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Pope Francis to the Order of St Augustine: "Strengthen the life of faith in your houses, communities and apostolates"

After the conclusion of the last General Council, Father Alejandro Moral stopped by to tell us about his private audience with the Holy Father in his Vatican rooms on 21st March, and where the issues discussed included Augustinian service to the Church, how we treat safeguarding issues in our circumscriptions, vocations around the world, and formation.

"At the beginning of the conversation I wanted to thank the Holy Father for the service he is performing as Pontiff, which I told him was 'a gift from God’,” Fr Alejandro said, “And during those opening, relaxed, fraternal moments, I wanted to especially thank him from the bottom of my heart for the trust he gives to the friars of the Order in our service of the universal Church. In particular, the creation of His Eminence Robert F. Prevost as Cardinal, and the appointment of Monsignor Luis Marin de San Martin as Undersecretary for the Synod of Bishops, where he is working side by side with Cardinal Mario Grech. The Holy Father has recognized the very good formation and preparation of our confreres for the tasks entrusted to them. I also wanted to convey my thanks for the recent appointment of Father Ramon Jafet Ortega as canon of St Peter's Basilica and for the honour of having the Patristicum granted the title of Pontifical Institute."

Our service to the Church as Augustinians 

The Prior General was able to highlight for the Holy Father "our service generally to the Church as Augustinians, as well note some specific examples in some of the dioceses" where our friars hold episcopal or diocesan offices.

Pope Francis was particularly engaged with the issue of safeguarding, and in the care exercised in our circumscriptions to situations of “abuse”.

"The Holy Father was kind enough to ask me about the sisters of Bevagna, Giuseppina and Rosaria, who were already very old"

"Then we were able to briefly review the contemplative life of the Order; the status of our priories, communities, vocations, those undertaking formation, and the formators themselves. Here the Pope paid special attention to the students in formation, encouraging the Order to enhance opportunities for collaboration between them, and to strengthen the life of faith in our communities and apostolates. The Holy Father," the Prior General points out, "was kind enough to ask after the sisters of Bevagna, who are already at a very advanced age.”

He continued, "We ended our conversation by calling to mind the last meeting between the General Council and the Augustinian bishops in February, and speaking about the new presences of the Order, after which I thanked him for the support he has always given me personally in my task of governance."



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