SAVI 2024

The Student Augustinian Values Institute was a beneficial and valuable experience for all those who attended. Over this four-day retreat, students from Augustinian schools across the continent came together at Malvern Prep to celebrate one common theme: unity.
SAVI 2024

The Student Augustinian Values Institute (SAVI) occurred over four days, spanning from Thursday afternoon on April 11th to Sunday morning on April 14th. Several students from multiple Augustinian schools across the continent, including one from Canada, participated in a unity-strengthening experience. A few events that took place included community service, school video presentations, which showcased each school, and collaborative talks on St. Augustine and the Augustinian values of unitas, veritas, and caritas. 


Those who attended traveled to Philadelphia to see several sights such as the Rocky Steps and Old St. Augustine, a Roman Catholic Church. An evening prayer and a concluding mass were other uniting aspects of this experience. Students selected to be a part of this retreat consistently display and live out Malvern Prep’s core values of truth, unity, and love. As a member of SAVI this year, I was honored to be selected to participate in such an incredible program.


Mr. Andrew Goyer, Malvern Prep’s Campus Minister, explained the meaning behind SAVI as well as other details about the program. 


“SAVI stands for Student Augustinian Values Institute, and it is a program for all of our Augustinian schools in North America,” Goyer said. “So that would be nine in the U.S. and then one in King City, Ontario, Canada. All ten schools [sent] six sophomore delegates to come together, retreat, and explore our values of truth, unity, and love.”


Alex Ciarlone, a sophomore at Malvern Prep who attended SAVI this year, spoke about his experience in this enriching retreat.


“The thing I enjoyed most about SAVI was meeting all the people from across the continent. We all share the same Augustinian core values…I love hearing [about] their backgrounds, where they’re from, and how they grew up. But I just love that we all share that special bond of truth, unity, and love,” Ciarlone said.


Fr. Bill Gabriel, Head of Mission and Ministry at Malvern Prep, shared his thoughts on how the idea of brotherhood and unity is shown and strengthened at SAVI.


“I think in many ways that the brotherhood we use here at Malvern can be expanded on a SAVI experience and to be seen as being part of brothers and sisters in this charism and in this mission,” Gabriel said. “I think naturally when you put people together, even though they’re from different places, you get the common groundwork of who we are as Augustinian schools. So I think brotherhood naturally gets strengthened [at an experience like this].”


Mr. Goyer talked about what inspired the creation of the Student Augustinian Values Institute as well as what went into this creation process. 


“These Augustinian schools were founded in different [locations and were] not all founded at the same time. But as schools adopted the Augustinian tradition, our network was growing. We wanted to find a way to connect and further immerse our respective school cultures in the values. So how would we do that? We thought it’d be best to bring our students here and discuss and have programs that would embody those values. So it just brings [everyone] together in common value,” Goyer said.


Alex Ciarlone ‘26 offered some advice for someone attending SAVI for the first time as well as several takeaways from his experience. 


“I would say getting yourself out there, definitely meeting all these different people from across the country is so fascinating,” Ciarlone said. “I would [also] say from all Augustinian schools that they’re definitely very similar to you…just learning about them, talking to them, and sharing these experiences with them is so special.”


Fr. Bill took a deeper look into how the SAVI experience as a whole helps the participants grow in their faith collectively. 


“[The SAVI experience] cultivates a heart that is humble and open and one that seeks truth with others in unity, and expresses that love in many ways. And so, how do we have other people who are part of our schools, immerse in our mission, take on and own the values that we profess? SAVI was a natural piece of saying this. One way is to have a small group of students from each [school] to be able to collaborate and grow in this charism so that others can take it on beyond the Augustinian Friars,” Gabriel said. 


The Student Augustinian Values Institute certainly made an imprint on the participants. The young men and women who participated in this enriching event left feeling more united in the Augustinian tradition. This program strengthened and united one another and left a lasting impact on all who attended. It also created special bonds that will last a lifetime. In the end, it couldn’t have been possible without the dedication and hard work of Malvern Prep’s Mission and Ministry Team. I was truly honored and grateful to be able to have this opportunity to go on SAVI this year, and I hope others will experience this, too.

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