The national councils of the Secular Augustinian Recollect Fraternity, as well as the religious formators and assistants, held for the first time a fraternal meeting in a virtual way.
To walk together means to move forward without leaving anyone behind. This is what the Secular Augustinian Recollect Fraternity is doing. The national councils of the FSAR, the formators and the spiritual assistants held a fraternal meeting last February 11 in virtual form.
There were 98 participants from practically all the places where there are constituted communities of the Secular Fraternity. During the meeting, the internationality of the Augustinian Recollect family could be felt, especially in the faces of the lay people who live the charism. Spanish, English and Portuguese were the languages in which the participants expressed themselves.
The Coordinating Team of the Secular Fraternities, composed of Maricela Valles (Spain), Rosana Pucarelli (Brazil), Tatiana Moreno (Colombia), Gerardo R. Gomez (Mexico), Hernan Ferrer (Venezuela), Edwin Ruiz (Philippines), Fr. Sergio Sanchez (Mexico), Fr. Lauro Larlar (Philippines), Fr. Fabian Martin (Rome), convoked this first online meeting.
“It is time for you to take on a greater role”
The meeting began with a few words from the Prior General of the Order, Friar Miguel Angel Hernandez. In his message he insisted on his support for all the initiatives that are being carried out, of which he is “very aware”, especially the work that is being done to continue promoting pilgrims.
“I am happy to know that you are taking steps, that you want to take life in your hands. I hope that we can overcome the resistance and leave behind the old models that are no longer sustainable,” he said to all those present, while recalling the importance of synodality, shared mission and the protagonism of the laity. “These are not times to listen to the talk of the religious; these are times for the laity to take greater protagonism, setting the pace, the direction and the style in which you want to walk, always within the Augustinian Recollect spirituality”, he said.
Pilgrims, the materials of the FSAR
For his part, Friar Sergio Sanchez made a general presentation of the Pilgrims formation material. He spoke about the pedagogy that defines them, all the materials available and the form in which they can be used. He also pointed out some challenges for the coming years and commented on the new projects that are underway to promote the life of the Secular Fraternities with hope.
Maricela Valles and Gerardo R. Gómez gave a thoughtful evaluation, both in Spanish and English, of what these materials have meant for the Secular Fraternities. They also insisted on knowing and implementing the new Manual of the Secular Augustinian Recollect Fraternities, recently published.
Finally, in an atmosphere of fraternal dialogue, the participants commented on the great achievements of the Pilgrim materials and pointed out some of the challenges that will have to be addressed in the coming years, such as the formation of formators, the role of spiritual assistants or the passage of the young Augustinian Recollect JAR to the Fraternities, among other things.
The meeting was a wonderful occasion for the brothers and sisters of the Secular Fraternities to meet again, greet each other and share the joy of having one soul and one heart in God.