our history

In The Beginning

     In 1974-75,  our founder,  Fr. Ricardo Arganaraz had a powerful spiritual experience.  In response,  he and three others withdrew to a secluded,  mountainous location in Northern Italy called Camparmò.  There, they dedicated themselves to a life of prayer,  work and study. 

In the solitude of those early years,  the founding elements of the new community were set in place: prayer;  listening to the Word of God;  experiencing the gifts of the Holy Spirit;  brotherly friendship;  accepting one another and trust in the providential hand of God. 

On the occasion of a pilgrimage to Loreto (Italy) on January 1st 1979 Fr. Ricardo and his little community conclusively received from the Lord that they were founded as a community whose name was to be “Koinonia John the Baptist” (Koinonia Giovanni Battista). 

After these early years, the community responded to local people eager to experience God and friendship by expanding its evangelization outreach. 


    The community of the Koinonia continues to expand through its School of Evangelization and Houses of Prayer. 

Over the years the Koinonia has developed a series of biblical courses.  Through these courses participants are introduced to the love of God manifested in the Bible and are trained to share it with others. All that the School teaches has proven to be very effective in fostering powerful witnesses for the Lord in the Church today. 

United under one structure called the Federation of Koinonia John the Baptist, each individual Koinonia is constituted as a mission where its members gather periodically to grow in faith,  service and evangelization training. 

in california

    In 2001,  the seed the Lord planted in Camparmò yielded fruit 6,000 miles away…in California. 

It happened when Californian Tony Sneed attended a Koinonia formation course in Slovakia.  The experience provided him with the guidance and trust he needed to open a House of Prayer in the city of Thousand Oaks with his wife,  Zuzana. 

Over the next three years,  the California community grew – but it had no pastor.  Then,  in 2004,  Fr. Claudio Antecini arrived full of fire and zeal for our mission.  Thanks to his efforts,  Cardinal Roger Mahoney invited the Koinonia to assist the Archdiocese of Los Angeles in its work for evangelization.  After that,  the dedication of lay members and training courses multiplied – and the community’s roots grew stronger.  When Fr. Claudio left California to build another American community in New York,  Fr. Olivier Bagnoud became pastor.  And on February 15,  2010,  the Archdiocese officially recognized the Koinonia’s tireless efforts in evangelization. 

Today,  those efforts continue.  Fr. Artur Bilski is now pastor. He, his consecrated brothers and sisters and more than 200 lay members look to the future filled with hope that the Lord has great things in store.