THE SOCIETY OF
else, beloved love God, then your fellowmen: for these are the chief
commandments given to us" (Rule of St. Augstine)
The Society of
The primary aim of the Society of St. Augustine is to be a bridge for the
laity and their modeling the future of religious life with an emphasis on
evangelization of small Christian communities particularly those not already
associated with the parish model.
The Augustinian spirituality is so fundamental to the Catholic Church
with an emphasis on the community life of the church. It is the aim of the
Society of St. Augustine to support and affirm the existing rich spiritual
Augustinian heritage. The Augustinian models of spirituality is not a new
spirituality rather a historical one that is ever adaptable to the present
times. It is the intention of the Society of St. Augustine to apply traditional
Augustinian heritage to a modern day community with particular concern for
evangilization and the promotion of the Gospel of Life.
The Society of St. Augustine seeks to be a beacon of faith, and spiritual
renewal in a diocese for evangelization and hospitaltiy promoting the Holy
Father's values of the Gospel of Life.
of Life: the Fullness of Life Jn.
"In the first
place, live together in harmony and be of noe mind and heart in God; for this is
the purpose of your coming together" (Rule
Vocation: Augustine was a man
with a restless heart in constant search for the love of God. He was never
satisfied with himself or with complacency. His heart could only be satisfied
when it rested with the Lord. “For you have created us for yourself O Lord and
our hearts are restless until they rest in thee.
Those who follow way of life to the Society of St. Augustine are also in
pursuit of finding their hearts desire to rest with the Lord. They may be
likened to laborers searching and waiting to be invited
for work in the field. At different times of the day the Master calls
them to go work in his field. Likewise,
those chosen to the Society of St. Augustine will vary in interest, age and
experience as they are called to community to work in the Lord’s vineyard.
If they have the desire of the "restless heart" to seek and
find him, God will fulfill their spiritual longing. Those who respond to the
call to live the charism of Augustine in the way of life of The Society of St.
Augustine, may be priest or laity seeking to be in one mind and heart in Christ.
(unamiter et concorditer)
There shall be two levels of membership within the Society of St.
Augustine; permanent members who make evangelical promises living in the
community will form the core community and the lay affiliates who join
themselves by affiliation. The core
community are those called to permanent faithful witness to the Gospel values
lived out in the community of the Augustinian way of life in and through the
charism of the Society of St. Augustine. Some of these members may be permanent
affiliates who are called and accepted by the community to join them.
Permanent Affiliates: may be offered to those who desire the heremetical
life style but do not live the life
in common yet are drawn to affiliation to the community through witness,
participation in the liturgies, charism and apostolate of the community
according to their individual state of life in the church be they clerics,
married, or single.
Permanent Membership in the Society will be determined after a period of
formation and discernment process that demonstrates the person is committed to a
life of holiness and firmly dedicated to the Augustinian ideals of self-giving
for the common good. After a period of formation they will make their commitment
to the community by way of evangelical promises according to their individual
state of life.
The commitment or task in which the lay affiliates will be engaged will
determine temporary affiliation. They will enjoy the spiritual benefits of the
Society of Augustine but not the same level of privileges and commitments as the
permanent affiliate members.
All Affiliates will enjoy the Spiritual Benefits of the Society of St. Augustine
celebrating prayer through the
Liturgy of the Hours and Mass, and special Augustinian Feast Days, spiritual
devotions, and expected to join for
a monthly spiritual gathering.
Any baptized Catholic of good character and having no canonical
impediments in the Church may be received into the Society of St. Augustine in
responding to the vocation that God is calling them to accept.
hearts be fixed on higher things, not seeking for the empty things of
earth" (Rule of
“Live as one in the house with one soul and one heart oriented toward
the Lord” In accordance with this
sentence of the rule the religious will always live and work within an
established community, unless for special reasons granted permission by the
local superior to live outside the community.
It is the spiritual force of the Augustinian rule that the brethren be of
“one mind and heart”. So dear
was this mandate to Augustine that he
describes in his reflection of Psalm 133, the spiritual fellowship of the
brethren .“How beautiful and pleasing where brethren dwell in unity it is
like the oil that (mingles and copiously) runs down upon the beard of
Aaron and upon his collar”. The
call to live Community and be of one mind and heart is the greatest gift that
the Augustinian offers the Church. To build up the body of Christ, and be a
witness to unity in a spirit of prayerfulness
and service of charity to the Church.
In his love for spiritual fellowship, love for community, hospitality,
and friendship with others, disciple of
Temporary Affiliates may function with the core group of permanent members
however, they must make their own provisions for livelihood.
