BULLETIN NO. 6
Part-time Secretary for APAC Secretariat
A young lay woman who hails from Mindanao in the south of the Philippines has begun work as a part time secretary at the APAC Secretariat in Manila.
As we are trying to make the Secretariat the hub for APAC communications, she has been employed to assist the official APAC Secretary (Sr Jocy Widwid, pictured at left) in this task.
Should you wish to make any enquiries regarding APAC activities please do not hesitate to contact the Secretariat. The secretary will normally be in the office Monday, Wednesday, and Friday (8am – 5pm). If she cannot help you she will at least be able to put you in touch with someone who can.
APAC SECRETARIAT : Tel. 721-54-45 Fax. 725-27-27.
Augustinians, Sydney, Australia
............Paul Skippen, the employed full-time family and youth ministry coordinator of the Augustinian Parish of North Harbour (Sydney, Australia), is producing a weekly e-newsletter for parishioners who request it.
............This e-newsletter is a quite separate production from the printed parish newsletter that is available at the church doors each Sunday.
............Sensing a need for easily-available material to assist reflection, spiritual journaling and prayer by parish members of various ages, Paul introduced this practice to this Augustinian parish last September.
............The reflection is based upon the Gospel readings of the Mass of the previous Sunday.
............Upon request, this weekly e-newsletter is transmitted to people each Monday afternoon as an e-mail attachment. During Lent 2007, Paul intends to provide a similar e-newsletter daily, based once more on the Gospel readings of Lenten weekdays.
............Paul is willing to add to the e-mailing list anyone who requests it.
............To see a recent copy of this e-newsletter that is attached to this web site, click here.
............If you wish to have the weekly e-newsletter (and the daily Lenten e-newsletter) automatically e-mailed to you, send your e-mail address to firstname.lastname@example.org
APAC Joint Formation Program for Novices, April 2007.
............The APAC Formation and Spirituality Commission is presenting a fourteen-day Joint Formation Program for Novices on 16th-28th April 2007.
............It will take place at Holy Family Retreat House, Nivel Hills, Lahug, Cebu City in the Philippines.
............The venue overlooks Cebu City (see photo), and is thirty minutes drive from the Minior Basilica of the Santo Nino.
............So far there are eleven novices enrolled, being nine from the Province of Cebu of the Order of Saint Augustine and two from the Augustinian Sisters of Our Lady of Consolacion.
............The presenters at the program include Fr Peter Jones O.S.A. of Australia (“Spiritual Interiority”), Fr Andew Batayola O.S.A., Rector of the Minor Basilica (“Confessions of Augustine”), Sr Niceta Vargas O.S.A., President of Regina Carmeli (“Augustine’s Justice and Peace ministry”), Sr Ma. Luz Mijares O.S.A. (“Community Life and Vows”), and Fr John Paul Szura O.S.A. (“Justice and Culture”).
............The Chair of the APAC Formation and Spirituality Commission is Fr. Alan M. Otadoy O.S.A. at SACS in Quezon City. Opening remarks at the Program will be made by Sr Carmeli Catan O.S.A., the Vice-President of APAC.
............Further information about the Program is available from the APAC Secretariat in Manila: email@example.com
Delegation of Korea
............Members of the Order of Saint Augustine first arrived in Korea in 1985, and in April 1994 opened what is now their central house in Incheon in April 1994. Their assets in Incheon were in December 2006 considerably enlarged.
............After months of delay because of building permit problems, concerns from neighbours, and a longer than usual rainy season, work finally began at the beginning of August 2006 on the St. Rita Spirituality Centre and new accommodation premises for those living at the Augustinian home for boys, “No-rang Na-rang” (“You and I”).
............The two new buildings (see architectural sketch above) are situated directly behind St. Augustine’s Priory in Incheon on the former site of the old No-rang Na-rang Home, which has been demolished, and on a small adjacent block of land purchased three years ago. The site was blessed on 1st May 2006.
