The Secular Fraternity grows in the Mexican states of Hidalgo, Querétaro, San Luis Potosí and Tlaxcala, and in Mexico City
The invitation that Pope Francis addressed to the Augustinian-Recollect Family to put its charisma in the hands of the laity has one of its most practical consequences more evident in the Secular Augustinian-Recollect Fraternity, whose members, lay people, live this charisma (community, interiority, contemplation, mission) from their own vocation.
These lay people decide to live the Augustinian Recollect charism by forming a community of faith and service with other adults who feel the same attraction to the teachings and way of life proposed by Saint Augustine. They are usually connected to a religious community nearby or any ministry in which the Augustinian-Recollect Family serves—parishes, schools, spirituality centers, among others.
The Federation of Augustinian Recollects of Mexico has monasteries throughout the Mexican republic. Experts in starting small things that over time, with consistency and faith, acquire consistency, they also help to develop Augustinian-Recollect lay life making specific invitations themselves and making their monasteries available of these lay groups for their meetings and celebrations.
Thus, on September 8th, eight candidates for the Secular Fraternity began with enthusiasm for the so-called “year of trial” in the monastery of Saint Augustine of the Augustinian Recollect Sisters from Macuxtepetla, Hidalgo.
The president of the Secretariat of formation and spirituality of the Province of Saint Nicholas of Tolentine of the Augustinian Recollects, Sergio Sánchez, was present at the ceremony, so that the new candidates could feel embraced and welcomed by the entire Augustinian-Recollect Family.
This group had started their training before the pandemic and they waited patiently and concern for a religious person to appear in their land to begin officially the formation, necessary to be able to constitute a Fraternity.
In fact, in practice they already function as a Fraternity, thus recognized by the parish priest of the place and with the permission of the bishop. They are mostly young people who, as a sign of service and mission so typical of the Augustinian Recollect charism, they carry out an apostolate.
An Augustinian Recollect sister is the spiritual assistant and trainer, but it is the entire contemplative community which is involved in accompanying the nascent secular fraternity, opening the doors to them so that they feel the monastery as their own familiar home .
Likewise, in the monastery of the Augustinian Recollects of Saint Rita de Jalpan, Querétaro, another Fraternity is already consolidated with about twenty enthusiastic brothers and sisters who meet weekly and support the activities of the nuns.
The community of Recollects of the monastery of Santa Teresita de Ahuacatlán de Jesús, San Luis Potosí has also received sufficient information to start the Lay Fraternity with a group that meets every week in their monastery.
The monastery of Señor San José of Tlaxcala is also the headquarters of a group of lay people in formation ready to begin the year of trial in the Secular Fraternity.
Finally, on September 10, the feast of Saint Nicholas of Tolentino, they began their year of testing and special training about twenty candidates from the Parish of the same titular saint in Churubusco, Mexico City.
The Augustinian festivals at the end of August and beginning of September have been a conducive framework to encouraging lay people to live their own spirituality and the Augustinian Recollect charism. The laity have a fundamental role, because from their own way of life they can also live the happiness of practicing the elements of life that led to Saint Augustine to that happy life so long sought by him: community, interiority, contemplation and mission.