Greetings from Kenya. Am happy to report to you that after putting together the help you send to us through the Segretarjat Missjonijiet Agostinjani AMIGOS, and with the little we had we have been able to put Jesus words into action “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat”(Matt 25:35).

Through your help we were able to feed 16 households in ishiara, 40 families in Babadogo, 50 families in Kisumu, 30 Families in Eldoret, 25 families in Kericho and 11 families in Mbwiru. Plans are ongoing to get food and water tanks for the formation house after seminarians are back to the formation house.

We always remain grateful and may our good Lord bless you (Fr. Mario Abela OSA and Segretarjat Missjonijiet Agostinjani AMIGOS) and all those who contributed to make that help possible. The help has come at a time when Covid 19 positive cases in Kenya are now above 5000 and 130 deaths and the poor people are the most affected especially through lack of basic needs due to risk of contamination, curfews, lockdowns and cessation of movements.

Fr. Bob Karanja OSA

Regional Vicar of Kenya

--

If you would like to help AMIGOS continue helping familiies in Kenya and Mozambique, you can send your donations

on Revolut: +35679255936

Or a cheque to

Fr. Mario Abela OSA

Kunvent San Tumas minn Villanova

Segretarjat Missjonijiet Agostinjani
Triq J. Zammit Tabona
Pieta, PTA 1331

 

 



BLACK LIVES MATTER

a Statement from the International Augustinian Commission for Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation

The recent death of George Floyd, an African American man, at the hands of a white policeman in Minneapolis, has ignited worldwide protests under the banner of Black Lives Matter. Demonstrations have been taking place not only in the United States but in many other countries beyond. The Commission for Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation of the Order wishes to express its solidarity with those campaigning forjustice and equality for black people and all who are the victims of discrimination, especially in the most economically advanced societies of the world, while condemning the violence of a minority of protesters.

Scripture records inequality and injustice in biblical times, from the enslavement of the Israelites in Egypt to the injunction in the Letter of James (2:9) not to make distinctions between classes of people. These issues continue into modem times. Slavery is the exploitation of human beings for the purposes of greed, and its consequences are still being felt in racism in various forms, from discrimination in the workplace to police brutality. Ahead of his time, Augustine called for the emancipation of slaves (Letter 10); and his reference in the Rule (I,9) to each person being a temple of the Holy Spirit is a powerful challenge to all forms of racial and class discrimination. The wider context, however, is an inequality built into economic systems that favour profit for a few over human dignity and the common good, including the sacredness of the earth. This is found not only in wealthy countries but also in those nations seeking economic development, where inadequate policies of education, healthcare, policing and incarceration are perpetuating injustice .

The Commission for Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation calls upon the Augustinian Order worldwide to promote racial and social justice, in our parishes, schools and missions; and, wherever appropriate, to support those legitimate and non-violent movements and organizations seeking to uphold the dignity of everyone in society.

In the words of Pope Francis addressed to the people of the United States: 'We cannot tolerate or tum a blind eye to racism and exclusion in any form and yet claim to defend the sacredness of every human life ... [I pray] for the repose of the soul of George Floyd and of all those others who have lost their lives as a result of the sin of racism' (General Audience, 3 June 2020).

  

The Commission for  Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation

 


As from the evening of Saturday 13 June in Malta and Gozo Mass will resume being celebrated in public. After three months celebrating the Eucharist privately within our Augustinian communities, we are indeed pleased that we will again be able to share with all of you such dear moments in the various churches in which we serve. We await with fervour the moment that together we will celebrate our faith.

Nonetheless, you will understand that, in the prevailing circumstances, we are subject to many restrictions. Only a limited number of persons can be permitted into our churches in view of the need to maintain social distancing between one person and another.  For these reasons we urge you to take you place in church in good time before the Mass time as there may well be insufficient space to accommodate everybody. You will appreciate that the decision to accept only a particular number of persons will be a hard one for us (this will be in accordance to the size of the particular church).

