Message from the Bishops to the Augustinian Recollect Family


Convened  by  the  Prior  General of  the  Order,  the Augustinian Recollect  Bishops have gathered in Rio de Janeiro from May 20 to 24, 2024, to share personal and pastoral experiences in the Churches where we have been sent. During these days, we experienced how the Holy Spirit is the protagonist of the synodal process; He opens us to listening to people and communities; makes dialogue authentic and fruitful; illuminates discernment; guides choices and decisions, and, above all, creates harmony.

We thank all members of our religious family for their witness and dedication to this charism that creates community in the Church. We fondly remember those who are limited by health and age, praying for the Order and the Church. The unconditional support of the Augustinian Recollect  family  helps  us share  our  lives  in different  particular  Churches, being prophets of hope through listening and accompanying everyone, excluding no one, showing our missionary dimension that moves us from complacency to the love of God.

Mercy is a necessary attitude in this time, originating from a personal encounter with Jesus Christ, helping us to come out of ourselves, out of our securities, remembering that the great changes in history occur when reality is seen not from the center but from the periphery. ARCORES sensitizes and supports us in the situations of poverty and vulnerability that we accompany in the dioceses and reminds us of what the Bishop of the poor, Saint Thomas of Villanova, wrote: “This world, like a great hospital, is full of needy and poor people… Do not think that only those you call poor, to whom you give food and clothing, are poor. Is not one who lacks faith, wisdom, judgment, common sense, reason, or sense even poorer? Do you pity the wounds of the body and not the ulcers of the soul? Open your eyes and, wherever you look, you will see a multitude of people who need your help” (In Dom, VI post Pentecosten, vol I, 749).

Obedience and communion with Pope Francis manifested in prayer and fidelity, dreaming of a poor Church for the poor. The Augustinian Recollect spirituality enriches the particular Church to be a house and school of communion through sincere listening and personal and community accompaniment. The presence of the Augustinian Recollect family in diocesan meetings benefits

everyone, promoting a lifestyle that facilitates synodality, being “a sacrament of unity and a bond of charity” (St. Augustine, Io. eu. tr. 16,13).

Being reconciled is a channel of grace and peace wherever we are. We are all called to be artisans of peace in a world where violence and ideologies seek to divide us. Pope Francis invited the Augustinian Recollects “to maintain with renewed spirit the dream of St. Augustine to live as brothers ‘with one heart and one soul’ (Rule 1, 2)”. A dream “that reflects the ideal of the first Christians and is a living prophecy of communion in this world of ours, so that there is no division, no conflicts, nor exclusion, but that concord reigns and dialogue is promoted”3.

Both the bishops who are still in charge of the portion of God’s people entrusted to us by the Lord, and those who have completed this mission and returned to the community as emeritus, remain united to Christ with the Augustinian Recollect charism in our Church. Let us renew together the missionary dimension that helps us dream, dialogue, and love with concrete actions.

Mother of Consolation, make love overcome every obstacle on the path to peace.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, May 25, 2024.

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