............The St. Rita Spirituality Centre seats more than 200 people for lectures and one day conferences which are already being planned for 2007. In addition the space will be used for the celebration of the Eucharist at our Saturday morning masses. In recent years the number attending these Masses has grown and it became apparent that a more spacious facility was needed. It is also hoped that the centre will become the venue for some sacred and classical music concerts during the year.
............In the new No-rang Na-rang Home there is accommodation for two Augustinians, a house mother, and up to eight boys.
............The building (see photos above) was blessed and officially opened on 27th December 2006 by the Bishop of Incheon, the Most Rev Boniface Choi. In attendance was Fr Tony Banks O.S.A. (Provincial superior), Bro. Barnabas Kim O.S.A, (regional superior), local Augustinians, visiting clergy and religious sisters, and friends of the Augustinians.
............For sixty photographs of the Order of Saint Augustine in South Korea, choose the photo gallery named Korea after you click on the link below: http://augnet.org/default.asp?ipageid=6
Recollect Augustinians, Philippines
...........The Augustinian Recollects held the 3rd OAR Mission Congress in Manila on 4th-6th December 2006 as a fitting way of culminating the Augustinian Jubilee.
...........This was attended by men and women delegates from OAR mission territories all over the world and the members of the OAR Family in the Philippines and Taiwan.
...........The occasion was also a celebration of the hundredth anniversary of the death of St. Ezekiel Moreno O.A.R., European and member of the Augustinian Family, who spent fifteen years of his missionary life among the Filipinos in Asia and eighteen years at Columbia in Latin America.
...........The culmination of the Augustinian Jubilee also coincided with the 400th anniversary of the presence of the Augustinian Recollects in the Philippines and Asia. The Recollects arrived in the Philippines in May 1606.
...........Historical markers on the sites of the first convent and the first church built by the early Recollect missionaries and other signs of OAR heritage (cathedrals, the Black Nazarene and the Virgin de la Salud, towns and churches, the Bamboo organ, to name a few) were erected by the Philippines National Historical Institute.
...........Some of these markers were inaugurated by the Prior General of theRecollects, together with government authorities (headed by the Vice-President of the Philippines) and the superior of the local Recollect Province of St Ezekiel Moreno during the days the Mission Congress last December.
Presently the Recollects of the Province of St Ezekiel Moreno focus their attention on the missions in Africa, Latin America, and Taiwan. In support of the brothers in more difficult assignments, the religious in the more established areas of apostolate intensify permanent formation in humility and poverty and the life of stricter community.
...........For the Recollects, the year 2007 has been declared as “The Year of St Ezekiel Moreno”, and 2008 “Augustinian Recollect Vocation Year.”
............The Philippines website of the Augustinian Recollects is:
............Regarding the proposed beatification of the 188 Japanese martyrs including Thomas Jihyoe of Saint Augustine O.S.A., there was a meeting of cardinals on 6th February 2007.
............Their beatification was unanimously approved by those present. The final decision is now in the hands of the Holy Father.
............How soon he will make an announcement is not known.
............However, the preparation for the beatification is well underway in the Archdiocese of Nagasaki, which will host a beatification ceremony for the first time in the history of the Catholic Church in Japan.
............For APAC, a new short biography was written about the Japanese Augustinian martyr, Blessed Thomas Jihyoe O.S.A. It is available at: http://www.augnet.org/default.asp?ipageid=1331&iParentid=756
.............Photos of Augustinian ministry in Japan are available in two photo galleries named "Japan: Nagasaki" and "Japan: Fukuoka and Tokyo" at: http://www.augnet.org/default.asp?ipageid=6
Discalced Augustinians in Cebu
After barely ten years at Cebu in the Philippines, the Discalced Augustinian Fathers have instituted a school for the religious aspiring to learn theology and for those seeking renewal courses in theology and religious life.
. .........The St. Monica Institute of Religious Studies (SMIRS - photo at right) began operation in June 2004 under the graduate program of the University of San Agustin-Iloilo.
