Attendees at the end-of-year fraternal gathering 2024

On June 3, a dozen religious from the houses of Madrid gathered at the San Augustine Formation House in Las Rozas, Madrid, to celebrate the end of the 2023-2024 school year and to bid farewell to the formands who will continue their formation process in other communities.

On Monday, June 3, the St. Augustine Formation House in Las Rozas celebrated the closing of the 2023-2024 academic year. The day began with the celebration of the Eucharist, which on this occasion was presided by Juan Carlos Avitia, vicar of the Province of St. Nicholas of Tolentine. Friars from the house of formation concelebrated together with other communities in Madrid – Provincial Curia, Getafe, Santa Rita – as well as Fray Francisco Oyanguren, a religious resident in the St. Augustine school in Valladolid.

Throughout the homily, Avitia stressed the importance of gratitude to God and the brothers: a course is finished; positive things have happened. In addition, some of the formands finish their formative stage in this house and continue their formation process in other communities. Throughout this year, new religious have also joined, and others have left. The important thing is to recognize all experiences and what is shared so that they serve as sustenance for life, even mistakes and failures.

During the celebration, a backpack and a photograph of the community were offered as a sign of the effort and work carried out, as well as of the formation community throughout the year. After communion, the prior of the community, Fr. Juan Manuel Ramirez Sixtos, thanked God for the course that was ending and the religious of the other communities for their presence.

After the celebration of the Holy Mass, a group photo was taken and all went to the main entrance, where everything was ready for a barbecue. In addition, other dishes were served as a complement, prepared by the same students, who presented some typical dishes from their countries: Mexico, Costa Rica, and Brazil.

Other religious who were not at the mass, did show up for dinner. The meal, as always, was another main reason for the gathering. Conversations included topics such as sports, politics, remembering old times, and plans for the future.

This celebration was not only an event of the House of Formation but also a moment of encounter for the communities of the Province in Madrid. Although not all the religious from the area were present; it was an opportunity for some to greet each other and, above all, to share with those in formation, with whom they do not have many opportunities to do so. Three of them continue their year of insertion in other communities of the Province, while the rest are preparing for their vacations and different summer plans.