Between the 18th and 22nd April, the Augustinian friars are meeting at The Santa Rita Priory to celebrate the second part of the Ordinary Provincial Chapter which is being presided by the Prior General, Fr. Alejandro Moral Anton O.S.A.

This second part started with the celebration of the Eucharist presided by the Prior General himself for the repose of all deceased members of the Province, especially those who passed to eternal rest during the past four years. These were Fr. Felix Buttigieg; Fr. Joe Farrugia; Fr. Rikkardu Attard; Cardinal Prospero Grech and Fr. Saver Mifsud.

Thereafter, during the first session, the Prior Provincial presented a forward-looking programme setting out three priorities for evaluation and discussion by the friars during this Chapter and the forthcoming four years: 1) Communion as a constant challenge for the friars and a much-needed witnesses for the Church; 2) Vocations as a precious gift for each and everyone and a proposal that should be made to all who are still seeking in life; and 3) The indispensable consideration of the Province’s Present Reality with the challenge of assessing and rationalising the energies, without diminishing the beauty of all opportunities for evangelization possible for the Province.

During these days discussions will continue on these priorities and other proposals that were put forward for consideration by the working groups and for discussion by the Assembly. Then, on Friday morning the voting session will be held and decisions will be taken on the proposals that will have been put forward.

The Ordinary Provincial Chapter will conclude with the reading and approval of the Acts and the celebration of Mass which will be held at the Augustinian Church dedicated to the Mother of Good Counsel, Paceville on Friday 22 April 2022 at 6.45 p.m. This closing Mass is open to all those who support or feel close to the Augustinian friars, particularly those who collaborate with them in various fields. After the Mass light refreshments will be served on the convent’s parvis. (Anyone interested in attending can may make use, of the parking facilities at the Merkanti Car Park of the Westin Dragonara Hotel free of charge)

The Maltese Augustinian friars would like to invite you to the closing mass of the Ordinary Provincial Chapter 2022 which will be presided over by the M. Rev. Fr. Alejandro Moral Anton, Prior General of the Order of Saint Augustine in the Church of Our Lady of Good Counsel in Paceville on Friday, 22nd April at 6.45pm. Refreshements will be served afterwords on the Church parvis. Those arriving by private transport can park free of charge at the Merkanti Carpark of the Westin Dragonara Resort.

The Provincial Chapter is a moment which the Augustinian friars celebrate every four years and offers an opportunity to evaluate the reality of their life and apostolic work, and plan for the future. These days of the Chapter are being presided over by the Prior General of the Order.

All those who collaborate with the Augustinians and participate in any of there initiatives are encouraged to take part in the celebration on Friday. In the meantime, your prayers at this particular time will be greatly appreciated.

On Thursday, 31st March the Augustinian friars met at Mount Saint Joseph Retreat House in Mosta for a moment of prayer and reflection during Lent. The meeting began with a moment of prayer and afterwards Fr. Martin Micallef Ofm Cap shared with the friars some reflections on the biblical figure of Judas and some temptations in today’s world.

After a moment of personal reflection, the Augustinian friars gathered again for a moment of adoration before the Blessed Sacrament. We ended this half day retreat by having lunch together.

May We Leave Christ Astonish Us!

After two years of restrictions that have deprived us from the celebrations of the Holy Week in our churches, we are once again celebrating together as a community of faith the Mystery of the Passion, Death and Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. . Although we cannot say that we are free from the thought of the pandemic or from any limitations on the gestures that bring us closer together, we have a great opportunity to share the joy and hope of Easter with greater vigor. After all, as Christians we all know that it is here that we find the true meaning of our life!

A few days ago we had the grace to welcome among us His Holiness Pope Francis. In his presence we observe a continuous transmission of Christian hope. He had moments when he seemed physically limited, and at times he seemed even tired, but his presence and smile still conveyed joy, hope, and disponibility to the mission that the Lord is asking from him. These are qualities that derive from a strong experience of faith that culminates in the depths of the gospel.

In his reflection during the celebration in front of the Sanctuary of Our Lady of  Ta Pinu (2nd April 2022), the Pope spoke of 'the hour of Jesus' death' but he also spoke of the first disciples who, 'when they saw the empty tomb, without delay, and with their heart beating rapidly, rushed to bring the good news of the Resurrection. 'At this moment,  quoting the words of the Pope, 'The weeping of sorrow, at the foot of the cross, has changed into the joy of the announcement. The same Pope also reminds us of the Apostles, of whom it is written: “...every day, in the temple and from house to house, they did not cease teaching and preaching that the Christ is Jesus” (Acts 5:42)… the only concern that moved them was how they would proclaim and bear witness to the gospel of Christ (see Rom. 1: 1).'

In the spirit of these first disciples, and with the still vivid image of Pope Francis - sometimes tired but determined - bearing witness to Christ in our streets, I would like to wish each and every one of us holy celebrations. May we live intensely this powerful experience of sstanding under the cross looking forward to the resurrection, so that the celebration of the resurrection will fill us with renued enthusiasm and enlighten us in trough the challenges of life. This is the true Christian attitude we should have! Let's not hesitate to "Let him astonish us." And commit ourselves to “welcome with joy His renewed news." (Closing of the Homily of Pope Francis at the granaries Floriana, April 3, 2022)

From the bottom of my heart I wish you all keep living this spirit in your daily lives. For us Augustinian Friars, the coming days will also bring the celebration of the second part of the Ordinary Provincial Chapter 2022 in the Easter Octave. I urge you to remember us and accompany us with your prayers.

 In the meantime, on behalf of the Augustinian friars, I wish you and your families a holy Easter.

fr Leslie Gatt osa

Prior Provincial

The Maltese Augustinian Friars gathered for the Ordinary Provincial Chapter 2022, while showing solidarity with the Ukrainian people who are currently suffering from the harsh attacks on their lives and their freedom, express their condemnation for any form of war and threat to the freedom and life of every person, especially the most vulnerable in society.

Our Father Saint Augustine affirms that “peace is the goodness of the heart that is shared with friends, but not like the sharing of bread. If you want to distribute bread, the larger the number of people you share with, the less you have to distribute. Peace, on the other hand, is like the bread of the miracle that continued to multiplicate in the hands of the disciples as they shared and distributed it. " (Sermon 357, 2)

In this light, we would like to show our support first and foremost through earnest prayer to God to show his mercy by the gift of peace to the Ukrainian people. Saint Augustine himself urges "those who love peace and desire to possess it" to "do their utmost to multiply those who possess it." (Sermon 357, 3) We would therefore like to express our concrete support and solidarity by a donation to the initiative to welcome Ukrainian refugees of our Augustinian brothers in Poland and the projects with the same goal promoted by Caritas Malta.

Issued by the Secretariat of the Ordinary Provincial Chapter 2022

The Santa Rita Priory, St. Julian's

16th March 2022

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