The teaching faculty comprises of religious priests and sisters from the OAD (Discalced Augustinians), OSA (Order of Saint Augustine), OAR (Augustinian Recollects) and from other congregations who have specialized field of learning in religious life and theological disciplines.
Formators from the diocesan seminary also lend support of their time and expertise from time to time.
A Strategic Plan will be drafted in March 2007 to put in place another three-year program for the SMIRS. Preparations will center on enhancing the teaching-learning strategies, administrative controls and flow of functions, and bringing about an expanded network of resources and pool of additional qualified professors.
Through the SMIRS, the OAD mission in the Philippines is expanding. In SMIRS, academic expertise in spirituality and religious life are some of its major strengths. Some brothers are now taking specialized studies in Rome in view of their apostolate in the religious institute.
...........Specializations in Liturgy, Church History and Patristics, Fundamental theology, Canon Law, Sacraments, etc. are undertaken by those OAD priests and brothers to help provide for the future staffing of SMIRS.
...........The OAD goal for SMIRS is to contribute to the Church a relevant, holistic, spiritual, pastoral, academic formation in religious life and theological enterprise.
...........The dean and communications director of SMIRS is Fr. Robin A. Dumaguit O.A.D.
APAC Cross-cultural Immersion Program, November 2007
............APAC is offering for the first time a six-day Cross Cultural Immersion Program. This will take place near Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental, Philippines on 11th-19th November 2007 (See maps below).
............It is expected that participants will be APAC religious and educators involved with social justice.
............The program is being prepared by the APAC Commission on Justice and Peace, and will be centred at the Mother Rita Homes II at Candau-ay, Dumaguete City. Two of a number of addresses during the program will be given by Sr Carmeli Ma. Catan of the Augustinian Sisters of Our Lady of Consolation (Commission Chair) and Fr Tony Banks O.S.A. of Australia (Commission Vice-Chair).
............The Immersion Program aims to offer the participants four benefits.
............The first benefit is an experience on how to install a responsive and relevant induction program for agents of community development;
............The second is an initial opportunity to develop and write an effective community development curriculum focusing on fostering cross-cultural understanding, peace and sustainable community development;
............The third is an experience in planning to install an efficient and effective implementation, supervision and evaluation system for the project and expand the prototype model for wider community replication.
............The fourth benefit is an exposure to a cross-cultural experience of immersion to a sustainable community development model.
............Three full days of the program are devoted exclusively to a direct immersion experience.
............For further information and enrolment procedures for the program, contact the APAC Secretariat in Manila at firstname.lastname@example.org
Augustinians of the Assumption, Korea
...........On 23rd January 2007 Brother Peh-Ho (Joseph) A.A. of Seoul was ordained to the diaconate at the cathedral at Gwangju in the South Cholla Province of south-western Korea. The ceremony was conducted by the local prelate, Archbishop Chway Chang Moo (see photo).
...........Joseph is the first Korean-born Augustinian of the Assumption to become a deacon. In the normal course of events, his priestly ordination should occur in Spring 2008.
...........He is one of two Assumptionist seminarians studying theology at the major seminary in Gwangju, and a third is undertaking taking two years for novitiate and language study in France. In recent times, two other Koreans have successfully applied for postulancy.
...........The Assumptionists arrived in Korea in 1991, and opened their monastery in Gwangju in October 2005. The Congregation opened their first house in the Philippines at Manila in January 2006.
............The Augustinians of Japan are at present celebrating another step in the progress towards priesthood of one of their members, for on Sunday, 11th February 2007 Noritoku Paul Yamano O.S.A. will be ordained a deacon of the Catholic Church.
............Noritoku will be ordained to the deaconate in a religious service that also involves one priest candidate and two diaconal candidates of the Archdiocese of Nagasaki.
............The ceremony will occur in Noritoku’s home city of Nagasaki. The venue will be the Cathedral Church of Urakami (pictured), which is dedicated in honour of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception. This cathedral was completely rebuilt after the atomic bomb of 1945 exploded immediately above this site.
