The Augustinian character is evident in the following Augustinian values:
VERITAS: The journey of the restless heart (INTERIORITY) that is manifested in the constant and consistent search for the truth through the help of the inner teacher.
UNITAS: An intense emphasis on genuine unity that is manifested in our coming together as a COMMUNITY to live in one mind and one heart intent upon God (Rule 1.2)
CARITAS: Fostering of love through SERVICE to God and to the community/society for the development of the character and the formation of the will.
The purpose of education is about ‘moving the minds of the learners not simply that they may know what is to be done but that they may do what they already know should be done’ (St. Augustine-De Doctrinachristiana 4.12.17)
St. Augustine’s principle of education is not to only produce smart and intelligent people who have knowledge and can answer all the questions of the teacher in the classroom but that they may also believe what they know and put them into practice. In essence, the purpose of every Augustinian educational institution is to concretely solve problems using the Christian values that St. Augustine taught.
HOW AUGUSTINIAN VALUES ARE LIVED OUT IN OUR INSTITUTIONS
In our schools, the mission to mentor hearts and form minds for the common good is inspired by the Augustinian core values. Each day, sincere efforts are made to entrench the Augustinian values through a dialogue that encourages:
The search for truth- VERITAS
The enhancing of unity in the community- UNITAS
The fostering of love through service to God and humanity- CARITAS
The search for the truth in Christ as revealed in the scripture is very important to the Augustinian pedagogy (Curry, 2014). In our schools this search is carried out in the following:
1. PRAYERS: Here, we obtain the unction to function through:
– Daily masses
– Celebration of the sacraments
– Community prayers
2. TEACHING AND LEARNING:
In the Augustinian classroom apostolate, nothing is to be preferred than the search for truth since one cannot enrich the soul with grace if it has not been first enlightened with the truth (ActaApostolicaeSedis, 37). Therefore to achieve this:
a. Students are exposed to relevant issues so as to seek answers to important questions.
b. Learn the discipline of science and engineering
c. The arts of literature and history
d. The approaches to live a strong civic and responsible life.
The ultimate goal of this exercise is not only to acquire knowledge and skills but also so that the student may realize the truth and thus develop the good character and the inspiration to do God’s will by rejecting what is evil and accepting what is good (Curry, 2014).
3. PEER PARLIAMENT
For St. Augustine, the formation of the mind towards knowledge must be carried out with the formation of the will to do well. It is an extracurricular activity that offers everyone a voice in the discussion and a stake in the outcome. It’s a reinforcement of some of the topics already treated in the classroom.
The goal is to further empower the students and teachers with the requisite critical thinking skills to expand boundaries and articulate new vision.
The primary reason for our coming together is to live harmoniously in one mind and one heart intent upon God.
This value teaches us how to live together and create friendship and understanding through a dialogue with the inner teacher and with one another.
We achieve this value in the following:
– Wednesday Community masses
– Weekly Assembly
– Interactive session with staff and students
– Departmental/Committee meetings
Before all else, dear brothers, love God and then your neighbor because these are the chief
Commandments given to us (St. Augustine)
This value is rooted in humility and is committed to the needs of others, for the common good.
HOW DO WE MEASURE THIS LOVE?
By the degree to which each one shows concern about the common good as against one’s own good. Hence it is carried out through SERVICE to God, to the church and to the community.
SERVICE is the method and practice that strengthens the character and the will to act rightly (McCloskey, 2006).
If the methods and practices are good, they are motivated by a good love, if bad; they are motivated by an evil love (St. Augustine, City of God).
In our schools the methods and practices are expressed on the context of SERVICE because we believe that our knowledge and skills are useful only when they are used to promote love by working for the common good. We have achieved that in our school through:
– Peer Academic mentoring/volunteer services
– Support to the orphanage
– Character development
– Discovering potentials
– Controlling jealousy and the terrorism of gossip
– Offering solid faith in God through effective catholic teaching
– Helping to overcome division that has frustrated the quest for unity and an appropriate human development
– Encouraging the pursuit of meaningful careers and a problem solving oriented learning for the common good