An International Congress for the Augustinian Laity was held in Rome between the 10th and the 15th of July 2024 bringing together representatives from the different Circoscriptions of the Order of Saint Augustine around the world. Malta is being represented by the Provincial delegate for the Laity, P. Franco Grech O.S.A., together with three members of the Provincial Commission for the Laity who are also active in other areas of the Augustinian Province in Malta. Mr. Godfrey Scicluna is the Coordinator of the Augustinian Lay Fraternity together with his wife Isabel who is also a member of the same Fraternity. Mr. Glenn Mifsud works as assistant Head at Saint Augustine College.

The Congress being held at the Augustinianum Patristic Institute in Rome has the purpose of bringing together representatives from different countries around the world to share initiatives and experiences of lay people who are in some way or another part of the wide family of the Order of Saint Augustine. The purpose of these meetings is also to strengthen the presence of the laity and give them formation on the Augustinian charism and their role in the same Augustinian family and in the Church.

On 5th July, His Holiness Pope Francis, appointed the Augustinian Father Rocco Ronzani, Prefect of the Vatican Apostolic Archives. Amongst other responsabilities, Fr Rocco was until now professor of Fundamental Patrology at the Pontifical Patristic Institute Augustinianum, in Rome. He succeeds Monsignor Sergio Pagano, Barnabite, titular bishop of Celene, appointed by the Pontiff, still today, councilor of the Pontifical Committee for Historical Sciences.

Fr Rocco was born in Genazzano Italy, on 21 February 1978. He joined the Order of Saint Augustine in 1997, and made his solemn profession on 1 November 2002. He was ordained a priest on 27 June 2004 and in 2010 he obtained a doctorate in Theology and Patristic Sciences at the Pontifical Patristic Institute Augustinianum in Rome. He is a consultant to the Dicastery for the Causes of Saints, director of the Historical Archives of the Augustinian Province of Italy and professor of the Faculty of Theology at the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome.

The Prior General of the Order of St. Augustine and his Council announced this news to the Order expressing their gratitude to Pope Francis for enthrusting such a post of "trust and responsibility" to one of our fellow Augustinians.

On Sunday 7th July in the Church of Saint Nicholas of Tolentine, in Tarxien 20 young men and women gathered together to ask God to be with them in the different experiences they will have this summer outside Malta.

The Amigos group for the 30th time led by fr Mario Abela will be leaving Malta for Mozambique and doing missionary work with the poor. During these 3 weeks this group will be helping in the construction of palhotas (tents) that serve as houses, distributing food and medicines to the poor and doing some maintenance work in a small school nearby.

The Tagaste group made up of 8 young ex-students of our college will join hundreds of other young people in Italy (Cascia) to share their faith and live a community experience, they will be accompanied by the Provincial fr. Leslie Gatt and fr. Terence .

The Camino group led by fr. Terence, will be walking 200Km in the form of a pilgrimage from Portugal to Santiago in Spain where the remains of the apostle Saint James are located. This is a spiritual walk that continues to give these young people an opportunity to discover God and others.

Let us continue to pray for these young people and for so many other young people who these days are doing experiences like this so that they continue to discover themselves and God.

On July 5, 2024 Msgr. Charles J. Scicluna, Archbishop of Malta presided over the closing ceremony of the diocesan phase for the beatification causes of the Servants of God, Henry and Inez Casolani at the Parish Church of Saint Augustine in Valletta. The ceremony marked a significant milestone in the journey towards recognizing the sanctity of the Maltese couple. Various ecclesiastical and civil authorities, family members, and numerous faithful who have been inspired by the lives of Henry and Inez Casolani. Their exemplary lives of faith, charity, and service to the community have left a lasting impact on those who knew them and on the wider Catholic community in Malta and beyond.

The couple got married in the same church exactly 80 years ago. In a message delivered by Msgr. Scicluna, the unwavering testimony of the couple, both active members of the Third Order of St. Augustine, was highlighted. Their witness, the archbishop said, is of inspiration to married couples today, who through their everyday lives are called to be witnesses of the love of Christ for the Church.

During the Sessio Ultima of the Tribunal, the collected documents and testimonies from the diocesan inquiry were sealed and will now be sent to the Vatican’s Dicastery for the Causes of Saints. The postulator of the cause, Fr. Josef Sciberras OSA, took his oath of office as “portitore”, the one responsible for the transfer of the acts to Rome. The next phase involves than a thorough examination  of this documentation by the Vatican authorities, who will determine whether Henry and Inez Casolani have lived heroic Christian virtues and will then be declared Venerable.

The conclusion of the diocesan phase is a moment of joy and hope for the faithful who have been praying for the recognition of the Casolani’s sanctity. The faithful are encouraged to continue praying for the cause as it progresses through the subsequent stages of the beatification process.

Photos: Archdiocese of Malta

On Saturday 15th June the Provincial Commission for the Laity organized the annual Festa Familja Agostinjana which became an annual activity awaited by several lay people close to the Augustinian communities. The activity which was held in Gozo, was attended by more than a hundred people coming from different Augustinian communities and pastoral initiatives.

The day started with a panoramic train ride and some free time in Victoria. At noon the group gathered for lunch in Marsalforn and after lunch proceded for a moment of prayer in the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Ta Pinu. The day came to a close with a mass presided over by the Provincial delegate for the Laity Fr Franco Grech O.S.A. at Saint Augustine Church.

These initiatives bring together several people who not only frequent our churches, but also support the work of the Augustinian friars in the various realities in which they serve. Moreover, these moments contribute to the building of positive relationships and strengthen the Augustinian identity.

© 2024 All Rights Reserved.