Sister Maria de la Eucharistía is the prioress of the Monastery of Santa María de Gracia, house of the Augustinian Nuns in Huelva, on which the school of the same name depends. A community with more than 5 centuries of history in the capital of Huelva belonging to the Federation of Augustinian Nuns of Our Lady of Good Counsel and Saint Alonso de Orozco.
The community has seen how students of the school have discovered their call to the contemplative life within those same walls. Sister Maria of the Eucharist herself saw the call of God as a student of an Augustinian school when she "breathed the Augustinian charism in the words and life of my nuns". In her school she lived "the spiritual accompaniment in that close, loving and enthusiastic atmosphere was the fabric of my fidelity. I owe a lot to my nuns-teachers. There was a vocational culture and several of us students related to this ideal, which helped us to deepen it and take care of it".
Ancient and varied Augustinian charism
Augustinian spirituality is ancient and rich, which has given rise to many different ways of living it: "So many that what St. Augustine asks of us as the foundation for living it is nothing more nor less than the first commandment of the Law of God", emphasizes this religious, "and he puts as the first thing for which we are gathered in community is 'to have one soul and one heart oriented towards God'. Therefore, there is a variety of vocations and missions inspired by the Augustinian charism, since they are the thousand and one ways of living the love of God and neighbor".
Vocations among your students
At a time when many religious orders dedicated to teaching do not seem to see vocational fruits, in the community of Huelva there are several sisters who have passed through the classrooms of the school uniting apostolic and educational vocation.
Sister Maria Eucharistia has lived it in first person as a teacher and director of these centers of Augustinian education: "The Lord has given me the grace, from my first glimpses of vocation, to unite as the two sides of the same coin, the love for the contemplative life and the apostolic life of teaching; and, in both, the doctrine and spirit of St. Augustine, lived in study and imbibed in the experience of my years as a schoolgirl. From them I have been nourished, sustained and oriented in my long years dedicated to education".
The Augustinian Order, like all ancient orders, has seen a great reduction in the number of vocations. There are more vocations in those of us who have adopted a constitutional enclosure, in which the apostolate is allowed, we have schools and some houses for the care of minors".
For her, "the Augustinian charism is maintained by valuing the union of contemplative life and service to the Church, and we strive for it. But it is certain that more workers are needed for the harvest of the Lord. The adaptation to the signs of the times supposes to safeguard the roots and to take care of the fruits, being what we are and to what we have been called, opening ourselves to the light of today with its calls to life".