On Sunday 2 July, a group of young people were given the missionary cross and the camino shell as a sign of the beginning of their experiences in Kenya and to Santiago.

During the Eucharistic celebration in the Church of Saint Nicholas from Tolentino, Tarxien, the Provincial Fr. Leslie Gatt invited the young people to let these experiences speak to them in their lives and assured them that from Malta we will be praying for them. He also encouraged more young people to do such experiences in the future because they help them grow personally.

Augustinian Youths and AMIGOS will be leaving Malta during the month of July. From our hearts we wish them well and we assure them our prayers.

On Friday, June 23, a reunion was organized for the former students of Saint Augustine College. A good number of former students took part in a very pleasant evening held in the grounds of the College in Tal-Pieta. After a welcome from the College Rector, all those present had the opportunity to tour the College and meet particularly their ex-classmates and even several teachers. The evening continued with a short moment of prayer and a reception. The event provided a beautiful space not only for friends to meet up, but also to renew and recount so many beautiful memories of the years spent at the College.

This year The Saint Augustine College is celebrating the 175th anniversary of its foundation in 1848 as the first Church School for children in Malta, which responded to a great need that was being felt in the Maltese society of that time. Over the years thousands of students, Friars and members of Staff, formed part of this story that started in Valletta, continued for some years in Tarxien, and than in more recent years in Tal-Pieta and Marsa.

On Wednesday 7 June the Provincial Commission for the Laity organized the Festa Familja Agostinjana which has now become a long awaited annual activity by several lay people close to the Augustinian communities. In fact, around one hundred and twenty people took part in the activity, coming from the communities of Saint Nicholas in Tarxien, Saint Mark in Rabat, Santa Rita and Our Lady of Good Counsel in Saint Julians, and of Saint Augustine in Valletta.

The day on the island of Gozo started with a mass in the Church of Saint Augustine in Victoria, presided over by Bishop Giovanni Cefai MSSP who shared a few experiences of the missionary Church particularly in lands of great need. Following the mass there was a short presentation on the new adoration chapel that has just been inaugurated in the same priory. All those present then had the opportunity to visit the chapel before entering the priory for some refreshments. Later the group continued its’ day with lunch in Marsalforn. Late in the afternoon a stop was then made at the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Ta’ Pinu for a short moment of prayer, after which the group continued on its way to the ferry.

These initiatives for the laity close to the Augustinian communities are moments that bring together several people who not only frequent our churches, but also support the work of the Augustinian friars in the various realities in which they serve. Above all, these are moments that help build positive relationships and strengthen the Augustinian identity.

Between the 19th and the 23rd of June, a group of Augustinian friars gathered for a few days of retreat at the Good Samaritan House in Santa Venera. During these days the friars had the opportunity to stop for a while from the routine of life and live moments of silence, prayer and reflection accompanied by Mons. Charles Cordina who animated these days. Fr Charles’ reflections combined the proper values ​​of the life of the friars as consacrated persons with so many concrete examples coming from the years of pastoral experiences of the same Fr Charles in various areas of the Church in Malta.

These days were also a beautiful opportunity for the friars from different communities to come together and share the beauty of the Augustinian religious life beyond the daily commitments and everything that usually shapes the days with so much activity. The days of the retreat also provide an occasion for a wonderful and calmer experience of prayer and an opportunity of spiritual renewal. Another group of friars will take part in another retreat that will take place in Gozo later this year.

On Sunday 21st May, the eve of the feast of Saint Rita, the Rev. Provincial Fr. Leslie Gatt O.S.A. blessed and inaugurated the renovation works done on the adoration chapel annexed to the Church and Priory of Saint Augustine in Victoria Gozo. In the same celebration, the Holy Sacrament was brought by procession into the new chapel where it was placed for adoration.

The project was led by artist Rev. Fr. Roberto Gauci of the Eikon Liturgical Art Center together with the Augustinian friars of the Gozo Priory who followed the work on the same chapel. The Chapel is actually characterized by a central mosaic flanked by two icons on the side walls. The main idea behind the chapel is outlined in the mosaic, which shows the image of the book of Apocalypse, where the saints worship the slain and glorious Lamb - an image of Jesus Christ who took death upon himself, rose again, and entered glorious in the Father's kingdom.

At the same time, the central part which serves as the throne of the Lamb, opens up and becomes the tabernacle for Eucharistic adoration, because what we now worship as being present in the sacramental species, is the same one that the saints contemplate in heaven. The Eucharist makes us taste from now on this earth what we will then experience in the Kingdom of God in heaven. Around the Lamb, along with Mary and Saint John the Baptist, there are a number of Augustinian saints, together with Saint Augustine, Saint Monica and Saint Mark the Evangelist, who is patron of the Maltese Augustinian Province.

On each side of the Chapel there are also two icons linked to the Eucharist: the scene of Emmaus and the scene of the washing of the feet at the last supper. The work on the mosaic and the icons was all done by Rev. Fr. Roberto Gauci, whilst the woodwork was done by Mr. George Attard. Mr. Joseph Borg coordinated the works.

During the inaugural celebration, the Prior Provincial highlighted that this wonderful space is an invitation particularly for those who live close to the Priory and who are familiar with the Augustinian Community, to go and spend some time of adoration and prayer before Jesus in the Eucharist. The Chapel is open all day. It is thought that in the future this same chapel will also house the remains of the servant of God Fra Grazzja Gauci O.S.A.

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