“We can’t look the other way”

The Prior Provincial of St. Thomas of Villanova asks to anticipate the situation that will follow the pandemic and calls to “face the reality head on”.

The Augustinian Recollects are already preparing the work they will carry out with those affected by the pandemic and the social crisis, once the pandemic is over. The Prior Provincial of St. Thomas Province, Miguel Angel Hernandez, assures that the members of the Augustinian Recollect family cannot avoid the situation but can go forward. Referring to the words of Pope Francis, the religious assures that “it is not time for indifference”, and calls for solidarity and creativity of the religious.

The prior provincial expressed himself in this way in an interview on the program El Espejo of the Spanish radio station COPE in which he commented on the message of the superiors of the Augustinian Recollect family against the COVID-19. The document, in his opinion, is a testimony of unity and hope. “We cannot afford to be divided at this time because the world needs us”, he said.

On the consequences that will follow the outbreak of the coronavirus, Miguel Angel Hernandez has asked to reinvent himself and deploy all efforts to help the most vulnerable in this situation. “We cannot look the other way but face reality head on”, a reality that will be “painful” but which they must face like the Good Samaritan: “Kneel down in front of all those affected that we will meet to wipe away their tears, accompany their pain and, as far as possible, get them out of this situation”.

Miguel Ángel Hernández OAR: "Es tiempo de solidaridad"

He has also affirmed that God abandons no one, including the poor. “When the doors open, we will find many people wounded, lying in the gutters of life,” he said. In view of this, the Augustinian Recollect family has the “responsibility to touch those wounds with mercy”.

He also recalled the commitment to ARCORES to collaborate through donations or volunteering. “When the doors are opened, we will find many people wounded, thrown into the gutters of life”, he said.

He also valued the creativity of religious and lay people during the time of the pandemic. “There are evils that come for good”. In this line, he affirmed that the community relationship has been strengthened because the religious have had more time to be together. Likewise, the times of prayer have been strengthened. In all the communities “the doors have been opened” through the digital media so that people can enter to pray or celebrate the Eucharist with the friars.

In the photo: Prior Provincial Miguel Ángel Hernández with the young Augustinian Recollects in formation in Monachil (Granada) last February.