Order of St. Augustine
Teaching, Community Life
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Province Headquarters in Villanova, PA; Chicago, IL; and San Diego, CA
Patron Saints/Famous Saints of the Community
St. Augustine, St. Rita of Cascia, St. Nicholas of Tolentine, St. John of Sahagun
The Augustinians of North America are religious priests and brothers following in the footsteps of Christ and Saint Augustine since 1796. We are "Active Contemplatives." We sponsor Villanova University, Merrimack College, several high schools, and many parishes. We have a variety of ministries, including inner-city apostolates in the United States, preaching apostolates and missions in Japan and Peru.
We take our lead from Saint Augustine of Hippo, the 4th/5th century monk and bishop in North Africa. What was essential to Augustine when he gathered the original members of his community was capturing the spirit of the first Christians found in the Acts of the Apostles: a community that came together and shared all things in common, all the while ministering to God’s People.
Our common life is built on mutual acceptance and respect, kindness and concern, as well as a willingness to listen to others and to open oneself to them.
History of the Augustinians:
397 AD - St. Augustine writes his Rule for monastic life
1244 AD - Pope Innocent IV unites hermit communities into one "Order of St. Augustine
1256 AD - "The Grand Union" with further consolidation promoted by Pope Alexander IV
1796 AD - Augustinians begin ministering in North America, with first foundation in Philadelphia
Augustinian spirituality is a unique lens through which one can discover God. Stemming from Saint Augustine’s own life, his writings, and his teachings, Augustinian spirituality can largely be summed up as the act of journeying together in search of the Truth that is God.
This journey, as Augustine’s own life gives example, was not solely an internal journey toward God, but also a communal and outward journey. Augustine took scripture as a guide for truth, and specifically followed the example of the first Christian community described in the Acts of the Apostles. As such, he and the communities in which he lived followed Christ’s outward model of love through service to others. Augustinian life is thus one of action and contemplation.