Last weekend, pastors in 3 parishes staffed by the Augustinian Province of Saint Thomas of Villanova, announced to their communities that we Augustinians will complete our ministry in these parishes this June and that the parishes will be returned to the pastoral care of their respective bishops.
This is sad news for the parishioners of these parishes - two of them in Florida, Cape Coral and Bokeelia, and one in Staten Island, New York. It is also sad for the friars, especially those who have served in these parishes over the years.
These difficult decisions, arising from the deliberations of the Provincial Council, were deemed necessary as we do not have friars available to serve in these ministries. 14 of our friars have passed away in the last 2 years; only one friar will be ordained this year. Like many religious communities and the diocesan clergy, our community is diminishing in number and we are an aging group. Fr. Michael writes: "We are blessed to welcome new members to our way of life; however their number is not adequate to maintain all of our commitments."
Please keep the parishioners and the Augustinians in prayer during this time of transition.
Fr. Michael Di Gregorio, O.S.A.
P.O. Box 340
214 Ashwood Road
Villanova, PA 19085