CONSECRATED BROTHERS AND PRIESTS

CONSECRATION

The brothers respond to the call of Christ and want to follow him in a dynamic commitment of their entire being towards holiness, convinced that the true source of life is found in Christ. Thus beginning a continual process of transformation to leave all that is dark behind them and tend ever more towards the Divine Light, they desire to have this experience described by the psalmist:

“In your light, we see light.”

CONTEMPLATION

This quest for the fullness of life is embodied for the brothers above all in the contemplation of the Divine Light: the celebration of the Holy Eucharist, prayer, adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament, the Liturgy of the Hours, the Lectio Divina, and a loving devotion to the Virgin Mary through daily consecration to Mary and through the prayer of the Rosary.

COMMUNION

The contemplation of God opens towards a joyful and luminous fraternal communion, where each considers the other superior to himself (Ph 2:3). Marked by internationality, the brothers, some of whom are priests, wish to live a true fraternal communion in their branch, as also with the sisters and the laity of the Community.

MISSION

It is this common mission that allows us to perceive that the darkness is passing and that the true light is already shining (1 Jn 2:8). Indeed, each brother experiences that by being where the Lord calls him, he spreads charity through the work of grace in the world: youth camp leader, university professor, parish priest, rector of a shrine, preacher of retreats, school chaplain, etc.

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testimony of

Br. Pierre-Marie

Born at the end of the war 39-45, in a Christian family, I always wanted to be a missionary. At the minor seminary, I met a White Father (missionary from Africa). What drew me to them was that “they prayed and ate together,” as the martyrs of Uganda used to say « mission in community life, to bear witness to the “see how they love each other ». I was ordained a priest in 1974 and sent on a mission in the Sahara desert. When missions were called into question, I experienced the Holy Spirit. Then, together with other White Fathers, we founded a small fraternity of missionary monks. This was the beginning of an exciting experience : new converts from Islam met Christ, while some Muslims gathered around Fr. Christian de Chergé and one of us in Tibhirine, in the bond of Peace. This experience could not continue in Algeria, nor even as White Fathers. The Bishop who welcomed us, Blessed Bishop Pierre Claverie, accompanied us up to the Lion of Judah and the slain Lamb.

We stayed there because we found prayer, a liturgical life, a life in community all simplicity and surrender. And we were the first two priests to join the Community already having a true missionary experience. In 1983 the Community sent me to found a house in Lebanon, in the midst of war, and subsequently in many other countries and on other continents. My ministry is marked above all by preaching through retreats and large evangelization events, the encounter with the Muslim world and the accompaniment of converts.

Strive to seize Him who has seized you (cf. Phil 3 :12-14). “Do not grow slack but be fervent in spirit ; he whom you serve is the Lord » (cf. Rom 12 :11).

Br. Pierre-Marie

tesimony of

Br. Olivier-Marie

I come from St Germain-en-Laye and am the fourth child of a family of five. I was brought up in a practising, united and loving catholic family. The activities I was most passionate about were scouting and sport, especially sailing in Britanny. I grew up peacefully, without any major worries or questions, supported as I was by some good tutors : my family, friends and the scout movement. However, my faith, received simply as part of my education among other subjects, was superficial.

Aged 21, I went abroad for three years to finish my studies and to work. This time abroad, far from my dear ones, proved to be an unsettling and very difficult experience which led me to become  more mature, both on a personal and spiritual level. God used this situation as a springboard.

Back in France, an inspired word, a providential meeting with a priest, my involvement with handicaped children … paved the way to my returning to God. Finally, the most important event was a retreat I participated in with the Community of the Beatitudes.

During those few days I experienced a « turn around », an inner upheaval which is called a conversion. What seemed to me until then neither possible nor desirable became for me a way of life and happiness. I received a calling to the priesthood, loud and clear, at the Community of the Beatitudes. I left Paris in order to live one then two years in the Community. Everything was clear to me :  that is where I was to be, for God found me again and called me there. I have been in the Community for sixteen years and a priest for six years.

From the day I peacefully accepted my calling I am aware that my happiness depends on my total surrender to God.

The intuition I received during that short retreat, a long time ago now, is confirmed at every moment : God is faithful and a source of deep joy.

When God call, it’s for life !

