After this initial contact you might like to meet him in person, or another Augustinian who may live near you. Nothing will be done without your say-so.
The other side of this is that discernment about becoming an Augustinian is a two-way process. We are also discerning about taking you into our brotherhood.The process aims to find out - from both sides. It's about getting to know us and us getting to know you.
Another prayer that may help is one of Thomas Merton, a 20th Century American Trappist who was a great spiritual writer and guide. He wrote:
O Lord God I have no idea where I am going,I do not see the road ahead of me,I cannot know for certain where it will end.
Nor do I really know myselfAnd the fact that I think I am following your will Does not mean that I am actually doing so.
But I believe That the desire to please You Does in fact please You. And I hope I have that desire In all that I am doing.
So it is time to move on
Now it is time for the next step - accompaniment. This is the way chosen of getting to know each other better within a structured relationship that takes you into a time of reflecting on God in your life and what is being said to you in your life.
You will be asked to meet with an Augustinian over a period of time for reflection and discussion on topics ranging from God and self to religious life, ministry and vocation in the Christian tradition.
The Augustinian is there to help you: to listen and respond reflectively to what you share. You and he will be looking to reach a sense of where to next:
Do I want to pursue this idea of becoming an Augustinian?
Do I consider another Church group?
Do I move onto the next stage?
The next stage is the Come and See period. It is just what it suggests. Come and live in an Augustinian community for at least six months and see what you think. You keep up your work or study; you just move in and we work together towards a decision.
Will I apply to join the Augustinians and will we accept you?
If the answer is "yes", then it is time to begin the formal period of your initial formation with the Order, living, studying, working, praying and reflecting within our religious community. The aim is twofold:
To live out God's call as someone who is moving towards making an eventual commitment to live within the Order and to prepare for ministry within the church.
We hope this brief outline of what life as an Augustinian is about has been helpful. We wish you well. If you have any questions about our life, please get in touch. We would be delighted to help in any way.
If you would like to find out more, feel free to contact Father Tan:
Fr Minh-Tan Hoang O.S.A.Order of St AugustineP.O. Box 7278 Warringah Mall Brookvale NSW 2100
Tel: 02 9938 0200 (office hours)
or e-mail him at: Minh-Tan Hoang <at> yahoo.com.au En210a