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Order of Saint Augustine

"Anima una et cor unum in Deum!" (Regula)

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Thought of Saint Augustine
The majesty of God surpasses by far our capacity for expression, because it is better to think of God than to talk of Him, and better is He still than what is thought.
(De Trinitate VII, 4,7)
In the material world, a foot is one thing, a ladder is another and wings still another. In the interior world, however, feet, ladders, and wings are the affections of a good will, with them, we walk, we climb, and we fly.
(En. in ps. 38, 2)
It is better to wage war with hope of eternal peace than servitude without hope of liberation.
(De Civ. Dei XXI, 15)
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DETERMINATIONS OF THE GENERAL CHAPTER 2007

FOR A RENEWAL PROGRAM

P-1 The Prior General and Council will encourage each region of the Order to organize and implement Renewal Projects for Augustinian life. The General Council will coordinate these processes.

P-2. With the General Chapter as starting point, we will undertake a process of reflection on and, implementation of, the demands and meaningful ways of living the communion of goods and evangelical poverty in the world today, on the following levels of the Order: personal, community, circumscription, and Order, keeping in mind the social doctrine of the Church.

P-3. There is a need to develop a plan to promote a greater appreciation of the vocation of non-clerical brothers in the Order and to correct the present decline in the number of their vocations.

P-4. A congress on the vocation of non-clerical brothers will be organized to coincide with the first centenary of the Beatification of Blessed Frederick of Regensburg on 12th May 2009.

DOCUMENTS TO BE DEVELOPED

P-5. The Justice and Peace Secretariat will develop a document (similar to the Ratio Institutionis), which will include the various elements present today in the life of the Order: decisions of General Chapters; the presence of the Order at the United Nations; the responsibilities of the Secretariat itself; the presence in each circumscription of a Justice and Peace promoter and commission; the Solidarity Fund, etc. This document will be presented for confirmation by the next Intermediate General Chapter.

P-6. The General Chapter entrusts the General Council and the International Commissions with the task of developing a Directory that clearly establishes the role, theoretical principles, as well as the guidelines for the activities of the various international commissions of the Order, as well as of the other offices and other sectors of the General Curia of the Order.

AUGUSTINIAN SPIRITUALITY INSTITUTE

P-7. The Chapter recommends that the General Council maintain and promote the Augustinian Spirituality Institute as an instrument of ongoing formation, and further preparation for formation personnel. This Institute, as a service to the whole Augustinian Family, will continue to organize courses on Augustine and other authors from our tradition, annually in Rome, and, as opportunity allows, in other countries, including the use of new technologies, (distance learning, DVD, video-conferences, etc.). The Augustinian Patristic Institute will be asked to provide academic collaboration, in accord with its Statutes (nn. 96-98): the Diploma in Augustinian Spirituality (“visiting” students), and the Cathedra Augustiniana, Augustinian Chair. The Institute of Augustinian Spirituality will be provided with the necessary resources to carry out its activities.

FORMATION AND VOCATIONS

P-8. Circumscriptions should promote an exchange of experiences for the students in formation so that they may have an integrated pastoral formation, including pastoral experience with the most poor, preferably in our own missions or among the poor of the marginalized urban areas.

P-9. a) The General Council, during the next six-year term, will organize a program of formation for formators, using modern technology and distance learning, which will conclude with an encounter in Rome. The program will include an evaluation of the processes of formation with regard to those who leave the Order shortly after solemn profession.
b) It is recommended that the superiors of circumscriptions organize, within their respective regions, interchanges of professed and recently ordained priests with the purpose of achieving a greater knowledge and of increasing their formation at all levels.

P-10. The Formation Commission, taking into account the importance of the intellectual apostolate in the life and tradition of the Order (Constitutions, 124-132), will concern itself with promoting the adequate preparation of young Augustinians, especially in the area of the ecclesiastic sciences, with particular attention to Patristics and History.

 

P-11. The General Council will organize, in the next six-year period, two workshops on Vocational Promotion, emphasizing the Augustinian dimension of the brothers charged with this task and sharing methodologies. Further, it will prepare vocational material that can be used as a help in all the circumscriptions of the Order.

P-12. Regional courses for training in leadership within the Order will be organized.

EDUCATION

P-13. The Commission of Educational Centers will program another International Congress for Augustinian educators from all levels of education. Major Superiors will promote them on the regional and continental level. The International Congress will take place in different places, particularly in those where there are Augustinian schools.

