Professed

Estimé Frader

Age: 32
Stage in formation: Professed
Hometown: Saint Louis du Nord (Haiti)
College:  Villanova University

What drew you to the Augustinians? The universality of the order in missions and service to the Church

Favorite part about being an Augustinian?  The marvel and beauty of having brothers and friends all over the world

Favorite book: Gouverneurs de la Rosée (Master of the Dew) by Jacques Roumain

Favorite Pastime: Reading good classical novels and watching Barcelona FC team playing soccer

Favorite Augustinian Quote:

Ama y haz lo que quieras
— St. Augustine

Bryan Kerns

Age: 24
Stage in Formation: Professed
Hometown: Drexel Hill, PA
College: Villanova University

What drew you to the Augustinians? Seeing the relationships among the friars during my time in high school and college and how the interacted with each other. The relationships are informed by our community life and unceasing endeavor in moving towards God with unity of mind and heart.

Favorite Saint: St. Augustine, of course! Augustine’s spirituality speaks to the reality of the human condition in a way that few others can. There is nothing idealized about Augustine, he did not seek to describe a perfect system in doing theology, rather he attempted to articulate the realities of the human life in relationship to God by exploring its joys and challenges.

Favorite Augustinian Quote:

Seek with the desire to find and find with the desire to seek still more
— St. Augustine

Favorite part about being an Augustinian? My favorite part about being an Augustinian is the quality of the relationships we share with one another. There is a genuine, deeply authentic interest on the part of the friars to get to know their confreres. We share in the happy time and the sad times with each other, we look to each other for support and encouragement, for advice and correction when necessary, and for ways in which we can grow together.

Favorite Book: Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh, Robert Caro’s multi-volume work The Years of Lyndon Johnson, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, and All the King’s Men by Robert Penn

Favorite Pastime: golfing or going to a Phillies game

Richie Mercado

Age: 34
Stage in formation: Professed
Hometown: Cebu, Philippines

College: San Agustin Seminary (Philippines), DeVry University (Long Beach, CA)

What drew you to the Augustinians: Love and Commitment to Community as our first apostolate

Favorite Augustine Quote: 

Love and do what you will
— St. Augustine

Carlos J. Medina

Age: 27
Stage in formation: Professed
Hometown: Barranquilla, Colombia
College: UC Berkeley

What drew you to the Augustinians? I narrowed my search to the Mendicants from the beginning because I have a Dominican uncle, and because I attended a Dominican elementary and middle school. While visiting a couple of Mendicant communities, I observed only with the Augustinians that there was unity, but that unity did not mean uniformity. I was drawn by observing friars with different political and theological points of views, different interests and personalities, caring for and enjoying one another’s company.

Favorite Saint: Maximos the Confessor. I have been very touched by ministry with refugees, and Maximos was a refugee himself escaping violence from the Sassanid Empire. To me he was a paragon of a Catholic man in the sense of being truly universal, and hence bringing different worlds together. Although he’s considered a Greek Father of the Church, he reads like a Western scholastic. Part of his life he lived in the East and part in the West. He was a monk who spent a lot of time in contemplation, but he also engaged in ministry, theological debates, and an Ecumenical council. I’m also fascinated by his cosmology. Even though he was a brilliant theologian, his Christology was unpopular with Church authorities at the time, and after being found to be a heretic, he suffered torture having his tongue and his right hand cut off. He died in exile as a heretic. Clearly he was ahead of his time since his views were vindicated 20 years after his death at an Ecumenical Council, and his Christology became official Church teaching to this day.

Favorite Augustine Quote:

When at last I cling to you with my whole being there will be no more anguish or labor for me, and my life will be alive indeed because it will be filled with you.

Favorite Part about being an Augustinian? Showing up at an Augustinian house in a different country and being welcomed like a brother. Why? Because I feel like I belong to a family present all over the world, and I’m very proud of this Augustinian family for revealing the human side of Christ to the world.

Favorite Book: The Way of the Pilgrim

Favorite Pastime: Dancing

Joe L. Ruiz

Age: 39
Stage in formation: Professed
Hometown: Austin, Texas
College: St. Edward’s University (Austin, Texas)

What drew you to the Augustinians? One aspect about the Augustinians that attracted me is they are active contemplatives. Meaning they are both apostolic and contemplative. Developing a “sound” interior life, for me, is an important part of maintaining a healthy Christian life lived both interiorly and exteriorly.

Favorite Saint: My favorite Saint is Teresa of Avila, because, like Augustine, Teresa maintained an interior dialogue with the God whom she loved. By her attentiveness to prayer, Teresa was able to experience in very unique ways God’s presence in her life, God’s inner working in her and God’s love. She is certainly a person that inspires me to a deeper relationship, experience and conversation with the God who transcends time and place.

Favorite Part about being an Augustinian? My favorite part about being an Augustinian is the fact that we have a vast and rich history. From the early writings of Augustine to the numerous Augustinian Saints and Blesseds, the Augustinians have a special place in the greater Church.

Favorite Book: Augustine’s Confessions

Favorite Pastime: Mountain hiking

Favorite Augustine Quote:

Nos creaste para ti, Señor, y nuestro corazón andará siempre inquieto mientras no descanse en ti.” Spanish version of “You made us for yourself O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.
— St. Augustine