An Historic Moment for the St. John of God Order

Earlier this month the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life  approved the application from the Prior General to establish St. John of God Hospitaller Services  of the West European Province of the Order as a new Public Juridic Person (PJP) within the Church.

Director of Human Resources, John Pepper, has been appointed as Group Chief Executive for Saint John of God Hospitaller Services. This role has traditionally been carried out by the Provincial and represents a new development for the Order’s Services in the Province which includes Ireland, Great Britain, Malawi, New Jersey and Zambia.

 John became Director of Human Resources for the Province in the mid 1990s. His background is in personnel and hospital management and he is also a former Assistant General Secretary of the Medical Union and General Secretary of the Irish Nurses Organisation. John holds a Diploma in Administrative Science from the Institute of Public Administration in Ireland and a B.Sc in Public Administration from Trinity College Dublin. He is a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and also holds a Master’s degree in Business Studies specialising in Human Resources Management from the Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School at University College Dublin.

The appointment of a co-worker to the highest position of responsibility for the Province’s mission is a watershed in our history.  This is not a reaction to the decrease in the number of young men opting to join our Order, but rather guided by the Holy Spirit, it is the result of the renewal process of the Order undertaken almost 50 years ago.  Giving lay people a major leadership role with responsibility for the mission of the Church was envisioned by Vatican II.  How this is put into practice in any given situation is part of the discernment of the Church leadership and individual Religious Orders endeavouring to interpret the signs of the times.

 While other options were taken into account during the discernment process,  the decision to form  a PJP was considered the best option to ensure that the mission of the Hospitaller Order of St. John of God continues to be a work of the Church into the future, insofar as it depends on us.  This decision is an historical moment in our history and will have far reaching consequences for the future, not just of the Order, but also for the Church.




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