Lay Persons Initiatives

With the spirit of the ecclesiology of communion, as it is demonstrated in the Vatican Council II, and that has deep Augustinian roots, we share with lay people the dignity of our baptismal calling, complete membership in the Church and share and be co-responsible in the Church’s mission.  In the common house of the people of God, religious members and lay people are called to live the communion, each according to his particular calling. In order to be faithful to this ecclesiology of communion, that for St. Augustine was so important, all the monks of the Order, in their programmes and projects, must provide for the effective participation of the laity, paying special attention to the Augustinian ecclesiology and spirituality (Constitutions O.S.A, 45)

Soon after its foundation the Augustinian Order sought to involve the laity in its spiritual work. These, as members of the Third Augustinian Order, drew their inspiration from the spirituality of the Order, offering their services to some particular Augustinian community while continuing to live according to their state and occupation in the world. As a distinctive sign of their belonging to the Order, these lay people used to be given the Marian sign of the belt, the leather belt worn by the Augustinian monks. In the 15th century these groups were organized in a structure that better catered for the needs of the times.

Following the Vatican Council an effort was made so that the Augustinian laity would once again regain their identity and relevance according to the teachings of the Council.

Therefore, this gave rise to the formation of the Secular Augustinian Fraternities, where the laity, inspired by St. Augustine’s spirituality would gather together and form fraternities. These met on special days to pray together, receive formation, celebrate the Augustinian values and offer their services to the Church and society.

In order to achieve this ideal, the Augustinian Province set up the Commission of Augustinian Laity. The aim of this commission is to facilitate the meeting of lay people who are close to the various Augustinian communities in Malta so that together we will learn more about the Augustinian spirituality by means of practical themes applied to our daily life. By means of these activities, the Augustinian laity would remain in contact between them.

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