He started his school career at Petit Seminaire Higher Secondary School, Pondicherry. He joined the minor seminary at St. Agnes Seminary, Cuddalore. He graduated from St. Joseph's College, Tiruchirapalli. He was ordained a priest on 15 April 1961 by Monsignor Ambrose, the then Archbishop of Pondicherry and Cuddalore. After ordination in 1961, he was appointed as Sous — Director of Petit Seminaire Higher Secondary School, Pondicherry. He later went to Paris for higher studies in philosophy at l'Institut Catholique de Paris, France and obtained his Licentiate in Philosophy. On his return to India in 1965, he was appointed professor of Philosophy at Saint St. Peter’s Pontifical Seminary at Bangalore.
In the year 1974, Pope Paul VI appointed him as the Rector of St. Peter's Pontifical Seminary, Bangalore and stayed there till 1978 when he was consecrated as the Auxiliary Bishop of Madras and Mylapore.. On 30 January 1978, A happy news came that Pope Paul VI appointed Father Michael Augustine as the Auxiliary Bishop of Madras-Mylapore Archdiocese to assist Archbishop Arullappa and bestowed upon him the titular see of Bararus. He was consecrated a bishop by then Archbishop Duraisamy Simon Lourdusamy (later Cardinal) the then Secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples on 29 March 1978.He was appointed as bishop of Vellore on 10 July 1981 by Pope John Paul II. Pope John Paul II appointed Bishop Michael Augustine as the Metropolitan Archbishop of Pondicherry and Cuddalore on 25 June 1992. He received the pallium from his predecessor Archbishop Emeritus Venmani S. Selvanather in 1992 at the Cathedral of Pondicherry Archdiocese. He resigned as the Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Pondicherry and Cuddalore(India) on 10 June 2004 upon attaining the age of superannuation.
On 30 January 1978, Pope Paul VI appointed Father Michael Augustine as the Auxiliary Bishop of Madras-Mylapore Archdiocese to assist Archbishop Arullappa and bestowed upon him the titular see of Bararus. He was consecrated a bishop at the age of 45 years by then Archbishop Duraisamy Simon Lourdusamy (later Cardinal) the then Secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples with co-consecraters Archbishop Venmani S. Selvanather of Pondicherry and Archbishop Anthony Rayappa Arulappa of Madras as on 29 March 1978, the episcopal ordination mass was attended by many bishops from Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Pondicherry regions and many priests and laity attended. Under the guidance of Archbishop Arullappa, Bishop Michael Augustine learnt many things and served as an auxiliary bishop for nearly 3 years.
On 10 July 1981, Most. Rev. Dr. S. Michael Augustine, till then Auxiliary Bishop of Madras – Mylapore, was nominated by Roman Catholic Church as the fourth Bishop of the Diocese of Vellore. The Installation service took place on 24 July 1981 at 6.00 p.m. in the Cathedral Campus at Vellore.
Bishop S. Michael Augustine was the Bishop of Vellore for 10 years and 11 months. During his tenure of office, about 100 churches and chapels were built; seven new parishes were erected, six convents and dispensaries and three high schools were opened, and five elementary schools were upgraded to middle schools.
He noticed that Catholics do not hold high positions. To achieve this, He started summer coaching classes for the students who finished school. This coaching classes helped many people to go for medicine, nursing, engineering and other technical trainings. He has also established a scholarship fund for professional studies. The children should have strong foundation in their education. So he started coaching classes for High School children. The coaching classes were conducted for a month. The whole expenses were met by the projects and Diocesan contributions.
The future of the Diocese depends upon the priests we get. To foster local vocations, he started a minor seminary at Pathiavaram. As the Tamil Nadu Bishops decided to have the college education as minimum qualification for major seminary admission, a seminary was started at Koviloor so that the students can attend Sacred Heart College, Tirupattur. He was transferred and promoted as Archbishop of Pondicherry and Cuddalore on 24 March 1992. He remained administrator of Vellore Diocese till 25 June 1992.
Pope John Paul II elevated Bishop Michael Augustine of Vellore as Archbishop of Pondicherry and Cuddalore on 25 June 1992.Before he took charge as Archbishop, there were many problems he solved all the problems and various other issues, he served as an abled administrator.He submitted his resignation upon medical grounds and Pope John Paul II accepted his resignation from the Metropolitan See of Pondicherry and Cuddalore after 12 years of pastoral care in Pondicherry as its Shepherd.