|Rome - May 2015
The Acts of the Intermediate Chapter of the English/Scottish Province (April 2015) were discussed and approved.
The intermediate General Chapter will be held in Abuja, Nigeria September 18-30, 2016.
Discussion and decisions were made regarding various dispensations, changes and requests of Friars. Renunciations and nominations for membership to various commissions were also approved. The communities in Cuba, Annaba, San Gimignano, Papal Sacristy, and Collegio Santa Monica were discussed. Miguel Ángel Martín Juárez, the Procurator General of the Order, has presented his resignation to the Prior General and the Prior General has accepted his resignation. He has served as Procurator General of the Order in the Curia for two years (2013-2015), and previously he served as Secretary General of the Order for eighteen years (1995-2013). The Prior General and the General Council of the Order profoundly thank him for these twenty years of dedicated service to the Order. He will return to his Province of Spain.
The Foundation is in the early stages of development and action. Final documentation is being prepared for signatures by the Prior General.
The Prior General and each Assistant General presented a summary of the work of the international commissions and also a summary of various chapters, assemblies and visits.
Alejandro Moral informed the Council of his stay in Staten Island, NY for the month of March. He also presented the council with a request from the Province of Spain (HIS) for the foundation of a secular fraternity ““Mae Do Bom Conselho de Santa Iria de Azoia, en Portugal” This request was approved. The council also discussed with the General the clarification of the different roles of the procurator general and the assistants and the delegates to our Monasteries of Contemplative life. Request for the opening of a Novitiate in Gent, Belgium was presented and approved. Alejandro also presented a summary of his visits to the USA, Canada, and to Malta for the meeting of the Augustinian Major Superiors in Europe.
Franz Klein discussed with the Council the work of the Secretariat for Social Communication, OSA INT, and the function of the internet and web-site of the Order. Franz also provided a first look at what will become the new publication format of OSA Int. The book will be published at the end of the 2015 calendar year. The theme of the publication will be Justice and Peace. Franz updated the council on his visits to the Czech Republic, and to Belgium. An international meeting will be held in Panama in January 2016 of Friars responsible for Communication in our Circumscriptions. Preparation for this meeting will be done through a virtual forum with video and written comments.
Anthony Banks discussed the tasks of the Finance Commission and the initial results from the survey that was sent to every circumscription. He also presented the work of the Economic Ad Intra committee regarding regulating the work of our lay employees in the Collegio, the Patristic Institute and the Curia. Tony also gave a summary of his participation at the KAPLAG celebrating 450 years of Augustinian presence in the Philippines and the preparation for the Eucharistic Congress in the Philippines. Plans are being worked on to establish a common novitiate for novices coming from various circumscriptions in Australiasia.
Patricio Villalba updated the Council on his visits and meetings in Venezuela and the work and challenges of our Friars who are living in a difficult economic and political situation. The project of the common novitiate in Lima, Peru continues to go well. There will be a similar collaboration for a novitiate in Panama which will include the circumscriptions of Antilles, Central America, Venezuela and Panama. In May, 2016 the Vicariate of Panama will celebrate its 50th anniversary and April, 2019 OALA will celebrate its 50th anniversary.
Luis Marin presented the work of the Institute of Augustinian Spirituality and the development of the new Web Page for the Institute. He also presented the work of a new Web Page for the Archives. The English speaking participants for the Course of Augustinian Spirituality have finished their time in Rome with positive feedback regarding their experience. The Course of Augustinian Spirituality for 2016 is scheduled to be offered in Italian. There are more details that need to be discussed and decided in order to determine if this will be offered in 2016. L. Marin updated the council on the progress of the discussions and creation of statutes for the Federation of the Provinces of Spain. L. Marin also updated the council on the recent meeting of OAE (Organization of Augustinians in Europe) which took place in Malte April 27-May1, 2015. Also present at the meeting were the Prior General and Assistant General F. Klein.
Edward Daleng updated the council on the work of the Commission for Youth and the International gathering which will take place from July 19-25, 2016 in the Czech Republic. The International World Youth Day will take place 25-31 July, 2016 in Krakovia, Poland. Edward also updated the Council on various communities in the circumscriptions in Africa and also the contracts being prepared in Kenya for Kisumu and Eldoret.
Joseph Farrell presented a summary of the Canonical Visitation for which he accompanied the Prior General in the Province of Our Mother of Good Counsel (USA) and the Province of St. Joseph (Canada). Overall, it was a positive experience of renewal for the Friars of the Provinces and their collaborators in ministry. The liturgical celebrations and affiliations were all good experiences of prayer and fraternity. The Commission for Initial Formation is preparing a workshop for formators in the OALA region in São Paulo, Brazil, November 17, 18, 19, 2015. This workshop will be organized in collaboration with the Institute of Augustinian Spirituality. The theme of the workshop is “Accompaniment in Augustinian Initial Formation.” The work of the Ratio Institutionis continues to be prepared for the Intermediate General Chapter in September 2016. The commission on Education is preparing for its next meeting with the directors of our Augustinian Schools of Higher Education. (Universities) in November/December 2015.
The Economo General reviewed with the General Council the new contract proposals for those who rent space from the Order in Rome. Other financial items included a review of the current contracts and vacation schedules of our lay collaborators in the Curia, budgetary items regarding the office of the Postulator, the Library of the Institute and the Archives. Also presented was a proposed schedule of the systemization of heating/air conditioning in the Curia.
The Year of Consecrated Life, 30 November 2014- 2 February 2016, is an opportunity for the Order and for the individual circumscriptions to celebrate our vocations as religious called to Consecrated Life. The reunion of our Augustinian Contemplative Nuns will take place in Cascia, Italy October 5-9, 2015. A reunion of our Augustinian Bishops will be held in Rome February 1-3, 2016. Other projects are also being developed to enrich the year.
The communities in Cuba, Annaba, San Gimignano, Papal Sacristy, and Collegio Santa Monica were all discussed regarding changes and additions in those communities. José Ignacio Busta Ramirez (CHL) will assume his service as Prior of Collegio Santa Monica beginning the summer of 2015. After 11 years of service as Director of Students and 2 years as Prior of Collegio Santa Monica, Robert Guessetto (VIL) will return to the USA to begin his service as Director of Professed Students in Chicago, IL.
The Prior General and Assistants worked on developing the calendar of canonical visitations, chapters, assemblies and international congresses.
The Prior General and Assistant General for Northern Europe updated the council on developments in the community in Brno, Czech Republic. The Prior General asked the Vicar General to be the first point of contact with the communities in Rome under the direct care of the General. Special attention will be given to working with the Padri Studenti at Collegio Santa Monica regarding the progress of their studies. The Prior General informed the Council of an invitation from the Bishop of Carthage to establish a community of Friars in Tunisia.