The May, 2011 plenary meeting of the General Council of the Order treated the following items:
- A review and subsequent approval of several proposals pertaining to renovations in refectory of the Collegio Santa Monica took place.
- Discussion was held on the presence of the Order in Cuba with particular attention to the Assembly of friars which was held there in February, 2011 and the distribution of personnel.
- Dates and theme for the next Conference of the Augustinian Historical Institute were approved. The Conference will be held in Rome October 15-19, 2012 with the theme "The Renewal of the Order. The Augustinians between 1850 and 1920".
- A request from the Bishop of Constantine-Hippo for the Order's help in finding means of support for the renovation of the Basilica in Annaba was discussed and a plan of action arranged. Similarly, a request for financial assistance from the Cardinal Archbishop of Nairobi was discussed and recommendations were surfaced.
- Discussion was held on proposals for a common novitiate for the Delegations of Kenya and Tanzania as well as another common novitiate for the circumscriptions in Southern Europe.
- A review of the Calendar of events for 2011-2013 took place.
- A discussion was held concerning the draft of a document forwarded to the General Council by the respective Unions of Superiors General of Men and that of Women Religious on “The Theology of Consecrated Life. Identity and significance of Apostolic Consecrated Life." Comments were offered in response to a request for the same and will be forwarded to responsible committee.
The reports of the Prior General and Assistants General are summarized as follows:
Fr. Robert Prevost reported on his recent visit to our community in Prague and his participation in an encounter of young friars of Europe which took place in Slovakia. He also attended the meeting of Augustinian Major Superiors of Europe at Clare Priory in March together with Assistant General Luciano DeMichieli.
Fr. Michael Di Gregorio asked for a discussion regarding publications of the Order, specifically the work of translation of OSAINT and the rising cost of its distribution, as well as the expense and distribution to various circumscriptions of other publications. Suggestions were offered concerning the possible addition and/or reduction of language editions of OSAINT. There followed a discussion also of the Order's web page and efforts to re-design it. In this period Fr. Michael participated in the meeting of the International Vocation Commission in Milan in the month of April. He reported briefly on some items pertaining to the approaching Formators' Congress in Cascia.
Fr. Alejandro Moral, in his role as Procurator General, presented two cases he is presently treating. He discussed his activities as Assistant for one of the Spanish Federations of Contemplative Nuns, and reported on discussions underway in Spain on collaboration among the provinces regarding formation, including the present status of the interprovincial novitiate.
Fr. Enrique Catalán reportedon the April meeting of the Major Superiors of Peru concerning the possibility of a common professorium or pre-novitiate among the Circumscriptions and plans for the continuation of the discussion in coming months. He also reported on the recent meeting of the Commission on Vocations and the plans for the Vocation Congress to be held in 2012, presenting the schedule of speakers and themes. Suggestions were offered for speakers yet to be invited.
Fr. Rommel Par discussed scheduling and arrangements for Augustinian events surrounding the upcoming World Youth Day in Spain in August and the Congress for Augustinian Youth Promoters which is to follow at the Escorial.
Fr. Franz Klein reported on a visitation he conducted among the friars of Kenya and the preparations for a subsequent Assembly of the Delegation in June and October. He also reported on recent decisions in the Congo relating to formation and particularly with regard to friars studying in Nairobi. He participated in a planning meeting in Madrid for the August Youth Promoters' Congress. Fr. Franz conducted a visitation of the Province of England-Scotland and spoke of the situation of new candidates in that Province. He also attended the first session of the Provincial Chapter of Germany.
Fr. Luciano DeMichieli reported on a visit to one the Order's contemplative communities in Spain together with a contemplative nun of Italy. He offered suggestions for a possible approach to the organization of the Congress of Augustinian Contemplative Nuns to be held in 2012. He reported, as well, on the progress of the Ongoing Formation Course presently being conducted in Spanish and plans for the English-language Course to be held in 2012. The Course is evaluated by its present participants as very successful and highly recommended. Plans are also underway for the Spirituality Week to be held at San Gimignano in July, 2011.
IMPORTANT UPCOMING EVENTS
Augustinian Spirituality Week 3-9 July, 2011 San Gimignano*
Meeting of Augustinian Formators 11-16 July, 2011 Cascia*
Meeting of Justice and Peace Promoters 17-22 July, 2011 Villanova
Meeting of Youth Ministry Promoters 22-26 August, 2011 Spain*
Congress of Laity 11-17 July, 2012 Rome
International Vocation Congress 15-20 July, 2012
International Meeting of Educators 30 July - 3 August, 2012 Lima
The next Plenary Meeting of the General Council is scheduled for September 11-24, 2011.
Michael Di Gregorio, OSA May 14, 2011