On April 26th, lay people who are part of the Augustinian community celebrated the Conversion of Saint Augustine, Saint Mark (the Protector of the Maltese Augustinian Province), and the Virgin Mary (Mother of Good Counsel) at the Church of Saint Nicholas in Tarxien. The celebration began with a mass led by the Provincial P. Leslie Gatt osa, after which those present were invited to join together in the Augustinian Oratory, to continue their joyful fellowship.

In a short ceremony held in the Office of the Decastery of Bishops in the Vatican City, on Wednesday 12 April, Mons. Robert Prevost made the profession of faith and began his work as the new prefect of the Decastery of Bishops. Bishop Prevost, who is an Augustinian missionary and who was was serving as Bishop of Chiclayo in Peru, is replacing Cardinal Marc Ouellet, both as prefect and as president of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America.

Robert Francis Prevost, 67, was born in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., on 14 September 1955. He entered the novitiate of the Order of Saint Augustine in 1977, in the province of Our Lady of Good Counsel in St. Louis, and made his solemn vows on 29 August 1981. At age 27, he was sent to Rome to study Canon Law at the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas. He was ordained priest on 19 June 1982. He received his Licentiate in 1984, then was sent to work in the mission in Chulucanas, Piura, Peru, In 1987 he received his doctorate with the thesis, "The Role of the Local Prior of the Order of St. Augustine." After working for almost two years in the vocations ministry, in 1988 he was sent to the mission of Trujillo as director of the common formation project for Augustinian aspirants from the Vicariates of Chulucanas, Iquitos, and Apurímac. There he served as prior, formator, and lecturer. In the Archdiocese of Trujillo, he was judicial vicar, and professor of Canon Law, Patristics, and Morals in the San Carlos e San Marcelo Major Seminary.

In 1999 he was elected prior provincial of the “Mother of Good Counsel" Province. After two and a half years, the Ordinary General Chapter elected him prior general, a ministry the Order entrusted to him again at the 2007 Ordinary General Chapter. As Prior General, he visited Malta various times both on official canonacal visitations and on various other occasions.  

In October 2013 he returned to his province teaching the professed candidates and serving as vicar provincial; positions he held until Pope Francis appointed him apostolic administrator of the Diocese of Chiclayo, Peru, on 3 November 2014, elevating him to the episcopal dignity of titular bishop of the Diocese of Sufar. He became than bishop of Chiclayo on 26 September 2015. He has served as second vice president of the Peruvian Bishops' Conference since March 2018. Pope Francis appointed him a member of the Congregation for the Clergy in 2019 and a member of the Congregation for Bishops in 2020.

In the beginning of March, the Prior Provincial, Fr. Leslie Gatt O.S.A. took part in a meeting of the Provincials of the South of Europe held in Madrid in Spain. The Prior Provincials of Malta, Spain and Italy, together with the Assistant to the Prior General Fr Javier Perez Barba O.S.A., discussed particularly the future of the Common Initial Formation Project. During the meeting, the Prior Provincials had the opportunity to visit the two Formation Houses of the Province of Saint John of Sahagun of Spain, in Valladolid and in San Lorenzo del'Escorial. In each community the Provincials also visited the respective theological institutes and held meetings with the directors of the Institutes, with the Formation Team, and with the professed students who practically come from different Augustinian circumscriptions of Asia, Africa and the Central America.

Between Sunday, March 26 and Wednesday March 29 then Fr Leslie took part in the meeting for the Major Superiors of the English Speaking Circumscriptions of the Order held in Sydney Australia. Superiors from various parts of the world took part in the meeting together with four assistants to the Prior General, including the Vicar General Fr. Joseph Farrell O.S.A. During the meetings they had the opportunity to share the particular strengths and challenges of their respective realities. These meetings also serve to discuss possibilities of further collaboration between circumscriptions of the Order in different countries. During this meeting, a very interesting visit was also made to the Saint Augustine College in Sydney.


We are celebrating Easter in which the journey of Lent and the celebrations of the Easter tridum that we are living these days reach their climax. It is the most powerful moment in the liturgical journey of the Church, through which we celebrate our faith. Our Spiritual Father Saint Augustine writes in the Treatise, On Christian Doctrine (1,15): "The resurrection of our Lord from the dead and his ascension into heaven are events that we believe in and which strengthen our faith with great hope. He told us very clearly that he gave his life for us willingly, he who had the power to take it back. So how great is the trust with which we fulfill our hope, we who now believe, while we remember how much he suffered for us even though we didn't believe yet!" With these words Saint Augustine reminds us of the greatness of the gift of Jesus for us and the great provocation that this same gift should put before our experience of faith. How great was God's trust in us! How great was his love!

The great gift of Jesus to us before we were conceived, should arouse in us a genuine spirit of renewal that provokes us to focus on this God that we are called to serve. If He loved us so much, then how much more is it expected that we love, that we give, that we trust. And despite all this in which we believe, how many times do we find ourselves losing our trust in Him because of trivial circumstances. How many times we fall short of our love for Him and for each other and we seem to forget how much He loved us first. How many times do we fail to serve as much as is needed, and forget His unconditional gift for us. How many times do we fail to forgive each other and forget that God was ready to forgive and redeem us, even before we ourselves made the commitment to follow Him.

Despite our fragility, and the circumstances that make us what we are today, Saint Augustine reminds us that these events should "strengthen our faith with great hope". And he continues to tell us that "to comfort us in this journey he gave us a lot of his Spirit, so that even in the trials of this life we ​​are full of hope and his love even though now we are not seeing him; to each of us he gave particular talents for the building of his Church". The experience of redemption that we are celebrating is then directly linked to the hope and love that we have received and that we are called to convey to others. Only then can we convey the real joy of Easter freed from all the burdens we often create in life. Only then can we instil hope in others. Only then will we be faithfully living the experience of the particular call that God has made to each of us.

I wish you and your families a holy Easter. May it be for all of us a strong experience of genuine faith and hope in the Lord Jesus who has given himself for us to the end, and for us rose from the dead!

P. Leslie Gatt osa

Prior Provincial


Between March 10 and 12, fr. David Cortis O.S.A., Rector of Saint Augustine College, participated in a Meeting held in Madrid for the rectors of various Augustinian Schools in Europe. After the opening session, Fr. David made an interesting presentation about the work of our College here in Malta. Apart from the many activities carried out in the respective colleges, it is a wonderful opportunity that several initiatives of collaboration with other Augustinian colleges on an international level are nowadays being organized. This is a commitment which contributes to the strengthening of the Augustinian identity  and enriches the educational experiences of the respective institutions

In Europe, the Augustinian Friars have a good number of Educational institutions, mostly in Spain, but also in Ireland, England, Prague and Malta. It is worth saying that the Saint Augustine College in Malta, which this year will be celebrating the 175th anniversary of its foundation, is actually one of the oldest.

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