The Province of St. Nicholas of Tolentine closed the celebration of its fourth centenary with a solemn Eucharist presided over by the Prior General, Miguel Miro.
On September 10, 2020, in celebration of St. Nicholas of Tolentine, the Province of the same name began the celebration of the 400th anniversary of its creation. It did so in a Eucharist presided over by the Prior General, Miguel Miro. In the same way, within the framework of the 433rd anniversary of the Augustinian Recollection, the Province of St. Nicholas of Tolentine put an end to this year of commemoration last December 4. In a Eucharist presided by the Prior General at St. Rita Parish in Madrid, the Augustinian Recollect Province closed its centenary by expressing gratitude for the past history and wishing for a fruitful future.
The Province was born in the first General Chapter of the Augustinian Recollects, which is also celebrating its 400th anniversary. In his first words, the Prior General recalled this fact, together with the centenary of the Province of St. Nicholas of Tolentine. “For a year, under the motto ‘Always in mission’, the communities of the Province have given thanks to the Lord for their history and have wanted to revitalize their fraternity and their mission,” he said.
Present at the Eucharist were more than fifty religious – among them, the major superiors of the Province throughout the world – and a large group of lay people and laity. Religious and laity renewed their vows and promises, respectively. As a particularly significant gesture, the Prior Provincial of the Province of St. Nicholas of Tolentine, Sergio Sanchez, gave the Prior Provincial of the Province of St. Ezekiel Moreno, Dionisio Selma, a chalice on which the coats of arms of both provinces were engraved. The explanation is that the Province of St. Ezekiel Moreno is heir to the centuries of work of the missionaries of the Province of St. Nicholas of Tolentino in the Philippines.
In his homily, the Prior Provincial, Sergio Sanchez, recalled the beginnings of the Augustinian Recollection and the austere and fraternal vocation felt by the first Recollects. “If we were to know the intimate life of the religious who have preceded us, in all of them we would find as a foundation the loving call of God and their fidelity”, he said.
He also made mention of the Province’s fourth centenary motto – Always on mission – and the poster, which showed a group of religious in a boat. “It is necessary to sail’ was the slogan of the missionary deed of the first Recollects in their zeal to bring the Gospel; and it is the spiritual slogan of all of us who sail with sails unfurled at the breath of the Holy Spirit, crossing storms and dangers, wherever obedience takes us”, he pointed out.
Sergio Sanchez assured that in the boat of the Province “Jesus of Nazareth accompanies us”, even “in the days of calm and pleasant coexistence, in the storms, contrary airs and dark nights”. For this reason, he asked not to put “obstacles to the Spirit”. “Let us allow him to continue writing history in our family,” he said.