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Asia Pacific Augistinian Conference

The Challenges facing APAC

A multi-national APAC meeting in Manila.

The Founding Figure

Fr Miguel Manrique OSA, the founding figure of APAC.

The first APAC President, Fr Miguel Manrique OSA, wrote a list of challenges that faced APAC. Those challenges of 1977 are still recognizable to us today, over thirty-seven years later.

He explained that, at noon on 13th September 1977 the leaders of the Asia-Pacific at the Augustinian General Chapter at Rome “met on their own and decided that the experience of unity of mind and hearts could be translated into a practical and positive experience, something concrete, specific and geared to action, like mutual help, organized cooperation, and even a higher and unified policy..”

“… APAC was created in hope and promise. Indeed, this Conference is a matter of future responsibilities, though based on present realities. We may point to several very real and positive factors, such as our respective countries, our personnel, a common language, our excellent understanding and good will, and of course our unique Augustinian heritage. Still, we have a long way to go to become a unified Augustinian presence in this part of the good earth assigned to us.”

 “… This first issue of our APAC Bulletin is the beginning of our open, explicit dialogue, a first, though significant, step to new stations on the road to the awareness of our presence as a regional community of men and women, a grouping of provinces, vicariates, congregations, missions, etc.. that will provide the building blocks out of which the Augustinian Far East Regional Community can be constructed with closer ties and shared interests. There were signs at our meeting in Rome that this was the right time to begin; but no one at that meeting could predict what APAC would be like a few years from now….”

The Problems of the Region

“We Augustinians are scattered and spread thinly around this part of the world. We are rather small groups with little contact with one another except for sporadic meetings at the General Chapters and some occasional visits that give a deep feeling of oneness as well as a sharp sense of disappointment at not being able to materialize the feeling into lifeblood situations.”

“We have a historical record of isolation, justifiable though it may be under the circumstances. In fact, we have the tendency to live as self-contained units, independently doing their own thing, going their own way and standing by while waiting for news from here and there. The juridical ties are there, of course. The mutual trust and confidence, too. But the situation is unsatisfactory, alien to the Augustinian spirit of togetherness and friendship, common work and sense of community.”

We begin anew - and now.

Sister Meg OSA promoting St. Agustine!

“The founders of APAC took a first step, a simple decision, which no prophetic statements related to the course the Conference (APAC) will follow. They were fully conscious that the development will be a slow and uncertain process patterned most likely after the OALA (the Organisation of Augustinians of Latin America).”

In our case, the disparities of place and culture are sharp and clear. There is, to be sure, a geographic unity, be we are a less close and a less defined group than OALA. Nevertheless, a richness of intimate, cultural and social relationships, as well as a depth of shared apostolic interests, may develop in ways still unimaginable, and we may do well to study the pattern of OALA, its structure and projection, though the challenge of dialogue, cooperation and true brotherhood will be more demanding for us than for our Latin American counterpart.”

“Our initial effort may seem a jump into nowhere, a pathetically inadequate attempt to achieve that “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.”

“To some, the very concept of APAC may be just humbug. We invite all to discover an existing pervasive relationship and to develop a vital recognition of the fact that the Augustinian presence, not just everywhere but precisely here in our vast geography, is more deeply intertwined than we may at first sight think it is.”

“We have an accepted name: APAC. We have our Magna Carta in the minutes of the Foundation Meeting…. We have the feeling that the first step was the right one. We are beginning to write, to communicate with one another. Small and great things along the way will tell us when APAC might ultimately come into being true to expectations.”

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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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