The Society of
"I presume not
on my own strength to redeem the vows I have made you who did exhort me to make
these vows will assist me to fullfil them" .... (Confessions of
Following the inspiration of the Augustine's reflection on the Christian
ideals of the Beatitudes of Jesus who is single-hearted, poor in spirit, and
obedient to the Father, members of the Society of St. Augustine will
themselves by a lifestyle to
Christian Chastity, Poverty, and Obedience according to their individual state
and purity of heart)
you hearts pure.... the eye that is
not modest is a sign of an impure soul"
Is a selfless way of life chosen with the grace of God
to be of one heart and one mind with
God. “Blessed are the
single-hearted for they shall see God” Chastity
consists in a reverence for the sacramental holiness of one’s self, and
of others. Chastity is rooted in charity and charity is rooted in God. “God is
love and anyone who is begotten in God is begotten in love” 1Jn.
says, “faith which works through love makes the heart pure”… so strive for
peace with all men, and for that holiness without which no one can see God”
(p17 “On the Beatitudes”)
Perfect charity therefore shines forth in a particular way through
perfect chastity by which the religious consecrates himself for God alone and
for the sake of the kingdom.
Chastity frees the committed person to love without selfishness or
sensuality. Lived chastity is a special gift of grace for consecrated celibacy.
Only by this grace constantly asked for, received and expressed is the religious
capable of a total unlimited single-heartedness for the Lord.
By his commitment to Christian chastity the individual obligates himself
by virtue of love for God to avoid every act opposed to chastity and to guard
purity of body, heart and soul and “to glorify God whose temple he has
The vigilance of prayer and the mutual prayerfulness of the members of
the community strengthen chastity. The individual seeks the invocation of the
Blessed Virgin Mary under the title of Our Lady of Consolation who gives prompt
help to anyone who calls upon her intercession.
"To want a
little is better for us than to have too much" (Rule of
In conformity to the Rule of St. Augustine, the disciple of
Members of the Society of St. Augustine
will strive to recognize the constant generosity and blessings of God and
to honor God in his created beauty. They
will model themselves to Christ whose poverty made him rich in spiritual graces,
owning only that which is required
for sustenance, and holding all else in common for
the sake of sharing with
other the goods necessary for the welfare of the community or for the welfare of
the Church at large.
The individual member has a responsibility of sharing in the goods of the
community as well as respecting, conserving and protecting them, not for selfish
gain, rather because Christian stewardship demands responsible living and
managing one’s life for the glory of the Lord.
The individual must make it his effort to be available and sensitive to
the needs of the poor around him
by choosing an attitude of poverty of spirit and witnessing
by his life style and ministry of simplicity and humility.(#8 Rule of St.
superior as a father. Let the
superior deem himself happy for the opportunity not of exercising authority, but
of serving you in charity" (Rule
Following in the footsteps of Christ who was obedient to the Father even
unto death, individual members submit themselves in the spirit of faithfulness
to the Spiritual Moderator and the local diocesan Bishop in order that they
might conform themselves to doing the will of God.
Obedience is a radical liberation from self-interest and a total trust in
the will of God as manifested through the patrimony of the local Spiritual
Moderator and the needs of the local community.
Motivated by the Holy Spirit, obedience is a love for the will of God at
every moment and time. This grace frees the individual for total self-giving in
whatever environment or situation he is
placed by the Father’s providential care.
Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done.
The promise of obedience
requires of the individual the total compliance of mind and heart to the
prompting of the Holy Spirit as manifested through the Spiritual Moderator and
the deliberations of the community
at the present moment.
Spiritual Moderators should exercise their authority in a spirit of
service to the brothers always seeking the common good and the good of the
Church, “for he who is to rank first among you must serve the needs of all.”
By virtue of the promise of obedience the individual assumes the
obligations of complying with the guidance of the Spiritual Moderator in matters
that pertain to the common good of the community and the moral good of the
The Spiritual Moderator should not impose a formal precept of obedience, unless
for serious cause and in writing or at least before two witnesses.
of the Spiritual Moderator:
prefers the common interests to the good of the individual, not the individual
to the common good. Let charity which endures forever, rule over all
things" (Rule of
Be responsible for the Spiritual guidance and accountability of the community to
itself and to the Church , namely through the
(Arch) Bishop of the particular diocese. To make an annual report
to the Bishop on the state of the local community.
To serve the local community in the celebration of Mass and in supporting the
practice of common prayer either the Liturgy of the Hours or other forms of
meditations and Holy hours of community worship.
To assist in the instruction and formation of new members called to join
the Society of St. Augustine as members of the core community.
