And this led me to the Augustinians. You see, the essential Augustinian charism of coming together as a community, “one in mind and heart”, is very appealing to me and something I feel that I contribute positively towards. I desire to serve God in many forms, from serving His poor in whatever way poverty manifests itself – physical, spiritual, material, financial etc., celebrating the sacraments, studying or just merely being present in community with my brother friars. I believe I am making a difference, however small that may be.
Contrary to what many people think, living as an Augustinian does not mean sacrificing everything that I know or believe in. In fact, I experience a great sense of freedom living the life I know God wants me to live. And I know our Order actively tries to make sure that each Friar is living their true vocational calling. I can honestly say that I feel entirely at home in our Augustinian communities. So I simply can’t imagine not being an Augustinian now.
There is so much more to say, but I hope at least this gives you some idea as to my Augustinian journey. If you are interested in finding out more, I am more than happy to hear from you, so please do get in touch through our Vocation Director, Fr Colm O’Mahony, OSA (details on below)
Good luck in your discernment, and if you are open, God will grace you with all the answers you require.
Bro. Stephen Shields, OSA
The Augustinian life is about living together in harmony as we journey with God and to God. We have been present in Ireland since shortly after the Order was founded in 1256. So our roots in Ireland are deep and longstanding. As an international order, we are numbered in the thousands worldwide. However, currently here in Ireland, we have 82 friars. While there are many challenges in Ireland we are excited about the opportunities they offer us. As it is the challenges of life that provide the greatest growth. So as things change rapidly in Ireland it is worth remembering Thaddeus of Vitovnica words,
Everything is changing; nothing remains static.
In our conversations and our meetings with people, we recognise the truth of this changing environment. However, our tradition and history provide an inspiration for us and many others. As it is our tradition and history that shows us how life ebbs and flows over time, all the while leading us deeper into God’s great mystery of love.