St. John of God Feast Day Marks End of Year of "Family of St. John of God"
This year the Feast of St. John of God on Thursday 8th March will mark the end of “The Year of the Family of St. John of God”. Throughout the year many events were held to mark and celebrate the “Hospitaller Family”. Last year in his letter to the whole Hospitaller family, Brother Donatus, Prior General, gave the foundational basis for the St. John of God family:
“Like us today, John Ciudad was totally dependent on what became ‘his family’ whether they were volunteers, his guests in the ‘House of Hospitality’ and those to whom he ministered, his donors or paid personnel. John of God teaches us that the encounter between two human beings is first and foremost an encounter between a brother or sister. John has left us a great example of how to treat each other by the way he himself approached people. What endeared John to his fellow citizens was the fact that he stood in solidarity with them. Not only that but he showed them a way in which they could build community, a community that had its neediest member at the centre of all concern and care. John’s humility was born of an insight that he had into the innate dignity of every human being who is made in the image and likeness of God.”
On Thursday, as we come to the end of the year, one event will take place internationally. Each Service in every Province across the world will host an international coffee morning, all the proceeds from this event will go to Ollalo House, London, England This developing service, based in London, offers short term accommodation and help for newly-arrived migrants, with no recourse to public funds, so that they are able to find work and a place in society, rather than falling into homelessness.
In his letter to the family of St. John of God marking the closing of the year, Br. Donatus says : From a purely chronological point of view the year that we dedicated to the St. John of God family is about to ‘close’, but it is my sincere desire and wish that this is the beginning of a new attitude, a new way of seeing ourselves and relating to each other that will continue into the future.