Updated: Jan 13
In the letter sent to all the religious of the Order of Saint Augustine, Father Alejandro Moral, has condensed the concerns and opportunities expressed by the circumscriptions and participants in the last Intermediate General Chapter (CGI) held in the city of San Diego, in the United States
The Prior General, throughout his letter, emphasized one of the issues to which the Chapter dedicated more time: the collaboration between the circumscriptions of the Order at all levels; both in the management of economic resources and in the development of vocations, formation centers, novitiates, theological studies, schools or parishes.
"To help each other, to listen to each other, to dialogue, to participate, to share responsibility", is the roadmap outlined by Father Alejandro, which, as he rightly points out in his letter, refers to the constitutive dimension of the very identity of the Church and of religious life.
For this, collaboration among the circumscriptions should be seen as a possibility of embracing proposals with a sense and vision of the Order. For Father Alejandro, and for the Intermediate General Chapter, it is fundamental to unite human efforts and structures in order to reach out more and in a better way to others.
"We must continue to feel embraced by the Holy Spirit and listen to His voice" (Fr. Alejandro Moral)
Vocations and Formation
These two aspects have been two of the key points that affect in very different ways the continents where the Order of St. Augustine is present. In Africa, Asia, Indonesia and some Latin American countries, there is a good vocational movement to Augustinian religious life. However, in Europe, Australia, USA and other Latin American countries, the vocational situation is rather precarious.
In view of this, the Prior General recalls that the Order has always known how to open itself to the present, to today, in each of the historical moments of its long life. Therefore, in these times, "we must continue to feel embraced by the Holy Spirit and listen to His voice". For this, Father Alejandro emphasized, "it is necessary that each religious live his vocation with generosity and coherence". In addition, the Prior General has insisted on taking special care of the different stages of formation of candidates to religious life, looking for suitable places and formators.
The letter also reports that the international formation house of St. Monica and the Istituto Patristico Augustinianum, both in Rome, were discussed as well as the general houses that the Order has in other parts of Italy and the world. The Prior General and his Council request the collaboration of the circumscriptions to carry out the activities in these places.
The Prior General emphasized that in the Order there has been much progress in the field of the protection of minors and vulnerable persons. It is a question, as Christ himself points out, of responding to the call of the Church, so that the smallest and most defenseless may be safe.
Communion of goods
Finally, Fr. Alejandro brings to the mind and heart of the religious of the Order that, as part of the Augustinian charism, "the communion of material goods" is at the basis of a true life in common. That it is the foundation of "spiritual communion and evangelical living". And that it is the touchstone of the strength of our faith and proof of our commitment to society.