The missions, social projects and solidarity actions are a constant in the action of the Augustinian Recollect Family. The Province of Saint Nicholas of Tolentine has always lived in mission, since its very birth was motivated by the opening of the first evangelization missions in the Philippines in the 17th century. Since then, he has carried out his evangelizing activity following the mandate of Jesus in the places today called “frontiers”: there where it is necessary to defend the dignity of human life, social justice, equal opportunities, the defense of the most vulnerable.

From the very beginning of its birth, the Augustinian Recollection has been missionary. The Recollection began on December the 5th, 1588, as an internal movement inside the Order of Saint Augustine to promote greater perfection and a way of life in the communities in order to become closer to the origin of the Augustinian religious life.

Just seventeen years after the establishment of the Augustinian Recollect communities, in 1604, began the first mission of the religious in the Philippines. From there, the Augustinian Recollects had a continuous history of missionary apostolate as a part of their more spiritual impulse and their way of thinking, living and acting.

Presence of the Augustinian Recollects: present and past.

During the next pages, you can read about the missionary reality of the Province of Saint Nicholas of Tolentine of the Order of the Augustinian Recollects. There is a first theoretical approach under the title “Missionaries by necessity” where it is explained why recollect and missionary are two concepts that go together. One the term “Mission” is it is related to how the Recollect Constitutions consider this reality.

Secondly, the missionary history of the Province is presented. From the Augustinian vision of “Mission” to the additional impulse made by the Recollection, the article takes a look over four centuries of missionary history as a whole and in the concrete missions that the Province has served during this time.

Finally, the article concentrates on the missionary present of the Province with a more exhaustive effort in two missionary zones, the Prelature of Labrea in the Brazilian Amazon rainforest and the mission of Shangqiu in the People’s Republic of China. Then afterwards in those ministries specially considered as missions because of their own personal characteristics: the Boy’s Town in Costa Rica, Saint Monica’s Homes in Fortaleza, Brazil, the Augustinian Recollects Centre for Comprehensive Development (CARDI) in Mexico D.F. and the pastoral with migrants in England and the United States.

The Augustinian Recollects arrive in Philippines. Picture by Juan Barba. Church of Saint Rita, Madrid, Spain.

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