This will be the last communique from Rome as the General Chapter came to a successful conclusion on Saturday afternoon with a closing Mass, celebrated by the Prior General, Fr. Alejandro Moral, O.S.A., and a festive lunch!
On Friday we had a visit by the Prefect of the Congregation for Religious, Cardinal John Braz de Aviz. He emphasized being faithful to our calling as religious and not to succumb to the temptation to fill the needs of the Church by taking on more "works" or pastoral commitments that interfere with our charism of Augustinian Community which in itself is a gift to the Church. He also mentioned that we should be "happy" in our vocational choice. If we are happy and joy-filled, we can move forward. If we are not, we should leave! You will not be doing any good for yourself or anyone else! If we are happy in our life and ministry, we will also attract vocations. If not... we will not!
We then concluded the day with voting on the proposals and a presentation by Fr. Tom McCarthy, O.S.A. who spoke about vocation ministry. He also distributed the new version of the vocation poster which will again be used this fall in all of our parishes and schools in the U.S.A. and Canada showing 35 men in our formation programs and the 5 newly ordained. We then presented the Fr. General with a St. Rita H.S. hat and shirt (see attached).
The experience of the Chapter has been very encouraging and enlightening for me. I was happy to learn more about what the Augustinians throughout the world are doing and very happy to know what a positive impact we are having in the Church and indeed in the world! I believe what we have done will encourage and guide us over the next six years.
I will travel back to Chicago on Monday, September 16th, which happens to be my Mom and Dad's 52nd Wedding Anniversary! Congratulations Mom and Dad, and thanks for your example of faithfulness and love! Blessings to you!
I hope you have enjoyed these informal updates from Rome since you are all part of our Augustinian Family!
Arrivederci Roma! See you all back in the States!
Sincerely in Christ and St Augustine,
V. Rev. Bernard C. Scianna, O.S.A., Ph.D.
Prior Provincial of the Midwest Augustinians