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Formators of North America gather to strengthen Augustinian leadership

In the last week of November, at the headquarters of the Province of Villanova (USA), the face-to-face meeting of Augustinian formators took place, with participants representing each of the three North American provinces.

The provincial offices of St Thomas of Villanova (USA) hosted a week of workshops for formators and vocation promoters from 27 November to 1 December. The face-to-face workshops were part of a nine-month online formation programme organised by the Institute of Augustinian Spirituality and the International Commission for Formation and Vocation Promotion. 

The meeting was chaired by Fr Joseph Farrell, Assistant General for North America, and Fr Alex Lam, Assistant General for Latin America. Fr Lam commented that "the face-to-face week is designed for all continental areas, emphasising that Augustinian pedagogy can be used to serve in accompaniment, formation, vocation promotion, and the exercise of Augustinian type leadership.” These issues were presented in addresses given by Fr Gary McCloskey, from Villanova and Fr Bernie Scianna of Chicago.

The importance of promoting face-to-face encounters

On the matter of the fraternal atmosphere fostered by the participants, Fr Lam was delighted to report that in the general opinion of the attendees there was a genial atmosphere that encouraged “a pleasant exchange of ideas, of opinions, of perspectives, of application of the topics” and that “the richness of the sharing was appreciated by all the participants." As such, Fr Lam also pointed out that this positive experience has inspired the organisation of the Federation of Augustinians of North America (FAN), which will be tasked with "promoting even more of these face-to-face spaces of exchange."

Finally, he thanked the producers behind the online course, for what it offered and its participation, but nonetheless stressing that "the face-to-face experience helped to see how much we still need to continue spending and investing time in meeting to discern, recognize, listen to each other and set common projects on track for the good of the Order."

This was the first of a series of regional workshops that, in the coming months, will take place in Abuja, Nigeria (January), Bogota, Colombia (March), and Iloilo, Philippines (May), reported Fr Farrell, as he joyfully recorded that the 14 participants in the Villanova meetings are now ready to continue the work of following up on the work of the formation course.



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