The month of August is traditionally known as the “Augustinian month” because of the confluence of the feast of Saint Augustine (August 28) and that of other outstanding Augustinian saints, Saint Monica (August 27) and Saint Ezekiel Moreno (August 19), among others. It is also a time when ordinations and professions are celebrated, coinciding with the end of the novitiate in Spain or the time of vacation in some countries. In this year 2020, since August 1, the Order has welcomed nine religious in simple vows and celebrated the priestly ordination of two more solemnly professed.
On Saturday, August 1st, the convent of Our Lady of the Way of Monteagudo was decked out to celebrate the simple profession of Bernal, Deyson, Edson, Luis Antonio, Marcelo, Rodrigo, Tiago and Welton, from Costa Rica, Peru, Brazil and Venezuela. The celebration was attended by Sergio Sánchez, prior provincial of the Province of St. Nicholas of Tolentine, and Miguel Ángel Hernández, prior provincial of the Province of St. Thomas of Villanova, provinces to which the newly professed belong. Religious from other communities of the Order in Spain were present to accompany the nine young people at this important moment of their lives. In spite of the restrictions derived from the sanitary measures, a group of Augustinian Recollect Missionary Sisters and people from the village were also present at the celebration.
That same day, thousands of kilometers away in Costa Rica, the San Ezequiel Moreno Seminary in Pozos de Santa Ana hosted the celebration of the priestly ordination of Hugo Andres Badilla, by Bishop Angel San Casimiro, Bishop Emeritus of Alajuela. Hugo, a Costa Rican religious, was accompanied by his family and the religious of the nearby communities. And on Sunday, August 2, it was the turn of Jordan Tijerino, a Nicaraguan religious, who was ordained a priest in the Monastery of Our Lady of Guadalupe of the Augustinian Recollect Nuns of Guaraçiaba, Brazil. The Eucharist and the rite of ordination was presided over by Bishop Francisco Javier Hernandez, Bishop Emeritus of Tianguá, Brazil. In addition to these professions and ordinations, six young men began their novitiate in the Province of St. Ezekiel Moreno of the Philippines on 16 July, five other Filipino religious made their simple profession on 30 June and a new novitiate year will begin in Monteagudo (Spain).
The celebrations in the Americas, Europe and Asia have all taken place against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic. It will not be an easy circumstance to forget because the masks and the hygienic and distancing measures are evident in a large part of the images taken. But, most importantly, as highlighted in the words mentioned in several of these celebrations, this experience of pandemic will impel all these young people to infect the world with the joy and hope of Jesus Christ.
The month of August is also a favorable time for the ongoing formation and spiritual exercises of religious in the area of Europe. Although this year everything has had to be adapted due to the circumstances, all the professed in the area of Spain will have their own formation and spiritual exercises in the Monastery of San Millán de la Cogolla (La Rioja)