............Further details will be added here as they become available sometime after the ceremony.
.............Photos of Augustinian ministry in Japan are available in two photo galleries named "Japan: Nagasaki" and "Japan: Fukuoka and Tokyo" at: http://www.augnet.org/default.asp?ipageid=6
Vicariate of the Orient
............The National Commission of Culture and Arts of the Philippines Government has approved a plan to conserve and repair the historic monastery and church of San Agustin at Intramuros, Manila. This will be a long-term government project in receipt of government funding.
............After recent preparatory studies, the decision was made to give initial priority to the restoration of the stone walls of the inner cloister of the monastery, and to the restoration of the windows on the first and second level of its inner corridors. This work began in October 2006, and is due for completion in February 2007.
............Subsequent stages of the work will be more comprehensive and much more expensive. This includes the repair and improvement of drainage around the buildings, which are 400 years old, and work on the roof.
............Within the monastery the famed Museum of San Agustin, under the direction of Fr Pedro Galende O.S.A., is presenting a display of a hundred archival photographs that show some of the history of the church and monastery. These heritage-listed buildings were constructed by the Order of Saint Augustine between 1587 and 1606.
............As well as the museum, the monastery houses the Augustinians who attend to the Church of San Agustin, and also novices of the Vicariate of the Orient and the Delegation of Tanzania, both of which jurisdictions are part of the Province of the Holy Name of Jesus (the “Philippines Province”).
............For thirty photographs of the Order of Saint Augustine in Intramuros, choose the photo gallery named Philippines: Intramuros after you click here: http://augnet.org/default.asp?ipageid=6
Province of Cebu
............Within the Order of Saint Augustine, the Province of the Holy Infant of Cebu (Philippines) has plans well underway for the development of a retreat and spirituality centre at Consolacion, Cebu (the second locality north of Cebu City). Five hectares – about 13 acres - of land has been purchased on an elevated sloping terrain, with views to the sea.
............Architectural plans (above) are now completed. Regarding the plan, all three main structures shown are part of the retreat centre. The bigger building on the right contains the main assembly hall. Its upper floor of which is convertible into a big assembly area of over 100 people, and into smaller conference rooms. The lower floor will be the refectory and kitchen. The basement would contain the utility rooms.
............At the left will be the chapel build. Its upper floor will house the chapel proper, while the lower floor will be smaller conference rooms and counselling rooms.
............Beyond the chapel to the top-left edge of the drawing is shown three small buildings, two of which are dormitories for single or double occupancy, and one building is intended for group occupancy.
............Eventually to be included in the property will be a new novitiate and the house for the Augustinian Provincial house.
............For over twenty photographs of the Order of Saint Augustine in the Province of Cebu, choose the photo gallery named Philippines: Province of Cebu after you click here: http://augnet.org/default.asp?ipageid=6
Masters Program in Augustine
A summer program leading to a Master of Arts degree in the study of St Augustine has begun at the Saint Augustine Centre of Studies (SACS) at Quezon City in Metro Manila.
The new Masters program was officially launched at the SACS graduation ceremony on 27th March 2006, and the first units of the program were taught from10th April to 20th May 2006.
There are choices of outcome available within the program. These give different options such as equipping the student to teach Augustine to others, or else preparing the student for further studies in Augustine at a doctoral level.
For example the option that leads to a Master of Arts in Teaching Augustine studies Augustinian pedagogy, Neo-Platonism, Augustinian metaphysics and Augustine’s theory of knowledge. It then surveys Augustine’s sermons, letters, and major books.
The full program is expected to require three summers of classes by each student, and variously also some comprehensive examinations or the writing of a thesis.
............Students from overseas or other parts of the Philippine can apply for summer accommodation as SACS (photo at right), depending on its availability.
The next courses will be offered in April-May 2007.
............The four projected Institute courses for Summer (April – May) 2007 are:
............Special Questions on St. Augustine (Augustine and the Bible) (3units). Lecturer: Sr. Niceta Vargas, OSA, PhD (Catholic University of Louvain, Belguim): April 16 – 20, 2007.
