The last days of August bring with them the Solemnity of Our Holu Father Saint Augustine in which the Church looks at the figure of this great saint and celebrates him among those who lived their baptism in its fullness .

This is the call of all those who are part of the Christian community and who are called to constantly seek God together and celebrate their faith in the daily walk of life. This was the natural experience of the young Augustine who searched him with his friends even in the remotest places 'outside of himself', and with them he also shared what he found: the Lord 'who dwelt in him'. This is what our Mother Church invites us to share together, and live in an experience of faith and synodality that would not be the same without the contribution of each and everyone of us.

The word synod in itself refers to an assembly or meeting in which we listen to each other. In simple words, the reflection that the Church is inviting us to do right now is an opportunity to reflect on the place of each one of us in the community, the contribution that each one can give, the communion between us, the listening, and paying attention to each other and to what makes us who we are. In a homily that Cardinal Mario Grech had made on the Solemnity of Saint Augustine (Rome, 2020) speaking about synodality, he recalled that "for Saint Augustine the idea of ​​the Church as a community is one inclusive and not exclusive one, always ready to welcome, and open to everyone without distinctions or differences: its catholicity expresses a vocation for the whole."

This is the experience that I wanted to propose for our reflection this year, both for us as religious brethren who have just lived the experience of an Ordinary Provincial Chapter which was a beautiful moment that brought us together, and also for all of us as a Church who is venturing on a synodal journey. Surely this is not new talk for anyone of us, but we need to keep reminding each other that as baptized (and moreover for us religious as consecrated persons) this is a reflection that we should constantly keep doing as we seek to renew ourselves and our structures.

Today we live in a society that expects credibility from us, more than from others and rightly so. We have discovered an experience that brings with it a great responsibility to live it authentically and even more so to share it with others. The celebration of the holyness of Saint Augustine is a sign of hope that one day we can all reach this destination. The experience of being together is a characteristic intrinsically linked to our Augustinian identity and undoubtedley, an experience that society needs so much.

May our communities and structures be always small experiences of synodality and of the beauty of being together, of sharing the experience of God together, and above all of being his witnesses in everything we do. The fact remains that the whole experience of 'togetherness' can only be reached if it leaves from the small choices that each one of us do every day!

 

Fr Leslie Gatt osa

Prior Provincial



On Friday 26th August the Augustinian friars met in the morning for a moment of prayer at St. Augustine's Church, Valletta and then continued to celebrate the feast of St. Augustine with a fraternal meal in the refectory of the priory. It was an informal and wonderful time for the friars to come together for the feasts of St. Monica and St. Augustine! Happy Feast to all!


Early morning on 2 August 2022, a group of Augustinian youths started its walk from Viana do Castelo, in Portugal, towards the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Spain. Every day for nine days, we used to make an early start, loaded on our backs with all our possessions brought with us from Malta, advancing towards our destination. Before we left, we had thought that our destination was Santiago but, after the initial steps of our walk, we realised that getting to our next stop was as important as our aim to get to our final destination as only that way would we finally get there.

This was one of the first things we realised as running parallel to one’s life; everyone is walking towards God. We started every morning with a period of prayer and reflection and we used to seek a nearby coffee shop after walking for about three hours. This in itself reminded me how important it is that one finds even a few moments of silence in one’s life when one can nourish himself and reflect on where he came from and where he is going, and to plan the rest of his journey. During our journey we met various other pilgrims, all walking towards the same destination, yet all carrying with them their own bag of experiences and thoughts. We talked with many of these pilgrims and, during our walk, we appreciated the sea, forests and mountains but also love and respect that was shown by the pilgrims amongst themselves and towards nature.

There were those who were prepared to sleep out of doors as they were accompanied on their walk by their dog. This was an example to us of unconditional love; love that gives and expects nothing in return. The route chosen by us was characterised by various uphill paths. Some complained and were afraid of these stiff climbs but we soon realised that going downhill was even more dangerous. In one of the uphill walks that was paved with pebbles we saw the footprints of those who had walked there ahead of us. Those of us who chose to follow those same footprints suffered less. This fact reminded me also of the humility that one should experience in life and that, when one feels the need to seek help, one should quickly do so.

