The Augustinian Recollects aim at addressing the needs of the 21st century men and women according to their charism. In the last General Chapter – the highest instance of government- they decided to begin a process of revitalization that will bring them to revise and to adapt their structures in order to be able to live radically their religious commitment to serve God and his people. The working group whose members were appointed by the Prior General, with representation from each of the eight province of the Order, held its first meeting in Rome last June 7 to 10.
The members of the working group met at the General Curia.
The members of the working group met at the General Curia The significance of the process of revitalization is beyond question. The future of the Augustinian Recollects depends much on it. The challenge to the superiors is how to make the religious feel the need for it without the pressure of imposition from the part of the authority. The General Government faces an added hurdle to overcome especially among those provinces which are not yet totally sold out to the idea.
Hence the importance of the meeting held in Rome last June 7 to 10. The members of the working group met at the General Curia and was named by the Prior General as Commission on Revitalization. The group consists of the representative from each of the eight provinces of the Order together with Rev. Fr. Miguel Miro Miro, Prior General, Rev. Fr. José Ramón Pérez, Vicar General, and Rev. Fr. Sergio Camarena, the General Secretary.
The main objective of the meeting was first to establish the group and to get to know each other, and, secondly, to study and draft the functions of the Commission and to identify the means to be employed in such a way that all the religious personally assume the spirit of revitalization.
The concrete output of the meeting is the pamphlet, in different tongues, sent to all the houses of the Order. A cover letter of Rev. Fr. Miguel Miro, ex - officio president of the Commission, exhorts all the religious to take part in it with eagerness: "Let us live the present with humility and confidence, rooted on our past, and oriented towards the future through a renewed hope".
A review was made of the action plan leading to the General Chapter of 2016 in which the projected highlights are indicated. Every other month study materials will be prepared and disseminated, with informative annotations.
The great part of the document was done by the Commission. It is the first of a series, and bears a meaningful title: "To walk with hope". In this document of 12 pages concepts are clarified, guide questions are formulated and the operational policies are set.
The work of the Commission will end on September 1, 2014 with the submission to the Prior General of the document "Augustinian Recollect Life and Mission Plan", containing syntheses of the studies, reports and consultations, as well as the different restructuring proposals.
For his part, the Prior General is making use of his visits and meetings to sensitize all the religious and embrace this cause. The revitalization of the Order simply consists in engaging every religious, community, and province to aspire to become a better person, better religious and, of course, better Augustinian Recollect.
The religious of Argentina, in an assembly attended by 23 religious belonging to seven communities, studied and discussed the issue on revitalization and restructuring. It was moderated by the regional superior, Rev. Fr. Carlos María Domínguez, who is a member of the Commission. The Prior General, Rev. Fr. Miguel Miro, sent a message urging them to join in this process of change.
The Father General, yes, was able to attend the assembly of the Augustinian Recollects of the province of St. Rita, in Brazil. It took place in Franca (São Paulo) from July 4 to 8. Thirty seven religious then gathered to treat the issues concerning revitalization and matters relative to the forthcoming provincial chapter.
Since July 11, the religious of the province of St. Joseph, with apostolates in Peru, Venezuela and Spain, are gathered in San Millán de la Cogolla (Spain) for their provincial chapter. The Prior General was also present and made a report and encouraged the religious to make the needed decisions that favor the necessary revitalization of the Order.