|Rome - Italy
The III International Congress of Augustinian Vocation Promoters which ended on Friday, July 6, was judged a very positive and enlivening experience by the 38 participants who gathered in Rome this month from around the Augustinian world. The five days of conferences, discussions, prayer and the exchange of experiences, hopes and challenges took place in a warm, fraternal atmosphere of mutual hospitality and open dialogue at the Order's International College of Santa Monica and the Patristic Institute Augustinianum. The comments of participating friars at the conclusion of the week confirmed the importance of renewing Augustinian life in our various communities and circumscriptions as fundamental to vocation ministry. The development and expansion of a 'Vocational Culture' in which every friar recognizes and embraces the shared responsibility to invite and accompany others in the discernment of a religious vocation was underscored as an important goal that must be fostered by the promoters themselves and by major superiors. The need and desire to make Augustinian life more visible, to share the good news of brothers committed to live and minister together in unity, became the invitation and the challenge which the friars placed before themselves. Participants, now renewed in an appreciation for their own vocation and for the important work entrusted to them on behalf of the Order, resolved to return home to resume their ministry, engaging their confreres as well as the laity in presenting Augustinian life as a valid and attractive option for people today.