The Augustinians have moved out of St Patrick’s Church in Rome, breaking the Irish connection with the historic church.
In a Chapter meeting in June the Augustinians made the decision to leave their Rome ministry, a choice believed to be driven by a shortage of priests. It is now run by the American Paulist Order and is being used by the Catholic American Community after they left the Church of Santa Susanna following a dispute with cloistered Cistercian nuns who wanted them to vacate the premises.
It was the idea of Fr Patrick Glynn, an Augustinian from Limerick, to build the church. The foundation stone was laid in 1888, but it wasn’t completed for another 23 years. St Patrick’s Church opened in Rome on St Patrick’s Day 1911.
This comes after the popular Orlagh retreat centre in Dublin was put up for sale last year. The Augustinians were on the site since 1872.
Last year the order held a ‘lay forum’ to give consideration to the lack of vocations and the increasing age profile of its members, which on average was 76.