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How the Augustinians Are Working for Justice and Peace

The Augustinians of North America are involved in a number of ministries which actively seek to create justice and peace for those who are in need and are marginalized by the unjust structures of society.

Saint Augustine wrote that everything we have has been given to us by God: We brought nothing into this world. You have come into the world, you have found a full table spread for you. But the Lord’s is the earth and its fullness. God bestows the world on the poor, be bestows it on the rich” (Sermon 29, 2). Therefore, we are all beggars for God and obliged to share from our surplus with those in need. Augustine reasoned that a state governed without justice would therefore be just a bunch of thieves (City of God, IV).

The Augustine response to the needs and injustices of the world is therefore two-fold:

  1. We perform works of charity to meet the immediate needs of those who lack the basic necessities of life. This includes clothing, food, shelter, medical, education, and other services.
  2. We perform works of justice to end the systemic causes of injustice that lead to injustices. This includes advocacy, education, organizing, and presence at the United Nations.

Below is a list of the many ways that Augustinian Friars, along with the lay women and men we partner with, are actively engaged in working for justice and peace throughout North America.

California Canada Illinois Massachusetts Mexico New York Peru Oklahoma Pennsylvania


Locations Where Augustinians Are Actively Engaged in Creating Justice & Peace


California

St. Augustine High School (San Diego, CA)

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Villanova Preparatory School (Ojai, CA)

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Other Augustinian Initiatives in California

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Canada

Sacred Heart Parish (Delta, BC)

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Illinois

Kolbe House Jail Ministry (Chicago, IL)

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Providence High School (New Lennox, IL)

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Saint Rita of Cascia Parish (Chicago, IL)

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Massachusetts

Merrimack College (North Andover, MA)

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Saint Augustine Parish (Andover, MA)

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Mexico

Casa Hogar La Gloria (Tijuana, Mexico)

  • Augustinians partner with Casa Hogar La Gloria, an orphanage for children.

New York

Saint Augustine Parish (Troy, NY)

  • Maintains a food pantry.

Saint Mary’s Roman Catholic Church (Waterford, NY)

  • Maintains a food pantry.

Augustinians International (New York, NY)


Oklahoma

Cascia Hall College Preparatory School (Tulsa, OK)

  • Partnership with the community Food Bank.
  • Volunteer with Emergency Infant Services.
  • Volunteer with Morning Star Mission.
  • Students complete a poverty simulation as part of their 10th grade retreat.
  • Students take a course on the Church’s teachings on important social issues with close attention given to capital punishment, poverty, globalization, the media, and environmental stewardship.
  • Sponsors a “Green Team” to pursue the efficient integration of eco-friendly practices into the school to educate and inspire students to make informed choices about care of the environment both on and off campus.

Pennsylvania

Augustinian Defenders of the Rights of the Poor / ADROP (Philadelphia, PA)

  • Weekly spiritual support meeting and annual retreats for those who were recently released from incarceration and/or suffer from addictions.
  • The Mary, Mother of Captives pen pal program connects volunteers with incarcerated people who would otherwise not have anyone to talk to.
  • Provide “Drugs to Prison pipeline” presentations to local high schools on the line between poverty, drugs, and mass incarceration to help stop the cycle of crime where it begins.
  • Voices from the Prison and the Edge newsletter provides an opportunity for the incarcerated to share their experiences of incarceration.
  • Provide English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) classes.
  • Various ministries to those who have immigrated to the U.S. including primary care medicine at the Unity Clinic and language classes.

Malvern Preparatory School (Malvern, PA)

  • All students are required to participate in one Christian Service Experience each year.
  • In the summer before their senior year, students participate in an intensive domestic or international experience to foster service-oriented leadership competencies.

SCI Chester Prison (Chester, PA)

  • Augustinian Friars offer the Sacraments, spiritual direction, and Mass on Sundays and other major holidays throughout the year.

SCI Phoenix Prison (Collegeville, PA)

  • Augustinians participate in offering a degree granting program to inmates through Villanova University.

St. Augustine Parish (Philadelphia, PA)

  • Maintains a food pantry and monthly donuts/coffee to the homeless.
  • Provides a Healing Garden as a place of remembering, praying for, and reconciling those who have been harmed by violence in the greater Philadelphia area and beyond.
  • Created a committee on the Environment to develop practical steps the parish and parishioners can take to help care for the environment.

National Shrine of St. Rita of Cascia (Philadelphia, PA)

  • Offers the Sacrament of Reconciliation daily.
  • Monthly healing Masses.

St. Nicholas of Tolentine (Philadelphia, PA)

  • Offers English as a Second language classes.
  • Food cupboard.
  • Provides financial assistance.

Villanova University (Villanova, PA)

  • Annual Day of Service where over 5,000 people come together to perform service throughout the Philadelphia area.
  • Students are encouraged to spend their fall and spring semester breaks participating in a Service and Justice experience involving service at a number of domestic and international service sites.
  • Provides one fo the oldest prison degree-granting programs in the United States.

Other Augustinian Initiatives in Pennsylvania

  • Partnership with the Sisters of Charity Food Bank (Norristown, PA)

Are you interested in exploring ways to partner with us? Click here.

Are you passionate about a particular peace and justice issue and want to dialogue with us? Click here.

Are you involved in another ministry involving justice and peace and want to unite with us in prayer? Click here.

Don’t see your ministry / activity listed? Add it to the list by completing the following form:

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