On Friday 11th October 2019, the Augustinian Institute opened the Academic Year 2019-2020. The Reverend Provincial, Fr Leslie Gatt OSA concelebrated Mass together with Rev. Professor Salvinu Caruana OSA, Director, Fr Pierre Desira OSA, Assistant Director, Fr Joe Borg OSA, and Fr Mario Attard ofm cap. Around 40 participants have registered for the courses of the forthcoming academic year, including the Mayor of the town of Pietà, Mr Keith Tanti. The forthcoming academic year will include a series of talks on the Confessions of St Augustine delivered by a number of University lecturers. The Annual St Augustine Lecture will be held on Wednesday 27th November 2019 at the University of Malta at 7.00pm. The lecture, titled “The Splintered Mind: Augustine’s ingenious response to the problem of Time,” will be delivered by Professor Martijn Boven from the University of Groningen in the Netherlands.

Activity for Lay Augustinians in Tarxien

On Monday 14th October 2019 an activity for lay persons close to the Augustinian Friars in Malta and Gozo was held in Tarxien. Approximately 90 persons from different communities attended this event. The group was joined by the Provincial, Fr Leslie Gatt OSA, the Prior of the Tarxien community, Fr Alan Scerri OSA, and other friars. At 6.00pm Mass was said at the Church of St Nicholas of Tolentino. Afterwards, the group gathered in the hall of the Augustinian Oratory. Fr Josef Sciberras OSA, General Postulator of the Augustinian Order, gave a talk on the theme, “Augustinian Saints: Teachers and witnesses of our spirituality.” Using a PowerPoint presentation, he explained how the Augustinian Order was founded in the 13th century and how the lives of religious and lay Augustinians developed throughout the years. After the talk, Mr Victor Spiteri, a member of the Provincial Commission of Lay Augustinians, thanked a number of people and announced that the next meeting for Lay Augustinians will be held on Wednesday 13th November 2019 at 6.00pm at the Monastery of the Contemplative Augustinian Nuns in Valletta where a mass to celebrate all the Augustinian saints will be held. The activity ended with a social event where people from different communities could meet and talk with one another over a drink.

On Monday 7 October we had a special moment of prayer, formation, prayer and games (Take the Risk) for learners at St Augustine College. This activity helped them to get to know each other better and to learn more about God’s presence in their lives.

During this year, our sisters the Augustinian Nuns, Servants of Jesus and Mary, are celebrating their 125th year since they arrived in Malta and, therefore, 125 years of tireless work in our islands. The first Augustinian sisters came to Malta from Italy in August 1894 and they founded a community in Qormi where they opened a school for small children.

The mission of the Augustinian Sisters is built on the formation and education of children and youths. Their founder, Sister Maria Teresa Spinelli, brought together a number of girls who did not have access to education in Frosinone, Italy. Eventually, she opened the first public school. Right from the start, she expressed her wish that the congregation is built on Augustinian spirituality. This led to a lasting link with the Order of St Augustine.

This was the start of many years of hard work; not only in Italy and Malta, but in several other countries around the globe. The Maltese sisters, numbering about a hundred, offer an invaluable contribution to the Congregation.

A number of celebrations are being held to mark the occasion. Last Sunday, a day of activities was held starting with Mass celebrated by the Archbishop of Malta. It was a day aimed at bringing together the nuns with so many collaborators, present students and former students who received so much from the work of the sisters.

On behalf of the friars of our Province, we would like to wish our Sisters all the best wishes for the future as they continue their work in the field of the Lord and within our Augustinian family.

On Thursday 26 and Friday 27 September, at St Augustine College, Mass was celebrated for Primary and Secondary students together with their educators and parents. It was a special occasion during which we could offer to the Lord the forthcoming scholastic year and thank Him for His presence during the summer months.

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