Let our communities and structures be experience of synodality

The last days of August bring with them the Solemnity of Our Holu Father Saint Augustine in which the Church looks at the figure of this great saint and celebrates him among those who lived their baptism in its fullness .

This is the call of all those who are part of the Christian community and who are called to constantly seek God together and celebrate their faith in the daily walk of life. This was the natural experience of the young Augustine who searched him with his friends even in the remotest places 'outside of himself', and with them he also shared what he found: the Lord 'who dwelt in him'. This is what our Mother Church invites us to share together, and live in an experience of faith and synodality that would not be the same without the contribution of each and everyone of us.

The word synod in itself refers to an assembly or meeting in which we listen to each other. In simple words, the reflection that the Church is inviting us to do right now is an opportunity to reflect on the place of each one of us in the community, the contribution that each one can give, the communion between us, the listening, and paying attention to each other and to what makes us who we are. In a homily that Cardinal Mario Grech had made on the Solemnity of Saint Augustine (Rome, 2020) speaking about synodality, he recalled that "for Saint Augustine the idea of ​​the Church as a community is one inclusive and not exclusive one, always ready to welcome, and open to everyone without distinctions or differences: its catholicity expresses a vocation for the whole."

This is the experience that I wanted to propose for our reflection this year, both for us as religious brethren who have just lived the experience of an Ordinary Provincial Chapter which was a beautiful moment that brought us together, and also for all of us as a Church who is venturing on a synodal journey. Surely this is not new talk for anyone of us, but we need to keep reminding each other that as baptized (and moreover for us religious as consecrated persons) this is a reflection that we should constantly keep doing as we seek to renew ourselves and our structures.

Today we live in a society that expects credibility from us, more than from others and rightly so. We have discovered an experience that brings with it a great responsibility to live it authentically and even more so to share it with others. The celebration of the holyness of Saint Augustine is a sign of hope that one day we can all reach this destination. The experience of being together is a characteristic intrinsically linked to our Augustinian identity and undoubtedley, an experience that society needs so much.

May our communities and structures be always small experiences of synodality and of the beauty of being together, of sharing the experience of God together, and above all of being his witnesses in everything we do. The fact remains that the whole experience of 'togetherness' can only be reached if it leaves from the small choices that each one of us do every day!


Fr Leslie Gatt osa

Prior Provincial

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