To the Provincial Priors, Provincial Vicars
and the Superiors of the Order’s delegations
Rome, 15 July 2011
I am writing to you on behalf of the International Lay Commission to request your indispensable support in view of the setting up of a network of information and collaboration of Lay Augustinians. As you well know we are progressing towards the third Congress for Lay Augustinians which will be held next year in Rome between 11th and 17th July 2012. The theme of the Congress will be “On the way with St Augustine. Being the Body of Christ for the world today” This time the Congress is targeted at lay representatives and religious of the Augustinian family, that is we are not seeking the participation of the entire local group but rather of lay and religious who know and who represent one or more local groups in a province or a vicariate or of an area of the Order. We believe that for a world meeting to be significant it should not seek to invite all members of the lay Augustinians worldwide, but should seek to involve the largest possible and more significant number of lay representatives from the various zones where the Order is present.
The lay invitees to the Congress should be known to you or at least they should be collaborating with you in your community and should be invited by yourselves or by some other of your friars. They could be members of FAS, that is the Augustinian fraternities which are officially recognized by the Order but they can also be individuals who simply collaborate with you, who share your experience and your ideals. In this context the book “On the way with St Augustine” is our magna carta for the Augustinian lay spirituality that we want to aim for.
Concerning the economic aspect we would encourage you to support the efforts of those who desire to participate. Whilst we are seeking to progress towards a lay structure or community that could possibly support economically its representatives, it is important to appreciate the reality of the situation as it stands today and therefore support those who are willing and deserving participants even if it requires your economic support partially or totally. We should already be very grateful for all those lay persons who besides their work and family commitments are willing to collaborate in our work of evangilisation thus actively sharing in the charisma of the Order through their lay vocation| The participation fee for the Congress is of 620 Euro and should be paid through the Superior of the Circumscription. In the coming months we shall be sending the program with clearer indications and more details for registration.
For the moment the scope of this letter is principally that of informing you on what is happening but primarily to request from you your active collaboration in identifying both religious and lay representatives of lay groups. The last General Chapter had in fact invited “The International Lay Commission| to continue to explore ways of developing the dialogue with the various lay Augustinian groups” and “to estabish channels of more active participation and co responsibility with the laity in pursuing the mission and spirituality of the Order” (p19-20). For this purpose some Provinces have already taken important steps in this direction by organizing meetings for all the lay Augustinian groups in their own nation or region thus increasing the common under standing and the possibility of collaboration in the various fields.
In order to be more concrete I am attaching a list of lay representatives who are disposed to inform and coordinate the various lay groups by geographic region. The International Lay Commission has been collaborating with these individuals for some time now and we are together organizing the upcoming Congress of 2012. You can contact them directly and should you receive from them any proposals or requests for names and addresses I ask you to respond and support them accordingly. It is necessary that we build a network of relationships which are always more effective and that we do not exclude today’s reality so that all would have the opportunity to offer their contribution and to get involved at all levels. These lay representatives are at your disposal for any clarification in the certainty that only by collaborating together with all the major superiors can we help the lay section of the Augustinian family to grow and better live as the body of Christ the very call for evangelisation in the world.
Herewith are the names and the geographic area for which they are responsible (country of origin is in bold)
Vierka Jurkovà (Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia )
Jan van Swam (Belgium, Germany Netherlands, Austria)
Bernadette Toal (England, Scotland, Ireland)
Carmen Villanueva, Pilar San Román (Spain, Portugal)
Mimma Guelfi (Italy)
Anne and John Grech (Malta)
Viky Zambrano (Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras, Cuba, Porto Rico, Repubblica Dominicana)
Williams Patricia y Gabriel (Argentina, Uruguay, Perú, Chile, Bolivia)
Cecilia y Daniel Bio, Dorival De Paula (Brazil)
Ma Mercedes Andrade Esparza (Mexico)
Mary Mc Cormick (Australia, South Korea, Japan)
Myrna Garrido (Philiipines, India, Indonesia)
Patrick Bleambo (Nigeria, Tanzania, Kenya, Congo, South Africa)
Andrea Schwellinger, Teri Idler (USA, Canada)
As you can see the lay persons who are committing themselves to providing this serivce are already very numerous and this goes beyond their individual commitment at a local level and manifests their love for the Augustinian family and its spirituality. This does not include the many others who are also collaborating. We are however only at the initial stages of this development that is proving to be both fascinating and rich in the fruit it can nurture.
In the case where we have not included certain nations or lay realities in which you are operating or which you know or even lay groups linked to female congregations of the Augustinian family please let us know as soon as you can either at the Commission or the lay representatives of your area.
I thank you for your attention and I am certain of your active collaboration. I send you my kind and fraternal regards.
P. Luciano De Michieli, osa
Presidente Commissione Internazionale per i laici
Luciano De Michieli, osa
Useful information in view of the International Congress for Lay Augustinians, Rome 2012
1.- Are there in your Province, Vicariat or delegation lay fraternities (FAS), lay groups or other initiatives that involve organized lay groups?
If in the affirmative
How many fraternities, groups or lay initiatives?
2. List the groups:
2-1 Name of group
2-2 Name of the lay coordinator of the group and the religious assistant
2-3 Do the coordinators and assistants indicated have an email address?
If yes please fill in
2-4 Does the group have a website?
If yes list the address:
2-5 What involvement does this group have with the programmes of Justice and Peace, Catechists. Formation, other?
2-6 Is the fraternity or the group aware of the book “On the Way with Augustine” published in 2001 by our Order?
Note: We thank you for your kind collaboration. Should there be more than one group in your circumscription we kindly ask you to complete Number 2 above of the questionnaire for each of the groups. We also ask you to inform us in connection with the 2012 Congress what representatives of the various groups or group are interested in being represented. Please let us know of any news or proposals that the various organizers would like to make clearly indicating names and email addresses.