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Asia Pacific Augistinian Conference

September 1977 APAC is born!


Further Material

For a description of ministry today where Bishop van Diepen laboured, go to the page on the OSA Delegation of Papua, Indonesia. For an article by Bishop van Deipen, click here.

Photo Gallery

For images of Manokwari and Sorong today, go to the photo gallery of the OSA Delegation of Papua, Indonesia.

At the first APAC Convention, held in Manila in February 1980, the late Bishop Pieter van Diepen OSA, a participant from what is now called West Papua in Indonesia, was asked to speak on the future envisioned for APAC. In his address, he said, "We see this APAC Convention as a suitable starting point for our common testimony as prophets of hope in the Asian and Pacific world."

Those words are still as relevant today as they were over thirty years ago. At noon on 13th September 1977, APAC was born during a meeting held at the Augustinianum Augustinian Patristic Institute) in Rome. Delegates from Asia and the Pacific at the General Chapter of the Order of Saint Augustine met at that time, and agreed to have the first APAC Convention in Manila within the following two years.

As written in the document of their foundation meeting in Rome, what the participants sought for APAC was an "outward-looking organization, so that by our united pooling of ideas, the Augustinian presence in this whole region will be something positive for all the local churches, considering the diversity of cultures. "It was specifically stated that its genesis was inspired by the example of OALA (the Organization of Augustinians of Latin America), and of the call of the newly-revised Constitutions of the Order of Saint Augustine (especially No. 264) for organizations of inter-jurisdictional cooperation in various regions of the globe that could be geographically defined.

The Augustinians at that foundational meeting were Frs Julian Centeno and Miguel Manrique(delegates for the Philippines and India), John Barry (Australia), Richard O'Donnell (Australia), Anton Tromp (Indonesia), Thomas Hunt (Assistant General) and Harry Cassel (Villanova Province, USA,representing Japan). The Prior General of the Order of Saint Augustine, Theodore Tack OSA, spoke in encouragement of this Asia-Pacific initiative.[Of those who attended that foundational APAC meeting on 13th September 1977, in July 2012 Fr Anton Tromp in West Papua, Indonesia is still associated with APAC, and Fr John Barry serves as Prior of the formation community at Brookvale, Australia. As well, Fr Ted Tack, in 1977 the Augustinian Prior General, has offered two articles on Augustine that appear in the Downloads section of this website; he is a member of the Augustinian friary at Cascia Hall in Tulsa,Oklahoma, USA.]

To be in interim charge of the project, the group elected as the APAC provisional coordinator, Fr Miguel Manrique OSA,the Regional Vicar of the Philippine Province, who was based at the Convento of San Agustin al Intramuros, Manila. At the first APAC Convention at Intramuros early in February 1980, he was elected as the first APAC President. Responses of a questionnaire to all Asia-Pacific Augustinian friars prior to the first APAC Convention at Manila in 1980 clearly called for APAC's embracing all the numerous male and female religious orders and congregations now associated with it. The initial Statute No.9 proposed for APAC in 1980 provided for APAC membership in a manner that still exists today. The Superior General of the Augustinian Sisters of Our Lady of Consolation (Philippines) - and of the Augustinian Sisters of Divine Mercy (lndonesia) - were official delegates at the 1980 convention, although for practical reasons the latter was unable to be present. This broader representation in APAC was definitely given priority and became much more of a reality at the second APAC Convention, which was held at Manila in 1984.

The first APAC Bulletin was published in January 1978 (although it was incorrectly dated as January 1977). It was a brief production of only six pages, and almost all of it was written by Fr Miguel Manrique OSA. Thanks to this fact, the vision for APAC of its first President is well recorded. Although high in ideals, his vision was also tempered with his frank admission of the challenges that APAC had to confront.

This balancing of idealism with contemporary reality was carried through in a Position Paper prepared in 1980 for the first APAC Convention, which took place at Intramuros, Manila on 5th-9th February l980. In his address about the future hopes for APAC at that first Convention, the late Bishop Pieter van Diepen OSA (Bishop of the Diocese of Manokwari-Sorong, West Papua, Indonesia) said, "We see this APAC Convention as a suitable starting point for our common testimony as prophets of hope in the Asian and Pacific world."


APAC Fast Facts






APAC supports the efforts of our member congregations.







APAC encourages the sharing of ideas.






APAC increases our common awareness of values.






APAC reflects on the gifts that interiority brings us.






APAC draws us closer to the God who unites us.






APAC serves the diverse common needs of its member congregations.






APAC calls us to co-operate and to share.


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