St. Augustine is a parish and Catholic Student Center.
U Catholic Campus Ministry serves the college students at the University of Miami and local colleges.
Symbols are important elements that assist in communicating the reality of our lives. A symbol is a material representation that represents something immaterial. Within Christianity, with our belief that reality is far more than the material before us, symbols have long been central to communicating the message of faith.
For ourselves as a local community of faith, a symbol has been designed to represent in some small way our history, mission, and identity. The symbol includes a heart aflame being cradled in the arm of a bishop and surrounded by the words “Our hearts are restless until they rest in you.”
The heart aflame used in the symbol is one of the most well known representations of St. Augustine, our current patron. It is represented in the mosaic to the saint on the façade of the bell tower at the front of the church. The heart aflame speaks to the often restless journey of searching for meaning in one’s life. This restlessness is often readily apparent in the college years, but certainly can be present in all ages, as Saint Augustine himself lamented that he had come to love the Lord “late.” Only in Christ can the human heart reach its potential, finds peace for its restlessness, and become inflamed with love.
The heart also reminds us of our first two patrons, Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman and St. Thomas Aquinas. In 1949 the Church officially recognized the Newman Club of the University of Miami, celebrating the Eucharist with them for the first time. The motto of Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman is “Cor ad cor loquitur -
Heart Speaks to Heart.” In 1959, our current facility opened as the St. Thomas Aquinas Student Center. St. Thomas wrote beautifully of the desires of the heart when he prayed: “Give us, O Lord, a steadfast heart, which no unworthy affection may drag downwards; give us an unconquered heart, which no tribulation can wear out; give us an upright heart, which no unworthy purpose may tempt aside.”
The saying used in the symbol captures in words the reality of the heart aflame. It comes from Saint Augustine, who said “Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in thee..” Indeed, God created us and knows how to fulfill us. The saying reminds us to surrender ourselves into His hands, for only in that surrender will we find the freedom to enter the joys of faith, hope, and love for which we were created.
The bishop’s arm, cradling the heart, used in the symbol reminds of that we encounter Christ in his Church. Our belief in the Eucharist unites us to each other, in different roles and vocations. We stand on the shoulders of generations who came before us, and our lives are richer because of our communion with them. We stand in the bark of Peter even in the midst of tremendous waves. We are not alone. We were not created to be individualistic. We are not congregationalists. We are a members of the Body of Christ, a Church founded on the apostles with Christ as its head. As Saint Augustine said with regard to his own journey, “Iwould not believe the Gospel unless moved thereto by the Church.”
Ut unum sint.