John Francis McAtee was born on January 26, 1940, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Francis A. McAtee and Dorothy Johnson.
We Augustinians join in celebration of the gifts, charism and rich tradition of Religious Brothers in our Province, our Order and our Church on this 3rd annual Religious Brothers Day.
God of mercy and compassion,
thank you for the extraordinary life, witness, and ministry
of Religious Brothers in our Church.
In your wisdom, you have called these ordinary men
to generously serve, pray,
and share your healing love with others.
As we prepare for our annual Religious Brothers Day,
deepen our appreciation for the vocation
of Religious Brothers, their congregational charisms,
and their commitment to vowed community life.
Strenghthened by our baptismal call to holiness,
inspire us to invite men
to consider religious life as a Religious Brother.
Grant all Religious Brothers the grace and perseverance
they need to proclaim your Holy Word
for the life of our Church and our world.
Barbara Shinkle of Holy Spirit Radio recently interviewed Fr. Michael Di Gregorio, O.S.A., Prior Provincial about his new book of Augustinian Saints, Hearts On Fire and the history of the Augustinians. Listen here: http://holyspiritradio.org/walking-in-faith/
The holy, glad day of the Lord's resurrection has shone forth today to all. Let us rejoice, brothers and sisters, for this is the day the Lord has made: the mother of all good days, the origin of immortal life, the beginning of all our glory. Therefore, on the day of this solemnity so venerable, let us offer congratulations both to Christ and to ourselves. To Christ, I say, who, after the victory of the cross, brought back spoils from his enemies ... to ourselves, because we now see the likeness of our future resurrection and gaze upon the sight of our hoped-for glory in Christ. It is our glory that we consider; it is our beauty that we venerate; our resurrection has begun in Christ and will be brought to completion in us in his time.
Saint Thomas of Villanova, Easter Sunday, Sermon 1, 1-2
Sincere Best Wishes and Prayerful Remembrance
That the Joy of the Easter Mystery
May Fill your Heart and Renew your Spirit
George Patrick Magee was born in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, on December 22, 1940, the youngest of three children of James Cyril Magee and Catherine Louise Starkey. He was baptized at Saint Coleman’s Church, Ardmore, Pennsylvania. He attended Saint Coleman’s Elementary School and Wynnewood Road Elementary School and then Ardmore Junior High School. George began his high school education at Archbishop Prendergast High School for Boys, and when the new Monsignor Bonner High School opened, he continued his education there, graduating in 1958. In 1959, George became a post-graduate student at Augustinian Academy, Staten Island, New York. He entered Good Counsel Novitiate, New Hamburg, New York in 1959, professing simple vows on September 10, 1960. Following profession, George undertook philosophical studies at Villanova University and received his BA in 1964. On September 10th of that year he professed solemn vows. Following theological studies in Washington, D.C., he received an MA from Catholic University in 1969. George was ordained a priest on June 1, 1968 at Saint Denis Church, Havertown, Pennsylvania by Bishop Joseph Mary Yuen, DD.
Father Alfred J. Ellis, O.S.A. was born on December 8, 1933, in Carthage, New York, the son of Toufee Ellis and Angèle Hobieche. He had three brothers, one of whom is Kail C. Ellis, O.S.A. of our Province, and two sisters. He was baptized in Saint James the Minor Church, Carthage, New York, and his elementary and high School education was at the Augustinian Academy, Carthage. Al entered the Order as a novice in 1954 and after a year at Good Counsel Novitiate, New Hamburg, New York, he professed simple vows on September 10, 1955. He then went to Villanova University where he received a BA in Philosophy in 1959. He professed Solemn Vows on September 10, 1958. He pursued theological studies at Augustinian College, Washington, DC, and received an MA in Religious Education in 1963. He was ordained to the priesthood on February 9, 1963, at the Saint James the Minor Parish, Carthage, by Bishop Stanislaus Brzana.
In a sermon to his people in the fifth century Augustine said:
We are now travelers on a journey. We cannot stay in this place forever. We are on our way, not yet home. Our present state is one of hopeful anticipation, not yet unending enjoyment. We must run without laziness or respite so that we may at last arrive at our destination.
Sermon 103, 1
Some 1500 years later when I was chaplain at a small New England College I gave a sermon that began this way:
“Today the doctors told me that I am going to die.”
Three of the four gospel writers tell the story of the first time human beings were called to ascend a mountain to see the transfigured Jesus-God. Matthew gives the following description of the event: Six days after his first prediction of his passion and death, Jesus took Peter, James and his brother John, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. There he was transfigured before them. And his face shone as the sun, and his garments became white as snow. And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elias talking together with him. Then Peter addressed Jesus, saying, “Lord it is good for us to be here!” Matt 17:1-4
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
The theme of the abuse of minors is an enormous tragedy and a tremendous scandal. It is even more tragic when it occurs within the Church. These actions confront us and hurt us deeply, while asking for courageous answers. Abuse calls for the demand of justice. … The Order of Saint Augustine wants to express it support for the steps made especially by Popes Benedict XVI and Francis. We wish always to live in communion with the Church in such a way that all of us work together to banish this abominable sin. … I would like us, as members of the Order of Saint Augustine, to commit ourselves to work decisively to defend the lives of the vulnerable in the face of unscrupulous abusers who take away their dignity.
After years of living a pagan lifestyle and searching for the meaning of life in various ideologies (Manicheanism, Neo-Platonism, Skepticism), Augustine finally came to the Christian point of view. Thereafter, the spiritual life of a human being meant one thing for him: the attempt to arrive at union with that person who was All-Good: the infinite, immutable God. But where in this life is that God to be found? God's primary place (if that is a proper word) is in that immense realm beyond time, an area far removed from human experience and impossible to reach as long as we continue our pilgrimage on earth. The very fact that we are "pilgrims" is a sign that we have not yet arrived at our destiny. Where then are we to find God in this world?