Hello, members of the Community of St. John. I'm writing this post in the hopes of reaching you. I often receive requests for information about the Johannesgemeinschaft (Community of St. John). I even receive requests about joining the community. I greatly admire the community founded by Balthasar and Speyr. The spirituality of it, which we find in Balthasar's important book Our Task, is deeply attractive.
Here's my request. Could someone from the Community of St. John please reach out to me so that I have a better way of directing inquires from this website about the Community of St. John?
I would be glad to point my readers who are interested in the community to you. Please reach out to me. Thank you.
For those interested in the Community of St. John, here's what I know about them so far:
The formal rule and spirituality of the community can be found in the book Our Task written by Hans Urs von Balthasar.
The community follows von Speyr's deep desire for the community to not be yet another "institution" within the institution of the Church. Von Speyr did not want this secular institute to be another obvious alternative structure within the already multifacted structure of the Church. The community desires to serve the church and world in a hidden, non-self-referential way. This desire is a beautiful call, but it can make it difficult to learn about or even join the community.
As far as I can tell the central hub of the community is located in Basel, Switzerland attached to the Archive of Hans Urs von Balthasar and Adrienne von Speyr, which is run by members of the Community of St. John. Not too long ago, I had a blessed visit with members of the community at this archive. Right now, the best way to come into contact with the Community of St. John online would be through the "Contact" link on the Archive's website here.
If you are interested in experiencing the spirituality of Balthasar and Speyr, the Casa Balthasar is a beautiful community of vocational discernment in Rome. Their community life is gracious and profound. You can contact them here. I know that Rev. Jacques Servais, SJ, who leads the Casa, would be glad to speak with you.
Many religious communities have been touched by the spirituality of Balthasar and Speyr. One of them mentioned a few times on this website is called Points-Coeur, but there are others.
By the way, the Community of St. John (Johannesgemeinshaft), which was founded by Balthasar and Speyr, is different than the larger Dominican contemplative Community of St. John founded by Fr. Marie-Domonique Phillipe in 1975.
As always, I will continue to gather more information about the Community of St. John and present it here. Many people have been so impacted by Speyr's spirituality that they desire to commit to it in some formal, objective way. May God guide this desire in you. May we all be freely obedient to what God wants of us. Through the intercession of St. John, may we respond to love in love for love.
I have some updates on contacting the Community of St. John. Lo Miles, a generous reader of this journal and a wonderful scholar of Adrienne, provided some additional ideas.
She confirmed that the Casa Balthasar will be a good way for men to come into contact with the Community. For women, the best will be corresponding with Frau Cornelia Capol through the Balthasar Stiftung.
Additionally, she suggests finding local Communio study groups called Circles.
Above all, wait patiently for the Lord to direct you in your vocation.
Thank you, Lo Miles. So many of us are in your debt.