The Fatherhood of Saint John also extends to lay Christians living in the world. In the footsteps of Saint John, they desire to live more intensely their bond of faith, hope, and love with Christ. Through their cooperation, lay persons support the Brothers’ contemplative life and facilitate their apostolic life. Every year at Pentecost, the families, friends, and all those close to the community are invited to join the brothers and sisters at a retreat, which includes ceremonies for reception of habits and temporary and perpetual professions. Their association with the life of the community may take many forms.
The Oblates of Saint John want to live fully their baptismal consecration intimately close to Mary and in the spirit of Saint John. This life of consecration demands of them a commitment to prayer and to fraternal charity regarding the brothers and sisters. They have an apostolic influence within the context of their respective familial, parochial, social, or political responsibilities which allows the family of Saint John to act more profoundly in the world.
Various groups have been organized to support the different priories. Their activities are coordinated within the whole of the Community by the “Association of the Friends of the Brothers and Sisters of Saint John”. Some lay people have generously undertaken most of the financial management of the Community. Others assist the brothers with services such as Saint John Education, where the brothers exercise their apostolate. These lay persons have been called “Saint Josephs” because of their discreet and efficient activity.
Nevertheless, their principal bond with the Community is through prayer. Some, who want to live in the world with Saint John as their spiritual father, are associated with the brothers as secular oblates. They are attached to the priory of their choice where they can come for retreats near the Brothers and Sisters.