Tuesday, August 28, 2012

St. Augustine, Bishop of Hippo

Today is official feast day of St. Augustine.  He was born 13 November 354 in North Africa, about 45 miles south of the Mediterranean, in the town of Tagaste  in Numidia (now Souk-Ahras in Algeria), near ancient Carthage (modern Tunis), and he died on this day in 430 at the age of 75 where he served as bishop, the city of Hippo. 

Many times we forget what an impact North Africa had on Christianity.  Not only was our own Augustine from North Africa, but so were other notables, including: Tertullian (160–225), Clement of Alexandria (150-215), Origen of Alexandria (185-254), Cyprian (died 258) and Athanasius (296-373), and many of these are considered to the Early Church Fathers, and their writings are studied today in seminaries.  That study is known as Patristics (from the Latin word for father, “pater”).

During the Patristic period, the Church was in the midst of growth. People of differing views who were impacted by Jesus tried to work out what the life, death and resurrection of Jesus meant, how to best explain it, and how to remain faithful to what had been handed down to them from the Apostles and their successors. It was a period of struggle and disagreement. It was during this time that the Nicene Creed and the Athanasian Creed are developed.  What united us as a people of faith?  What was essential to believe?  The Church, with the aid of Augustine, worked its way through it being faithful to what the Apostles handed down as the genuine teaching of Christ. 

As Augustine wrote, “the Church is a hospital for sinners.”  None of us is perfect, far from it.  It is only the grace of God that redeems us and makes us whole.  As Augustine knew from his own life experience, we are weak creatures, always searching, but “our hearts are restless, unless they rest in you, O God!” 

Let us pray:  Lord God, the light of the minds that know you, the life of the souls that love you, and the strength of the hearts that serve you: Help us, following the example of your servant Augustine of Hippo, so to know you that we may truly love you, and so to love you that we may fully serve you, whom to serve is perfect freedom; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. 

THE PRAYER LIST: Please remember everyone on our Prayer List, but especially we pray for Charlie Fric, who is double organ transplant at UTMB, as well as for his wife, Cindy, and their daughter Victoria. Let us pray for the young woman who was injured by falling debris from a balcony during ArtWalk Saturday night, Shannon Elliott, who is a friend of Tammie Taylor’s.  We continue to pray for Steve, Sherman, Gladys, and the family of Ella Boyer.


Family Fun Night, this Friday at 6 p.m. Bring a game and snacks to share.

The new Adult Scripture Study starting in September for 6 weeks, the Kerygma study on The Lord's Prayer during the 11 a.m. hour.
The 4th Annual Art Show at St. Augustine’s.  This year’s theme is “Peace.”

Your servant in Christ,

Fr. Chester J. Makowski+
St. Augustine of Hippo Episcopal Church
Galveston, Texas 77550

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