|Panama City, Panama
From the 17th to 21st of September, the first Congress of Augustinian Secular Fraternities (Northern Regions) was celebrated in Panama City. The Prior General was present for this Congress along with 130 others representing 11 countries...
From the 17th to 21st of September, the first Congress of Augustinian Secular Fraternities (Northern Regions) was celebrated in Panama City. The Prior General was present for this Congress along with 130 others representing 11 countries: Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Honduras, El Salvador, México, Nicaragua, Panamá, Perú, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic. The opening Eucharist was presided by Bishop José Domingo Ulloa, archbishop of Panama. The days developed in an atmosphere of cordiality, responsibility and creativity with a packed program and perfect organization under the direction of the Fraternities of Panama.
There were six presentations: Fr. Alejandro Moral, Prior General ( Hallmarks of Augustinian Secular Fraternity; Legal identity of Augustinian Secular Fraternities); Fr. Luis Marín de San Martín, Assistant General and member of the Order’s Laity Commission (elements of Augustinian Spirituality according to the charism of the Order; The Laity and their place in the Church in light of Vatican II and Augustinian Ecclesiology) And Fr. Reinaldo Rivera, Vicar of the Antilles (Augustinian Spirituality in service to the New Evangelization – Aparecida; The commitment to the world: The youth, justice and peace and solidarity) The themes developed
The themes were further developed in work groups and in discussions in the general assembly. Also there was a round table in which representatives of the Fraternities offered suggestions and activities for future progress. The program ended with a taste of Panamanian culture with a delicious dinner and a visit to the impressive Panama Canal. All of the participants are grateful to the Vicar of Panama, Fr. Carlos de la Cruz Murillo, and the Fraternities of this circumscription for the cordial gathering and for all of the work that went into making these days together successful.
The Congress highlighted the importance and great dynamism of these Secular Fraternities with respect to Latin America and permitted an exchange of opinions and experiences and has deepened within the Order a sense of the potential that collaboration between religious and laity has. Without doubt, this Congress will be a point of reference for the future.
P. Luis Marín de San Martín, OSA