Published: 27 April 2018
Every few years the Augustinian leaders of six Asia-Pacific nations meet to report on the news and concerns within their ministries and to offer one another mutual support in their leadership roles.
The Order of St Augustine, which was founded in its present form during the year 1256 in Europe, has been active in the Asia-Pacific since the year 1565. Today it ministers in six nations: Philippines, Japan, India, Australia, Indonesia, and Korea. Every few years the Augustinian leaders of these six nations meet to report on the news and concerns within their ministries and to offer one another mutual support in their leadership roles. Their grouping is called the Order of St Augustine in the Asia Pacific (OSAAP).
The most recent OSAAP meeting was held in late April 2018 in rainy spring weather at the recently extended retreat facilities of the Mother of Good Counsel Retreat Centre at Yeon-Cheon in the Diocese of Ui-Cheong-Bu, South Korea. The retreat centre is located to the north of Seoul and only a few miles from the demilitarized zone and international border with North Korea. Within a few days of the meetings an historic summit between the leaders of North and South Korea were held in the nearby armistice facility of Panmunjeon.
The meeting of took place under the leadership of Fr Thomas Hiroyuki Shibata of Japan, the incumbent OSAAP President. Co-operative matters involving the ongoing APAN Joint International Novitiate in Cebu were reviewed. New ventures within the existing national circumscriptions were also discussed with an eye to possible further cooperation.
A Mass of Thanksgiving was celebrated on 25th April, the evening of the Feast of Our Lady of Good Counsel. It took place in the chapel of the Augustinian Korean central house in Incheon during which the homilist, the retiring OSAAP President Hiroyuki Shibata, gave an account of his own personal journey with OSAAP going back to the time of a meeting in Japan twenty years ago. A good number of Augustinian Lay supporters joined in the closing Mass and then entertained the visitors to a Korean supper they had prepared in honour of the occasion.
It was agreed that the next OSAAP meeting will take place in India in three years’ time.