Special Mass Celebrates Life of Saint Augustine

The college's Augustinian friars and members of the Merrimack community gathered for a special Mass Aug. 29 to honor the man whose writings influenced the development of Western Christianity and Western philosophy, St. Augustine of Hippo.

The Feast Of Our Holy Father marks the date in the year 430 A.D. that Augustine died at age 76 in the city of Hippo Regius, in Roman North Africa, where he had served as bishop for 35 years. 

“Augustine is such a great saint to have as the spiritual father of our community; he had so much in common with us,” said Father Raymond Dlugos, OSA, Merrimack’s vice president of mission and ministry.

“Before St. Augustine found and experienced God loving him deeply and completely, he was a student and a teacher who tried to rely on his own abilities to become someone important,” Dlugos added “That left him miserable, unfulfilled and unhappy. But once he surrendered to God’s grace, he found his life deeply enriched with a search for truth and wisdom, which in turn led him to unity with others in love and service. All that we are at Merrimack follows his lead.”

Augustine left behind nearly 5 million written words in the form of books, letters and homilies. His writings have been a major part of the foundation of all of Western civilization, and especially the theology and spirituality of the Catholic Church. 

Major works, such as the “Confessions,” “On the Trinity” and the “City of God” are counted among the greatest intellectual achievements in human history.

Following Monday’s Mass in the Chapel of Our Mother of Good Counsel, the community gathered for a light lunch in the foyer and on the porch of Austin Hall.