The meeting was held in Bogota, Colombia from 14 to 17 June. This very well organized gathering included intense days of formative, celebrative, cultural and festive aspects in which friendships and fraternity were deepened. It was truly a gift from God that the Assistant General, who is also a member of the International Commission of the Order for the Laity, attended the meeting. We wish to thank the Province of Colombia for their generous participation, to thank the speakers, to thank all who collaborated to make the congress a success. Also, we wish to thank our lay Augustinian brothers and sisters for their dynamism and participation. Let us continue to live our Augustinian charism, giving our joyful witness in the midst of the world. May God bless us all.
The General Council of the Order met from the 1st to the 14th and on the 19th of May, presided by the Prior General, Alejandro Moral Antón.
Among other themes, the following were discussed.
New houses: The erection of two new communities in Kenya were approved:
Augustinian Community, Holy Family Parish, Mbwiru, diocese of Meru, Chuka-Meru, and Augustinian Comunity, Saint Luke’s Kebeneti Parish, Kericho,
Admissions and Dispensations: Approval was given for various friars to be admitted to solemn profession, presbiteral ordination and other ministries. Approval was also given for the dispensation from vows for various religious.
Chapters: Approval was given for the opening date and place for the Ordinary Chapter of the Vicariate of the Congo. (February 20, 2018, in Kinshasa).
Generalate Houses: Discussions regarding some of the needs of the communities that fall under the direction of the General Curia.
Circumscriptions: Information and consideration of the electoral process in the Provinces of Mexico and Colombia for the election of the Priors Provincial. The nomination of the Vicar for the Vicariate of Viena. Discussion over the project of agreement between the circumscriptions of Chile and Bolivia.
Gathering of the newly elected Major Superiors: The gathering of the newly elected Major Superiors will take place from September 25-27, 2017. The assistants general Edward Daleng and Patricio Villalba will organize the details of this gathering.
Luther Congress: Information was shared regarding the program, guests, and speakers for the Congress on Martin Luther. This congress will take place in the Augustinianum from November 9-11, 2017.
Discussion on determination 6 from the CGI 2016: A work plan was approved for the study of a revisión of the structures of the Order. This plan will be prepared for the General Chapter of 2019.
Economic Themes: Diverse economic themes were presented by the General Economo: Scholarships for students in Saint Monica, contracts, help, maintenance, work of the Foundation, Augustinians Across the World.
* John Flynn: Presented the new Catalogus of the Order, recognizing the assistance he received from P. Fernando del Rio.
* Patricio Villalba: Canonical visitation with the Prior General to the vicariate of Argentina and Uruguay; meeting of OALA, discussion on the possibility of a Theological Center of Study in Latin America.
* Anthony Banks: Canonical visit with the Prior General to the Province of Australia, the Delegation of Korea and in Vietnam, the meeting of the English speaking provincials, reunión of OSAAP.
* Edward Daleng: Themes from the Vicariates of the Congo and of Kenya; themes from the community in Anaba.
* Franz Klein: Reunion of the federation of Belgium-Germany; Provincial Chapter of English-Scottish Province, petition of suspended regime, discussions with the Province of Ireland.
* Joseph Farrell: Themes regarding the Generalate Houses; Congress at Villanova University for the Augustinian Centers of Education (July 2017); meeting for the African formators in Nairobi, organized by the Commission for Augustinian Initial Formation in collaboration with the Institute of Augustinian Spirituality; Web page for the Ratio Institutionis; Convocation of the three Augustinian Provinces in North America (Villanova University, June 2017)
* Luis Marín: Canonical visit with the Prior General to the Provinces of Castille and Matritense; the upcoming visit to the Province of Malta, themes in the Italian province, information on the Spirituality Institute Course in Spanish, Program of renewal for the monastery in Lecceto, work and topics regarding the Federation in Spain
* Alejandro Moral:Information regarding the meeting with Pope Francis on May 8, 2017.
Next meeting of the Council: 18-30 September 2017 in Rome.
