So I need to be anyone special?
No. We're not looking for superman. However, there are some requirements.
You need to be between 18 and 50, although exceptions can be made according to individual circumstances.
You need to have finished secondary school and be qualified for tertiary studies. The study you take may be theological studies for the priesthood or it may be another form of study that prepares you for a ministry in the Church - teaching, social work, nursing...the field is wide open.
The study and training are aimed at equipping you for your work as a member of the Order in parish, education, the caring professions, wherever you can best use your skills and gifts within the Order.
We would encourage you not to come too early in life. A bit of experience of life after school in a work, study or family setting will help you to mature and have a better understanding of yourself, others and the world. Experience like this is invaluable.
Spiritual and Personal Qualities
You must be healthy with a good, healthy appreciation of life. You need to appreciate your own humanity and humanness, living life in reasonably normal ways as a Christian.
You need to have a level of maturity as you are looking at a life that is lived in common as a celibate, while taking on some demanding work in your life. You need to be a person of faith, living out that faith in the Catholic community
A sense of humour would be handy.
What does God want of me?
If you're moved onto this page, this question may well be exercising your mind. One tried and true way to find the answer is called discernment.
Discernment means taking special time to listen to God in your life. It involves praying, reflecting on the Scriptures, examining your life and sharing with someone who can listen to and reflect with you. This person is a trusted companion, someone who keeps confidences and is a person of faith with some recognised skills and standing in the Church.
What does discernment mean?
You might spend your whole life discerning and never get a direct answer. It's a matter of being open to God in your life and world and responding to Him as best you can.
Perhaps this story will help.
If someone gets run over outside your house, you know what to do - ring the emergency number for the police and ambulance. In this case, discernment is pretty much instantaneous.
In terms of what to do in your life, it's generally not so instantaneous, but you can build up a picture and come to a reasonable and mature decision.
John Henry Newman was a famous man of the English Church of the last century. His prayer may help you:
As you can see, discernment is not easy. There is no quick fix solution. But don't give up hope. You are not alone and help is always available.
Help is available - there is a process
So you think you might like to go further and consider joining the Augustinians. What's the next step?
There is a way forward. This web site gives you information on how to contact us. Your first point of contact should be the Vocation Director of the Province at the Administration Office in Sydney. He will send you material.
After this initial contact you might like to meet him in person, or another Augustinian who may live near you. This can be arranged, but, as always in this process, the ball is in your court. Nothing will be done without your say-so.
The other side of this is that discernment about becoming an Augustinian is a two-way process. We are also discerning about taking you into our brotherhood. This is not about being personal or biased. It's about the reality that not everyone is suited to this way of life, just as some are not suited for the army or an office job. The process aims to find out - from both sides. It's about getting to know us and us getting to know you.
Another prayer that may help is one of Thomas Merton, a 20th Century American Trappist who was a great spiritual writer and guide. He wrote:
So it is time to move on
Now it is time for the next step - accompaniment. This is the way chosen of getting to know each other better within a structured relationship that takes you into a time of reflecting on God in your life and what is being said to you in your life.
You will be asked to meet with an Augustinian over a period of time for reflection and discussion on topics ranging from God and self to religious life, ministry and vocation in the Christian tradition.
The Augustinian is there to help you: to listen and respond reflectively to what you share. You and he will be looking to reach a sense of where to next:
The next stage is the Come and See period. It is just what it suggests. Come and live in an Augustinian community for at least six months and see what you think. You keep up your work or study; you just move in and we work together towards a decision.
Will I apply to join the Augustinians and will we accept you?
If the answer is "yes", then it is time to begin the formal period of your initial formation with the Order, living, studying, working, praying and reflecting within our religious community. The aim is twofold:
We hope this brief outline of what life as an Augustinian is about has been helpful. We wish you well. If you have any questions about our life, please get in touch. We would be delighted to help in any way.
If you would like to find out more, please take the time to fill out this form:
Father Anthony Banks osa