We have returned: Recollect Mission opens anew in Mindanao

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SURIGAO DEL SUR–The Province of St. Ezekiel Moreno of the Order of Augustinian Recollects has just made a comeback to Mindanao, the rightful place, at the eastern Pacific coast of the country, after more than a decade since it has relinquished a short-lived mission in Iligan, Lanao del Norte on 4th of October 2004.

Historical records attest that Caraga, the old capital of Surigao region down to Bislig, was once entrusted to the Recollects as early as 1622. (CBCP, Diocese of Tandag).

The mission flourished through thick and thin until 1864 when the Hispanic Friars finally left the Caraga mission. “One hundred fifty years ago since the Augustinian Recollects left the Caraga, now you have returned” (Bp. Nerio Odchimar, DD, Homily, August 12, 2017).

Long awaited

The move was initiated by the Local Ordinary of Tandag Most Rev. Nerio Odchimar, DD.
His invitation addressed to the Order in the person of the Prior Provincial Rev. Fr. Dionisio Q. Selma, OAR last year has become a strong gesture of collaboration between the two shepherds of souls. On his first ocular visit, the Recollect Provincial has sent emissaries led by Fray Edgar Tubio, OAR to Mindanao in October 2016. Fray Edgar being one of the Provincial councilors and head of the Secretariat of Mission and Ministerial Apostolate spent time and energy to reconnoiter the mission field and consequently realize a dream of a long awaited coming back to Mindanao.

Canonical Erection

After a year, the good Bishop, in the presence of 7 Augustinian Recollect friars namely, Frays Albert Pellazar, Jerome Virtudazo, Amado Emmanuel Bolilia, Edgar Tubio, Louie Gabinete, William Cordero, and Abraham Latoza plus the 16 diocesan priests, 2 deacons and 3 seminarians from the Diocese of Tandag, 2 religious sisters of the Dominican Order and the people of God represented by the 27 Christian communities, has canonically erected in the morning of August 12, 2017, a new Quasi-Parish under the tutelage of the Nuestra Senora del Carmen in Brgy. Dugmanon, Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur.

New Parish Priest

Rev. Fr. Albert Ampong Pellazar, OAR, former Vice President for Academics of the University of Negros Occidental-Recoletos in Bacolod was installed as the Prior of the new Recollect community and at the same time the Parish Priest. Fray Albert is a native of Guindulman, Bohol, a charismatic, game-changer and a fun-loving friar. Together with him is Fray Jerome Virtudazo, OAR (parochial vicar and liturgist) and Fray Mark Saludes, OAR, a deacon (procurator and chronicler).

In the ceremony the Recoleto friar recited the Profession of Faith, received the Canonical Books and the key to the Tabernacle from the Bishop, symbolic of the pastoral tasks entrusted to his care.

Dugmanon

The new mission territory is located in Brgy. Dugmanon, Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur in the Diocese of Tandag.

Dugmanon alone has a population of 1,000 and mostly Catholics with 300 households, and the new Recollect parish will administer the sacraments to 10 Barangays, 17 Sitios, having 27 chapels in total. If the ratio will be consistent for each Barangay the figures will definitely be overwhelming.

Dugmanon is a Kamayo dialect (the mother tongue for Surigao) which means “grassland.”
The Dugmanons configure a pious, warm, kind-hearted community of believers welcoming the new changes in their Catholic life. Hope is shining through in their smiles as they unite in prayer and share a helping hand in “bayanihan” (solidarity), one of the best traits of Filipinos.

Challenges

Indeed, there is a great deal of grassland in Dugmanon and in its neighboring villages. The ecosystem is naturally rich. But the most explicit challenges that the new community is facing rest on deforestation and environmental destruction. Illegal loggers castigate Mindanao since time immemorial. But the rapid loss of trees is unacceptable. Greed cannot be tolerated considering climate change wherein countries all over the world are working together to stop abuses in mindless mining and illegal logging to save our environment.

