Clement Fuhl (1874-1935) was a deeply spiritual leader of the Augustinian Order who brought a greater emphasis on the spiritual formation of young friars, especially those not aspiring to Priestly ordination.
Born June 18, 1874 in Aidhausen, Germany, he was given the name Vincent. After entering the Order of Saint Augustine in 1893, he took the religious name Clement. The saintly Pius Keller was one of his guides in his religious formation. He was ordained a Priest in 1897.
Clement was given many positions of leadership and responsibility. He was Assistant Director of Novices (1899-1902), Director of Novices (1902-1908), and Formation Director of Professed Augustinians (1908-1912). He was elected several times to the Council of his Augustinian Province, and twice served as Secretary of the Province.
In 1920 he was elected Prior Provincial (regional superior) of the Province of Germany, a post he held until 1929. He implemented a program of human, spiritual and social formation for those friars not undergoing seminary studies in preparation for ordination as Priests. In 1929 he was then chosen as Commissary Provincial, overseeing the German Augustinians' mission in the United States.
Clement was elected Prior General (world leader) of the Order in 1931. One of his first accomplishments in that office was the reopening of the Augustinian International College in Rome, where many Provinces around the world sent their brightest students and most exemplary religious for advanced theological studies.
The University of Wurtzburg awarded him a Doctorate in Sacred Theology in 1931.
Under Clement's leadership, the Order reestablished its presence in Hippo (now Annaba, Algeria), where Augustine himself had been Bishop. The Order grew during his term of office, especially in Germany, Latin America, the United States, Holland, Belgium, France and Italy.
Clement visited many houses of formation, and drew up guidelines for formation that emphasized spiritual growth as well as academic studies.
While visiting with the Dutch Augustinian missionaries who were ministering in Bolivia, Clement died March 31, 1935 in La Paz. His remains were moved to Wurtzburg, Germany in 1953.
The cause for his beatification and canonization began with the diocesan investigation, the validity of which was recognized in 1995. Josef Sciberras, O.S.A., the Augustinian Postulator of Causes, oversees the progress of the cause.
On December 9, 2013, the Holy Father, Pope Francis met with Angelo Cardinal Amato, S.D.B., Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. During the audience, the Holy Father authorized the congregation to promote the decree regarding the heroic virtue of the Servant of God, Clement Fuhl, O.S.A., an Augustinian priest born in Aidhausen, Germany on June 18, 1874 and died in La Paz, Bolivia on March 13, 1935. He served as Prior General of the Order from 1931-1935. A person declared as venerable has lived a virtuous life centered on the theological and cardinal virtues. The Order of St. Augustine rejoices in this honorable recognition of our brother Venerable Clement Fuhl, O.S.A.