400 A.D. – 1200 AD
The “Servants of God” was the name given by our Father Saint Augustine of Hippo (354 – 430) to the first monastic community that he founded for those who chose to live a life in common, consecrated to Christ Jesus in total dedication to his service. His desire was that they should form a community of chaste love, living together with one mind and one heart intent upon God. With the spirit and the Rule of St. Augustine there later arose many monasteries, for men as well as for women, which flourished in holiness and knowledge as time went on.
1200 A.D. – 1500 A.D.
In the Thirteenth Century, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and the guidance of the Church itself, these communities were formed into a united Augustinian Family with canonical structure. This new family became a mendicant Order or an Apostolic Fraternity, destined for the service of the Church and the sanctification of its members.
1500 A.D. – Present
It was in the bosom of this Augustinian family that the Holy Spirit, after several centuries, desired to awaken a movement toward greater perfection, a more austere and recollected life. This movement admirably manifested itself in 1588, when some religious of the Order of St. Augustine assembled in Toledo in a Chapter of renewal. In virtue of a special collective charism, they resolved to initiate a recollect way life for both men’s and women’s communities, characterized by purer and more intimate union with God and by stricter observance of the Rule.
This determination resulted in the foundation of Augustinian Recollections of Friars, thanks to Saint Alonso de Orozco (1500 – 1591) in 1589, and to Venerable Fray Luis de Leon. They later increased, united in the same yearning for fervor and were governed by a renewed set of Constitutions.
In the aftermath and confusion of the Second Vatican Council, each of the great Religious Orders, overwhelmed by the heresy of Modernism which became institutionalized within them, began to suffer grievous diminishment and radical secularization. Our Community, the Oblates of St. Augustine, draws from the inspiration of these great Augustinian movements seeking to live with renewed fervor, the traditional form of consecrated life which St. Augustine founded in the Church, illustrated with his doctrine and example, and directed with the holy Rule (Prologue, Constitutions of the Oblates of St. Augustine).