175th Anniversary in 2013
Sunday, 24th February was the day and month that an Augustinian friar first set foot on Australian. On that day in 1838 an Irish Augustinian named James Alypius Goold O.S.A. began serving as a priest in the Sydney area. After ten years there he was then thinking about leaving Australia, he became the first person to be appointed Bishop of Melbourne. He retained that position until his death thirty-eight years later.
The Australian Augustinian Province marked this milestone with a gathering in front of the Customs House at Circular Quay at 3.00 pm on Sunday, 24th February – the site of passenger ship arrivals in Sydney 175 years ago. After prayer there, the participants walked to St Patrick’s Church nearby for a Mass of Thanksgiving at 4.00 pm followed by refreshments.
Other Augustinian ministries in Australia celebrated the 175th anniversary in ways suited to their local timetables and circumstances. Another Sydney event was a Mass in the Brimson Centre at St Augustine’s College, Alfred Road, Brookvale (Sydney) on Friday, 22nd February 2013. It was concelebrated by Fr Tony Banks (Augustinian Provincial), visiting clergy, and other Augustinians.
175th Anniversary Augustinian Justice and Peace Symposium
Responding to the desire also to commemorate the 175th Anniversary in a pastoral way, a special Augustinian Justice and Peace Symposium was conducted by the Australian Augustinian Province on 5th-7th July, using the commodious assembly hall at the Order’s St Augustine’s College at Brookvale.
Organisations within the Augustinian Order in Australia presented an overview of their social justice priorities and initiatives. Guest speakers with first-hand experience with asylum seekers and refugees told of their experience and vision. The keynote speaker was Fr van Thanh Nguyen S.V.D., an associate professor at the Catholic Theological Union, Chicago. He is a Scripture scholar, and spoke about Strangers, Migrants and Refugees in the Bible.
Persons with Augustinian connections and visitor attended from numerous locations, one group of twelve coming from Brisbane for the symposium.