Augustinian Recollects of the Sacred Heart

We´re a congregation founded in Maracay, Venezuela on January 1st 1901 by Bishop Justo Vicente Lopez Aveledo and our Mother María de San José Alvarado, today the first Venezuelan blessed; in the time of challenges and difficulties. Together, following the motion of the Holy Spirit, they founded, in the midst of extreme poverty, the first hospital in Maracay, followed it by many works in favor of the poorest and needy.

Since the beginnings our Congregation was responding to the social crisis of the moment, from the evangelical values ​​and from the love of Jesus Eucharist. Today, after more than a century of existence within the Church, our mission is carried out by the Divine Providence, the powerful hand of God, who does not disregard the cry of his children.

In many ways, we continue to walk, under the light of faith, next to the one who has nothing and the one who needs us most. Among the different apostolates that we exercise we are in: social apostolate, educational apostolate, social media, evangelization ministries, health care to which spiritual attention is added to people who request it in our communities and visits to the poorest in homes, hospitals, neighborhoods, garbage dumps and prisons; we support the pastoral ministry in parishes and public schools, everything under the constant intercession from prayer and adoration, prayer assemblies etc. In short, the list of spiritual and pastoral action of our religious family is endless. 

We carry out all this through the Augustinian Recollect charism that we have received from our founders and the mission that the Church entrusts to us, walking each day guided by the signs of the times that we have to live in our social reality in our works and our own experiences … with the sole purpose of glorifying God for everything He does for us, with us and through us in the heart of the needy brother.


Hna. Luisana Cruz

Hna. Isabel López
+0412-0123087 |



How do I know if I have a vocation to contemplative life?
The vocation to Religious Life is a gift from God. He calls us to his service and we must respond to his call with joy. A heart in love feels the desire to please God in everything, to live very close to Him and, as a consequence of that love, it gives itself in service to the poorest and needy, because in them he (God) wishes to comfort that loving heart. It´s necessary to discern, pray and discover where our true mission is, because no one is completely happy in another vocation to which she was not called. We´ll only feel fully happy where God has dreamed us, where He has arranged for us to serve Him Our Mother, Blessed Mary of St. Joseph, said: "The true vocation gives strength for everything."
What does it mean to be an Augustinian Recollect sister?
We are spiritual daughters of the great Father and Doctor of the Church, Saint Augustine of Hippo and of the first Venezuelan Blessed Mother Maria de San Jose. We cultivate the virtues of religious life through interiority, fraternal community and charity at the service of the poorest. WE ARE AUGUSTINIANS because we follow the spirituality and Rules of the great Father, Saint Augustine of Hippo. From the birth of our Congregation, our founder, Mother Maria de San Jose, offered a promise to Santa Rita de Casia that if the new Congregation was approved, we would be Augustinian. And so he did ... and so we are! WE ARE RECOLLECTS ... because we live the spirit of the Recollection. Spiritual movement that in 1588 made some Augustinian friars decides a life of greater service, work and devotion to God. The Augustinian Recollects was born, both for friars and nuns. Our Congregation in 1950 was added to the Order of Augustinian Recollects, at the request of some friars who treated our Mother Mary of San José very closely, since then we are Recollects! FROM THE HEART OF JESUS ​​We accept the last name "of the Sacred Heart", who’s spirit, lived deep in our Mother Maria de San Jose as a personal charism. She knew how to live and communicate in her daughters that immense love for the Heart of Jesus and his virtues that she left us as a spiritual legacy, through her testimony, her word and her writings: • Give up yourself • Adoration • Reconciliation • Fraternal Charity • Service Our Constitutions said: "... all love and inspiration rest in Him (Christ)."
What is the process of discernment?
It is a process of accompaniment, personalized, which will develop the experience of God's love and the call. Through interviews, meetings, vocational encounters, congregational activities and life experiences (spiritual, community and apostolic) we will interpret, guide and purify that project of God, according to the specific style of our Congregation, always open to the Holy Spirit action. The testimony of life and formation play an important role in this process, in which the young woman and the Vocation Ministry team, in common agreement and step by step, will discern the reality of the call and the personal capacity of the response, according to our charism.
What steps should I follow to enter the Congregation?
When a young woman approaches us or through this medium she manifests her vocation and would like to see more closely what we are and what we do the Augustinian Recollect Sisters, the first step is to invite her to one of our communities to meet and chat with her. Together we will see if really your motivations to choose for the Augustinian Recollect Religious Life are valid and if, in general, it does not present impediments to assume it as the fundamental option of your life. If the young woman decides to start the itinerary, she has to contact with our Vocational Promoters because they are the ones who have the task of leading the Vocational Accompaniment processes to the young people, organizing meetings, encounters, life experiences and days of personal and group work. This process of discernment is based on the opening and disposition of the heart.
What is the formation itinerary?
The first stages of formation (Aspirant, Postulancy and Novitiate) last between four and five years. The juniorate (which begins after the first vows) has a duration of five to nine years, as indicated in our Constitutions. We believe in a personalized formation process, so that each person is granted the time and space necessary to assume the formation and personal growth of each stage.
Agustinos Recoletos