The Augustinian Family
The Order of Saint Augustine is composed of the following:
a) Friars, whether professed or novices, who are members of the various Circumscriptions of the Order.
b) Augustinian contemplative nuns belonging to the Monasteries of the Order.
c) The lay members of Augustinian Secular Fraternities legitimately established by the Prior General.
These 3 branches, according to their own constitutions or statutes and with their own structure, come under the Prior General, whose role it is to see to the establishment or suppression of the different communities or fraternities, as well as to the formulation and approval of their constitutions or statutes.
In addition to these 3 branches, the Augustinian family also includes these groups below:
a) Religious institutes, both male and female, formally aggregated to the Order by a decree of the Prior General (Const. 48)
b) Other groups of lay Augustinians (Const. 49)
c) Lay faithful affiliated to the Order (Const. 50)
The union of the Order with these groups is a spiritual union of beneficial collaboration. All are united by an intimate spiritual bond and constitute one body under our father, Saint Augustine. They use similar liturgical rites, they share the same spiritual graces, but above all, with one mind and one heart intent upon God, they maintain the same goal and ideal, namely, "the building up of the body of Christ" (Eph 4:12).
Many religious families in the course of time freely chose for themselves the Rule of Saint Augustine. Some of these are named after him and imitate his manner of living; others, however, decided to live their lives simply under the inspiration of his Rule. Our Order has known in the past, and even now recognizes, that it is united by a certain fraternal bond with all these congregations, and it is sincerely desirous of strengthening this bond in such a way that it may live in closer union with them. The Order likewise wishes to promote collaboration with other religious families who take their inspiration from the spirituality of Saint Augustine. And so that it may be consistent with its own tradition, the Order strives carefully to strengthen its long-standing bond with the Mendicant Orders or Apostolic fraternities.
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