A number of compulsory precautions to protect the good health of those attending will be in force, such as: testing the body temperature at the church entrance; use of a santizer; and that a face mask or visor must be worn. With regret the directives require that those agaed 65 years and upwards, or who are considered to be vulnerable for other reasons, will be unable to give any assistance inside the churches, including the altar area. We wish to take this occasion to express our great appreciation for the help given us throughout the year and we await the time when the situation will make it possible for you to resume the various ministries which you used to carry out. In this connection we urge all those aged less than 65 years and are able to offer help to contact those responsible for your particular church.

Because of space limitations and the restoration works in progress, for the time being St. Rita’s Chapel in St. Julians will temporarily remain closed for a few more weeks. We hope that by September circumstances will have improved so that we will be able to resume offering our normal pastoral services there also. Meanwhile, in St. Julians, as Augustinians, we will continue celebrating Masses at the Mother of Good Counsel Church. The Chapel at St. Catherine’s Monastery, Valletta will remain closed to the public for the time being although the Eucharist will continue to be celebrated with the Monastic community.

We much appreciate your cooperation in all this and your help in making possible continuation of the diverse services we offer. We are pleased that you too appreciate the efforts being made in the prevailing circumstances. The times and places where the Eucharist will be celebrated as from the evening of Saturday, 13 June will be as follows:

St. Augustine’s Parish Church, Valletta:

Monday to Saturday: 7.10am, 9.30am, 7.15pm

Sunday: 7.30am, 9.30am, 10.45am, 7.15pm

 

Mother of Good Counsel Church, Paceville:

Monday to Friday: 7.30am, 6.45pm

Saturday: 7.30am, 6.30pm, 9.30pm

Sunday: 7.30am, 9.00am, 11.30am (in English)

St. Nicholas of Tolentino Church, Ħal Tarxien:

Monday to Friday: 6.30am, 8.30am

Saturday: 6.30am, 8.30am, 6.30pm

Sunday: 7.00am, 8.30am, 10.00am

 

St. Mark’s Church, ir-Rabat:

Monday to Saturday: 6.00pm

Sunday: 10.00am

 

St. Martin’s Chapel, il-Baħrija:

Monday to Friday: 6.30pm

Saturday: 6pm

Sunday: 9.00am

 

St. Anthony Abbot’s Chapel, Buskett:

Saturday: 7.00pm

Sunday: 8.00am

 

St. Augustine’s Church,Victoria, Gozo:

Monday to Saturday: 7.00am, 6.30pm

Sunday: 7.00am, 9.45am

 

(During the coming months these times will be reviewed in light of any chnage in circumstances)


The Malta Augustinian Province associates itself with the joy of the Church in Gozo in welcoming H.E. Mgr. Anton Theuma who has been nominated Bishop of the Diocese of Gozo.

Mgr. Anton Theuma, who is 56 years old and hails from Xagħra, during the last few years served the Church as the Bishop’s Delegate for the family. In fact, up to now, he is still the Director of the Instutute for the Family Pope John Paul II and is responsible for the pastoral care of the family for the area comprising the city of Victoria. In that capacity he worked greatly in the field of the pastoral care of the family, especially in the running of courses for marriage prepariation for couples and in accompanying families facing difficulties. Throughout his sacerdotal ministry he also served for ten years as rector of the Major Seminary and until now he still teaches at that Seminary.

Mgr. Anton Theuma will be the tenth bishop for the Diocese of Gozo. Amongst these was the Augustinian Bishop Mgr. Giovanni Maria Camilleri who served as bishop for more than 35 years during which time various projects were carried out in the diocese at a time when this was still in its formative years. Amongst these one should mention the start of devotions towards Our Lady of Ta’ Pinu and the sanctuary dedicated to her.

The Augustinians’ presence in Gozo goes back beyond 500 years as records for that time make reference to the Church and Convent in the capital, Victoria. For many years that convent served as the Province’s novitiate and, in more recent times, as a retreat centre as, indeed, is still the case although on a reduced scale. In recent years the Malta Augustinian Province started promoting, for possible beatification, a Gozitan Augustinian Brother, Fra. Grazzja Gauci, and in fact last year the diocese officially accepted a request for the commencement of the process of assembling material related to him and concerning his reputation as a person blessed with many virtues.

Meanwhile, the Province sent the bishop-elect a welcoming message on behalf of all Augustininas and assured him of our prayers and cooperation. In another message the Provincial thanked H.E. Mgr. Mario Grech for his mission and for always being available throughout his years of service as bishop of the Gozo Diocese.

