To Whom it may concern.
I am an oblate with the Community of St. John in the United States, and have been since July of 1996. My attraction was immediate. Their search for the truth and continuous talk about their founder who led them, loved them and brought out the best in them with his teaching, made my desire to meet him insatiable.
I had the opportunity in 1997 to travel to France with one of the contemplative sisters. I spent two glorious weeks with the community going to classes with Fr. Marie Dominique Philippe. I was taken to a place I had never been before and if I didn’t have a family back in the states, I could have stayed on forever listening to his teaching and going ever deeper in my search for the truth. In the beginning, I had no idea what that meant. Being with him those two weeks and being able to speak with him and feel his fatherly embrace when I was introduced was for me a lasting experience. This was an embrace of a father who loves his little ones.
I again met him in the year 2000 when he came for the blessing of the novitiate. I happened to go to the chapel, where the finishing touches had just been accomplished, and to my surprise, he was there with a brother looking things over. I wasn’t told to leave, but instead he came to me and even though he didn’t say, I’m sure he remembered me from before. Once again he took my arm and the whole time he talked, he never let go. I never felt anything but fatherly love from this holy priest.
On another trip in 2004 with several oblates and a priest of the community, I again was able to receive his teaching. Although there was no private meeting at that time, he did meet with us and welcomed us to come to his classes. He had such a love for the brothers he taught and you could see by the look on their faces, they were taking in his years of wisdom and philosophy.
In 2006 I traveled once again on pilgrimage to be with the community for their 30th anniversary. I know that what I am going to say will seem ridiculous, but seeing Fr. Philippe again with the entire community of brothers and sisters, was better than seeing the pope.
That is because I felt a real connection to him, his fatherhood, his holiness, and the love he had for each and everyone of those who traveled to be with him. Truly he was a man and priest of God and in no way could be responsible for harm to anyone.
Fr. Marie Dominique Philippe please pray for and forgive all those who would wish to harm your good name.
In Jesus and Mary.
Donna, oblate, Princeville, IL.