The Hospitaller Order of St John of GOD Oceania Province Story
The Brothers of St. John of God, formed themselves around John of God at Granada, Spain, in the early 1540s to help him care for those who were living on the ‘edges of society’ at the time. At the time of John of God’s death he confided the care and guidance of his brotherhood to one of its founding members, Anton Martin. In 1552 Anton led the brotherhood in its move, together with the persons in its care, to the new John of God residence just outside the city walls. Here the ministry continued to provide the welcoming, humanised care that was John of God’s legacy to the world. He was well known for his hospitality towards people and his followers today try to perpetuate his attitudes and values in a style of care that they describe as Hospitality.
Today John of God’s followers, form an international organisation of brothers, employees, volunteers and supporters that underpins the existence and operation of some 231 health care and social welfare services throughout the world. The Order today is found on every continent and in 55 countries. It is responsible for a spectrum of health care and social welfare services.
Mission and Ministry:
The Order came to Australia from Ireland in 1947. Its work was with a residential special school for boys with learning difficulties. This facility grew into the the "St John of God Family Services" in Carrington, New South Wales. In the early fifties the successful operation of the Order’s NSW residential special school brought invitations to set up other schools. Consequently the Order moved to Victoria and New Zealand. St. John of God Hospitals were established in the fifties. The Order has also made further foundations in Papua New Guinea. Presently brothers are involved in a variety of ministries.
‘Casa Venegas’ a housing programme for persons whose homelessness is compounded by a psychiatric illness.
Being with people who are suffering with alcohol and other drug related issues.
Working with marginalised young people who are homeless.
Working with people who have AIDS and other related illnesses.
Hospital and prison chaplaincy.
Professional formation in developing Asian countries.
Involvement in working with people suffering with disabilities in China.
Working in the area of aged care both in a nursing home environment and those still living at home.
Some brothers are involved in the area of Spiritual Direction.
Working with adults who have disabilities.
Working with families whose need for assistance is manifested in a child’s emotional and behavioural difficulties.
Working in areas of administration in regard to health care and social welfare.
The formation programme of a St. John of God Brother takes into a account the whole person. The Accompaniment Programme is a period of time for a person who is inquiring about the Order to discern with a brother the particular choices that are open to them in regard to their particular vocation in life.
The time of Novitiate is that part of the programme where a person after a period of discernment lives in a particular house of the Order in community with other people who are exploring their option to be a religious brother. It is a time when a person has the opportunity to explore their relationship with their God, themselves and with others. The Novitiate is situated at Richmond (one hour's drive from Sydney.)
It is following the time of Novitiate that a person makes their first vows and these are then renewed on a yearly basis from six to eight years before final commitment. This time following Novitiate is also a time when a person undertakes their professional studies and becomes more involved in the area of ministry.
If you would like information about the St. John of God Brothers please contact:
Br. John Clegg. OH. Provincial Hospitaller Order of St John of God PO Box BN 1055 Burwood North NSW 2134 Telephone: 02 9747 1699 Facsimile: 02 9744 3262 Email:firstname.lastname@example.org