|Rome - Italy
Under the banner “TO BE THE BODY OF CHRIST IN TODAY’S WORLD”, the Third International Congress of lay Augustinians was held in Rome. Almost 150 participants reflected on what it is to be Augustinian: “How can we be, live and communicate in our world today that we are ‘the Body of Christ’? The keynote speakers at the conference Bishop Giovanni Scanavino, OSA and Dr. Joseph T. Kelley oriented their talks on a strong scriptural base drawing richly from the texts of our Father, Saint Augustine. Additionally, there were panel presentations on the experience of lay Augustinians in a family setting, laity in today’s world, and Augustinian youth. All three helped participants to come to know better the reality of lay Augustinians composed both of Augustinian Lay Fraternities of the Order, of which they are a part, and other groups of laity intimately united and close to the Order but without a juridical commitment.
An important aspect of the gathering was the methodology proposed by the various regional groups for the election of the coordinators who will continue to work with the friars of the Order. Some have already been elected, some were elected during these meetings, and the rest will be elected at regional gatherings.
The visit to Cascia as a day of penitential prayer and the Mass celebrated at the Church of Saint Agustine in Rome, at which the Prior General Fr. Robert Prevost presided, were two important spiritual moments for the whole group.