At last, we arrived at Santiago, but when we speak about this experience, we do not retain in mind only Santiago but all that we came across on our way towards that destination. This continues to strengthen the fact that the walk is as important as its destination.  Therefore, let us appreciate every moment of our life; let us appreciate one another (including those not close to us); let us help one another so that, one step after the other, everybody will arrive at the destination of one’s walk!

Typical Day during Camino de Santiago

Last Day of Camino de Santiago

Whoever wishes to have more information on the Camino de Santiago or other experiences or may wish to join the group of Augustinian Youths, can send a message through the facebook Page of Augustinian Youths or to contact Fr Terence Spiteri osa by email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Charlon Abela


During a concert of Sacred Music featuring pieces from the archive of the Maltese Augustinian Province, on Tuesday 23rd August 2022, the Augustinian Community, together with the Parish Community welcomed back to the Church the now painted and gold gilded Titular Statue of Saint Augustine. During this last year, the statue was taken to be painted and gold gilded by the renouned artist Horace Farrugia of Mdina, who has great experience in this field. He worked with great care first on the plaster coating and etching  on the clothing of the beautiful figure of Saint Augustine. Following this process, it was than gilded with gold and painted according to designs created by the same Horace Farrugia. The face and hands were than finished by the original artists of the statue itself, Aaron and his father Alfred Camilleri Cauchi.

Aaron and Alfred Camilleri Cauchi had actually carved the statue in solid wood about five years ago and it was blessed in the year 2017. The statue depicts Saint Augustine wearing episcopal clothing with a flaming heart in his hands. The flaming heart is a symbol of the love for God and His Word which touched the heart of the young Augustine. In the lower part of the statue there is also an angel holding an open book in his hands with the phrase of the same Saint Augustine: Vulnerasti Cor Meum Verbo Tuo, which in english means, You pierced my heart with your Word.

The recent gilding and painting project was done with the collaboration of the National Arts Council. Thanks also to all those who in one way or another have been of help to the Augustinian community along this journey, particularly the members of the Fondazzjoni Soċjo-kulturali Ambjentali Augustina and the Għaqda Festa Santu Wistin. The Statue will be taken out of the Church in a procession on Sunday, September 18, as the Parish celebrates its Titular Feast. (photos by Ian Noel Pace)


During these days the Augustinian Family in the Czech Republic, together with the world of Science studies are celebrating the 200th anniversary of the birth of P. Johann Mendel, an Augustinian who engaged in the study of genetics and contributed with important discoveries, so much so that he is known as the Father of Genetics.

Johann Mendel was born on July 20, 1822, in Hyncice (Heinzendorf), Silesia, today in the Czech Republic. At the age of 21, he embraced the Augustinian Religious life in the Abbey of Brno, where he was not only given religious training, but there, he also found a good ground to continue improving and strengthening his skills in natural sciences, especially studying biology and mathematics. In the Augustinian Order he was given the name of Gregor.

As an Augustinian he was given the possibility to continue his studies at the University of Vienna where he took the opportunity to dedicate more time to the studies of natural sciences, mathematics, and physics. Back in Brno he devoted himself to teaching and research.

Mendel chose to further deepen the study through experiments on a very common plant, that of the pea (pisum sativum). For 10 whole years he sowed, grew and compared a number of seeds of all shapes and types of peas. After a large number of experiments that he carried out with great care, Gregor was able to support the foundations of what is today known as the science of Genetics, published in his writing Versuche über Pflanzen -Hybridization. This manuscript is conserved in the archive of the Augustinian Community of the Abbey of Brno. In the last years of his life he was also Abbot of the same Abbey of Brno where he died on January 6, 1884.

 


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