Secretariats and commissions, mostly headed by the General councilors, are formed in order to deliver better the services of the general government of the Order. These are bodies of an administrative nature, and carry out their tasks within the limits and guidelines indicated by the Prior General with the consent of his Council. Their main function is to provide and solicit information, initiatives and to push for the realization of goals. They act with the habitual faculties contained in the statutes of each secretariat and approved by the Prior General with the consent of his Council. They always act under the direction of the Prior General, who is responsible for the decisions together with his Council.
Secretariat for Spirituality and Formation
The General Secretariat for Spirituality and Formation is one of the organs of an administrative nature, through which the General Government carries out its function of service to the Order in the animation of the spiritual life, the experience of its own charism and the initial formation and permanent.
To carry out its own functions, the Secretariat is divided into four sections:
- Initial Formation Section
- Permanent Formation Section
- Spirituality and Liturgy Section
- Secular Augustinian Recollects Fraternity Section
Its main purpose is coordination, initiative and momentum. It also has the following functions:
a) Advise the Prior General and his council regarding Spirituality and Formation.
b) Ensure compliance with the decisions regarding Spirituality and Formation contained in the Life and Mission Project of the Order 2016-2022.
c) Ensure that the guidelines of the sexennium are included in the programming of the Provinces of the Order.
d) Suggest and support initiatives that strengthen our charismatic identity throughout the training process.
e) To promote the formation and updating of trainers according to the charismatic guidelines of the Formative Itinerary (IFAR).
f) Encourage communication and collaboration with the other General Secretariats, the Provincial Secretariats of Spirituality and Formation and the Revitalization Team of the Order (ERO).
Secretariat for the Apostolate
The General Secretariat of the Apostolate is one of the organs of an administrative nature, through which the General Government performs its function of service to the Order in the animation and promotion of evangelizing action in the ministries of mission, in parish ministries or in pastoral action centers of various kinds entrusted and assisted by the Order, as well as in their own educational centers.
To carry out its own functions, the Secretariat is divided into three sections:
• Missionary Apostolate Section.
• Ministerial Apostolate Section.
• Educational Apostolate Section.
It also has the following functions:
a) To advise the Prior General and his Council, regarding the ministerial, missionary and educational apostolate.
b) Ensure compliance with the decisions regarding the ministerial, missionary and educational apostolate contained in the Life and Mission Project of the Order of 2016-2022, fostering collaboration with ecclesial structures.
c) Ensure that the guidelines of the sexennium are included in the pastoral plans, or the programming of the missionary, ministerial and educational apostolate of the Provinces of the Order.
d) Suggest and support initiatives that strengthen our charismatic identity in parishes, missions and educational centers served by the Order.
e) Promote the shared mission in the missionary, ministerial and educational apostolate of the Order among religious and laity.
f) To promote the formation and pastoral updating of religious and laity to carry out their responsibilities in the mission, ministerial and educational fields.
g) Encourage communication and collaboration with the other general secretaries and with the provincial secretariats of apostolate and their respective sections of missionary, ministerial and educational apostolate.
h) Promote communion with the local Church.
Educational Apostolate Section
As a section of the Apostolate Secretariat, it is an administrative body that performs the function of information, initiative and momentum in the educational work developed by the Order of Augustinian Recollects.
In addition, the Educational Apostolate Section has the following functions:
- Advise the Prior General and his Council, regarding the Educational Apostolate
- Ensure compliance with the decisions concerning the Apostolate of Education contained in the Life and Mission Project of the Order
- ensure that the guidelines of the sexennium in the area of the Educational Apostolate are included in the educational plans of the Provinces
- suggest and support initiatives that strengthen our charismatic identity in our own educational centers or assisted by the Order
- promote the shared mission between religious and laity
- promote the formation and pastoral updating of religious and laity to fulfill their responsibilities in the educational field
- encourage communication and collaboration with the sections of the Educational Apostolate of the Provincial Secretariats.
Secretariat for Vocations and Youth
The General Secretariat for Vocations and Youth is one of the organs of an administrative nature, through which the General Government carries out its function of service to the Order.