Photos: Diocese of Gozo


Letter from the Prior General to the Brothers and Sisters of the Order

Dear brothers and sisters:

Walking in fraternal unity is the necessary condition to respond, as Augustinians, to the demands of this time marked by the Covid-19 pandemic, and the social and economic consequences which we can already see There is no doubt that together we are stronger when facing challenges. Only united will we be able to open new horizons never imagined, to create hopes that were almost lost, and to reach new goals. "Goodness is a possession that spreads out more and more widely insofar as those who share it are united in undivided love. In fact, anyone who is unwilling to share this possession will find that he does not possess it at all, but, the more he is able to love the one who shares it with him, the greater he will find that his own possession of it becomes." ( The City of God 15,5).

With this desire to walk together, fostering a greater relationship among all people through the means at our disposal, the General Council of the Order wants to initiate a new path with the circumscriptions, communities and brothers and sisters, to face the reality that is emerging because of the pandemic and its personal, social, pastoral and structural consequences.

The desire of the General Council is to promote more fluid communication with the members of the Order at different levels, beginning with the Major Superiors. Through new technologies we have started a dialogue with them to learn about the situation, exchange ideas and experiences and help in decision-making.

There is no room for nostalgic glances at the past; It is impossible to return to the previous situation, as if everything had been just a bad dream. The world has changed and the reality we are experiencing requires us to react appropriately, consistently and responsibly. For this I consider it essential to promote communion: among us and in the Risen Christ. And, from there, we must respond. "The Head and the body form one single Christ ... Show, then, that you are a body worthy of such a Head" (Sermon 341, 11.13).

We can use the tools at our disposal and can share materials that help us all and which we can make available to each other. The Institute of Augustinian Spirituality offers us a document entitled "A Time of Hope" . Itreflects on the current situation and its challenges, from a Christian and Augustinian perspective. It is a serious, profound and provocative document. I think that it is convenient for each of us to read it calmly and to reflect on its different proposals. You can also discuss it at the community and circumscriptional level, with the pedagogical assistance it offers.

It is simply an open proposal, a working document. Each one will need to discover the best way to use it. We know that cultural, social, religious, economic and relational situations are very different in each part of the Order. This diversity constitutes a real treasure if one lives in communion. It is up to us to continue the dialogue, to extract ideas that can help us to walk together, as Christians and as Augustinians, at this moment in history. We are being challenged to develop concrete options and decisions that we all must make, according to the circumstances of time, place and culture, and in accordance with our charism (cf. CC 16).

At the same time, I encourage you to send ideas, reflections and proposals that may be useful to all the brothers and sisters of the Order. We seek to share life by emphasizing communion, favoring dialogue to better serve the Church and the men and women of our time. That is why I wish that our options and our decisions be courageous, risky, and renovative, while being always guided by the Gospel.

In this path we must all be involved: Members of the General Council, General Commissions, Major Superiors, Provincial and Vicarial Councils, Delegations, Regional Organizations, communities of the Order, religious brothers, sisters of contemplative life and lay Fraternities. The journey and the challenges along the way belong to everyone and are for everyone.

The Holy Father insistently asks us to "touch the flesh of Christ in suffering people." This necessary openness to the human reality of suffering places us before the many conflicts that are arising and will arise in the coming years. Without a doubt, with the help of God, we will have to heal many wounds as we face complex and, at times, inhumane situations.

I want to thank the Institute of Augustinian Spirituality, especially its president  and its executive committee, for the great help they are offering us in these dark times. The materials they send to us (prayers, reflections, guidelines) are proving to be very useful for many of our communities and our brothers and sister individually. Without sharing our faith, we cannot live communion and without communion, we cannot live the Augustinian fraternity. Without these, our despair only grows stronger.

We must always keep in mind that "the Augustinian community is called to be a prophetic sign in the world to the extent that fraternal life becomes a source of sharing and a cause of hope" (CC 33).

May Mary, Our Mother of Good Counsel, illuminate our way and intercede for us before her Son who died and rose to new life.

 

Rome, May 26, 2020

Fr. Alejandro Moral Anton

Prior General OS.A.


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