|Rome - February 2012
The General Council of the Order met in plenary session during the period February 20 - March 2, 2012, and treated the following items:
The Council approved the establishment of the Federation of Augustinians of North America (FANA), responding to the request of the Provincials and Councils of the four circumscriptions concerned: California, Canada, Chicago and Villanova. The Council also approved the Federation's Statutes which were presented at the same time.
Discussion was had concerning the possibility of creating a new international commission to explore possible new structures for the Order for recommendation to the General Chapter of 2013. After lengthy conversation it was decided to move forward with the proposal and the names of potential members were surfaced and are in the process of being contacted for their availability. Tentative dates were set for an initial meeting of members with the General Council.
A budget was approved for the 2012 meeting of the Augustinian Historical Institute to be held in October 2012.
Approval was given for an increase in stipends for professors of the Patristic Institute.
Statutes were submitted and approved for the Order's Augustinian Spirituality Institute.
Approval was given for admission to solemn vows of a friar of the Delegation of Kenya; a dispensation was granted from simple vows of another from the Congo, as well approval for the exclaustration of a friar of the Province of Michoacán.
Statutes were approved for the Association Augustinians International, a non-profit organization recognized by the Italian government. This is a required step of the United Nations Organization for the Order's passage from its UN status of DPI to that of ECOSOC.
The statutes submitted by the non-profit Santa Rita da Cascia ONLUS, for the Shrine of Saint Rita in Cascia were approved.
The Council approved a donation to the monastery of the Augustinian Contemplative Nuns in Romania for the construction of a wall surrounding their property.
A conversation was held concerning possible initiatives the Order might take in observance of the Church's celebration of the Year of Faith.
Discussion took place regarding the preparation of the Course for newly-elected Major Superiors of the Order in November, 2012.
The report of the Sacristan of the Order was received and approved.
The dates for the celebration of the Provincial Chapter of Nigeria were approved.
The reports of the Prior General and Assistants General are summarized as follows:
Fr. Robert Prevost informed the Council of his recent visit to Central America, as well as his visit to Nairobi where a new entity was inaugurated: the Union of Augustinian Friars of Africa (UAFA), comprising the various presences of the friars throughout the continent. He also reported on his presence at the assembly of friars in Cuba and his participation in the Provincial Chapter of Ecuador, which saw the installation of Patricio Villalba as provincial. He was an invited participant at the Vatican co-sponsored symposium on sexual abuse held in Rome and attended the meeting of superiors of English-speaking circumscriptions in Dublin.
Fr. Alejandro Moral, reported on his visitation to the Province of Spain, and commented on the progress of the process directed toward the union of the four Spanish provinces, the topic of vocations and young friars. While in Spain, as Assistant for one of the Federations of Augustinian Contemplative Nuns in that country, he visited several monasteries. Alejandro reported also on the progress of the Manual for Justice and Peace to be presented to the next General Chapter; the situation of the common novitiate for southern Europe and preparations for the Assembly of Contemplative Nuns of the Order in Spain.
Fr. Michael Di Gregorio reported on his visit in January to the Order's office at the UN with Fr. Emeka Obiezu. He also informed the Council of his participation in the final meeting of the North American Conference of Augustinian Provincials in San Diego and the decision of the Conference to seek the establishment of the North American Federation. He participated as well in the Dublin meeting of superiors of English-speaking circumscriptions.
Fr. Miguel Angel Keller participated in the Assembly of the Federation of Brazil and spoke of the progress in its plans for establishment as a province. He also spoke of his visit to Cuba around Christmastime and the question of vocation promotion on the part of the Order there. In Lima, Peru, he attended the meeting of the four major superiors and discussed the path toward a single province in that country.
Fr. Rommel Par had attended meetings in the Philippines in November and in Buenos Aires in December in preparation for the Augustinian Youth Encounter 2013. He updated the Council on preparations for the Encounter as well as on progress toward the Education Congress to be held in Peru. Rommel also participated in the Aula Agustiniana in Madrid in January.
Fr. Franz Klein also attended the meeting on the Youth Encounter in Buenos Aires. He was in Cologne for the celebration of the 700th anniversary of the foundation of the Augustinian Sisters there. At the end of January he was with the Prior General in Nairobi for the founding of UAFA. He also participated in the meeting held in Dublin for superiors of English-speaking circumscriptions.
Fr. Luciano DeMichieli reported on the beginnings of the English language Spirituality Course presently underway in Rome. He gave an update on the progress of the Italian language Missal and Propers of the Order. At the time of the episcopal ordination of Cardinal Grech he visited with some friars of the circumscription and visited the contemplative nuns of the Order there. He updated the Council on the approaching laity congress and the Assembly of nuns in Spain. He also reported on the progress of the formation of a community of our contemplative nuns for a three year presence in Vatican City beginning in the Fall of 2012.
IMPORTANT UPCOMING EVENTS
International Vocation Congress 2- 6 July, 2012 Rome
Congress of Laity 11-17 July, 2012 Rome
Augustinian Spirituality Week 22-28 July, 2012 San Gimignano
International Meeting of Educators 30 July - 3 August, 2012 Lima
Assembly of Augustinian Contemplative Nuns 1-5 October, Guadarrama
Congress of the Augustinian Historical Institute 15-19 October, 2012 Rome
The next Plenary Meeting of the General Council is scheduled for May 6-19, 2012.
Michael Di Gregorio, OSA March 5, 2012
Course of Augustinian Spirituality (Italian) February - April, 2013 Rome
For information and registration, contact: Fr. Luciano De Michieli : email@example.com
*Secretaries of Circumscriptions: Please send timely notice of the names and dates of death of friars, as well as the names and dates of friars making simple and solemn professions, for publication on the Order web page, to: firstname.lastname@example.org