Brother Olivier-Marie

testimony of

Br. Andreas

My name is Brother Andreas of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. I was born in German-speaking Switzerland in 1986. After my high school, I studied geography and geology in Zurich. It was during a pilgrimage in 2006 that I met the Community of the Beatitudes. Attracted by the quality of fraternal life and by the beauty of the liturgy, at the age of 21 I joined the Community House in Zug in German-speaking Switzerland). I was able to finish my studies there.

And yet, my lifestyle until then was totally different !

After a lovely childhood, very early on, at the age of 12, I began to lead a life of pleasure and absolute freedom, repetitive parties and evenings out. Alcohol, adrift… and yet I thought I had found great happiness.

At the age of 16, my « happiness » collapsed. In a second ! A serious scooter accident with my older brother.

We fell asleep while driving, colliding with a car coming in the opposite direction. We were both seriously injured. Lying on the ground, I could not move. It took a long time before help arrived. My life ? What about it ? All those parties, pleasures… and now ? For the first time I was looking for meaning. Isn’t there something more ?

While I was in hospital for five weeks, I looked for answers. It was later, and contrary to all my expectations, that I found them within the Catholic Church. While participating in a Mass, when the priest raised the host, I knew intimately that Jesus was there, and that He loved me.

Unbelievable ! Everything had changed. JESUS was now the meaning of my life ! A few years later I decided to dedicate my whole life to Him. It is in the Community of the Beatitudes that I pronounced my final vows, saying : “Lord Jesus, I renounce myself to become attached only to You, the one Treasure and the only hope of my sojourn on earth as long as I live.”

On 15 September last I was ordained a deacon. The Community tasked me with a youth ministry. Asking me to act towards them as a “servant of charity” and to lead them to Jesus. Wishing them to discover that only Jesus can fulfill our deep desires, “He is the Way, the Truth and the Life !” (Jn 14 : 6)

“Here I am Lord, without delay, unhesitatingly, not looking back, out of love ! ” (St Michael Garicoits)

Brother Andreas of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

témoignage de

Fr. Anthony de la Transfiguration

Je m’appelle frère Anthony de la Transfiguration. Je viens de Boulder, USA, au pied des Montagnes Rocheuses. Alors que j’étais au séminaire diocésain, le Seigneur m’a appelé à entrer dans la Communauté des Béatitudes.

Au séminaire, on nous a appris qu’au centre du Sacerdoce, il y a la vie liturgique. Or ce n’était pas cela qui m’avait attiré à devenir prêtre, et j’avais alors beaucoup à découvrir. Notre formation nous guidait vers les hauteurs de l’Eucharistie, en passant par les montées de la louange, l’art sacré et le chant.

A la Communauté, j’ai été ébloui par la beauté de la liturgie, c’est l’une des raisons pour lesquelles j’ai, finalement, discerné de continuer mon chemin vers le Sacerdoce. La Liturgie est un devoir et une œuvre, mais elle est d’autant plus une participation à la louange du Ciel ! Trois fois par jour, la cloche me coupe du travail. Je passe des soucis et contraintes du « monde » à une ambiance de paix et de beauté. Je me retrouve au milieu de frères et sœurs aussi bien que des anges et des saints. Là, je puise à la communion avec le Seigneur et avec les autres qui me fortifient pour demeurer en Lui au milieu de l’action du jour, que ce soit des œuvres du ministère ou des tâches pratiques.

« Les frères et sœurs de la Communauté veilleront à être un seul corps et une seule âme, manifestant ainsi dans la liturgie l’unité du peuple de Dieu. En elle, ils puiseront les forces vives pour l’exercice de la charité ».  

Depuis l’ordination, mon activité apostolique vise à semer les vocations, surtout chez les jeunes américains. Il s’agit d’aller chez les jeunes, de leur témoigner de la joie de tout donner. Je trouve souvent l’occasion de les faire goûter à la beauté de la liturgie. En mission sur les cités universitaires, souvent on les offre une belle célébration d’un office ou de l’Eucharistie. Je trouve chez les étudiants et jeunes adultes un recouvrement du sacré et du respect. Mais c’est souvent un pas de l’avant pour eux que de découvrir l’émerveillement à la Présence de Dieu, et aussi de s’ouvrir pour que le Seigneur puisse demeurer en eux.

Je les invite à prendre du temps pour Dieu, dans une retraite ou un séjour à la Communauté à l’étranger, surtout en Israël où je suis affecté actuellement. Nous sommes entourés dans ce pays de la liturgie des différentes communautés religieuses (rite oriental, judaïsme…), sans parler des muezzins qui appellent les musulmans à leurs prières. Cela stimule les jeunes à chercher pour leur vie aussi un rythme de prière.

