17 young men in a month-long preparation before their definitive consecration
Three of them are from China where the Order has been present since 1923. Fourteen came from different parts of Latin America. The young men will receive, for four weeks, intensive courses in matters related to the Augustinian Recollect life. The venue of the intensive formation is the Yuso monastery in San Millan de la Cogolla, Spain. This is the practice of the Recollects before the solemn profession that definitively gives them full membership in the Augustinian Recollect Order.
The Monastery of San Millan de la Cogolla, located in the northern part of Spain, is a tourist destination. Visitors are pilgrims who deviate a little from the Route to Santiage de Compostela, or persons who are curious about cultural values, with passion for the Spanish Language, or lovers of nature. The narrow road that leads to the valley of San Millan is made much narrower by the volume of vehicles, especially in summer.
In this same summer there is another group of visitors, more stable and serious, who interacts with the group of tourists and curious guests. These are young religious who gather for a more intense experience of community life and in preparation for their solemn vows. Gathered are seventeen friars, 3 from China and 17 from Latin America: Brazil, Mexico, Panama, Honduras, Peru, Argentina, and the Dominican Republic.
This group of friars will share with tourists and guests their curiosity for art and their passion for culture. And more, during their four-week stay in San Millan they have the opportunity to rediscover the root of faith that has grown into the wonder, referring to the monasteries of Suso and Yuso. Theirs is the occasion to relive, in one month, the kind of life lived by the Benedictines in San Millan and which was continued by the Augustinian Recollects since the year 1878. They will see from the inside what tourists and guests fail to see from the outside.
Spirituality and Tourism
What will they do inside? Three things basically: to be formed, to live together in fellowship, and pray. They will undergo intensive formation in what it means to be Augustinian Recollect and how to live in community. All this they will experience living with young men of their own age but of different cultures, backgrounds, places of origin and personalities. And in order that they may find meaning in their experience and this same experience lead them to happy life in the future, together they will pray to the Lord, the one and only reason for their coming together in this place.
Although the friars move about within the cloister of the “Emilianense” monastery, it is not uncommon that, every now and then, they cross paths with tourists and pilgrims. Blessed are those who meet friars on the way, their visit to the monastery is made complete. They could admire the cloister, the Church, museum, hymnbooks and perhaps even the library… it is like seeing the face of the clock, but above all, they would be blessed to see the mechanism that moves the hands of the clock and gives meaning to temporality.
JANUARY 2010 · COLOMBIA. For onemonth seven young men prepare themselves for their perpetual consecration to God