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Who Wants To Know About Augustine of Hippo?

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During our local chapter it was decided that we would have our own special celebration this year for the solemnity of St. Augustine. The celebration will consist of a triduum that begins on August 25 and a solemn mass cum dinner in the evening on the 28th. It was also suggested that before dinner, a brief talk about Augustine — about ten to fifteen minutes — be given. Until now it remains a proposal. The first time it was suggested, my first reaction was “Why just ten to fifteen minutes?” I still remember that on one of the affiliates’ gathering at the University of San Agustin in 1998, a speaker was invited to talk to us for an hour and a half (there was a question-and-answer forum) before we went to the dinner table. But then again I thought: who is the parishioner interested to hear about St. Augustine of Hippo anyway?

The thought struck me as sad. Pope John Paul II in his apostolic letter “Augustinum Hipponensem” noted that he had charged the “spiritual sons of St. Augustine” (=the Augustinians)

to keep the fascination of St. Augustine alive and attractive even in modern society. This is an excellent ideal that must fire us with enthusiasm, because “the exact and heartfelt knowledge of his life awakens the thirst for God, the attraction of Christ, the love for wisdom and truth, the need for grace, prayer, virtue, fraternal charity, and the yearning for eternal happiness.

Could it be that Augustine does not awake interest precisely because those charged to awaken interest in him are not themselves interested? One would expect that the Special Jubilee Celebrations that we are holding should have fired up the interest of the Filipino friars to “keep the fascination of St. Augustine alive and attractive.” Alas, the celebrations were seen as extra work and now that it is over, those assigned to oversee the Jubilee are relieved.

“Where is the follow-up?” Those who are familiar with corporations would know that after a major activity involving all officers and employees, some kind of follow-up program is also held in order that the goals of the event or activity are truly reached. So how do we make sure, for example, that our Jubilee Celebrations reach their goal? Alas, no answer seems to be forthcoming except the activities we have grown accustomed to.

Originally posted 2006-07-15 21:39:24. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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