In the days leading up to the celebration of the Course for Provincial Secretaries at the General Curia in Rome, the Assistant General for Australia and Oceania, Fr Tony Banks, accompanied five young friars of the Order who had journeyed from some distant corners of the world to experience some key heritage sites such as Lecceto, Pavia and San Gimignano
On Sunday 7th January - the celebration of the Baptism of the Lord - the monastery of the Augustinian Sisters of Lecceto, in Siena, Italy, welcomed "with joy" the visit of the General Councillor, Fr Tony Banks, and five other friars from the area of Australasia: Salesio Yang and Fr Andrea DaeGon from South Korea, Fr Akhil Joseph from India, Fr Johnny Esmilla from the Philippines, and Fr Percival Sevare from Australia.
The idea for this "singular" pilgrimage to discover first hand a little more about the history and legacy of the Order of St Augustine at these different esteemed sites came as a result of the friars attending the course for Provincial Secretaries held at the General Curia in Rome during the second week of January.
"An opportunity to get to know brothers from distant lands"
"It was a great experience of togetherness", agreed the sisters of Lecceto, where, after visiting the cloister and celebrating the Eucharist with the community, the friars were able to enjoy "a beautiful gathering around the fire in the convent's hearth." It also provided an opportunity to meet friars from distant lands and to experience how belonging to the same Order makes us brothers in the Spirit.
Our sisters in Lecceto, as well as our brothers in Pavia and San Gimignano, have treated us royally, and we are deeply indebted to them for this
"For many of them it was a chance to touch, connect and experience at close quarters the history and evolution of the Order," Fr Tony Banks told the Curia's communications office. "Our sisters in Lecceto, as well as our brothers in Pavia and San Gimignano, have treated us royally, and we are deeply indebted to them for this.”
By way of farewell, in a brief note sent to this office, the sisters of Lecceto expressed heartfelt thanks to "the Lord Jesus for this meeting." Moreover, “we pray for them, that the journey they have made these past few days in Italy in the footsteps of our Holy Father Augustine and the Augustinian Saints, may strengthen them in their faith and in their love for the Order and the Church."