To seek the promotion of growth and recruitment of new members to the Society of
To guide the local community in fulfilling its goals and purposes as the
constitution sets out for its members.
To provide for the acquisition of manuals, study plans, rituals, norms,
and other pertinent literature for the spiritual good of the members of the
Society of St. Augustine.
To facilitate meetings as the spiritual moderator
for general and particular gatherings.
"Do not call
anything your own but hold all in common, let distribution be made to each one
according to his need" (Rule of
Shall be appointed or elected by the community for a three-year term. It
will be the duty of the procurator to be accountable for the economic
administration of the community’s temporal goods and to keep respectful
vigilance over them.
The procurator holds a legal position in relationship to the secular
authorities and will be a corporate member of the Society of St. Augustine Inc.
and so must operate in accord with civil and ecclesial law.
All duties that procurator may engage such as in contracts, buying and
selling of properties, must be in agreement of the other board members, and in
agreement of those elected community members who hold the trust of the welfare
and best interest of the community members.
It will be the duty of the Procurator to give an annual report to the
OF DIRECTOR OF FORMATION:
Must be a spiritual examplary individual, mature and
wholesome person knowledgeable of the charism
of the Society of St. Augustine. The director will assume
the responsibility in coordinating
with Spiritual Moderator for the spiritual formation of the affiliates for
permancy to the community and for ministy in service to the Church.
and affirm the spiritual growth and formation of members of the community. In
the case of priestly candidates it will be the duty of the director of formation
to see to it that each student meets the philosophical and theological
requirements necessary for approval to major seminary standards. The director
shall support both the clerical and non clerical student throughout spiritual
vigilance over one another, will God, who dwells within you grant your
protection" (Rule of
After being a lay affiliate for a period of time, an individual who enters the
community will spend a year of spiritual training for discernment of their
vocation. Following this year and supposing due approval, a commitment to the
community will be taken. For lay affiliates there will be a period of formation
and a decision made by the spiritual moderator to accept them into the
Admission to first commitment will become available upon the completion of a
canonical year of spiritual training and after the approval of the formation
team. The evaluation of the canditate will consist of the individuals
willingness to embrace the Augustinian way of life, their level of religious and
spiritual maturity, their comprehension of the life of spiritual promises, their
compatibility with the community and their willingness share their personal
gifts and talents for the common good.
First commitments of promises are for a period of three years, and may be
renewed for six years but no longer. The inidvidual after such time must either
make final commitments, or leave the community or be associated only by
Final commitments are for life. Final commitments will be made after the
individual has been approved by the formation team as worthy to demonstrate
permanency to the community. The individual committed thereby enjoys every right
and privilege of the community.
Dismissal from the community shall be only for grave and serious cause.
It can not happen without the legitimate authority of the Church, through a due
process for reconciliation and fraternal correction with charity and mercy. The
Supreme Moderator in consultation with the Council and the local bishop is
required before dismissal process can occur.
"When you pray
to God in psalms and hymns think in you heart what you lips ar uttering"
Dwelling in the house of the Lord; one thing I seek
Increase your heart’s desire
One heart and one mind
Community prayer and individual prayer will be governed by whatever is
necessary to establish and maintain the spirit and zeal of the local community.
Each community will determine this. However there will be certain
guidelines to help the brethren in their prayerful gatherings.
Daily Mass and the vigilance of Liturgy of the Hours are expected.
Augustine speaks of the desire of the heart as the basis for one’s
prayer life. The greater the desire to be with God the greater one’s prayer
life. He also notes that one’s
life is one’s prayer just as the correlative is true one’s prayer is the way
one lives his life.
Respecting this belief, the prayer of the individual will be a matter of
personal development under attentive and loving aegis of the community.
Each person must be encouraged and invited to recognize his /her owns
personality type and is taught the form of forms of spirituality most compatible
with each type. The whole
gamut of spiritual knowledge that is the heritage of the Church will be made
available to all members so that each one may draw upon whatever element of the
Church’s riches is most advantageous.
Members of the Society are encouraged to find life giving waters of
spiritual graces in the wellsprings of Eucharist adoration.
It is part of the missionary effort of the Society to spread devotion to
the Blessed Sacrament for the laity.
Since the objective of the foundation is an active-contemplative life the
following prayer regime is suggested, as an ideal:
One hour each day given to prayer, reading, and quiet
One half day each week
One full day each month
One nine day retreat each year
One month of solitude each five years
Persons in vows or orders will say the entire office each day, some hours
in common others in private. All
others will join them for the Liturgy of the Mass and for the major hours
For the Lay Affiliates prayer
will consist in their daily prayers of joining in the daily Eucharistic
liturgies whenever possible, the urging of making a holy hour once a week, the
daily prayer of the rosary and the Daily devotionals that are given in their
Augustinian Prayer books.
precepts in the spirit of charity, as lovers of Christ in the holiness of your
lives not as slaves under the yoke of the law, but as freemen living under
grace" (Rule of
In accord with the spirit of
Each individual should be convinced that discipline which leads to
holiness of life entails the firm commitment to continuous development of the
intellect for the love of spiritual beauty and the love of God.