The Pope has nominated the Augustinian bishop, Mons. Alberto Bochatey to be a member of the Academy of Life. The auxiliary bishop of La Plata, Argentina, is professor of Bioethics and vice-rector of the Catholic University of La Plata.
We offer heartfelt congratulations to Mons. Alberto for the nomination and we ask the Spirit to help him with his power and enlighten him with his light in order to be able to fulfill this service for the good of the Church.
From 30 May to 1 June the meeting of the OAE, the Organization of the Augustinians of Europe, took place in the Convent of Saint Thomas in Prague. The Major Superiors of the circumscriptions of Europe were participated in the meeting. Also, the Provincials of Nigeria and Cebu, Philippines were present also, since members of these provinces serve in Europe. During the meeting, the topics of renewal and perspectives for the future were discussed. It was a real joy to see the dynamism of the friars of Prague and the excellent work being carried out both in the parish and in the school, which was established a few years ago and which we had the opportunity to visit. We also visited the most beautiful and historic Abbey of Brno. Thanks to the organizers and to the Augustinian communities of Prague and of Brno for the experience and for the witness of fraternity that were offered!
Celebrating our Augustinian Ethos!
A visit to our College by Fr Alejandro Moral Anton, Prior General of the Order of Saint Augustine, and his assistant Fr Luis Marin De San Martin. This visit is part of the Prior General's canonical visit to the Augustinians in Malta.
(photos by Fr Raphael Abdilla osa)
On Monday, 8 May, Pope Francis received in private audience the Prior General of the Order of Saint Augustine, Fr. Alejandro Moral Antón. In this very cordial meeting a number of different themes were discussed (the various apostolates of the Augustinians, ministry in the Patristic Institute, the possible nomination of Saint Thomas of Villanova as a Doctor of the Church, the challenges of our times, etc.). The Prior General reaffirmed the total readiness of the Order in the service of the Church.
(Photos of the archives)
Neully-sur-Seine, 25 of march, 2017: The solemn opening ceremony of the diocesan process of beatification and canonization of the Servant of God Ange Le Proust (+1697), professed priest of the Order of St. Augustine and founder of the Congregation of the Sisters of Saint Thomas of Villanova, was held at St. John the Baptist parish church, Diocese of Nanterre, France. Thanksgiving Mass was presided by His Excellency Msgr. Michel Aupetit, Bishop of Nanterre, accompanied by the Vicar General of the Order of S. Augustine, Fr. Joseph Farrell, a number of Augustinian friars and priests of the diocese, in the presence of the Sisters of St. Thomas of Villanova, as well as a large group of loyal devotees of the Servant of God. After mass, the first session of constituting tribunal that will investigate the life and virtues of the Servant of God was held, whereby the members of the same tribunal and the members of the historical commission took their oath of office. This celebration marks the beginning of the work of the Tribunal and the historical commission in order to collect all evidence on the life, virtues and reputation of holiness of Ange Le Proust.
Photos taken by Valerio Polici www.valeriopolici.com
Every 25 April, at our Basilica of the Mother of Good Counsel, there has always been an appointment, very much expected and lived with a depth of spirit. This year this is true even more so because it is the 550th anniversary of the “Coming” of the holy and miraculous image that is venerated and preserved in the memorial of marble in the Church.
The story has developed within a veil of mystery, but surely the sensus fidelium, the understanding of the faithful, is able to read beyond the lines of ancient documents and can discover the true meaning of this divine action in human history. Tradition presents that the image arrived in Genazzano from the Albanian city of Scutari, where it had arrived from the East and had been preserved there for 200 years. This tradition was transmitted orally in Albania, especially among the people of simple faith and it has been the basis of friendship between these two peoples.
The title, Mother of Good Counsel, is even more ancient than the “Coming” of the image and it originated in our ancient Church.
During the novena, begun on the day of Easter, these bishops: Mons. Mani, Mons. Fumagalli, Mons. Giretti, the Father Abbot of Subiaco, Dom Mauro, Mons. Gianni Checchinato (on the first day of his episcopal ordination), Mons. Guido Marini and finally Don Ludovico, the pastor of our Cathedral Church, (which is celebrating its 900th anniversary), have participated in the prayers.
