three religious communities are united in one family – the Family of Saint John – each community has its own government, history and way of life. In particular they are distinct both juridically and financially.

The brothers and sisters work together on some of their missions: youth camps, parish work and family weeks, among others. Together they run some of the bigger events such as youth festivals and festivals for families.

Although they pray their offices separately they have the same breviary.

Three times a year the Conseil de Famille brings together the three prior generals and those responsible for studies in each of the congregations.

Becoming an oblate?

Any baptised person who is conscious of their baptismal vocation and the witness he or she is asked to give in the world, and who desires to live the spirit of the Family of Saint John, is welcome to enquire about becoming a secular oblate.

A time of ‘probation’ lasting between one and three years is prescribed. This time is necessary for the postulant to be able to discern his or her own specific aspirations and to deepen their understanding of the charism of the Family of Saint John. The prior is responsible for this postulancy, although he may ask a brother or an oblate to accompany the postulant.

During this period of probation the postulant lives according to the oblates’ Rule of Life (which is chiefly focussed on the spiritual life), participates in the priory’s oblate meetings and follows at least two retreats given by the Community of Saint John.

At the end of this period, the prior, having consulted with the other members of the priory, decides whether to receive the postulant as an oblate.

If you are interested in becoming an oblate, please contact the prior or prioress of the priory closest to where you live. You will then be able to find out more and discern whether it is the path for you.