|Rome - February 2013
The General Council of the Order met in plenary session during the period February 17 - 26, 2013.
1. Much of the work of this session dealt with preparations for the 2013 General Chapter, including discussion of the Chapter's membership, contents, and methodology. A part of the time dedicated to the latter two items was held in concert with the members of the Special Commission established last year to assist in preparation for the Chapter. The Commission itself met to receive the Council's input, continue its own conversation, and then to offer its own recommendations. The Council will continue its work in this area in preparation for its next plenary session in May. The General Chapter has been officially convoked, to begin on August 28, 2013, and the letter of convocation has been sent to Major Superiors.
2. Approval for a petition of exclaustration was given to a friar of the Delegation of Korea in order to pursue ministry in a parochial setting.
3. Fr. Matthias Hecht, Econome General, was approved as the legal representative of the Curia.
4. The request of the four Priors Provincial of Spain for the creation of The Union of the Provinces of Spain was approved.
5. A friar of the Province of Chile was granted a dispensation from simple vows.
6. The nomination of Fr. Robert Guessetto as Prior of the Collegio Santa Monica, Rome, was approved. He will continue, pro tempore, as Master of Students as well.
7. Approval was given to the request for a scholarship for studies of a friar of the Province of Cebu.
8. An extension of one year was granted to the novitiate of the north of Latin America to continue in Santiago de Chile so that an adequate location for its transference can be found.
9. The Econome General spoke to the Council on repairs underway in the Residenza Paolo VI which is housed in part of a wing of Collegio Santa Monica, and presented proposals for a contract which the Council subsequently awarded for the maintenance of various installations in the Order's three buildings on the Curia property.
The reports of the Prior General and Assistants General since the November, 2012 Council meeting are summarized as follows:
Fr. Robert Prevost made two visits to Peru: to meet with the four Major Superiors; to participate in the Assembly of the Vicariate of Chulucanas and the Chapter of the Vicariate of Apurímac. He was present for the special Assembly of 3 of the circumscriptions of Brazil which are cooperating in the formation of a Brazilian Province. He visited, as well, the fourth circumscription of Brazil in Belo Horizonte. Finally, he made a visitation for renewal to Panama and participated in the meeting of the Federation of Augustinians of North America.
Fr. Alejandro Moral, reported on the progress of discussions on the union of the four Spanish Provinces and the creation of a committee of the four Priors Provincial to carry this forward. In December he conducted a visitation of the Province of Madrid. In January he was present in Panama for a conference on Catholic education at which he spoke on the topics of Justice and Peace and the Laity. He reported that the Course of Spirituality in Italian is presently underway. He informed the Council that the Priors Provincial of southern Europe have decided to hold a common novitiate for the next three years in Pavia, Italy.
Fr. Miguel Angel Keller visited the novitiate in Chile and announced that in the month of April he will be present at a meeting of OALA in Costa Rica and will preach a retreat and conduct a visitation in Buenos Aires, and do the same in June in Venezuela.
Fr. Rommel Par accompanied the former Postulator General, Fr. Fernando Rojo, to the Philippines for celebrations surrounding the canonization of a layman whose cause Fr. Rojo had advanced. In March he leaves for Brazil to plan activities connected with the Augustinian Youth Encounter to be held in Sao Paulo in July.
Fr. Franz Klein reported on his visit to the Congo for a meeting of the Federation and a visit to the Augustinian community in South Africa. He informed the Council on the decision of the Villanova Province to withdraw from this mission in January, 2014.
Fr. Michael Di Gregorio reported on his participation in the meeting of the Federation of Augustinians of North America (FANA) held at the beginning of February in San Diego, California. This was the last meeting, since the beginning of the process for creating the federation had begun, at which the councils of the various provinces would also participate.
Fr. Martin Micallef had visited Malta in December and part of January.
IMPORTANT UPCOMING EVENTS
Augustinian Youth Encounter July 15 - 20, 2013, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Information can be found at www.ejasp2013.com.br
Ordinary General Chapter August 28, 2013, Rome
The next Plenary Meeting of the General Council is scheduled for May 5 - 18, 2013
Michael Di Gregorio, OSA February 16, 2013