The Vicariate of the United States establishes the means and ways to strengthen communion and union, a priority objective of the last Provincial Chapter.
On October 9, in Oxnard (California, United States), it took place the meeting of the Prior Provincial of the Province of San Nicholas of Tolentine of the Order of Augustinian Recollects, Sergio Sánchez, with the Provincial Vicar, Marlon Beof, and his Council, consisting of four religious (Rafael Castillo, Michael Stechmann, Fredric Abiera and José Félix Troncoso).
The religious communities of the United States begin a new stage after the union of Provinces implemented in the process of restructuring the Order of Augustinian Recollects. All the Augustinian Recollect religious communities and ministries in the country are now part of the Province of San Nicholas of Tolentine.
The prior provincial, Sergio Sánchez, explained that beyond the theoretical approach, this unity must involve a new way of carrying out the encouragement of the communities and religious life as such. To that end, he encouraged the strengthening of community life and regional meetings, confronting ideas and initiatives in fraternal dialogue, reinforcing the actions planned and decidedin common over that of the individuals, and strengthening consensus.
This dialogue, as explained by the prior provincial, should always start with confidence and prudence; absolute sincerity and realism about the situation of the religious, communities and ministries; and the application of the Life and Mission Project of the Province, assumed and applied in each community through the elaboration of its own Life and Mission Project for the community.
In this meeting, the Council of the Vicariate of the United States appointed the local councilors of the communities, the local counselors of vocations, the advisers of the Augustinian Recollect Youth (ARY) and the assistants of the Secular Fraternities. In addition, some administrative decisions were made and an attempt will be made to establish a facility in the Saint Augustine Priory inOxnard for the care and care of the elderly and sick religious.
The next day, October 10, the meeting expanded with the added presence of the priors of the communities of Suffern (New York), Union City (New Jersey), El Paso (Texas), Los Angeles (California), and the two communities of Santa Ana (California); they were present already there, for being members of the Council of the Vicariate, the priors of Oxnard (California), Montebello (California) and Anthony (New Mexico)
The priors of these communities reviewed the situation of each of the communities of the Vicariate and of the religious who make them up; they shared the strengths and challenges they have encountered since they were appointed as priors of these local religious life.
The Prior Provincial explained the expectations held about the Life and Mission Project of each community and the importance of its elaboration; he asked that all the religious be involved in the task of formulating it and indicated the general aspects that cannot be lacking so that they are in consonance with the Life and Mission Project of the Province and of the Order.
The provincial vicar reminded the priors of the supports that are at their service and those responsible for each Secretariat and Commission in the United States. Priors had the opportunity to clarify doubts and know what services are offered to help them in their task of animating of each local community.
Also at this meeting, it was reflected on the establishment in the United States of one or more Augustinian Recollect Spirituality Centers (CEAR). To facilitate this, the vicar attended the First CEAR International Meeting organized by the General Curia of the Order, which took place in Cuernavaca (Mexico).
At the Oxnard meeting it was reflected on how many CEARs could be established in the United States and where to locate them; the most advanced project would be that of a first CEAR California, to continue later along the East Coast (New York and New Jersey) and the southern states (Texas and New Mexico).
In the field of Communication and Publications, a better knowledge and use of the web page and social networks of the Province was called for, and to ensure the cultural heritage and knowledge (archives, graphic and audiovisual material, old publications) existing in the communities of the United States and in the former Province of Saint Augustine, through digitalization.
It was also pointed out the importance of collaborating with the Province's media so that we know more about the Order in the United States, and in turn, the religious in the country know and feel united to the ministries and communities of the Province where it is established (Spain, England, Mexico, Costa Rica, Brazil and China).
With regard to ongoing formation and spirituality, the possibility of offering two courses of Spiritual Retreat for the Vicariate was envisaged, one in English and one in Spanish, as well as the joint celebration of monthly retreats by zones (East Coast, West Coast, and South).
In addition, the need to reinforce and revive the Augustinian Recollect Secular Fraternities was specified through diverse actions and adequate accompaniment.