Justice and peace

In the northern part of the Diocese of Tandag, the Lumads have become the target of unjust killing on the interest of a few individuals or private firms driven by greed. It is threatening the lives of peaceful natives of Mindanao. The indigenous peoples’ rights cannot be undermined in exchange for profit. But this reality remains in the shadows of Mindanao specially to those in power. It has been a problem which up to now is searching for some answers.

Final Proverbs

The Bishop had a nostalgic narrative about his past. His opening statement was engaging. Rizal’s adage was used. He said: “Ang hindi marunong lumingon sa pinanggalingan ay hindi makararating sa paroroonan.” [Roughly: “He who does not know how to look back at where he came from will never get to his destination.”]

He made reference to his long years in the past as a newly ordained priest sent to Hinatuan, to the history of the Recollect missionaries, and he challenged the newly installed friar and his companion: “For the new priests [missionaries] like Fr. Albert and Fr. Jerome whom I would say they have come from ‘heaven.’ In your previous assignments, you have cars, you have fully air conditioned rooms, spacious offices. Here you will not have all of those amenities. Dugmanon is your purgatory. But if today, Dugmanon is a purgatory, I had a hell of experience fifty years ago! No roads, no chapels; no means of communications. We travelled by boat, we experienced storms and gigantic waves…to reach out to the farthest communities of Caraga and Bislig in the east coast of the Pacific …shipwrecked once… fell ill of amoebic dysentery for unsafe drinking water. But God never abandoned me. God will never abandon you. He will never abandon us!” the prelate concluded.

Grateful Heart

“Nabuksan ang langit ug nabubo ang gasa”

‘The heaven opens, the grace is poured out,’ says the newly installed Parish Priest of Dugmanon.
Chapels that receive the sacrament once a year can now avail of it every Sunday and some chapels, once a month. The farthest Christian communities and chapels will be able to hear Mass more frequently.

In his thanksgiving speech Fray Albert said: “A grateful heart is a happy heart.” He added: “To reach heaven is to build heaven here on earth and we can only build that heaven because we love.”

 

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Frei Bo

Frei Bo

Priest-Religious of the Order of Augustinian Recollects, Province of St. Ezekiel Moreno. Webmaster.

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< 2021 >
January
SMTuWThFS
     1
  • All day
    January 1, 2021

    SOLEMNITY OF MARY, MOTHER OF GOD

    54th WORLD DAY OF PEACE

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Cristita Cha, AR

2
  • All day
    January 2, 2021

    ATTENTION: Provincial-Level Christmas Party is CANCELLED.

    SIMPLE PROFESSION OF VOWS OF FRAY CHRISLEAN REY PAMILAGA
    SEMONORE, Antipolo City / 10:00 A.M.

    BIRTHDAY
    Bro. Conrado Flores, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)
    Sis. Emma Toro, SAR (Valencia Chapter)
    Sis. Marcelina Nicolas, SAR (Tondo Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sis. Rizalina Salera, SAR (Cavite Chapter)

3
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    January 3, 2021

    SOLEMNITY OF THE EPIPHANY

    500th Year of the Excommunication of Martin Luther (1521-2021)

    60th Anniversary of the Establishment of a Catholic Hierarchy in Indonesia

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Ma. Bella Mojica, AR
    Sis. Basilisa Espinola, SAR (Miranila Chapter)
    Sis. Carmencita Abis, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    Sis. Melodina Paragat, SAR (Talisay Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sr. Clemencia Ranin, AR

4
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    BIRTHDAY
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    Sis Mary Grace Susas, SAR (Talisay Chapter)
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    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sr. Regina Cadiz, AR
    +Sr. Adelaida Elli, AR

