The Augustinian Order works in 50 countries throughout the world (to see these countries consult the map), spanning the 5 continents. Originally formed from a number of groups of Italian hermits the Order now has members with many languages, colours, interests and experiences. Each member tries, in the situation in which they find themselves, to be faithful to the Augustinian Rule and Spirituality. This involves living in community and sharing possessions, prayer and, most especially, their search for God.
Augustinians often write the three letters O.S.A. after their names. These letters stand for “Order of Saint Augustine”. At one point in our history the Order was known as the Order of Hermits of Saint Augustine (O.E.S.A.). In Great Britain the Order is often referred to as Austin Friars.
We are one of the four orders of mendicant friars; the others being the Franciscans, the Carmelites and the Dominicans. The term Friar refers to the fact that the members of these orders live as brothers (Latin Frater) in community. Friars were founded in the context of developing cities and urban centres which had very few clergy to serve the spiritual needs of the inhabitants. All friars take three vows of Poverty, Chastity and Obedience. Unlike Monks, friars do not take a vow of Stability (a special vow to remain in the same monastery for all of the monk’s life). Friars were founded to respond to the needs of a developing Church and so try to open to new projects and responding to new needs.
Document: The Basics of Augustinian Spirituality by Fr. Pat Codd OSA
This is an article about Saint Augustine http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/02084a.htm
Here is a link to the Order’s Home Page