............St. Augustine in Modern World (3 units). Lecturer: Fr. John Paul Szura, OSA, PhD (Illinois Institute of Technology / Fordham University, USA): April 24 – 27, 2007.
............St. Augustine on Memory (3 units). Lecturer: Macario Ofilada, PhD (University of Salamanca, Spain): Dates TBA.
............St. Augustine and Mysticism (3units). Lecturer: Fr. Andrew Batayola, OSA, MA, MTh Spirituality (Catholic Institute of Sydney, Australia): May 7 –12, 2007.
Printed information on the course in general and in particular, plus enrolment details, are available in a brochure that may be obtained by writing to the St Thomas of Villanova Institute of Philosophy, Saint Augustine Center of Studies, Fisheries Street, Visayas Avenue, 1100 Quezon City, Philippines.
Augustinian Sisters of God's Mercy
............The Augustinian Sisters of God's Mercy are an Indonesian congregation with membership in APAC. Much of the ministry of their 105 religious sisters in fourteen different communities focuses on the provision of medical clinics in the region of Indonesia called Kalimantan Barat (formerly Borneo ).
............Sr Augustini (general superior) and Sr Gabriella Titin (APAC liaison person) attended the APAC Convention in Incheon, Korea in July 2005.
............In the vast region of Kalimantan Barat, many of the Augustinian Sisters work in first aid centres, of which eleven now exist.
............A clinic they began in 1963 has now developed into their largest apostolic venture - the eighty-bed Fatima Hospital at Ketapang, West Kalimantan. Its grand opening ceremony took place on 9th August 2006. Thirty-six of the Sisters will work in the hospital and adjacent clinic, as nurses and administrators. Two doctors are employed full-time in the hospital, and another six part-time.
............Hospital facilities have in fact operated on the site as an enlarged clinic with twelve inpatient beds since 1973 (see photo).
............In writing about the opening of the Fatima Hospital, Sister Augustini said, “Praise the Supreme Lord for His majesty in all miracles in our life. Because of His glory, the development of our hospital is now fully accomplished.”
............Building of the hospital turned into a very protracted process. It was constructed mainly on donations that came from outside of West Kalimantan, and at one crucial point a promised major donation did not eventuate.
............A number of APAC jurisdictions have donated to the Fatima Hospital project. To enquire about doing so, contact Sr Gabriella Titin O.S.A. at Ketapang (who speaks English). The postal address is Augustinian Sisters of God’s Mercy, Jl General Sudirman 31, Ketapang 78813, Kalimantan Barat, Indonesia.
............Augnet, a comprehensive web site on Saint Augustine and the Order of Saint Augustine, was fully redesigned and renovated in May 2006.
............It contains over 1,200 pages of text, which also contain over 1,645 illustrations. The Augnet web site was officially "launched" at a ceremony in Sydney in August 2002, with the Augustinian Prior General from Rome as the guest of honour.
............New technical features in the renovated Augnet include a search engine, which searches every page of Augnet for any word or phrase that is nominated by a user, and a site map, which quickly allows a visitor to see and understand the local arrangement of Augnet's sections and sub-sections.
............Over 1,930 large images in extensive photo galleries illustrate of Augustinian events and places internationally. Between August 2002 and April 2006 Augnet served 63,000 different hosts/URLs, and presumably many of these hosts have visited Augnet more than once.
............These hosts have downloaded 734,000 pages of Augnet. This is an average of 17,000 pages per month, 580 pages per day and 24 pages per hour throughout that period of forty-four months. By the end of January 2007, the web site has attracted over 901,000 visitors.
............There were 26,219 separate visits to the Augnet website during the calendar month of January 2007, which is an average of over 800 visitors a day. In past weeks there have been three days that saw over 1,000 visitors.
............Visit this web site at http://www.augnet.org
News and general details about the Order of Saint Augustine internationally is located at: