27th Augustinian Lecture Room on Education: “St. Augustine 3.0, Identity, Commitment and belonging in the Augustinian School”

During February 1st and 2nd the Spanish Augustinian Federation committee on education sponsored a lecture titled “St. Augustine 3.0, Identity, Commitment and belonging in the Augustinian School” at St. Augustine school in Madrid. 457 teachers from 46 Augustinian schools gathered for the weekend.
News | 2020 Feb 06

The event had lectures and opportunities for the teachers to share their classroom experiences.

Fr. Antonio Carron shared the first lecture. Carron is president of the Order’s General Secretariat on Education. He spoke about the teacher’s identity as an Augustinian teacher in an Augustinian school. Carron considered different writings of the great saint to share what a teacher must have to teach in an Augustinian school or college. Self identity comes from solid principles -ones own character- and the ability to be open to new experiences of growth. Carron also put emphasis that our “whys” and “hows” have a well-founded space and context which can assure any teacher in their Augustinian educational identity.

The second talk titled “Selfies and Walls” was given by Manuel Borrego. He started with Miguel Unamuno´s phrase “Let us strife to be more fathers of our future instead of children of our past”. He then analyzed various images that are clear reflections of a type of modern narcissism that finishes in death at the foot of a wall difficult to bring down. But he then took his listeners to new possibilities and greater expectations. All Augustinian schools and colleges must create the conditions necessary so that the future generations may have better lives.

Following last year’s outline, the afternoon was dedicated to listening to anyone who had a project they were doing in their school and deserved to be shared with the rest of the teachers. St. Augustine School from Valladolid, run by the Recollect Order, made a presentation about the relationship between neuroscience, mindfulness and interiority. A second presentation was made by the Augustiniano of Madrid and their solidarity activities. St. Rita school of Palencia made the final presentation on inclusion of special ed students. The day ended with a look back at Jose Luis Cortes comic book on St. Augustine which reached great popularity when it was first published.

The seminar finished Sunday morning with the celebration of the Holy Mass and a talk by Oscar Alonso on Augustinian education as an ecclesial commitment. The talk considered all the faculties’ efforts done in the different Augustinian schools, “even those who have done little, have done plenty”. He later compared the Good Samaritan parable and the multiplication of the loaves of bread to invite everyone to do the same; “feed them”. Ten commitments were formulated during the talk for all Augustinian teachers to follow in the classroom.

Fr. Rafael Mediavilla, Augustinian Recollect and vicar of the Province of St. Nicholas of Tolentine, made a summary of all the projects which were presented in the seminar. He thanked all for coming and officially concluded the 28th Augustinian Lectures on Education inviting all to assume the challenges and put everything learned into practice.

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