At 14 July 2014, the 147th Ordinary Provincial Chapter of the Province of the Philippines (Spain) began in the Royal College Seminary of the Augustinians of Valladolid...
At 14 July 2014, the 147th Ordinary Provincial Chapter of the Province of the Philippines (Spain) began in the Royal College Seminary of the Augustinians of Valladolid. Convoked for the Chapter were 18 brothers ex officio and another 24 elected by groupings of brothers, as well as 2 brothers, invited to represent those brothers who work in the Provinces of Peru and Columbia. Those elected represented the circumscriptions of Spain; Iquitos, Peru; Tanzania and India. Absent were 3 representatives from the Vicariate of Venezuela, who were not able to come because of the socio-political problems which are part of life in that country. The President of the Chapter was the Prior General, P. Alejandro Moral Antón, accompanied by the Assistant General, P. Luis Marin.
We began the day in the Chapel of the Professorium with Laudes, and then at 10am, in the great hall of San Agustin del Estudio Teologico, the Provincial, who was completing his term of office, P. Carlos Moran, began the work of the Chapter with a prayer taken from Saint Augustine’s Tractates on the Gospel of Saint John. Following this, the Dominican, P. Felicisimo Martinez, spoke on the theme, “Religious Life in the near future, according to the guidelines of Pope Francis”, in which he proposed seven guidelines to follow: the exercise of being and becoming sincere; the challenge of prioritizing the theological dimension; the challenge of the prophetic dimension; the pastoral dimension with the poor and the excluded; the restructuring of religious life; enculturation, and spirituality of change. This theme took up the space of the two work sessions of the morning.
At 1pm we celebrated the Eucharist for the opening of the Chapter, presided by the Prior General, P. Alejandro Moral Antón, accompanied by two provincials, P. Javier Antolin, the one entering into office, and P. Carlos Moran, the one leaving office, and also accompanied by P. Luis Marin, the Assistant General. In the homily, the Prior General exhorted us to a reflection on the Province and on its renewal through the work of the Chapter.
After lunch and a pause, the Chapter continued at 4:40pm and the Prior General offered an opening discourse to the members of the Chapter in which he highlighted three important points: the witness of communion, which the community must have; the formation of formators, and the communion of goods. He pointed out the mission and the tireless work of the Augustinian missionaries of the Province as one of the strong points of the Province, which serves an example for the rest of the Spanish Provinces.
Next, the Provincial Secretary, Fr. Marcelino Estaban, read the act of naming of the officials of the Chapter and the Prior Provincial read a lengthy and detailed report on the state of the Province and the work carried out over the past four years. Following this there was a time for questions, most of which were directed to the Prior General and were directed to the problems of the Order currently being experienced in Latin America. The day drew to a close at 8pm with the recitation of Vespers and dinner.
The Chapter will continue throughout the week with as its basis for discussion the program for the Province formulated by new Provincial and his team.