Missions and social works. The Province’s missions in the 19th century

The missions save the Order

Between September 1835 and January 1836 the Spanish Government sold the goods of the Religious Orders and prohibited the common life. The same thing occurred in Columbia in 1861. The Order was left without monasteries, superiors and the ability to organize themselves.

The monastery of Monteguado (Navarra, Spain) was only one of three monasteries in Spain after the sale of church property in 1835. The fact that it was a house of formation for missionaries in the Philippines meant that it was not sold off by the Government and was permitted to carry on the Augustinian Recollect religious life in Spain. The monastery of Monteguado (Navarra, Spain) was only one of three monasteries in Spain after the sale of church property in 1835. The fact that it was a house of formation for missionaries in the Philippines meant that it was not sold off by the Government and was permitted to carry on the Augustinian Recollect religious life in Spain.

The Philippine missions saved the order from disappearing completely. The Spanish Government only allowed the existence of three monasteries in Spain, amongst them a Recollect one (that of Monteagudo, Navarra), because it formed the missionaries that the Government needed in order to perpetuate the colonial system.

For many years there were interferences by the Overseas Ministry, but the religious managed to recover their freedom, action and ability to reorganize themselves. In order to support the formative work in Monteagudo they would open colleges in Marcilla (Navarra, 1865) and San Millan de la Cogolla (La Rioja, 1878), to increase the number of novices and strengthen their academic and religious formation. The Order was able to rise again from the ashes.

Thus, between 1840 and 1895, they opened communities at an incredible rate. In 1842 fifty-two Recollects attended to 325,000 faithful in sixty-nine ministries. At the end of the century, in 1898, there were 330 Recollects and they attended to 1,500,000 faithful in 235 ministries. The Order did not fall foul to the selling of church property and simply disappear as occurred with many other religious congregations.


Spreading out throughout the world (1896-1906)
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Augustinian Recollects Province of St. Nicholas of Tolentine.

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