The Province of Cebu organised an Augustinian Youth Encounter from 15th to 19th November 2015 as part of the celebration of the 450th anniversary of the Augustinian Missionary expedition in the Islands of the Philippines. The theme of the Encounter was “Proclaiming the Word, Empowering the Poor and Sustaining the Mission.” Many young people drawn from various schools (elementary, colleges and University) and parishes run by the Augustinians of the Cebu and Orient circumscriptions, the Augustinian Recollects, the Assumptionists, the Augustinian Sisters of Our Lady of Consolation, the Augustinian Sisters of Divine Mercy, the Augustinian Sisters of Divine Love and the Augustinian Sisters “Misioneras” participated in this event. Young people from Indonesia were also present.
“Read the Gospel, pray with the Gospel, because in the Gospel Jesus manifests the Mercy of God,” so says Fr. Alejandro Moral Antón, the Prior General of the Order of Saint Augustine, emphasizing the centrality of the Gospel and of the Holy Scripture in this Hoy Year of Mercy. He invites all to a reading and to an entering into the sacred texts. “The Kingdom of God is the Mercy of God and it is the Love of God and it is the Compassion of God,” so explains Fr. Moral, which recalls the invitation to conversion: “Jesus invites us during this year to open our hearts to conversion, to the mercy of God.” The Prior General recalls the teaching of Saint Augustine, the invitation to draw ourselves within ourselves in order to cultivate a spirit of interiority, to know ourselves better, to know our hearts better, to open them completely to the mercy of God. The love of God, emphasizes the Prior General, “must lead us to live more profoundly Augustinian communion. It is not possible to live our Augustinian communion if there is no mercy, if charity does not exist… Our communities are not simply human communities where we gather together as friends. We are gathered together because we have been called by God and therefore, as Saint Augustine says, it is not enough to share material goods – we do that because in this way communion becomes more profound also through material goods – but it is necessary to live charity because without charity we are not able to construct community.” Fr. Moral concludes with a strong invitation to live in this Holy Year the Mercy of God in order to cultivate the communion of the Order and with our brothers and sisters. With a message of greeting for the coming Christmas festivities, he says, “God takes on human flesh, he becomes man: this is the act of love and of mercy and of compassion of God for humanity. I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2016.”
On 30-31 October at the Royal College University, Maria Cristina, at the Escorial in Spain our Spanish friars celebrated an Assembly, which inaugurated the Federation of the Augustinian Provinces of Spain. Fr. Luis Marin de San Martin, the Assistant General for Southern Europe, presided at the meeting. The Federation has as its goal the renewal of Augustinian religious life in Spain and the creation of one single province in the near future. Currently, there are four provinces in Spain.
The Assembly, which consisted of representatives from the four provinces, elected Fr. Domingo Amigo Gonzalez as President of the Federation and made some minor revisions to the Statutes, along with setting up the criteria for restructuring the presence of the Order and setting up the program for renewal. The Council of the Federation, which will work with the President, has as its members the four current provincials. The assembly also elected as the Federation secretary, Fr. Carlos Alonso Garcia and as the Federation treasurer, Fr. Victor Fernandez Santos.
The General Assembly of the Augustinian Delegation of Kenya has taken place from the 21st to 23rd October 2015. The Assembly commenced with the Holy Eucharist presided over by the Assistant General, Fr. Edward Daleng who represented the Prior General. In his homily, the Assistant General called on all the brothers of the Delegation to live according to the example and teaching of our Holy Father St. Augustine in the continuous search for God through communion for the service of the Church. Self- interest, ambition, cliques and ethnic grouping should be desisted from in order to support the new Delegate Superior and work together for the growth of the Order in Kenya.
At the opening session of the Assembly, the message of the Prior General was read to the hearing of all. In his message, the Prior General appealed to the brothers to rise up to the challenges of leadership and followership now that a Kenyan, Fr. Robert Karanja Ireri, is appointed the Delegate Superior. He thanked the Irish Augustinian Province for their generosity and missionary spirit in setting up an Augustinian presence in this part of Africa. Thus, he reiterated that brothers should live in greater unity in the community: TO LIVE FRATERNITY IN CHARITY. In addition, the Assistant General tasked brothers to promote interiority, reconciliation and accountability as essentials to living genuine community life.
The outgoing Delegate Superior Fr. David FitzGerald handed over the Seal of office as his mandate expired. Subsequently, the Seal was given to the new Delegate Superior Fr. Robert Karanja Ireri. In his speech, the new Delegate Superior thanked the Prior General and his Council for the trust placed on him as the Delegate Superior. He solicits the cooperation of all the brothers of the Delegation; he promises to serve with commitment and to foster unity among brothers for the growth of the Delegation. The Delegation Council, besides the Delegate Superior, is now composed of Councilors: Frs. Augustine Jumah and Joseph Oduor; secretary: Peter Emoit Imatari; and bursar: Julius Ambrose.
In Santiago, Chile, from 21 to 25 September of 2015, the friars of the Province of Chile celebrated their Ordinary Provincial Chapter in the Convento Nuestra Señora de Gracia. At the opening ceremony of the Chapter, the document from the Prior General, Fr. Alejandro Moral Antón, appointing Fr. Patricio Villalba, the Assistant General for Latin America, as the President of the Chapter was read. After having read the names of those who were to take part in the Chapter, the members proceeded to the election of the various officials of the Chapter.
During the opening celebration of the Eucharist, presided over by Fr. Patricio Villalba, the re- election of Fr. Enrique Catalan as Prior Provincial was confirmed. Then, in the following session, the Counselors of the Province as well as the Provincial Secretary and Provincial Treasurer were elected. After the elections, the work of the Chapter continued with the work of reading and voting on the chapters and articles of the new Statutes of the Province. Then these chapters and articles were voted on by the assembly of the friars and the results of the voting was made known and the new Provincial Statutes were confirmed by the assembly.
We express our congratulations to:
We pray for: