There is a good number of countries, in which the pastoral and academic year will begin in September. And the bases for a common program in the field of youth ministry have been already laid down, which began last April 21 in a meeting held at the Parish of Saint Rita in Madrid. There were 20 religious who participated in the said gathering.
The encounter, convoked by the Commission on Vocation Ministry of the General Secretariat of Education Apostolate was presided by the general councilor Jose Maria Sanchez Martin, who came from Rome. It , therefore, went beyond the particular boundaries of each of the four provinces whose provincial seat is in Spain. And it does not only affect the nine schools and some thirty parishes in Spain, but it extends even to different and so distant countries like the United States, Venezuela, Mexico, England or Dominican Republic.
The plan starts from a concrete and temporal event, which is the Centenary of the juridical autonomy of the Order. This even took place in 1912 and, 100 years later, it is seen as a key element to renewal and as an impetus to promote the Augustinian Recollect charism. And that is the main objective that is set: to make the Order known.
Elaboration of the Program
To carry out this main objective, a whole calendar of themes, which are to be developed monthly, has been outlined. It is a calendar that reviews the different realities that comprise the Order: its provinces, friars, religious nuns and sisters, missions, social works, parishes, seminaries, schools, RAY …
Added to this, are other elements taken from the guidelines set by the General Council for the whole six-year term (2012-2016): a motto, “We are one family, do you want to be part of it?”; life as a value; the bridge as a symbol; Bethany as a biblical icon, where the house of Jesus’ friends is found; and finally, Saints Monica and Rita as Augustinian icons.
And, as a summary and expression of this impressive joint- program, a common poster was made that interprets and completes the official poster of the Centenary. Throughout the coming academic year, in all the schools and parishes, both posters will proclaim one vocation, and at the same time, will be an invitation for all to share in a particular charism. In other countries where the academic and pastoral year follows the fiscal year from January to June, the program will be different: that which has been laid down by the General Council for the year 2013; but the approach will be equally one and common for all the areas and provinces.