We spoke with Fr Pasquale di Lernia, Secretary General of the Order of Saint Augustine, after the conclusion of the last gathering of Provincial Secretaries in Rome
From 9-12 January, the first meeting of provincial secretaries after the COVID-19 pandemic took place at the Pontifical Augustinian Patristic Institute.
After six years, in a completely different context for the Order, 44 secretaries from all over the globe took part in days full of formation, dialogue and moments of community that created, as the Secretary General, Fr Pasquale, pointed out, "moments of profound joy".
For many, it was the first time they had visited the General Curia. "These have been intense days, with a very broad programme ranging from purely technical questions for the better development and functioning of the provincial secretariats to visits to the Vatican rooms, the General Archives and the Library of the Order; as well as finding out more about the work the Postulator General and each of the general assistants are currently involved with."
"The diversity of origin of the provincial secretaries reflects the diversity of cultures that are found within the Order. And this strong integration enables more and better dialogue; it facilitates sharing, mutual knowledge and an enthusiasm to overcome some of current difficulties that, in hindsight, have also been present in earlier times."
Over the four days there was time to discuss all kinds of challenges that the Order faces in its apostolic and evangelising mission. In thanking Father Flynn and the rest of the General Councillors who took part in the planning of the meeting, as well as supporting the translations, visits and Masses, Fr di Lernia said that he believed that “this way of sharing between ourselves the different experiences and journeys of our circumscriptions can help us to create spaces of participation in our joint mission. Here lies the beauty of fraternity: to live supporting and sustaining one another; knowing that each one of us needs the other... None of us can live alone..."