Que l’on soit chez nous à Emmaüs pour des semaines de service, ou en sortie pour une semaine de camping en Galilée, chaque jour est centré sur l’Eucharistie, les Laudes, les Vêpres, et un examen de conscience suivi de la bénédiction avant le coucher. C’est un goût de la vie religieuse et de la vie communautaire pour ceux qui ouvrent leur cœur. Pour tous, cette habitude de la prière quotidienne permet de se garder dans la Présence de Dieu.

Ces expériences avec les jeunes renouvellent ma vie spirituelle et mon écoute à la radicalité de l’Évangile. A quarante ans, est-ce que je commence à perdre l’élan ? Eh bien, garder la Liturgie au centre, c’est anticiper le Ciel, ainsi il n’y aura jamais aucune raison d’aller à la retraite !

Fr. Anthony de la Transfiguration

Frère Alphonse-Marie

testimony of

Br. Alphonse-Marie

I come from Vietnam and am the eldest of four children. I grew up in the faith thanks to very religious parents. I was able to follow the catechetical training of my parish but I never thought of becoming a priest or a religious. It was only at the age of 22, after my baccalaureate, that I asked myself the question of a vocation ! Not very keen on studying, I missed the entrance exams to the universities. So the following year, I stayed with my family to help my parents in agricultural work. I had the opportunity to go to Mass every day, join the choir, teach catechesis to the children and I even accompanied my parish priest in his rounds.

One day, after the evening rosary, a lady catechist came up to me and said, “Son, do you want to become a religious ?” So surprised by this question, I did not know what answer to give her. Hesitating, I replied, “I never thought about it.” She replied, “Go and pray, I too will pray for you.” She gave me two readings to go through: The story of a soul of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux and the life of Saint Damien who took care of lepers on the island of Molokai.

I began to pray and read these two stories. I was also fortunate to have a spiritual director. Three months later, I wanted to become a religious, to be like St Thérèse and St Damian in his service to the poor. The priesthood was not yet at the center of the questions I was asking myself. You should know that in Vietnam, to become a priest you have to have university degrees, and that was not my thing at all.

During this period, every morning I got up very early to take part in the Mass at 4 : 30 am ! I loved the Mass, especially the homilies. As my priest was old, he sometimes did not preach. When that happened, I was unhappy. One day, as this happened again, I prayed to the Lord : “Lord, if you make a priest of me, I will preach in his place”. It was simply like this that I had the desire to become a priest. And this prayer was answered… 20 years later!

With this desire to become a religious and a priest, one of my cousins introduced me to the Community of the Beatitudes in Vietnam. Immediately, I saw brothers and sisters together and especially so joyful. It is this communion of states of life that attracted me. “Lord, this is where I want to live” I have been there since December 27, 1999. And now that I am a priest, the prayer made 20 years ago has been answered : I preach for priests who can no longer preach.

« If you believe, you shall see the glory of God ! » So why not you ? Just believe !

Brother Alphonse-Marie

testimony of

Br. Giuseppe Maria

I come from Sicily.  Over there, from childhood, my heart was filled with a mad desire for happiness but, growing up, I no longer sought it in God ! I put my heart into my studies and the goals I had concerning my artistic career.  The influence of individualistic thought had cooled the impulse of gratuity in me. My relationship with others was becoming self-interested. My paintings were turning dark with selfishness. Sometimes I felt like I was forgetting “something” essential.

At the age of 24 I had a very strong experience during which I was made aware of the greatness of God’s Love. I knew that I had found the precious pearl of my life and without doubting the value of His call, I began to listen. In my heart there was a very strong desire to consecrate myself to the Lord and to become a priest.

I met the Community of the Beatitudes during an evening prayer meeting organized by the Charismatic Renewal in Palermo. The “supernatural beauty” expressed through the songs, the liturgy, the prayers and fraternal joy overwhelmed me. After a few months, the Community came to my village on an evangelization mission. For a week, great was my joy to find myself among those brothers and sisters, their happiness, their light. After visiting them on several occasions, I decided to take the plunge and went to the Community House in Erice, Sicily.

In May 2017 I was ordained a priest and am at the service of the Foyer of Noto near the shrine of Our Lady « Ladder to Paradise ».

