The page is intended particularly for those who are unfamiliar with the Order of Saint Augustine. For those seeking further details, this web site has an entire section of over 120 pages about the Order of Saint Augustine.
Identity. The Order of Saint Augustine is a religious order (congregation) with formal approval within the Roman Catholic Church. A religious order is a grouping of stable communities, with a constitution that is officially approved by the Church. Its members make public vows that are recognised by the Church.
Spiritual Tradition. Every religious order has a spiritual tradition (spirituality, and in Italian, spiritualità ) that based on the Christian gospels. What differs is the emphasis or priorities given to particular aspects of Christian tradition. The Order of Saint Augustine generally follows the Christian spiritual tradition preached by Saint Augustine of Hippo over 800 years before the Order formally began. His brief Rule of Life is a key guiding principle in Augustinian living.
Its official beginning. The Order was formally constituted in essentially its present form by Pope Alexander IV by its Grand Union in the year 1256, and celebrated its 750th anniversary in 2006.
Government. There are three levels of hierarchical governance. These are most clearly seen in the offices of the Prior General (general international governance), the Prior Provincial (provincial, national or multi-national governance) and the Prior (local governance of the individual community). Each office is supported by a council, who are a group of elected advisers.
Geographical scope. The Order functions in about forty nations, and is present on all continents (excluding Antartica).
Membership. The Order contains over 3,500 men, most of who are also priests. There are separate communities of religious nuns; these are located mainly in Italy and Spain, but also are present in Kenya, Malta, Philippines, U.S.A., etc. The Second Order consists of numerous congregations of religious sisters, who are affiliated with the Order of Saint Augustine but are constituted separately. A Third Order comprises lay men and women who take no formal vows but volunteer to follow the Augustinian spiritual tradition in their everyday living within general society.
Activities. Broadly expressed, a third of the members of the Order are involved in parish ministry, a third in education, and a third in missionary work. The Order conducts secondary schools in many nations, and also a number of universities. Many Provinces of the Order help to staff foreign missions.
Although this list is not exhaustive, examples would be the Provinces of Spain assisting in the Czech Republic, Latin America, Tanzania, India and the Philippines, the Province of Germany in the Congo, the Provinces of the United States in Peru, Japan and South Africa, the Province of Ireland in Africa and Ecuador, the Province of Australia in Korea, the Province of Holland in Bolivia and Indonesia, and the Province of Cebu (Philippines) in Korea, the Province of Italy in Peru and Slovakia, the Province of Malta in Algeria and Brazil, and the Province of Nigeria in Kenya.
Photographic images. For over 1,950 images of the Order of Saint Augustine internationally, go to the Photo Galleries of this web site.
Augustinian On-line bookstore and Augustinian Press. The Augustinian Press publishes and distributes the works of Saint Augustine and other related writings on Augustine, as well as materials on Augustinian spirituality and history.
International directory of Augustinian educational centres. http://www.osa.vnc.qld.edu.au/commission/query_institutes.asp