AND REFRESHING THE SPIRIT:
for the enjoyment of good health" (Rule of
Work and play are co-relatives, not opposites.
If the religious does not enjoy the work then some corrective must be
found. Yet doing an efficient job
always entails some tension. It is
impossible to work and live with others without occasional personality
conflicts. Every community must
ensure that each member is given the opportunity for sufficient personal free
time, days off, and vacations, so that
mental and physical health will be assured
"Let your love
for one another be according to the spirit, not according to the flesh"
Psalm 133: reflects the initiative for friendship for Augustine, “How
beautiful and pleasing where brethren dwell in unity”
was a mark throughout Augustine’s life. He
acquainted himself with worthy friends who were his treasures. Friends who would
point him to the Truth, brethren whom he could lay bare his heart.
Spiritual friendship in the Lord, is that which builds up community life
and does not tear it down. It is not
jealous, or possessive, or prone to factions but seeks the Truth,
for it seeks unity with the Lord our true friend. So Jesus says: “where
two or three are gathered in my name there I am”
CARE MINISTRY: The Gospel of Life
"The Gospel of
Life is not for believers alone it is for everyone"
Pope John Paul II
The charism of the Society of St. Augustine is to enrich the Church by
working out a form of religious life that combines contemplation with service
and ministry. The criteria in choosing a ministry must be the need of the time
and place. Given the need, the
individual or the group will proceed
to exercise their ministry and further development of the prayer life of all
those involved in and affected by the ministry itself.
Among the list of activities and ministries, members of the Society of
St. Augustine may engage in the directing of spiritual retreat weekends,
providing hospitality for clergy and religious, the establishment of retirement
homes for Senior citizens, including priest and religious, hospitality for the
poor, and promotion of pro-life
ministries especially a national shrine for the unborn.
Special attention should be given to the call for evangelization, since
at this time of our history it is the desire of the Holy Father to celebrate the
Great Jubilee Year. The Society of St. Augustine will participate in this
endeavor by special days of prayer
in Eucharitic Adoration and in Spiritual Pilgrimages to Holy Shrines.
One particular ministry to be adopted for the care for the sick, is the
ministry of perinatal hospice, that is the care for terminally ill children or
babies whom requires vigilant and supportive health care until their
improvement or natural death.
other aspects of the charism:
Gospel of Life focus (moment of life
to natural death)
Divine Mercy focus
Heart of the Church
Common Life and Renewal
establish a National shrine for unborn.
support and promote all forms of the
pro-life ministries in the local
dioceses especially Project Rachel ministry, and other healing ministries for
parents of aborted children.
support Priests for Life projects and Sisters for Life activities for the
promote particular ministries for life for the handicapped, elderly, teens,
family ministry, married couples, divorced and single-parents, imprisoned etc.
Particular Augustinian Feast Days
of St. Monica May 4
of St. Rita May 22
of all the Deceased of the Order (Litany
of the Dead)
of St. Thomas Villanova November
of St. Nicholas of Tolentine September 10
of Our Lady of Consolation April 26
of the Holy Innocents Dec. 28
MEMORIAL MASSES AND DAYS OF LIFE CELEBRATIONS:
21 Feast of St. Agnes
Feast of the Presentation of the Lord
Feast of the Annunciation
Feast of Our Lady of Good Counsel
Feast of Our Lady of Visitation
Feast of the Sacred Heart
26 Feast of St. Joachim and Ann
Feast of the Queenship of Mary
Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows
Feast of the Guardian Angels
Feast of the North American Martyrs
Feast of the Presentation of Mary
Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe
from the Rule of
the Love of God and Neighbor:
all else, beloved love God, then your fellowmen: for these are the chief
commandments given to us.
the first place, live together in harmony and be of one mind and heart in God;
for this is the purpose of your coming together.
not call anything your own, but hold all that you have in common; let
distribution be made ….to each one according to his need.
their hearts be fixed on higher things, not seeking for the empty things of
earth, …..lest the monastery be of advantage to the rich and not to the poor,
if the rich are humbled there and the poor become proud.
yourselves to prayer at the hours and times appointed.
