Thirteen religious from the community of Saint Augustine College and seven from other communities, accompanied by the Augustinian Juan Manuel Ramírez, vice-master of novices, have participated in a week of spiritual exercises according to the theme and methodology proposed by the Order’s Revitalization Team.

During thesummerholidaysthe community ofAugustinian RecollectsofValladolidschedulestheannualspiritual exercises,taking advantage ofthesilencethat surrounds the house, since during the school year the daily task are focused on the educational community of St. AugustineCollege and the religious oftheResidenceSaint Ezequiel Moreno, whoreceive special care because of their age or health situation.

FromJuly 7-12,twentyreligious, thirteen from the same community and seven from other communities, with the coordination of the Augustinian JuanManuel Ramírez,vice-master of novices of the novitiate in Monteagudo(Navarra, Spain), participated in this experience and the spiritual exercises centered on a quote from theLetter to theRomansof St Paul:One Body inChrist: Communion in the Letter to the Romans.

It is acommon themefor Augustinian religious around the world, since the theme is proposed by theRevitalization Team of the Order.“Creators of Communion” is the motto and one of the main objectives of the present-day six-yearrule, based on the same words that PopeFrancisaddressed to the members of the Order on the occasion of the celebration of theGeneralChapter:

“At this special time, the Lord asks us to be his creators of communion. We are called to create, with our presence in the midst of the world, a society capable of recognizing the dignity of each person and of sharing the gift that each one is for the other.” (Papal Audience, October 20, 2016).

The subjects studied, pondered and prayed throughout these days have all been taken from this book of theNew Testament, and have subsequently been enriched with texts and comments ofSt Augustineto each of them:

  • “Beloved of God”: love and divine choice (Rom 5:1-7);
  • “Abba, Father”: children of God by the Spirit (Rom 8:12-17);
  • “Do not esteem yourself more than is appropriate”: humility in the community (Rom 12:3-8);
  • “Charity without pretending”: charity in the community (Rom 12:9-13;13,8-10);
  • “Let us live for the Lord”: only God is a judge (Rom 14:7-13).

Helped by video presentations, the talks werebriefandoffered a guide for the times ofcreative silenceavailable tothe retreatants. The Eucharist was the culmination of the day and each day ended, after dinner, with thecommunity prayer of the rosary,walking through the gardensand corridors of the extensive facilities of Saint Augustine College.

The exercises concluded inthe gardens of the Residence of San Ezequiel Moreno with a barbecue dinnerto celebrate and practice what hadbeen reflected, pondered and prayed, fraternalcommunion.