The first time I encountered Father Philippe was at a private Mass for the Sisters. I was quite impressed with his apparent intense devotion to the Eucharist, the Body and Blood of our Lord. As he consecrated the host with strong words and gazed at it in adoration, he held it up for us to adore for awhile. At this moment, I had a spiritual experience which I believed was the power and grace of the Holy Spirit coming forth from the host of Christ’s body and filling my heart and soul with such intensity that I began to tremble and was left in awe. I thought at the time that Father Philippe would have to be very holy for such an experience to take place. That would have been ten to fifteen years ago. Later at several conferences, as he spoke, it was as if our Lord was speaking directly to me through him, since he uttered things that he could not have known about my thoughts. I have heard others say the same thing happened to them also. His teachings were inspired to speak to our hearts.
I sincerely believe accusations against his conduct were misled and caused slander. The Accuser uses others in order to destroy good.
Ida, Oblate in Princeville, Illinois
I had just arrived at St. Jodard, in the middle of the scholastic year, continuing in the strength of my warm encounter with Fr. Marie-Do that had taken place few months before my arrival. I was trying to adjust to this new life all the while still amazed that I had entered the novitiate!
After Vespers we had begun the time of adoration in front of the Blessed Sacrament. We were quite numerous that year. There were 140 of us. So as to be more comfortable I took a spot in the back of the chapel hoping to get a little more space.
Without realizing it, I had taken the spot of the “superiors”. The Blessed Sacrament was exposed so I prostrated myself. After a short while, I heard the rustling of a religious habit at my side. Discretely I opened an eye to see who it was, and to my great surprise I saw that the habit was white! It was Fr. Philippe.
I first met the Brothers of Saint John during a pilgrimage to Czestochowa in the summer of 1985, and they subsequently invited me to Saint Jodard. I first went there for the feast of All Saints and it was there that I met Father Philippe. I was nineteen years old. From then on I continued to see him whenever it was possible. I attended his lectures and retreats in Paris and went to his masses, and sometimes even accompanied him to places he visited. Once in a while I invited him to a meal at my home. This continued for five years. I also tried to see him during the public gatherings of the Community of Saint John (for the clothing ceremonies, religious professions, or priestly ordinations).
The encounter with Father Philippe totally transformed my life of faith and made it more personal. Through contact with him I learnt to pray, but also to bring the light of the intelligence, and order, into my life. I could ask Father Philippe everything and his answers were always a source of life and of enlightenment. He taught me to Love, both God and my neighbour, for he himself was an eminent and living witness of the Love of Christ.
I am Robert from New Zealand.
I am 44 years old, and at present I am the head of a music department in an Auckland secondary school. After completing my music studies, for 20 years I have been attracted in a ‘search for the truth’ that has led me to part-time study of theology and philosophy first of all at Auckland University with the Mount St. Mary’s Theological wing of the Auckland Theologate, and then at « Good Shepherd College » which is an Auckland satellite branch of the Sydney College of Divinity, Australia.
At the time that I first encountered the writings of Fr. M.D. Philippe, I was a postulant in the Beatitudes Community, who were in Christchurch, New Zealand. It was there that someone gave me the book « Wherever he goes » – (Suivre L’Agneau) which is a retreat on the gospel of St. John.
For me, it was the first time that I had read a contemporary author who had the depth, insight and clarity of an early Church Father. The work was striking in the combination of depth and simplicity. It was completely unpretentious, untainted by the narcissistic side of modern academia. At the same time, the author had clearly penetrated not only the scriptures but also philosophical questions and connections. Lire la suite »
As a Benedictine, I was intrigued by Pere Philippe’s book on the Rule of St Benedict. What took me aback was its strongly philosophically-analytical approach, so different from the literary-historical or sapiential-practical approaches holding sway in monastic circles. But I remember with deep gratitude his emphasis on the concept of the monastery as ‘the house of God’, and his vision of St Benedict as a genius in the practical order comparable to St Thomas, that genius in the speculative order. St Thomas designed a house of sacra doctrina. St Benedict was the architect of a house where brethren could dwell together in Christ. This has remained with me and has accompanied all through my life as a Benedictine, as an Abbot and accompanies me now as a ‘young’ Bishop.
Bishop Hugh Gilbert, osb
Addis Abeba, August 28, 2006
Dear Fathers, Brothers, Contemplative Sisters, Active Sisters of St. John
Dear Seminarians and Postulants of St. John,
May the Grace and Consolation of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.
It is with great sadness that I have heard of the death of your dear founder Father Marie Dominique Philippe. I will like to send you my heartfelt condolences to all of you. May He rest in Peace. Amen.
I consider myself fortunate for having met Father Marie Dominique in person. We had a good conversation together and I felt I was in the presence of a holy person.
Therefore, in a way, God’s will is done: « … Well done, good and faithful servant; you have shown you are trustworthy in small things; I will trust you with greater; come and join in your master’s happiness.” (Mt. 25:21).
Therefore, I say to all of you, courage and be consoled because you have a faithful Father in Heaven !
Yours in Christ,
Abune Berhaneyesus D. Souraphiel, CM
Metropolitan Archbishop of Addis Abeba
President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Ethiopia
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, Lire la suite »