In the 775th Anniversary of their foundation by Pope Innocent IV, the Augustinian Friars opened their 186th General Chapter in Rome. This international chapter calls together 80 voting friars, from 49 geographical circumscriptions, and 63 countries of origin. The three-week meeting opened on the evening of Sunday, September 1, with an inaugural Mass at the St. Augustine Basilica, with chief celebrant Fr. Alejandro Moral Antón, O.S.A., Prior General of the Order.
In its current form, the General Chapter is a three-week meeting, once every six years, that takes place primarily at the General Curia of the Augustinians, which faces the southern colonnade of St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City. Over the course of these three weeks, the Augustinians update one another on their progress, vote on their leadership, make decisions regarding circumscriptions, make plans for the futures, and much more.
In his opening address, Vicar General Fr. Joseph Farrell, O.S.A., described the mission of the chapter thusly:
“Our time together in the Ordinary General Chapter of 2019, is our opportunity to continue our story. And we pray that we may begin this chapter of our story petitioning God to assist us in cleaning the eyes of our heart so that our vision of the goal on the horizon may be undivided. With pure hearts we can remain focused on our mission of glorifying God and seeking the salvation of our sisters and brothers. That is how we shall see God. With this General Chapter, we begin another chapter in our story. How the chapter will end, we do not know. We do know, however, that with clean hearts, we have enlightened eyes to see our God, who is with us in all chapters of our common story. We have a clear view of our goal and can then develop lucid ways of proceeding in our vocation as religious so that we may attain that goal. With repetitious attention to our way of life: our prayer, our life in common, our sacramental life, our Chapters, our meals, our ministries, our physical, emotional and spiritual health, in short, our welfare. We are formed intentionally, with intent, and not by mere chance. We have the previous chapters of our story to assist us to remember that we are part of a context that is filled with diversity, complexity and mystery. And we know that our story continues with the assistance of God who brings us together at this point and who will guide us with the gift of the Holy Spirit. “
Please pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit throughout this chapter, and continue to look for updates on this site.