From 30 May to 1 June the meeting of the OAE, the Organization of the Augustinians of Europe, took place in the Convent of Saint Thomas in Prague. The Major Superiors of the circumscriptions of Europe were participated in the meeting. Also, the Provincials of Nigeria and Cebu, Philippines were present also, since members of these provinces serve in Europe. During the meeting, the topics of renewal and perspectives for the future were discussed. It was a real joy to see the dynamism of the friars of Prague and the excellent work being carried out both in the parish and in the school, which was established a few years ago and which we had the opportunity to visit. We also visited the most beautiful and historic Abbey of Brno. Thanks to the organizers and to the Augustinian communities of Prague and of Brno for the experience and for the witness of fraternity that were offered!
Celebrating our Augustinian Ethos!
A visit to our College by Fr Alejandro Moral Anton, Prior General of the Order of Saint Augustine, and his assistant Fr Luis Marin De San Martin. This visit is part of the Prior General's canonical visit to the Augustinians in Malta.
(photos by Fr Raphael Abdilla osa)
On Monday, 8 May, Pope Francis received in private audience the Prior General of the Order of Saint Augustine, Fr. Alejandro Moral Antón. In this very cordial meeting a number of different themes were discussed (the various apostolates of the Augustinians, ministry in the Patristic Institute, the possible nomination of Saint Thomas of Villanova as a Doctor of the Church, the challenges of our times, etc.). The Prior General reaffirmed the total readiness of the Order in the service of the Church.
(Photos of the archives)
Neully-sur-Seine, 25 of march, 2017: The solemn opening ceremony of the diocesan process of beatification and canonization of the Servant of God Ange Le Proust (+1697), professed priest of the Order of St. Augustine and founder of the Congregation of the Sisters of Saint Thomas of Villanova, was held at St. John the Baptist parish church, Diocese of Nanterre, France. Thanksgiving Mass was presided by His Excellency Msgr. Michel Aupetit, Bishop of Nanterre, accompanied by the Vicar General of the Order of S. Augustine, Fr. Joseph Farrell, a number of Augustinian friars and priests of the diocese, in the presence of the Sisters of St. Thomas of Villanova, as well as a large group of loyal devotees of the Servant of God. After mass, the first session of constituting tribunal that will investigate the life and virtues of the Servant of God was held, whereby the members of the same tribunal and the members of the historical commission took their oath of office. This celebration marks the beginning of the work of the Tribunal and the historical commission in order to collect all evidence on the life, virtues and reputation of holiness of Ange Le Proust.
Photos taken by Valerio Polici www.valeriopolici.com
Every 25 April, at our Basilica of the Mother of Good Counsel, there has always been an appointment, very much expected and lived with a depth of spirit. This year this is true even more so because it is the 550th anniversary of the “Coming” of the holy and miraculous image that is venerated and preserved in the memorial of marble in the Church.
The story has developed within a veil of mystery, but surely the sensus fidelium, the understanding of the faithful, is able to read beyond the lines of ancient documents and can discover the true meaning of this divine action in human history. Tradition presents that the image arrived in Genazzano from the Albanian city of Scutari, where it had arrived from the East and had been preserved there for 200 years. This tradition was transmitted orally in Albania, especially among the people of simple faith and it has been the basis of friendship between these two peoples.
The title, Mother of Good Counsel, is even more ancient than the “Coming” of the image and it originated in our ancient Church.
During the novena, begun on the day of Easter, these bishops: Mons. Mani, Mons. Fumagalli, Mons. Giretti, the Father Abbot of Subiaco, Dom Mauro, Mons. Gianni Checchinato (on the first day of his episcopal ordination), Mons. Guido Marini and finally Don Ludovico, the pastor of our Cathedral Church, (which is celebrating its 900th anniversary), have participated in the prayers.
Naturally, very many pilgrims have arrived from various towns and cities in the region of Lazio. The evening of the feast’s vigil featured the traditional pilgrimage on foot from Cave, guided by Mons. Sigalini, and Cardinal Salvatore Di Giorgi presided at the ceremony of the “Coming” with the singing of the hymn, Akatistos.
Villanova, Pennsylvania, 24 of April, 2017: The opening session of the Tribunal for the cause of beatification and canonization of God's Servant William Atkinson, professed priest of the Order of Saint Augustine (1946-2006) was held in the parish and university church of St. Thomas of Villanova, which was packed by devotees for the occasion. The event was preceded by a solemn mass of thanksgiving presided by Msgr. Chaput, archbishop of Philadephia, accompanied by the Vicar General of the Order and the Prior Provincial of the Province of St. Thomas from Villanova. After the Mass the first session of the Tribunal was held. Oaths were taken by the officials, who have the duty to gather testimonies on the life, virtues and reputation of holiness of the Servant of God. On this occasion the members of the Historical Commissione took the oath of office by which they have the task of gathering all the documentation that might serve the cause. The same was done by the Postulator of the cause. Present for this event were members of Atkinson’s family, many friends and alumni of the Servant of God, together with a good number of Augustinian confreres.
