Brother John Johnston lived an illustrious life as a De La Salle Christian Brother that spanned 56 years.
He earned a degree in modern languages in 1955 and then received his master’s degree in 1963. He received the habit of the Order in 1951 and professed perpetual vows in 1958. He was a high school teacher, school administrator and then college director of the student Brothers at the Saint Mary’s University scholasticate (St. Joseph Hall).
In 1971, Brother John was appointed provincial of the St. Louis District of the Christian Brothers. In 1976, he became vicar general of the Brothers, and in 1986, he was elected superior general and reelected for a second term in 1993.
As superior general, Brother John visited all of the 82 countries where the Brothers of the Christian Schools and Lasallian Partners minister. He became known and highly respected for his great competence and influential leadership style. Time and again, he was asked to address special religious conferences, and in each group rose to such positions as vice president of the Union of Superiors General in Rome, auditor for the Synod of Priestly Formation and consultant for the Vatican Congregation for Consecrated Life.