The Institute of Augustinian Spirituality discusses the presence of the Order on the Internet and in

Assembly - Rome - 25-27 June 2018

‘Institute’ may sound like a building where teaching takes place, but in fact it is a group of friars appointed by the Prior General to promote Augustinian spirituality within the Order of St Augustine. This was only the second assembly since the foundation of the Institute in 2012. A governing body of seven sees to its work.

One of its most successful projects has been the organising of three-month renewal courses for friars and religious sisters within the Augustinian family. These take place at the Collegio S. Monica/Augustinianum in Rome every two years and alternate in Spanish and English. At the most recent course, in English, January - March 2018, participants came from China, Africa, Indonesia, India, Spain, Poland, Hungary and the US.

The assembly looked at the presence of the Order on the internet and in social media. One of the points of discussion was to look into the use of apps to promote Augustine and his spirituality, something which the Jesuits have been highly successful at in terms of their own spirituality.

There was much discussion around the possibility of publishing a Dictionary of Augustinian Spirituality, which would be a kind of compendium for general use by members of the Order, especially those in training and those in charge of them. It would also be very useful for retreat givers and researchers. A working group is to be set up to look into this.

The renewal of the Order was discussed, and mention was made of the successful programme for renewal undertaken in Latin America in recent years, as well as another one in the Philippines. Such programmes come under the general heading of ‘ongoing formation’. It was felt that too often apostolic work can distract friars from their commitment to community life and the building up of communion with one another.

The assembly ended in a fraternal manner, with a visit to a local pizzeria on the final evening, followed by Mass in the Clementine Chapel of St Peter’s Basilica next door, the morning everyone dispersed to their respective countries.

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