you pray to God in psalms and hymns thing in you hearts what your lips are
the Care of the Sick:
want a little is better for us than to have too much”
Dress and External Comportment
your dress be plain. Do not seek to
please by your apparel but by a good life”
your hearts pure, thus by your vigilance over one another, will God, Who dwells
within you grant your protection.
not the beginnings of evil go unchecked, but correct them as soon s they
appear…. To punish them carefully and in accordance with the truth, with
hatred for sin and love for the brother.”
the Care of Goods of the Community
charity prefers the common interests to the good of the individual, not the
individual to the common good. Thus
let charity which endures forever, rule over all things that minister to the
wants of this transitory life.”
him who has injured another by word of mouth by abusive language remember that
he ought to be ready to repair the wrong as soon as he can…he who was offended
ought to be ready to forgive. ‘Let your love for one another be according to
the spirit, not according to the flesh.
your superior as a father, Let the superior deem himself happy for the
opportunity, not of exercising authority, but of serving you in charity….
Observance and frequent reading of the Rule:
Lord grant that you may observe these precepts in the spirit of charity, as
lovers of Christ in the holiness of your lives; not as slaves under the yoke of
the law, but as freemen living under the dominion of grace.”
from the Gospel of Life:
“The Gospel of Life is at the heart of Jesus message”.
“Walk as children of the Light”
What is urgently called for is a general mobilization of
consciences, and a united ethical effort to activate a great campaign in support
of life. All together we must build
a new culture of life. p. 168
Reconcile people with life” p. 175 Gospel of Life
‘Your are called to bear witness to the meaning of
genuine love” p 175
The experience of motherhood makes you acutely aware of the
other person and, at the same time, confers on you a particular task:
“Motherhood involves a special communion with the mystery of life as it
develops in the woman’s womb.. I
would now like to say a special word to women who have had an
abortion. The Church is aware
of the many factors which may have influenced your decision, and she does not
doubt that in many cases it was a painful and even shattering decision.
The wound in your heart may not yet have been healed.
Certainly what happened was and remains terribly wrong.
Do not give in to discouragement and do not lose hope.
The Father of mercies is ready to give you his forgiveness and his peace
in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
“a great prayer for life is urgently needed.”
“Through special initiatives and in daily prayer, may an
impassioned plea rise to God, the Creator and lover of life, from every
Christian community, from every group and association, from every family and
from the heart of every believer.” P
The Gospel of life is not for believers alone: it is for
To be actively pro-life is to contribute to the renewal of
society through the promotion of the common good.
It is impossible to further the common good without acknowledging and
defending the right to life, upon which all the other inalienable rights of
individuals are founded and from which they develop.
The one who accepted “Life” in the name of all and for
the sake of all was Mary, the Virgin Mother; she is thus most closely and
personally associated with the Gospel of Life.
The woman clothed with the sun was with child.
Mary is truly the Mother of God, the Theotokos, in whose mother hood the
vocation to motherhood bestowed by God on every woman is raided to its highest
level. Thus Mary becomes the model of the Church, called to be the “new Eve”
the mother of believers, the mother of the “living”. Gn. 3:20
from Christifideles Laici:
“lay associations have always been present throughout the
Church’s history as various confraternities, third orders and sodalities
testify even today. .such lay groups have received a special stimulus, resulting
in the birth and spread of a multiplicity of group forms: associations, groups,
communities, movements. so great is
the richness and the versatility of resources that the holy Spirit nourishes in
the ecclesial community, and so great is the capacity of initiative and the
generosity of our lay people” p.
The lay faithful forming of lay groups comes from a
theology based on ecclesiology, as the Second Vatican Council clearly
acknowledged in referring to the group apostolate as a “sign of communion and
of unity of the Church of Christ” First
of all the freedom for lay people in the Church to for form such groups is to be
acknowledges flows from the
Sacrament of Baptism… p. 72
it is essentially in relation to the Church’s life of communion and to
Criteria for evaluation of lay groups:
The primacy given to the call of every Christian to
holiness as it is manifested in the fruits of grace which the spirit produces in
the faithful and in a growth towards the fullness of Christian life and the
perfection of charity.
The responsibility of professing the Catholic faith…..
The witness to a strong and authentic communion in filial
relationship to the Pope in total adherence to th4e belief that he is the
perpetual and visible center of unity of the universal Church, and with the
local Bishop; ….
The Conformity to and participation in the
Church’s apostolic goals, that is “ the evangelization and
sanctification of humanity and the Christian
formation of people’s conscience so as to infuse the spirit of the
Gospel into the various communities… p. 74
A commitment to
a presence in human society which, in light of the Church’s social doctrine
places it at the service of the
total dignity of the person.
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