Published: 29 July 2017
The love of knowledge and truth should invite us to continue learning. The love of others should compel us to teach. (Augustine of Hippo Answers to the Eight Questions of Dulcitius).
From July 24-28, 2017 an International Congress about Augustinian Education drew together 155 participants from twenty-four different nations, including six educators from Australia. The Congress took place at the Augustinian Order’s Villanova University, which is located near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. It was devised and prepared by the Order’s the International Commission for Augustinian Centers of Education.
Its theme was Augustinian Pedagogy: A Passion for Education: The love of knowledge and truth should invite us to continue learning. The love of others should compel us to teach. (Augustine of Hippo: Answers to the Eight Questions of Dulcitius). The theme was unfolded by three plenary talks that were delivered on successive days. They were as follows:
Fr. Andrew P. Batayola, OSA:
“Passion for Augustinian Spirituality: The love for knowledge and the search for truth.”
Fr. Jaime Sepulcre, OSA:
“Augustinian Passion for Teaching and Learning: Compelled to Teach.”
Ms. Kathryn Getek-Soltis:
“Augustinian Passion for Justice and Peace: Love for others.”
Each day the talks were supported by a series of ninety-minute workshops that engaged the participants. The six Australians at the Congress are Augustinian educators at Australia’s two colleges conducted by the Augustinian Order.
Four staff members attended from Villanova College at Coorparoo (Brisbane). Mr Jonathan Byrne, the Principal of St Augustine’s College at Brookvale (Sydney), was also a participant. Fr Dave Austin, the Provincial of the Augustinians in Australia, participated and also conducted one of the Congress workshops.
The Congress demonstrated the regard given internationally to the apostolate of education among Augustinians and their collaborators. This regard is captured in the Constitutions of the Order of Saint Augustine, reminding members to have “esteem for the educational apostolate” as it is considered “one of the special missions of our Order.”