The Augustinian treatise, de catechizandis rudibus is considered to be one of great importance for the teaching of the principles of the Catholic Faith to beginners. Prof. Salvino Caruana OSA, Director of the Augustinian Institute (Malta), has translated the text into Maltese (200p.). In the words of a Dutch scholar in Augustinian texts and theology in Utrecht, Prof. Joost van Neer, Augustine’s effort to provide the deacon Deogratias with some flowing ideas on how to transmit the Catholic Faith to beginners: The result was this work, which can today still benefit all educators in the broadest sense of the term (Augustinus 61 (2021): 227).

The text was due to be read and analysed in a series of lectures during the second semester of academic year 2021-2022 at the Augustinian Institute. Unfortunately, however, due to increased cases of COVID-19, it was deemed safer to postpone the semester. Some 12 participants received the printed Augustinian text by post. To the rest the book was delivered by the Director personally in a visit to the participants. The book is on sale for €15.

Each participant in academic year 2021-2022 was given two texts: Waħda u Sħiħa hija l-Imħabba (10 Homilies of Augustine on First Letter of John to the Parthians) (283p.), and Itterraq fit-Twemmin ma’ S. Wistin (de catechizandis rudibus) (200p.), and the book My Pen’s Toil, as a gift. For further info re publications of Prof. S. Caruana, or other info, please kindly contact Prof. S. Caruana OSA Augustinian Institute PO Box 61 Msida PO MSD 1000; email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; mob.: 7929 4177.

Wednesday, January 26, marked the 75th anniversary of the first Religious Profession of Fr. Mark Cauchi in the Order of St. Augustine. Father Mark, now 93, is a member of the Augustinian Community of Valletta.

Fr. Mark was born in Cospicua on July 5, 1928 and after his primary education in Cospicua he continued his secondary education at St. Aloysius College in Birkirkara. On January 20, 1946, he joined the Augustinian family starting his novitiate at St. Augustine's Priory, Victoria, Gozo. One year later, on January 26, 1947 (75 years ago), he made the Simple Profession of the Evangelical Councils in the Order of St. Augustine. He then continued his studies in Philosophy and Theology at St. Mark's College in the Augustinian Priory in Rabat, Malta and on February 5, 1950 he made his Solemn Profession. He was ordained a priest on December 20, 1952 at St. John's Co-Cathedral in Valletta. Father Mark also studied French at the University of Grenoble in France.

As a religious and priest he served in various communities in Malta and was also a teacher of Latin and French at St. Augustine's College and chaplain of St. Catherine's Monastery in Valletta. Abroad he worked mainly in the Augustinian mission in North Africa and later even in Sicily. Several times he also served at the Augustinian Monastery in Poschiavo in Switzerland. Over the years he has always had a great love for history, research and writing, so much so that he has written several articles and even published books usually of a historical nature.

We wish Fr. Mark good health and blessings from the Lord. Ad Multos Annos!


 In the coming Thursdays, the Augustinian friars will be celebrating the devotional Thursdays in preparation for the feast of Saint Rita practically in all their churches around Malta. The devotion of the fifteen Thursdays is linked to the fact that Saint Rita carried the thorn of in her forehead for fifteen years, after praying the Lord Jesus to share with him in the suffering that he suffered for us. Over the years, so many people have resorted to the intercession of Saint Rita with their difficulties and eagerly asked her to take their prayer before the Lord.

Saint Rita was an Augustinian nun who lived in central Italy more than 600 years ago. Along her life, she was a married woman, a mother of two sons, became a widow, and later joined the contemplative nuns in Cascia. These different stages of life, together with the challenges she experienced, make her a popular saint practically all over the Catholic world.

The Augustinian friars in many cities around the world have spread the devotion to this saint and presented her as a model of hope in so many difficulties that life brings about. It is customary that so many faitful resort to Augustinain churches on these Thursdays leading up to the feast of St. Rita, where special prayers are said with the intercession of the Saint of the Impossible.

The Feast of St. Rita in Valletta and Victoria Gozo, which are the main centers of devotion to the Saint on the islands, will be celebrated on the liturgical day, being the 22nd of May. Other Augustinian churches will celebrate it on other days close to that date.

On Wednesday, January 26, the Augustinian friars gathered for a formation meeting, at which, the results of a questionnaire completed by the friars some months ago were presented.  This exercise forms part of the preparation for the Ordinary Provincial Chapter to be held next March and April.

The meeting, which took place at Saint Augustine College, Pietà, began with the prayers of the vespers. The Prior Provincial, Fr. Leslie Gatt then presented various points which emerged from the answers to the questionnaire and even shared some ideas in this regard. He emphasized the fact that the questionnaire was first and foremost an exercise intended to provoke reflection at the beginning of the preparation for the 2022 Ordinary Provincial Chapter. The questionnaire itself offered another space for everyone to express their thoughts and share what he feels important with the brethren. The questions provided both a reflection of appreciation for all that we are and have, and even a look at what we need to work on more. This sharing is in itself an experience of communion.

The meeting also served as an opening to the Visit of Renewal that the Prior Provincial will be holding in the different communities of the Province in the coming weeks before the Chapter. Your prayers during this journey towards the Provincial Chapter would be greatly appreciated.

The traditional feast of St. Anthony the Abbot was celebrated on Sunday, January 16, at St. Mark's Church in Rabat. Although the circumstances of the pandemic did not allow celebrations to be held outside the Church, at the end of the mass, the Prior Provincial Father Leslie Gatt O.S.A. blessed the domestic pets in the church itself. This is an ancient tradition closely associated to this feast held in the Augustinian church of Rabat. It has been customary for the grandmaster of the Order of Saint John to send his horses to be blessed on the feast of St. Anthony. This sweet tradition has been maintained over the years and various animals are normally brought to be blessed.

The figure of St. Anthony the Abbot is closely linked to the Augustinian tradition. St. Anton's life had inspired St. Augustine at a very important moment in his life, as he himself recounts in the 8th book of his Confessions just before narrating his conversion. Though the Order of Saint Augustine was eventually erected many years later and in a different context, the Augustinian friars also has an eremitic origin, and devotion to St. Anthony was very common in their churches. The cult of this saint in St. Mark's Conventual Church in Rabat dates back several centuries. In 1806 an artistic wooden statue was also made by the sculptor Xandru Farrugia.

On Monday January 17, the liturgical feast day of Saint Anthony, the Prior Provincial than presided on the feast of Saint Anthony in the Chapel dedicated to the Saint in Xagħra Gozo.

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