TO ALL THE BROTHERS AND SISTERS, AUGUSTINIANS
AND MEMBERS THE FRATERNITIES OF THE ORDER
Dear Brother and Sister:
I do not want to let pass this Easter Triduum without expressing to you my thoughts and feelings and a brief reflection. At the same time, I would like to know your thoughts about our crucified and risen Lord and perhaps at some time we will be able to do so.
We have just celebrated the passion of the Lord and I can say that it filled me with a serene joy, perhaps a sign of a profound freedom and a greater sense of harmony with all people and with the Lord. I would like to make my own the words spoken by a theologian: “In what comes, death has ceased to be for me a problem, but it continues to be a mystery. I am not able to penetrate into the mystery, but in the midst of darkness, it illumines my being.”
Good Friday is a special day to experience the pain of the world, the pain of history and the “pain of God”, if we are able to speak in this way. We remember our Augustinians who suffer violence in some of our circumscriptions, the floods suffered by so many people who have been left without homes in various places in Latin America where we are present. We remember the children who have been the victims in various wars, or who have died because of lack of food, or because they have been abandoned by their parents. We remember the faces of so many immigrants who have been abandoned. We also remember our sisters and brothers who suffer in our own communities. All of these images weigh on my heart as before the cross we seek God’s blessing and mercy for all.
We are all called to combat against this suffering. The question is how. It happens through humility and communion with all of our brothers and sisters and with all those who, each in their own way, rise up and rebel against suffering and who struggle for all those of the world who are pushed aside.
Humility, “have in yourself the same sentiments of Christ”, to set aside our pride and sinfulness, the basis for all evil, and to open ourselves to the mercy of God, to life, which is born out of the encounter of a sincere and humble heart with the Love of Christ, once dead but now risen to life. Humility always opens our very being to an encounter with God.
Communion with our brothers and sisters, that is, the unity of charity. This is the gift that the Christ, once dead but now risen, has left us in order to find joy in the Augustinian experience. We can never forget that fraternal love is the privileged place for the authentic experience of God. Only in this way can our communities, living the experience of fraternity, make sense. It is from this experience of encounter with the other that we proclaim the meaning of Easter against pain and suffering, and we are changed so that those who see and encounter us in the place of peace and of love, which God has given to us in Jesus, the risen one.
The value of community, as the place of fraternal love, is that place where, even more than bringing me Easter joy, gives life to my desire to work for the world and urges me to open myself toward others and to work against evil and suffering, imitating the prophet of the mercy of God, Jesus, so that his love rules here below.
Today, perhaps more intensely, I believe in the love of God, that love which one day was demonstrated to be stronger than death by the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth, the first fruits of our own resurrection. I believe in the risen One, Jesus, in whom the love of God breaks the bonds of sin and death.
A Blessed Easter to all!
P. Alejandro Moral Antón
Fr. Aldo Marcelo Caceres, the Delegation Superior of Cuba, visited from 29 March to 1 April the Augustinian religious community “San Agustin” of Puerto Padre, where he met with the three candidates for the aspirancy, which, God willing, will begin on 28 August in Havana, as they begin their pre-novitiate experience. They are: Miguel from Havana, a nurse; Raul from Las Tunas, a professor of chemistry, and Yasmani, form Holguin, a lawyer. During the absence of their director, Fr. Victor Lozano Roldan, they will be temporarily directed by Br. Camilo Pineda. This brother is from Colombia and was recently incorporated into the Delegation of Cuba. He has already had the opportunity of living in each of our three communities.
Besides this, Fr. Marcelo met with two young men who will be entering into the aspirancy: José (25 years old) from Holguin and Daniel (20 years old) from Santiago de Cuba. They, like other candidates for the aspirancy, will go at the end of the week to Puerto Padre to help the religious community with pastoral ministry in the diverse chapels and mission houses that we take care of.
As always we thank God and the Virgin of Cobre for sustaining us every day in our mission.
Fray Camilo, P. Marcelo y P. Argiro
Encounter with the youth of the Mission Santa Barbara
The Assembly of the Delegation of Cuba took place in the days between 20 and 23 February 2017. In addition to having considered the progress made so far, the Assembly focused on three main points mentioned by the Prior General in a letter sent for the occasion: 1. Cuba as a place of mission; 2. community life, prayer and the local chapter, which specify our identity; and 3. serious vocational work, based on the specific criteria selected. After that, the Assembly looked at the themes that concern the state and the reality of our communities (Puerto Padre: parish house and house for aspirants; Havana: with its educational-formational mission on the university level and as formation house; Chambas: the parish). The Assembly also treated especially the themes of vocation ministry and the problems concerning formation and parish ministry. Finally, the Assembly also dealt with the situation that arises from the process of unification in the jurisdiction of the Federation of Spanish Provinces.