“Faced with this situation that Humanity is experiencing, we cannot isolate ourselves and worry only about what is "mine" and what is "ours", but about the common good”

The Order of the Augustinian Recollects, Augustinian Recollect Nuns, Augustinian Discalced, Augustinian Recollect Sisters, Augustinian Recollect Missionaries, Augustinian Recollects of the Heart of Jesus, Augustinian Recollects of the Sick and the Comendadoras of Santiago form the Augustinian Recollect Family in the World. Their top leaders have sent a joint message for reflection and encouraging to charity action.
News | 2020 May 21

Dear sisters and brothers:

With this joint communiqué, the prior general of the Order of Augustinian Recollects, the federal mothers of the Augustinian Recollect Nuns of Spain and Mexico, the mother superior of the Augustinian Discalced, the Superiors General of the Augustinian Recollect Sisters, the Augustinian Recollect Missionaries, the Augustinian Recollects of the Heart of Jesus, the Augustinian Recollects of the Sick and the Comendadoras of Santiago, address the entire Augustinian Recollect Family to offer to all its members a common reflection on the situation created by the Covid-19 pandemic in the world, in the Church and in our ministries and communities.

We ask the Lord to infuse us with the gift of the Holy Spirit to recognize Jesus, who also comforts us today with the same words that he said to the disciples:

«Do not be afraid! I am with you until the end of time» (Mt 28,20).

We also ask for his Spirit to hear the voice of Christ in the cry of those who suffer the pandemic, as well as in all those who are victims of human injustice or any type of abuse. We want to hear the “cry of the earth and the cry of the poor” (Laudato Si’49).

During the coronavirus

For all of us, this has been a time of suffering. We have suffered and we suffer with those who suffer in our religious communities, in our families, parishes and educational centers and throughout the world. We have felt the death of dear brothers who have left us unexpectedly, victims of the coronavirus; their memory remains and the good they have done. We are concerned and are the object of our continuous prayer, the brothers hospitalized or confined to their homes or rooms.

We have not forgotten the words of Pope Francis in that memorable moment of prayer on March 27, in the desolate Plaza de San Pedro:

“In the middle of the isolation in which we are suffering from the lack of affection and encounters, experiencing the lack of so many things, once again we hear the announcement that saves us: Jesus is risen and lives by our side. The Lord commits us from his Cross to rediscover the life that awaits us, to look at those who claim us, to empower, recognize and encourage the grace that inhabits in us. Let us not extinguish the faint flame (cf. Is 42.3), which never fails, and let hope be revived”.

We know that in this time of confinement, the prayer of many communities, of the young ARYs, of the Secular Fraternitiesand Centers of Spirituality, has intensified. First of all, our contemplative sisters have done it, they have not stopped praying to the Lord asking for the human and spiritual health of the members of our Family and of the whole world.

This wave of prayer, moreover, has covered a modality that seems novel and especially precious to us. Because not only has it been prayed in the privacy of each group or community. Many of them have created communication groups and telematic platforms to pray together, or have transmitted online the Eucharist of which lay people, and even some religious communities, were deprived. Just as healthcare professionals and so many simple people have been moved by compassionate gestures, so the crisis has stimulated creativity in us, in the diversity and unity that the Spirit arouses.

Nor has there been a shortage of pastoral care for men and women religious who are in missions and parishes. Educational centers have taught online classes. National ARCORES associations have started small projects in the face of the pandemic. We have been receiving information about the initiatives that have been taken in women's congregations, in the provinces, vicaries, communities and apostolic works, as well as the willingness to collaborate with health agencies, dioceses and other institutions.

We cannot but bless the Lord for the charity, gratitude and hope that spring from the bottom of our hearts.

After the covid

The consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic can be even more damaging than the virus itself, especially for the most vulnerable communities living in the most unprotected countries. The health crisis will have a social impact, at work, in the economy, in human relations and also in our evangelizing mission.

The economic readjustments of each country are going to demand greater austerity from us while continuing to be generous in the face of the need for families that will fall into precariousness. All these phenomena that are going to characterize this era are a call to the imagination of charity, to be creative in order to be more human, to meet God, ourselves and others.

In our history, testimonies from communities that have distinguished themselves by being close to those who suffer, the poor and those who are in need are abundant. The best examples are our saints: Saint Nicholas of Tolentino, Saint Thomas of Vilanova, Saint Ezekiel Moreno, Mother Mariana of Saint Joseph, Blessed María of Saint Joseph, Sister Cleusa and many others. Their memory remains an example of charity towards the helpless, the elderly, and abandoned children.

Now it is up to us. Our charismatic heritage demands it of us, and Pope Francis also summons us, urging us:

"This is not the time for indifference, because the whole world is suffering and has to be united to face the pandemic."

Faced with this situation that Humanity is experiencing, we cannot isolate ourselves and worry only about what is "mine" and what is "ours", but about the common good. Now we need to be united. We all have the mission of being in solidarity and of spreading hope: general curia, provinces and communities; educational centers and colleges, parishes, fraternities, JAR groups, spirituality centers, each and every one of us can contribute something, sacrificing ourselves for others. And we can encourage others to collaborate and help in whatever way they can.

Our Augustinian Recollect International Solidarity Network ARCORES and each of the national associations will have to prepare their projects and obtain resources in their own country to respond to the urgent needs caused by the pandemic. Some national ARCORES have already implemented programs, and others will have to develop them; In both cases, they need our collaboration to guarantee food security for the poorest people and families, as well as humanitarian and health care.

International ARCORES and the National ARCORES will open accounts for this purpose.

We can offer our help in three complementary ways:

  • providing financial assistance
  • collaborating through Volunteering
  • transferring material means or real property

For more information or to make contributions, you can contact the International ARCORES Technical Office.

Pope Francis said that “an emergency like this one of Covid-19, is defeated in the first place with the antibodies of solidarity”. We have to prepare ourselves and be ready with prayer, charity and solidarity to walk together in each country, with all of us glimpsing where to go, since we do not know the journey nor do we know how long it will last.

Let us open our hearts to the Spirit so that as at Pentecost, also today in the Augustinian Recollect Family, united with Mary, Mother of Consolation, we can see the world in the light of Christ, while hope grows in the depths of our hearts. Let us ask the Risen Christ to grant health to those who suffer the pandemic, as well as strength to those who attend them.

May the Lord infuse the grace of the Holy Spirit to those who are in solidarity and pray for those who suffer both in body and in spirit.

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Augustinian Recollects Province of St. Nicholas of Tolentine.

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