In being involved in the missionary effort in Asia and the Pacific from the sixteenth century onwards, the Augustinians were often working beside other religious orders of the Catholic Church. This was particularly true of the Franciscans and the Jesuits, who often arrived there before the Augustinians and who also were present in greater numbers. Even so, the total number of years invested by Augustinians there was considerable, as can be seen hereunder.
Reference Maps of the Middle East, Far East and the Asian Pacific. http://www.worldatlas.com/webimage/countrys/me.htm
....(1) Spanish and Portuguese Involvement
The Philippines - begun by Spanish Augustinians. China - undertaken by Spanish Augustinians. Japan - begun by Portuguese and Spanish Augustinians, re-commemced by American Augustinians in 1952.India - begun by the Spanish and Portuguese Augustinians, re-commemced in 1978 by Augustinians in the Philippines.
....(2) Other Augustinian Involvement
Australia - begun by Irish Augustinians. Indonesia - begun by Dutch Augustinians.South Korea - begun by Australian and English Augustinians, and later joined by Augustinians from the Philippines. In 2017 all but three Augustinians in Korea were Korean-born.
From their base in the Philippines, the Augustinians extended their ministry to China in 1575 and to Japan in 1602. (A Portuguese Augustinian, Martin de Rada O.S.A., had previously visited Canton, China sometime soon after the year 1516.) For various reasons - mainly political - the Order ceased in India and in Japan, although it is now back again in both of those nations. The same tensions were repeated in China fifty years ago with the arrival of the Communist government.
The second half of the twentieth century saw a resurgence of the Order in the Asia-Pacific. After the Second World War the Province of Villanova (in the United States of America) re-established the Order in Japan and the Dutch Province came to Irian Jaya (now Papua), Indonesia. The Province of the Most Holy Name of Jesus (based in Spain), through its Vicariate of the Orient, re-introduced the Order to India during 1980.
Around the same time the Province of Australia and the Province of England and Scotland opened a mission in Korea. Later the Province of Cebú (Philippines) joined with the mission in Korea when the Province of England and Scotland withdrew. The first Augustinian to reach Australia began his ministry there in 1848. As geographically part of Oceanía, the Order in Australia is a member of the Asia and Pacific Augustinian Conference (APAC). For more information see: http://www.osa.org.au/en/organisations/asia-pacific-augustinian-conference
The number of Augustinian houses (communities) and members in Asia and the Pacific in recent years is as follows. (These numbers are increasing annually.)
At present there are six groupings of Augustinians in the Asia-Pacific area. The number of communities and of members changes slightly from year to year.
The Province of the Infant Saviour of Cebú (Philippines): 12 houses and 103 members;
the Vicariate of the Orient (based in Manila) with 3 communities in the Philippines and 23 members;
the delegation of Our Lady of Grace in India, with five communities and 31 members;
the vicariate of Japan: 4 houses and 15 members;
the delegation of Papua (Indonesia): 4 communities and 22 members;
and the delegation of Korea: 3 houses and with 16 members;
and the Province of Australia: 7 houses with 30 members (and additional personnel on loan from other nations).
In total there are slightly more than 200 friars residing and working in the Asia-Pacific region. A majority of these Augustinians are involved in evangelisation through parishes or centres of mission and primary schools. Others are dedicated to education in secondary and primary schools or in educational centres of the university and pre-university levels. This happens especially in Philippines, where the Augustinians direct universities and six high schools.
The Augustinians in each nation have also found specific local needs to address in the name of Jesus. For example, the Augustinians in Japan offer services to foreign workers; Korea attends the spiritual needs of Catholics through a spiritual retreat centre and runs a house for homeless male youth; Papua has a special program for the education of impoverished people. Many communities of the Province of Cebú and the Vicariate of the Orient have extensive programs of social orientation in their parishes and schools in various regions of the Philippines. The Australian Province has an Augustinian based in the Thailand and undertaking urban refugee ministry in Bangkok.
Asia-Pacific Chronology 1490-1520.
This is an overview of some of the persons and events that affected the Europeans during the years from 1490 to 1520. This section does not mention every Augustinian mission, yet at least covers almost every major area where these missionaries worked.
The years between 1490 and 1520 were an active time, filled with persons such as Christopher Columbus; Vasco da Gama; Michelangelo; Leonardo di Vinci; Martin Luther; Henry VIII, and Ferdinand Magellan.
Working for the king of Spain, Christopher Colombus is the first to sail across the Atlantic and reach America.
Pope Alexander VI (1492-1503) had assigned to the Portuguese the bringing of the Christian Faith to countries in the Far East.
Portuguese navigator Vasco da Gama rounded the Cape of Good Hope of South Africa and landed at Calicut (present Kozikode of India) by discovering the way by sea to India and the Far East.
Under the Padroado arrangement of the joint agreement of 1493 between the Church and King Manuel I of Portugal (1495-1521), the King sent the first missionaries (8 Franciscan priests, and 8 secular priests) to India in the fleet under the command of Pedro Alvares Cabral.
Michelangelo returns to his native Florence after five years at Rome. He begins work on a great statue of David.
Portugal sends Francisco de Almeida to the Indies as the first governor. He takes Quiloa and Mombasa on the African coast en route to his post, and he establishes forts at Calicut, Cananor, and Cochin on the Malabar coast of India.
In Lisbon, the capital of Portugal, there is a riot in which between 2,000 and 4,000 converted Jews are slaughtered.
Pope Julius II proclaims an indulgence to raise money for the rebuilding of Saint Peter's Basilica, Rome. This was to be a prelude to the Protestant Reformation ten years later, when Martin Luther affixed his celebrated theses to the doors of the church at Wittenberg on 31st October 1517.
Painting of the Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci.
Portuguese explorer Diego Alvaros Correa founds the first European settlement in Brazil near Porto Seguro.
England's Henry VII dies on 22 April at the age of 52 years, after a reign of nearly 24 years. He is succeeded by his athletic and educated son at the age of 17 years. He will reign until 1547 as Henry VIII. The new king is married on 11 June to Catherine of Aragon. She was aged 23 years, and a daughter of King Ferdinand II of Spain.
Portuguese explorer Afonso de Albuquerque takes the island of Goa, near the Malabar coast of India. It is Western Europe's first foothold in India, and will remain in Portuguese hands for more than 4½ centuries.
Ferdinand Magellan, a Portuguese who was working for the king of Spain, sailed completely around the world.