Our Prior Provincial is currently attending the Augustinian General Chapter in Rome, a meeting of Augustinian leaders across the world held every six years. The General Chapter elects the worldwide leader of Augustinians and sets the course of activity for the Order for the next six years. Here is his most recent update:
Dear friends of the Augustinians,
This morning, Wednesday, September 4th, the Feast of Our Mother of Consolation, we took our first official ballot for Prior General. A candidate needs 50 out of 83 votes (60%) in order to be elected. [After a few rounds of votes], Fr. Alejandro Moral, O.S.A. is the new Prior General of the Augustinian Order. [Fr. Alejandro Moral, a Spanish Augustinian, is currently an Assistant General of the Order.] We went immediately to the Chapel where he made his Profession of Faith and received the Seal of the Order! All of the Augustinians then gave him the fraternal embrace and pledged their support for him. Congratulations to Fr. Alejandro Moral, O.S.A. May God bless you as you begin your new ministry as Prior General.
The past couple of days, we have been listening to reports from regions of the Order around the world. I gave the report on FANA (Federation of Augustinians of North America). It was well received as many other areas of the Order are considering such federations. The three Vicariates of Peru are actually considering a process of unification to create a new Province! When I return, I will have a link to the Federation presentation that I made. Many positive comments were also made on the vast improvement in the area of vocations since the last Chapter six years ago!
We were finally able to view all of the pictures from the Mass with the Pope online. Anyone can go online to view these pictures by going to photovat.com. When you get to that page, you can click on the English flag in the top-right corner. Then click on Events 2013, then August 2013, then 28.08.2013, then S. Messa Capitolo Generale S. Agostino. There you will find 3,229 photos! You may look through them all quickly if you like, but if you are looking for Fr. Tom McCarthy, O.S.A., you may go to #04424, for Fr. John Merkelis, O.S.A. #04559, Fr. Fidel Alvarado, O.S.A. #03867 or me, Fr. Bernie Scianna, O.S.A. #03460. The last few of me have me presenting the Holy Father with a St. Rita ski cap on behalf of the students and community of St. Rita of Cascia High School in Chicago.
Finally, the Chapter has endorsed the following statement to be in solidarity with the Pope on September 7th, the eve of the Birthday of Mary, and to pray to the Queen of Peace to intercede for us. It was also suggested that the Americans write to the President, their Senators, and Representatives to express their views on this topic. To read the declaration available in English, Italian, and Spanish, please download the PDF file below.
Sincerely in Christ and St. Augustine,
Very Rev. Bernard C. Scianna, O.S.A., Ph.D.
Prior Provincial of the Midwest Augustinians