Introducing our New Director of Vocations | From the Desk of Fr. Rob

April 21, 2024 My dear friends in Christ, On this World Day of Prayer for Vocations, my heart is filled with gratitude for each of you. Just as each Augustinian Friar has a vocation, you do as well. Whether your vocation is to marriage, religious life, or the single life, all of these callings are […]

James Laughlin MacDougall, O.S.A.

1932 – 2024 (March 9) James Laughlin MacDougal, O.S.A., was born on November 12, 1932, in New York, New York, the son of Donald H. and Catherine A. (Loftus) MacDougall.  He had 2 brothers. He was baptized on December 4, 1932, at St. Nicholas of Tolentine Church, Bronx, New York. He attended elementary school first at […]

Augustinians Leave Two Parishes in the Diocese of Albany

The Office of the Prior Provincial September 22, 2023 Dear Parishioners of Saint Mary Parish and St. Augustine Parish, Since the mid-1800s, when the Augustinians were invited by the Most Reverend John McCloskey to the Diocese of Albany, your communities at St. Mary of the Assumption in Waterford and St. Augustine in Troy, have been […]

Martin Lawrence Smith, O.S.A.

1945 – 2024 (January 19) Martin Lawrence Smith, O.S.A., was born on July 6, 1945, in New York City, New York, the son of James A. and Agnes R. (Kollenz) Smith. He had one brother. He was baptized on July 22, 1945, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Bronx, New York. He attended Sacred Heart Parish School from […]

Augustinian Affiliation: Dr. Hopey and Cheryl Lucas at Merrimack | From the Desk of Fr. Rob

January 10, 2024 Dear friend of the Augustinians, On Thursday, November 30, 2023, the Augustinian community and the community of Merrimack College gathered in St. Augustine Church in Andover, Massachusetts, to celebrate the affiliation of Christopher E. Hopey, Ph.D., president of Merrimack College, and his wife Cheryl M. Lucas to the Order of St. Augustine, Province […]

Feast of the Holy Family • Year B

St. Paul challenges us towards this saying: “Let the peace of Christ control your hearts, the peace into which you were also called in one body.” This is peace as a task and not as a “leave me alone, leave me in peace” cry of frustration in our lives. Paul points out here, and many times in his letters which comprise so much of sacred Scripture, that peace is built, where we actively look to bringing down the walls of division and extend the hand of solidarity to raise up those that are on the margins of society. This is so needed in our present world, and it is possible where we allow Christ’s peace to “control our hearts,” rather than hand our hearts over to our fears and indifferences.

Nativity of the Lord • Year B

As a result, Christ is born in a barn: “there was no room for them in the inn.” These words comes to us as a simple statement of fact, but they are also prophetic words, and the crowded inn is a mighty symbol. How many of us here, like the inn of Bethlehem, have no room in our lives and in our hearts for the Lord of Life Himself? How many of us are keepers of an inn cluttered with ancient grudges and new hatreds? How man of us lead lives firmly settled on gluttony, lust, and sloth, and will abide no inconvenience to offer hospitality to the Christ?

Fourth Sunday of Advent • Year B

So Mary is given a message about bearing a son who will become king. Maybe, now, she is calling to mind the current rule under which she lives, an empire that dominated the Mediterranean, and the Roman soldiers she would pass in the streets. She could see their threats and their violence and she knew the high taxes they demanded. She could have thought this and perhaps wondered, how could a king come from Nazareth? How could his kingdom be a match to Rome’s?

Third Sunday of Advent • Year B

Having reflected for the past two weeks on the second coming of Jesus, next Monday we celebrate the first coming, of Jesus. We have many reasons to rejoice. We rejoice because even in our brokenness God loves us so much he sent his only son to free us from, and forgive our sins. We rejoice because as we celebrate Jesus’ birth (his first coming), as well as his life, death and resurrection, we realize that at his second coming we have the opportunity to see God face-to-face.

Second Sunday of Advent • Year B

The season of Advent is supposed to be a time to renew our commitment to listening to the voice of the Lord, the only thing that gives meaning to our life in this desert. The desert voices remind us that nothing that we seek in this life to comfort ourselves will ever do so completely, for only our covenant relationship with God can do that.