I always have this calling at heart: the service of building up the Kingdom of God through a continuous search for union with Christ and fraternal communion. God wants salvation and happiness for all. So if you have a great desire for happiness and wish to live your life to the full as a very beautiful “adventure of love”, follow Christ and let yourself be led by the Holy Spirit on the path of the beatitudes. Do not be afraid !

“The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it” (1 Thes 5 : 24).

Brother Giuseppe Maria

testimony of

Br. Isaïe

I am originally from the Paris area (Meaux), where I lived until I was 15 years old. My family was Catholic and practicing. Although ‘turbulent’ during my adolescence, I entered the minor seminary, run by the Holy Ghost Fathers until the baccalaureate, in the south. Those years were a grace for me, with an extraordinary awareness of the missions, and attending a nearby monastery gave me an insight of the contemplative life. In short, it provided an occasion for a ‘new conversion and confirmation of a calling. In the end, however, I hesitated between joining a monastery or one of those ‘new communities’ that were taking their first steps. After two years of philosophy at the Catholic Institute of Paris, followed by two years as a cooperator in the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, I found myself staying for a week at the brand new house of the Community in Pont-Saint-Esprit, thanks to friends. God « relates » with us and speaks through various and formidable mediations !

After the inner storm of the decision I had to make, and the strongly inspired advice of an old monk, I wrote to Pont and three months later I disembarked. It was in 1979, this year 40 years ago (already) ! Following my one-week stay in July, I entered in October. What touched me from the outset, in this community, is the love of the brothers and sisters for the Lord and the mutual charity experienced, as in a family.

The Jewish dimension or the Eastern Christian liturgy, were well attuned to my poles of interest. As for a « mixed » life together, it suited me well. Seven months after my entry, I went to Jerusalem for a year’s  study, then went down to Rome for three years to pursue theological studies. After that, there followed a litany of various destinations from Lebanon (during the war) to Morocco, a few years in France, then Gabon, Rwanda, Sicily…

Ordained to the priesthood 33 years ago, I was first a vicar, then a parish priest, in the diocese of Albi, and a pastor in various countries.  I have been living now for seven years in the south of Reunion Island (Indian Ocean) as parish priest in Terre Sainte (St Pierre). I feel very much at home. I share, with my brothers and sisters, in our spiritual home of the Beatitudes, called « Living Water », prayer times, welcoming activities, and spiritual highlights. Fraternal life is a precious gift.

Everything of a universal nature attracts me, and Reunion Island embodies it in an extraordinary human, cultural and religious microcosm: I have been a member of the Interreligious Dialogue Group (Hindus, Muslims, Baha’is… Chinese religions) since the beginning of my arrival, and am a diocesan delegate for the work of « l’œuvre d’Orient » (a French Association which supports Christians from the Eastern churches).

God is truly faithful. The Church opens us to all things universal and the Community allows me to live this dimension which is both apostolic and contemplative. I thank God for this 40 year long beautiful adventure !

Br. Isaïe

testimony of

Br. Jean-Marie

I come from French-speaking Switzerland. Before joining the Community, I was a young car mechanic in a garage that prepared vehicles for the Paris-Dakar.

It was during a pilgrimage for vocations in 1983 that I heard very clearly in my heart Jesus calling me to become a priest. I was about to turn twenty. The word of Jesus burned my soul. During that day of prayer we were meditating on a text by Pope John Paul II, which read as follows: « Dear young people, I would like to address a very special appeal to you : reflect, understand that I am talking to you about very important things. It is about dedicating one’s entire life to the service of God and the Church… Open your hearts to a joyful encounter with the Risen Christ ! Allow the power of the Holy Spirit to work in you and inspire you with the right choices for your life… Perhaps the Lord is calling you…”. With these words of the pope, my vocation germinated. For more than four and a half years I put up a resistance. I liked my profession very much and I could not make up my mind. It was after a pilgrimage to Medjugorje that I was able to surrender to the Lord’s calling. I was passing through Ars, without knowing that the Community of the Beatitudes was organizing a conference there. What a shock! A sister invited me to take my turn at Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament in the middle of the night ! This request honored me. When I found myself facing Jesus in the Eucharist, I felt that I was really at the right place. “A community that gives space to ‘adoration’ this is what I need.” After this love at first sight experience, I deepened this “encounter” by visiting the house of Pont-Saint-Esprit. As simple as that…

Today, having been a priest for 22 years, I fulfil my priestly ministry in the parish at the service of the new evangelization, surrounded and helped by my brothers and sisters of the Beatitudes. I dedicate a large amount of my time to the service of youth. Our parish house in Lausanne runs a small student home. With them, we do scouting and all kinds of activities: mountain camping, ski camping, pilgrimages, WYD, humanitarian trips…

Jesus calls us to great challenges. He also counts on you. Leave your mark on this world. He needs the freshness of your young years. « Come follow me ». Together we will build a civilization of Love.