P-14. The Commission of Educational Centers will promote cooperation among the schools of the Order, making use of cultural opportunities offered by international organizations. They will also promote the interchange of publications, materials and programs, throughout the Order, especially in what pertains to Augustinian values.

PATRISTIC INSTITUTE AND OTHER CENTERS

P-15. In the spirit of Constitutions, nn. 148-149, research institutes and libraries specializing in Saint Augustine, patristic studies, and the history of the Order, should not be alienated (sold, given away), either by an individual or collectively, without having first received the nihil obstat from the Prior General with his Council.

P-16. The Ordinary General Chapter encourages the circumscriptions of Latin America to continue and to expand programs aimed at generating academic interest in Augustine and patristic studies, and to search for funding and personnel for these.

P-17. The General Council will assist OSAAP to investigate the development of an Augustinian Centre for Inter-religious Dialogue in the Asia-Pacific region. For the establishment of this centre a commission will study possible academic courses, connections with our apostolates, funding and personnel, and will establish networks of association with other religions, and relationships with Annaba.

YOUTH

P-18. The International Commission for Youth Meetings will promote periodic meetings about Augustinian youth pastoral work, for Augustinians and Laity, with the goal of sharing and reflecting on experiences and projects of youth pastoral work, with respect to the Augustinian understanding of the Gospel and its service to humanity. It will also foster the pastoral youth work of the Order in contact with the respective regional organizations.

LAITY

P-19. The Chapter will encourage the communities of the Order to establish more intense channels of participation and co-responsibility with the laity in the mission and spirituality of the Order (cf. Vita Consecrata, n. 54), promoting the creation and development of Augustinian secular fraternities.

P-20. The General Chapter encourages the International Commission for the Laity to continue looking for paths of dialogue with different groups of Augustinian laity. This includes working with the people who were elected during the International Congress of Laity (2006), as well as with other representatives, who will be designated in dialogue the Major Superiors of the Order.

GOVERNMENT, INTERCIRCUMSCRIPTIONAL COLLABORATION, OTHER THEMES

P-21. The General Chapter expresses its approbation and support to the process of union of the four circumscriptions of Brazil, and manifests its hope that this process will reach a good outcome, with the establishment of the Augustinian Province of Brazil, with the participation of the circumscriptions of Brazil, their respective Provinces, and the Prior General or his representative.

P-22. The General Chapter invites the circumscriptions of Peru and Bolivia to begin, before the next Intermediate General Chapter, a process of dialogue concerning the possibility of working toward the future unification of these circumscriptions.

P-23. The General Chapter encourages a major collaboration, especially in the areas of initial formation and ongoing formation, in the circumscriptions of Poland, Brno, Prague, and Slovakia.

P-24. The General Chapter, in the spirit of n. 349 of the Constitutions, confirms the decree of the Prior General of 15 November 2006, by which the Delegation of Korea passes to the regimen of the Province of Australia.

P-25. The General Chapter is in agreement with what the Belgian and Dutch Provinces are doing in examining the union between the two Provinces and their plan to present these conclusions at the Intermediate General Chapter of 2010.

P-26. The International Economic Commission will study the possibility of transferring properties to the Curia in the event that Augustinians disappear from some nation.

P-27. The Prior General and his Council will continue consolidating the projects already begun in the circumscriptions of Africa.

P-28. The General Chapter recommends to the Prior General and his Council the celebration, in the regions of the Order, of the 50th anniversary of the announcement by Blessed Pope John XXIII of the Vatican Council II, in 2009. This celebration is an opportunity for the Order to reflect on the documents of Vatican II and “aggiornamento” according to the signs of the times.

P-29. The General Chapter asks that the circumscriptions of the Order develop a protocol of action in cases of sexual abuse and inappropriate behavior.

P-30. The Asia-Pacific area will be an area of priority in the years 2007-2013. During this time of renewal, the Order will help these circumscriptions to develop a joint plan of collaboration to bring about a major growth in evangelization, mission and vocations to the Order in Vietnam, China, and throughout the entire region.

P-31. The Prior General and his Council will foster the coordination of the Augustinian NGOs in order to plan, organize and develop common projects of international cooperation for the promotion of development, education for peace and the protection of human rights.

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