I am writing this letter in regards to my personal experience and impression of Fr. Marie –Dominique Philippe.
I was first introduced to the Community of St. John when I was invited by a friend to come and listen to a monk give a conference on Mary. I had just had a conversion back to the Catholic Church and was in search of the truth, I had been raised in a very lukewarm secular catholic family who did not share a prayer life and did well to attend Sunday Mass. I had little experience of Mary. When I heard this monk Fr. Dominique speak with such love and tenderness about this woman who I did not know. A woman who was part of God’s plan for our salvation, well it began to pull on my heart strings and I knew I needed to know more. You awakened in me a thirst and a hope. I immediately made arrangements with my work and drove to Laredo to meet the brothers of St. John and find out more. That was in 1992 and from there I became immersed in the love of God through the heart of St. John and Mary and have been with the Community of St. John since.
My first experience of Fr. Philippe was through the sisters and brothers of St. John. He was so loved and they spoke so highly of him and shared their own experienced of him with me. I saw how much he was esteemed and his teachings were the foundation of the community. I had a personal experience of meeting with Fr. Philippe in France at St. Jordard and it was very dear experience. I communicated with him through and interrupter and his very presence was one of my fondest memories. When he gave a class everyone raced to get to the classroom to feed on his words of the Gospel. My last and probably most impacting was my experience of Fr. Philippe through his writings. It was through his books “Follow the Lamb” and “The Mysteries of Mary” that I knew this man was someone very special because he introduced me to the very heart of the Gospel message.
If I had to sum up all my impressions of Fr. Philippe I would have to say, it’s love. He is truly one who rested his head on the heart of St. John and sat at the feet of Mary and then went out and did what he was told to do. He fed His lambs.
In the heart of Mary.