“The Augustinian charism is one of the principal charisms of the Church”

On December 4, Cardinal Baltazar Porras received the appointment of Brother General of the Order of Augustinian Recollects in Caracas. “It is an undeserved honor,” he says.

Thankfully, Cardinal Baltazar Porras, Archbishop of Merida (Venezuela) and Apostolic Administrator of Caracas, received last December 4 the appointment of Brother General of the Order of Augustinian Recollects. In the Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Caracas, on the eve of the feast of the Augustinian Recollection, the Venezuelan Cardinal received his distinction accompanied by the Prior Provincial of the Province of Santo Tomás de Villanueva, Miguel Ángel Hernández, and the Vicar Provincial in Venezuela, Eddy Polo.

For the Cardinal, this appointment is “an undeserved honor”. Although in the official document he refers to the figure of the Brother General as a benefactor of the Order, he changes the meaning: “I have only received ‘benefactors’ from the Order since my earliest childhood”. Baltazar Porras is a former student of the Colegio Fray Luis de León de Caracas – of the Augustinian Recollects – and has always shown his closeness to the Order. A closeness that he learned from his family. “I receive this nomination in the name of my family, because that link with the Order came through the contact of my parents with the Augustinian Recollects”, he indicates.

In addition to this recognition, Cardinal Porras is grateful to the Augustinian Recollects for the formation received. He assures that he is marked “by good examples, examples of dedication, of service, of authority and of sacrifice”. “The Augustinian charism is very present in the minds and hearts of those of us who have had the good fortune of passing through some of his educational institutions,” he says.

For him, the figure of St. Augustine has meant a lot. St. Augustine,” he explains, “is one of the great holy fathers that one has to be continually ruminating. Centuries later, his thought “maintains a great topicality”, above all through his way of life which, he considers, “is one of the principal charisms of the Church and one of the most permanent”. In this sense, Porras reviews the history of evangelization in Latin America and specifically in Venezuela; in all this process he highlights the work of the Augustinian Recollects.

The Augustinian Recollect charism, like other charisms, “are made to come together in a great river,” he says. The Church,” he assures, “is built on the diversity of God’s people, and in that diversity there are many ways of expressing the Christian life.

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