This Secretariat is entrusted with the mission of:
a) To closely follow and guide the vocational and youth work of the Order in the various Provinces, according to the Augustinian Recollect charism.
b) To watch over the fulfillment of the directives that in the matter of vocational and youth pastoral emanate from our laws.
c) To promote and to coordinate, with the authorization of the Prior General and his Council, the initiatives that he considers convenient for the achievement of the mission of vocational and youth animation of the Order.
Commission for the Social Apostolate
The Social Apostolate Commission (CAS) is an organ of animation, reflection, coordination, dialogue and communion to help put into practice the Chapter options and priorities in the field of the social apostolate; an institutionalized channel to foster co-responsibility and coordination among the ministries and local agents -religious and lay- of the Order and the Augustinian Recollect Family.
The CAS is born with the commitment to awaken, nourish, encourage and accompany the missionary spirit of justice and universal solidarity proper to the Church and the Augustinian Recollect charism, making this dimension a transversal axis of the life and of the pastoral and missionary activity of the Order of Augustinian Recollects.
The Commission is concerned, at least, with these general objectives, which reflect its socio-evangelizing priorities:
a) Missionary spirituality of solidarity that sustains and expresses our commitment to life, social justice, solidarity, peace and the integrity of creation.
b) Sensitization and education in solidarity and development that promote a believing reading of reality, form critical consciences, promote austere, supportive and actively committed lifestyles.
c) Facilitate channels of solidarity for individuals, ministries and groups through actions committed to justice and peace and integrity of creation, social action, migration and refugees, cooperation for development, political and social advocacy, communication of goods and promotion of volunteerism.
d) To take care of the missions in which the Order is involved. To make known, encourage and accompany (materially and humanly) the missionary work developed.
e) To promote the implication promoting the coordination and the work in network. To strengthen, take care of or create local, provincial and order structures that unite the actions of solidarity, that facilitate the coordination, and promote the increasing involvement of religious and laity in these. To constitute and support an international solidarity network, in which the social organizations of the Augustinian Recollect Family participate. To promote inter-congregational and inter-religious networking and networking with civil society organizations.
Commission for Communication and Publications
The Commission of Communication and Publications (CCP) is an organism of consultation and at the service of the Order, dependent on the Prior General and his Council, to which it corresponds to approve the plans and proposals of the CCP and to take the opportune decisions.
The primary purpose of the CCP is to present and spread the charism of the Order and to safeguard the institutional image of the Order.
The specific purpose of the PCC is to animate the life of communion in the Order with evangelization as its ultimate goal.
Other objectives of the Commission are:
- to establish the general policy of the Order with respect to communications and publications.
- to promote communion through communications and publications among the religious, and to facilitate the relationship with the rest of the Augustinian Recollect Family.
- to offer appropriate information about the Order in the media.
- to foster relationships among the religious and other members of the Augustinian Recollect Family.
- to inform about important events in the life of the Order and, when appropriate, in the Church or society.
- to spread our spirituality, cultural legacy, history and way of life, both among those closest to us and among those who do not know us.
- to collaborate with the Secretariats and organisms of the Order, and to promote and diffuse their initiatives and actions
cooperate in the ongoing formation of the religious men and women of the Augustinian Recollect Family, and of the seculars related to it.
- to see to the establishment of the PCC in all the provinces and to see to its proper functioning.
- to establish channels so that the religious may be adequately trained in the use of the means of social communication.
Team for the Revitalization of the Order
The Revitalization Team is an international and interdisciplinary team of religious that promotes Augustinian Recollect spirituality and the formation of religious and laity to respond from our charismatic identity to the call of the new Evangelization. Among its functions is the elaboration of annual retreats, ongoing formation materials, monthly retreats, interiority experiences, Lectio Divina, formation of teachers and pastoral agents and many other things.
