Sisters around the world
The congregations of the Augustinian Recollect Sisters, Augustinian Recollect Sisters of the Heart of Jesus, the Augustinian Recollect Missionary Sisters and the Augustinian Recollects Sister of Sick, each conserving its particular identity and mission, all form a part of the Augustinian Recollect Family.
Augustinian Recollect Sisters
Augustinian Recollect Sisters have the Philippines as their place of origin dating from the beginnings of the 18th century. In 1719, two sisters, Dioisia and Cecilla Ros Talangpaz Parmintuan, settled in a site next to the sanctuary of the Virgin of Carmen in Manila. Their retired manner of life and devotion elicited the attention of the Augustinian Recollect Friars who took care of the sanctuary conferred on the sisters the habit of the terciaries and organized them in a residence. It was the year 1725.
The way of life was typical of convent life of the period: withdrawal from secular life, common life, the habit of the Order, prolonged prayer, manual labor, and ascetical practices. They also took care of cult at the sanctuary of the Virgin and, even before 1754, the education some young ladies.
Numerical growth and institutional development began in earnest at the beginnings of the 20th century. Guided by Fr. Celestino Yoldi, they remodeled their old residence , and began to make public profession of vows (1907). The updated their laws and opened schools in Cavite (1910) and Cuyo (1921) and were recognized as a congregation of diocesan status in 1929. With this, the congregation began to enjoy an autonomous life and to realize its authentic expansion. The Sisters received pontifical approval on November 20, 1970.
The education of rural youth remains the principal apostolate of the Sisters. They also attend an orphanage and assist in giving catechesis. They administer residences and university schools in Manila, Cebu, Cavite and other Filipino cities. They have opened houses in the United States, Australia, and Spain. As of 2005, there were 304 religious distributed among 42 houses.
Augustinian Recollect Sisters of the Heart of Jesus
In 1893, Vicente Lopez Aveledo organized in his parish in Maracay, Venezuela, an association with the help of Miss Laura Alvarado, in essence, a “Pious Union” with the finality of attending the sick in the hospital which he founded. After 9 years of trial, the Archbishop of Caracas elevated the “Pious Union” to the status of a religious congregation with the title of the “Hermanas Hospitalarias de San Agustin” to which he also gave the Rule of St. Augustine. In 1903, the direction of the new congregation was given to Laura who, the previous year, assumed the name of Maria de San Jose. With this name she directed the congregation until 1960.
The activity of Maria de San Jose was intense. In 1902, she founded the hospitals of La Victoria and Villa de Cura and, in 1905, an asylum in Maracay. In 1909, construction was initiated for the hospital of Coro and, in 1910, took charge of another in Mercedes (Calabozo) and, soon after, similar foundations in Ocumare, Barquismeto, Los Teques, San Felipe and others reaching finally 38 beneficent institutions.
Diocesan approval of the congregations was conceded to the congregation in 1927 and pontifical approbation in 1952. Two years before this date, the congregation adopted the name of Augustinian Recollect Sisters of the Heart of Jesus and became affiliated with the Order of Augustinian Recollects with which the sisters had maintained relations since the beginning of the century. By the end of 2005, there were 79 religious, including novices, and 13 houses, all in Venezuela.
Augustinian Recollect Missionary Sisters
This congregation has deep roots in the double substratum of the contemplative and active dimensions of the Order. In 1931, Bishop Javier Ochoa (1889-1976) brought three nuns from cloistered communities to China, namely, Esperanza Ayerbe (1890-1967), Angeles Garcia (1905-1980, and Carmela Ruiz (1909-). They went to direct the orphanage and to form young Chinese women with a vocation to religious life. In 1937, they were incorporated into the Augustinian Recollect Sisters of the Philippines.
In view of the need to recruit new missionaries, arose the idea of founding a novitiate in Spain. For this purpose, Sisters Esperanza and Carmela returned to Spain and, overcoming many obstacles, established the novitiate in Monteagudo in 1941. Vocations were soon abundant but, due to the war, it was impossible to send the sisters to China. For the time, they established a house in Gabia, Spain (1941) and in Bogota, Colombia (1945). The difficulties in communicating with Manila led to the separation of the sisters from the Filipina congregation and the foundation of an autonomous congregation which was approved by bishop of Tarazona on the 8th of January 1947. In this same year, 11 brazilian sisters were recruited by three cloistered sisters who had also, in 1935, exchanged the peace of the cloister for missionary work in Labrea, Brazil.
The following years would be of vital importance for the congregation. In 1949, the sisters affiliated spiritually with the Order of Augustinian Recollects and, in 1950, published their first Constitutions. In 1955, the Terciarias Agustinas of Cali, Colombia, with 5 houses and 80 religious joined the new congregation. Following these events, the congregation to grow in Spain and in Colombia and solidify its presence in Brazil. They also established houses in Venezuela, Argentina and Ecuador. The Congregation for Religious approved the Constitutions of the missionary sisters on the 5th of June, 1964, with the decretum cum laudis.
With the date of October 31, 1983, the posconciliar Constitutions were approved. In 1985, Sister Cleusa R. Coelho (1933-1985), a missionary sister in Labrea, Brazil, was martyred, a martyr for charity and the defense of the rights of the indigenous people.
The congregation completed the legislative process by creating for governmental entities: Province of Nuestra Señora de la Consolación present in Spain, Mexico and Ecuador; Province of San Agustín, present in Colombia and Perú, Province of Santa Rita de Casia present in Brazil and Argentina; and Viceprovince of Santa Mónica present in Venezuela and Cuba. In addition, they have houses in Taiwan and China. At the end of May 2008, there were 246religious, including novices, and 46 houses distributed among 11 nations.
Augustinian Recollects Sisters of the Sick
It is not possible to talk of these sisters without mentioning their founder, the Augustinian Recollect priest Sebastián López de Murga. By his own confession. “divine providence brought him to work for three ideals in Columbia: the canonization of Ezequiel Moreno, the Foundation that bears the saints name and the Augustinian Sisters of the Sick”. Barely a year after the beatification of the bishop of Pasto, 1st November 1975, Fr. Sebastian set up a Foundation with the name “Ezequiel Moreno”.
Later the Augustinian Recollect bishop would be canonized in Santo Domingo( Dominican Republic) on 11th October 1992. The figure of this saint has always been linked to the sick especially cancer patients. In January 1985 work began to bring about the religious foundation of the Sisters. They would be entrusted with being close to the sick, not only bringing them spiritual consolation, but aiding them with all kinds of attention in their illness. The group had to face many difficulties at the start. Some Sisters left after a few years and the group is and remains a small one today. On 11th March 1996, the Archbishop of Bogota, Pedro Rubiano, accedes to the petition of their founder and approves their statutes as a “Public Association of pious women”. They were to be known as “Augustinian Recollect Sisters of the Sick”, whose charism is to “assist the sick especially those with cancer, in the spiritual as well as the economic aspects.
SEPTEMBER 2008. VENEZUELA. Marelis Teresa Parada, new Superior General of the Augustinian Recollects of the Heart of Jesus
Biografía de la Madre Esperanza Ayerbe (1890-1967), MAR Autor: OAR (119 Kb)
Religious congregations that are part of the Augustinian Recollect Family Autor: OAR (113 Kb)
Biography of Blessed Mary of St. Joseph Autor: OAR (90 Kb)
Augustinian Recollect Sisters Official website.
Augustinian Recollect Missionary Sisters Official website.
Augustinian Recollect Sisters of the Heart of Jesus Official website.