Naturally, very many pilgrims have arrived from various towns and cities in the region of Lazio. The evening of the feast’s vigil featured the traditional pilgrimage on foot from Cave, guided by Mons. Sigalini, and Cardinal Salvatore Di Giorgi presided at the ceremony of the “Coming” with the singing of the hymn, Akatistos.
Villanova, Pennsylvania, 24 of April, 2017: The opening session of the Tribunal for the cause of beatification and canonization of God's Servant William Atkinson, professed priest of the Order of Saint Augustine (1946-2006) was held in the parish and university church of St. Thomas of Villanova, which was packed by devotees for the occasion. The event was preceded by a solemn mass of thanksgiving presided by Msgr. Chaput, archbishop of Philadephia, accompanied by the Vicar General of the Order and the Prior Provincial of the Province of St. Thomas from Villanova. After the Mass the first session of the Tribunal was held. Oaths were taken by the officials, who have the duty to gather testimonies on the life, virtues and reputation of holiness of the Servant of God. On this occasion the members of the Historical Commissione took the oath of office by which they have the task of gathering all the documentation that might serve the cause. The same was done by the Postulator of the cause. Present for this event were members of Atkinson’s family, many friends and alumni of the Servant of God, together with a good number of Augustinian confreres.
TO ALL THE BROTHERS AND SISTERS, AUGUSTINIANS
AND MEMBERS THE FRATERNITIES OF THE ORDER
Dear Brother and Sister:
I do not want to let pass this Easter Triduum without expressing to you my thoughts and feelings and a brief reflection. At the same time, I would like to know your thoughts about our crucified and risen Lord and perhaps at some time we will be able to do so.
We have just celebrated the passion of the Lord and I can say that it filled me with a serene joy, perhaps a sign of a profound freedom and a greater sense of harmony with all people and with the Lord. I would like to make my own the words spoken by a theologian: “In what comes, death has ceased to be for me a problem, but it continues to be a mystery. I am not able to penetrate into the mystery, but in the midst of darkness, it illumines my being.”
Good Friday is a special day to experience the pain of the world, the pain of history and the “pain of God”, if we are able to speak in this way. We remember our Augustinians who suffer violence in some of our circumscriptions, the floods suffered by so many people who have been left without homes in various places in Latin America where we are present. We remember the children who have been the victims in various wars, or who have died because of lack of food, or because they have been abandoned by their parents. We remember the faces of so many immigrants who have been abandoned. We also remember our sisters and brothers who suffer in our own communities. All of these images weigh on my heart as before the cross we seek God’s blessing and mercy for all.
We are all called to combat against this suffering. The question is how. It happens through humility and communion with all of our brothers and sisters and with all those who, each in their own way, rise up and rebel against suffering and who struggle for all those of the world who are pushed aside.
Humility, “have in yourself the same sentiments of Christ”, to set aside our pride and sinfulness, the basis for all evil, and to open ourselves to the mercy of God, to life, which is born out of the encounter of a sincere and humble heart with the Love of Christ, once dead but now risen to life. Humility always opens our very being to an encounter with God.
Communion with our brothers and sisters, that is, the unity of charity. This is the gift that the Christ, once dead but now risen, has left us in order to find joy in the Augustinian experience. We can never forget that fraternal love is the privileged place for the authentic experience of God. Only in this way can our communities, living the experience of fraternity, make sense. It is from this experience of encounter with the other that we proclaim the meaning of Easter against pain and suffering, and we are changed so that those who see and encounter us in the place of peace and of love, which God has given to us in Jesus, the risen one.
The value of community, as the place of fraternal love, is that place where, even more than bringing me Easter joy, gives life to my desire to work for the world and urges me to open myself toward others and to work against evil and suffering, imitating the prophet of the mercy of God, Jesus, so that his love rules here below.
Today, perhaps more intensely, I believe in the love of God, that love which one day was demonstrated to be stronger than death by the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth, the first fruits of our own resurrection. I believe in the risen One, Jesus, in whom the love of God breaks the bonds of sin and death.
A Blessed Easter to all!
P. Alejandro Moral Antón