Economic and Assets Council
The Economic and Patrimony Council of the Order of Augustinian Recollects is an administrative body, created by the Prior General and his Council. Its mission is to advise the Prior General and his Council in economic matters, and to assist the General Treasurer in the administration of the temporal goods of the Order. It is to see to it that, in the economic management of the Order, the evangelical spirit always shines forth and that the dispositions of the Church, of the Law and of our Constitutions are followed, and that this management is perfectly reconciled with the vow of poverty and the common law of work.
Commission for the Protection of Minors and Vulnerable Adults
The mission entrusted by the Church to the Augustinian Recollects is developed fundamentally in parishes, educational centers, mission areas and social projects. In all these ministries, every day we share life and mission with thousands of people who place their trust in us to accompany them in the living of the faith and the celebration of the sacraments, to collaborate in the education of their children, to be nourished by the Augustinian tradition and spirituality or to contribute to the construction of a more just world for all. We Augustinian Recollects want to guarantee that all these spaces of human relationships and places of coexistence be true environments where the development of the person is fostered in an integral way and where the culture of good treatment is cultivated.
The Commission for the Protection of Minors and Vulnerable Adults of the Order of Augustinian Recollects is an organism dependent on the Prior General, which has the following objectives:
- To promote a culture of prevention, coordinating the plans and efforts that, in each province and at the local level, are being carried out.
- To attend to cases of abuse of minors that have been reported to the Commission, or that have occurred within the Order of Augustinian Recollects, either by religious or by hired personnel or volunteers.
- To watch over cases of abuse of vulnerable persons (Vos estis lux mundi, 1§2) committed by religious.
- Propose concrete measures to promote the prevention of abuse and the protection of minors and vulnerable adults, among others: a) ensure the care of victims and affected persons (Vos estis lux mundi, 5.); b) accompany the accused; c) promote the initial and ongoing formation of religious, contracted personnel and other pastoral agents; d) orient religious in governance; e) ensure the existence of spaces and areas for the prevention and protection of all in our communities and ministries.
- Advise the Prior General and major superiors in cases that may arise in the area of the protection of minors and vulnerable adults.
- To verify with timely and effective means the fulfillment of the protocols and regulations that, in matters of protection of minors and vulnerable adults, are determined in the Order of Augustinian Recollects.
The creation of this Commission represents a renewed commitment by the Order against all forms of abuse of minors and vulnerable persons, and the creation of safe environments in all the places where we are and in the apostolic works we serve. With this Commission, the Order joins the Church’s efforts to promote prevention, transparency and determination in dealing with sexual crimes against minors and vulnerable persons.
Since 2015, the Order of Augustinian Recollects has had a Protocol for the Protection and Prevention of Children and Adolescents that is mandatory throughout the Order. This Protocol complements, without replacing them, all the norms of the Code of Canon Law (CDC), those of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches (CCIO), those of the Motu Proprio Sacramentorum Sanctitatis Tutela in its ordained text of May 21, 2010 (SST 2010) , the reforms introduced by the Motu Proprio As a Loving Mother (CUMA) , Vos Estis Lux Mundi (VELM), and the rescripts ex audiencia of December 3 and 6, 2019 . The procedures indicated therein are imperative and are not optional, so they are to be followed by all religious. Likewise, some procedural precisions indicated in the Vademecum of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) and the successive canonical updates were incorporated in this Protocol.
Along with the canonical protocol, in recent years steps have continued to be taken to create safe spaces in all the communities and apostolic works of the Order. As a result of this effort, Guidelines for the prevention and protection of minors and vulnerable adults in ministerial and missionary ministry, in educational centers, in formative environments and in vocation ministry have emerged.
The Commission for the Protection of Minors and Vulnerable Adults offers the e-mail address [email protected] for consultations or to communicate possible cases of abuse in the context of the Order.
Members of the Commission
Antonio Carrón OAR (Italy). President
Gustavo Camarena OAR (Mexico). Secretary
Daniel Medina OAR (Argentina)
Miguel Miró OAR (Mexico)
Leander Barrot OAR (Philippines)
Freddy H. Daza OAR (Italy)
Daniel Portillo (Italy)
Carmen Montejo (Spain)
Lino Iglesias (Spain)