Augustinian College community Closes
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
VILLANOVA, PA, JUNE 27, 2007 - The Augustinians of the Province of Saint Thomas of Villanova announce that after 88 years, they will be closing Augustinian College, Washington D.C., and creating an inter-province theologate in Chicago, IL. The closing of the Augustinian College community is a bittersweet event in the history of the Province, but the opening of a new house of studies in Chicago marks the beginning of a new chapter for the Augustinians.
The Augustinian College community opened in 1919 under the guidance of Fr. Nicholas J. Vasey, O.S.A. After 88 years, the community that was home to generations of friars, who studied at Augustinian College where they were taught by a faculty of Augustinians, and who more recently earned degrees at the Washington Catholic Theological Union, will end its influential role in shaping Augustinians' futures.
Theological studies will now take place at the Catholic Theological Union (CTU), Chicago, IL. Due to a lack of Augustinian ministries and apostolates in the D.C. region, the Province decided to move the theolagate to Chicago where numerous opportunities lie for the Augustinians.
"With no Augustinian schools or parishes in Washington, DC, our students are a bit isolated from our apostolates," said Fr. Joseph Genito, O.S.A., Director of Formation. "In Chicago, however, there are many opportunities for our students to experience Augustinian ministry on a regular basis."
Because the community at Augustinian College consisted of friars from all of the North American Provinces, including friars from the Villanova, Midwest, West Coast and Canadian Provinces, the provinces collaborated to form the Saint Augustinian Friary National Theologate Corporation. The corporation became official last year and will take on the role of owning and operating the new house of studies in Chicago. Saint Augustine Friary will be home for students from all the North American Provinces studying and earning a degree at CTU.
The move to Chicago is an exciting time for the friars and many believe the change of scenery will enhance the formation experience for friars studying at CTU.
"A spirit of collaboration has always existed among the Provinces," said Fr. Donald Reilly, O.S.A., Prior Provincial of the Province of Saint Thomas of Villanova. "Current and future needs have dictated that such collaboration increase. The new theologate in Chicago grew out of this, and it is indeed an exciting venture for all of us."
The first group of friars to study at CTU will include ten professed students from four different provinces. Relocating the house of studies for formation begins a new phase for the Augustinians.
http://www.augustinian.org PA, US
Michael Dolan - Director of Communications, 610 527-3330
Catholic Schools & Religious Education
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