Saint John of God Brothers
Saint. John of God: Patron of the sick
In 1495, a child was born in Portugal. He was destined to lead a unique and strange life. His name was John Ciudad.
He left Portugal at the age of eight and spent his life as a wanderer, working as a shepherd, soldier, bookseller and labourer and travelling throughout Spain and North Africa before settling in Granada-Spain. Around the age of forty, he underwent a religious conversion that led him to be placed in a psychiatric hospital. In those days, this was tantamount to social and psychological death. His experience in the hospital, gave him insight into the real needs of the patients. As a result, he anticipated some of the most important principles of health care and treatment which are being implemented today.
John’s love of God and his neighbour, and the poor was so strong that he became popularly known as John of God. This attracted many to follow him so as to share in his imitation of Christ. He died on 8th March, 1550. The helpers, who had learned from him, continued his work. In 1570 the Pope recognized them as a Religious Institute, naming them the Hospitaller Order of St. John of God. John was canonized a saint in 1690.
Our Hospitaller Order
The Hospitaller Order of St. John of God was founded by John Ciudad in the 16th Century. The Order is an integral part of the Roman Catholic Church and is dedicated to the continuation of Christ’s mission of love and compassion for the sick, the needy, those with disabilities and to the extension of the reign of God here on earth.
We are present in all continents, in 52 countries forming 20 Religious Provinces, 1 Vice-province, 2 General Delegation and 8 Provincial Delegations.
We perform our ministries in 311 Centres. Although we are all members of one and the same Order, we nevertheless live in widely different situations.
The order is present in 11 countries including Malawi. There are more than hundred and eight indigenous Brothers. There are also expatriate Brothers working in Africa.
Mzuzu Community House and brothers
Hospitaller Brothers are situated in Mzuzu the Northern region of the country where they provide a community based mental health service; rehabilitation programs for adults and children with disabilities; drop in centre for vulnerable children found on the streets; special education for children with learning disabilities; Psychosocial and Pastoral counselling even to prisoners at Mzuzu prison, Addiction and recovery program; Elderly services; self help group approach; a college of health sciences for the training of psychiatric nurses, Clinicians and professional counsellors.
Currently, the services are expanding all districts of the Northern region and Lilongwe. May 2019-Brothers open a new community house in Lilongwe, next to our new psychiatric hospital in Area 43.
Our Lilongwe centre & New community House
Br Samuel is the first Malawian brother to make solemn vows in the order of Saint John of God-Malawi. Others following are Raphael Nyirenda, Issac Chirwa, Wisdom Kayange, Louis Kuyokwa, Cornelious Banda, and Prince Chihaule.
Our stages of formation
One week of come and see
This is the time where candidates come in contact with the vocation Directors and invited to a session of come and see for a week. The aim is to help the candidate know the way of Hospitaller life/family and to help them discern their vocation. The vocation Director will help them move from one service to another, to experience our reality of Hospitaller life, apostolate, and community life.
Br. John Claude, Moses, Joel, Emmanuel, and Petros
Is a period of two years, candidates have the opportunity to know and experience the charism and spirituality of the Order. It is also the period where the candidate is enrolled in the studies; (life of the founder, spirituality and Charism of the Order, French, history of the Order, Catholic social teaching, Catechism …etc)
Br. John Claude (Vocational Director), Benson, Alex, and Paul
Is a period of six months, it is a close preparation for the novitiate. The candidate will spend three months in Mzuzu / Malawi and three months in Tanguieta / Benin to learn French and experience hospitaller life before the entrance to the novitiate in Lome / Togo.
Novitiate is two years of intense spiritual experience in preparation for the giving of one’s life to God, through the simple vows of chastity, poverty, obedience, hospitality. At the end of two year, the novice makes his first profession of the vows and becomes member of Hospitaller family.
Br. Emmanuel from left, Br. Andrew, Br. Wisdom, Br. Michael (Prior of Mzuzu Community- Malawi at the middle) Br. Raphael, Br. Samuel, and Br. Isaac.
The newly brothers attend a two year course in spirituality at Tangaza University College in Kenya. This is followed by professional studies in line with Hospitaller ministry, for example, nursing, social science…. This is a stage for developing a deep understanding of the world and the mystery of Christ healing and the Church.
Br. Samuel Mithi
The first Malawian Brother to make solemn Profession
This is the moment when the individual brother solemnly commits to the family of Saint John of God. The Solemn profession takes after renewing six times renewal of vows.
How to become one of us?
- A sense of being called by God
- A desire to serve the sick, poor, and needy people.
- Willingness to learn and grow
- A spirit of prayer as brothers
- Good physical and mental health and common sense
- Personal contact with the vocation Director
- The one not older than 25 years (exception can be made for a high level of studies
- Documents required
- Handwritten application
- Certificate of birth, baptism and confirmation
- Letters of reference from one’s parish priest, parents or guardians, small Christian community
- Someone who is single and free from marital status.
- M.S.C.E with six credits including Maths, Physical science, Biology and English. If you are called and interested to join Saint John of God Brothers you may contact the address below for more information:Director of Vocation/ FormationP.O. Box 744, Malawi, Central AfricaEmail : firstname.lastname@example.org
- Mobile 0888628115 or 0993943301
- Saint John of God Brothers
- Br. Jean-Claude Maboko
- Are you interested?