Accompaniment and sustainability, challenges for the Order

The Prior General, the General Council and the Provincial Priors have shared in their annual meeting their vision of the common work of the Augustinian Recollects.

The work of the Order of Augustinian Recollects has two priorities in view of the General Chapter of 2022: the sustainability of the projects and the accompaniment of the people. This is one of the conclusions of the Prior General, the General Council and the four Provincial Priors, who held their annual meeting from October 26-30 to evaluate the life and mission of the Order throughout the world. In the meeting, on this virtual occasion for health reasons, the guidelines were established that the General Curia and the provinces will follow to continue living intensely the Augustinian Recollect vocation and offering a solid service to the Church and society.

The first priority is the need to find sustainability of the projects. Specifically, those present agreed on the importance of consolidating the work that has been done -and that has begun in the last few years-, working as a team to strengthen what has been done and to ensure its continuity. This refers to projects such as ARCORES, EDUCAR, RedCEAR or the School of Trainers, among others. The work, which is valued positively, must be consolidated over time.

Likewise, the meeting established as a priority the accompaniment of all people -religious and lay-. In the present social situation, the objective is not to abandon anyone, especially the religious. All, regardless of their age or situation, must be cared for in their contexts: young religious in formation, older and sick religious, as well as religious in other stages. Specifically, the Prior General called for unity and diversity in life and mission.

Another issue discussed is the review of the bodies of the Order. In that sense, it was suggested to lighten the management structures and to promote communion in the Order. This point, thought out for the next General Chapter, is the result of a reflection: there are numerous duplications of general and provincial organisms that in many cases work independently. The General Council and the Provincial Priors invite to simplify and to join forces in common.

The Prior General also emphasized in his new document, ‘Witnessing to Poverty: A Blessing and A Challenge‘, and invited us to think about how to make the document a reality; that is, how to live poverty and how to respond to the poverty of today – internally and externally. This experience would bring credibility to one’s own charism, thus giving it more life. The meeting also addressed issues related to shared work with the laity, communication, the missionary spirit, and the formation of religious, among other things.