Meeting of priors of Europe 2024 in Las Rozas

This is how it is established in all the boundaries of the Augustinian Recollects: the priors responsible for each house must meet once a year to take the pulse of their community and examine the progress of the whole.

This is what has taken place at the Saint Augustine Theological Center in Las Rozas (Madrid) days 4 and 5 of April. The meeting was chaired by the prior provincial, Carlos González Castellanos, who was accompanied by the provincial secretary and the four religious who make up its Council.

The priors of the twelve European communities of the Province were summoned to Augustinian Recollect churches of Saint Nicholas of Tolentine, of which nine are located in Spain and three in England. Several of them have special characteristics due to, for example, the formation of houses of the Province and even of the Order –Monteagudo and Las Rozas–, being a residence for elderly and sick religious –this is the case of Valladolid– or run three of its schools –Chiclana, Zaragoza, and Valladolid–.

There were four aspects of the prior’s workshop that we wanted to examine, as indicated by the convocation letter from the Provincial: be animators of the communities, strengthen them in dialogue and teamwork, seek new forms of evangelization, and detect everything that can ignite in the love of God.

It was only a day and a half, in six sessions, alternating with times of prayer and moments of intense coexistence. The pattern was set in the so-called Project of Life and Mission of the Province, which each community accommodates and reviews each year, according to its specific characteristics. Each one has given an account of its fulfillment of the priors and his personal experience as a promoter of community life.

Each participant shared their reflections on the achievements, difficulties, and challenges of the community itself. They have all received extensive information from the counselors in charge of the different secretariats of the Province: permanent training, initial formation, both parish and missionary Apostolate and educational Apostolate.

Special emphasis has been placed on the 1st Centennial of the Shangqiu Mission (China), currently underway: the experience of the objectives has been reviewed, the materials prepared, and possibilities of use have been suggested both in the ministries as well as by the religious themselves and have made themselves known, in short, some new projects.

Finally, with the sessions planned for the meeting concluded and comforted by the coexistence with the young trainees of Las Rozas, who were circumstantially accompanied by the novices from Monteagudo (Navarra), the group of priors dispersed into all directions encouraged to carry out the service of authority with joy and hope that they have been entrusted with.