Brother Jean-Marie

testimony of

Br. Johannes Maria

I was born and grew up in Berlin (Germany).

It has been 25 years since I joined the Community of the Beatitudes. Yet I hadn’t planned anything in that direction. Before this new life, I had embarked on teaching studies, with clear priorities: sport and physical activities.

At the age of 12, I started bicross. It gives one pure adrenaline! For me it was more than just a simple hobby. It was my life. I spent all my time on the bike, investing all my money and all my energy on it. Competition had become a source of recognition for me. I had to shine.

All this, just to win a small metal trophy and be acclaimed after the competition ! Yet, how fleeting are such moments.

Much later, I realized that I was constantly striving after performances. I despised everything that did not serve this ideal. Gradually and without being really aware of the situation, I lost the meaning of life and became more and more lonely. Internally, I had even lost my family.

But God is good ! Through miraculous circumstances, the Lord led me to Medjugorje in Bosnia-Herzegovina. It is a Marian shrine visited by millions of pilgrims from all over the world. I experienced a strong encounter with the living God.

It is very difficult to write about it in a few words, but I can only say that I was aware of my selfishness and the coldness of my heart, nevertheless discovering at the same time God’s ineffable love for me. This experience completely changed me !

I began praying regularly. It allowed me to approach ecclesial life. I then joined the Community of the Beatitudes because there was a deep desire in me to give my whole life to the Lord. I found my family there. I met brothers and sisters who had experienced similar things with God. I could walk with them to serve the Lord and the Church.

And time passes quickly… since then I have been ordained to the priesthood, I try to look for lost sheep. As in my experience, I want to tell them about this deep source of happiness that every man seeks after.

So do not hesitate to get in touch with Him, to talk to Him, to share your questions, your worries, your problems, your wounds. And above all, pray to Him to manifest himself and show you His great mercy towards you.

Br. Johannes Maria

testimony of

Br. Johannes Maria

I was born and grew up in Berlin (Germany).

It has been 25 years since I joined the Community of the Beatitudes. Yet I hadn’t planned anything in that direction. Before this new life, I had embarked on teaching studies, with clear priorities: sport and physical activities.

At the age of 12, I started bicross. It gives one pure adrenaline! For me it was more than just a simple hobby. It was my life. I spent all my time on the bike, investing all my money and all my energy on it. Competition had become a source of recognition for me. I had to shine.

All this, just to win a small metal trophy and be acclaimed after the competition ! Yet, how fleeting are such moments.

Much later, I realized that I was constantly striving after performances. I despised everything that did not serve this ideal. Gradually and without being really aware of the situation, I lost the meaning of life and became more and more lonely. Internally, I had even lost my family.

But God is good ! Through miraculous circumstances, the Lord led me to Medjugorje in Bosnia-Herzegovina. It is a Marian shrine visited by millions of pilgrims from all over the world. I experienced a strong encounter with the living God.

It is very difficult to write about it in a few words, but I can only say that I was aware of my selfishness and the coldness of my heart, nevertheless discovering at the same time God’s ineffable love for me. This experience completely changed me !

I began praying regularly. It allowed me to approach ecclesial life. I then joined the Community of the Beatitudes because there was a deep desire in me to give my whole life to the Lord. I found my family there. I met brothers and sisters who had experienced similar things with God. I could walk with them to serve the Lord and the Church.

And time passes quickly… since then I have been ordained to the priesthood, I try to look for lost sheep. As in my experience, I want to tell them about this deep source of happiness that every man seeks after.

So do not hesitate to get in touch with Him, to talk to Him, to share your questions, your worries, your problems, your wounds. And above all, pray to Him to manifest himself and show you His great mercy towards you.

Br. Johannes Maria

Rose_Petals_G25_2_8

1er octobre :
fête de sainte Thérèse de lisieux

Soirées pétales
de roses