5
  • All day
    January 5, 2021

    BIRTHDAY
    Sis Estelita Divinagracia, SAR (Miranila Chapter)
    Bro. Jose Pepito Gabriel Bonete, SAR (Puerto Princesa Chapter)
    Sis. Emiliana Carao, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Leila Barizo (RAY-Cavite)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sr. Ma. Cleofe Claro, AR
    +Fray Casiano Cosmilla
    [Attention Recoletos de Manila Community: “the community to which he belongs will celebrate… Mass on the first anniversary of his death” (Add. Code 94a)]

6
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    BIRTHDAY
    Sis. Sylvia Evina, SAR (Puerto Princesa Chapter)
    Sis. Grace Aba-a, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sr. Juana de la Merced, AR
    +Bro. Rustico Magdales, SAR (Manila Chapter)

7
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    BIRTHDAY
    Sis. Eliza Stubbs, SAR (Miranila Chapter)

8
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    RST: START OF ENROLMENT

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Ian Anthony Espartero
    Sr. Leticia Cerdeño, AR

9
  • All day
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    FEAST OF THE BLACK NAZARENE
    (The traditional Traslación is canceled due to Covid-19)

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Rosario Bianes, AR
    Sis. Marcelina Taguinod, SAR (Tondo Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    |+Sr. Dominga Gargarita, AR

10
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    January 10, 2021

    FEAST OF THE BAPTISM OF THE LORD

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sr. Ma. Luz Asuncion Nitura, AR
    +Sr. Paulina de la Purisima Corazon de Maria, AR

11
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    BIRTHDAY

    Sr. Catalina Ruiz, AR
    Sis. Elena Dagdag, SAR (Baguio Chapter)
    Ian Gabrielle Canlubo (RAY-Cavite)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sr. Ma. Zita Lloren, AR
    +Sis. Elena Caballero, SAR (San Carlos Chapter)

12
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    January 12, 2021

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Reynaldo Jaranilla
    Sis. Josephine Guinto, SAR (Tondo Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sis. Bro. Hilario Torcedo, SAR (Baguio Chapter)
    +Sr. Ma. Fortunata Gayumale Gaspillo, AR

13
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    January 13, 2021

    ANNIVERSARY OF EPISCOPAL ORDINATION
    (1998-2021)
    Archbp. Jose Palma, D.D. (Archdiocese of Cebu)

    BIRTHDAY
    Bro. Jonathan Casiño, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)
    Bro. Antonio Sonsona, SAR (Tondo Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Mo. Rosario Rosales, AR

14
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    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Emilia Madrigal, AR
    Bro. Jose Valdez, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)
    Sis. Luisa Gumiran, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sis. Esterlita Gracia, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)

15
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    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Anthony Irineo
    Sr. Ma. Marcela de la Cruz, AR
    Bro. Maximo Epanto, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sr. Ma. Virgin de la Consolacion, AR

16
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    COMMEMORATION OF THE DEAD RELATIVES OF THE MEMBERS OF THE ORDER

    BIRTHDAY
    Mo. Maria del Carmen, OAR (Bacolod)
    Sr. Zerah Cordero, AR
    Sis. Alice Mojica, SAR (Cavite Chapter)
    Sis. Bernarda Tan, SAR (Tondo Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
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    +Sis. Amelia Casiño, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)

17
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    FEAST OF THE STO. NINO

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Corvin Maturan
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    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sr. Celedonia de la Santissima Trinidad, AR
    +Sr. Cesaria Barbarona, AR

18
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    January 18, 2021

    WEEK OF PRAYER FOR CHRISTIAN UNITY
    Inclusive dates: January 18-25, 2021
    Theme: “Abide in my love and you shall bear much fruit” (John 16:1-17)

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Joseph Dexter Palagtiosa
    Sis. Guia Gonzales, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)

19
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    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Cleofe Maria Agua, AR
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    Sis. Myrna Amante, SAR (Tondo Chapter)

20
  • All day
    January 20, 2021

    ST. SEBASTIAN (PATRON SAINT OF MANILA & CAVITE COMMUNITIES, DIOCESE OF BACOLOD)

    SSC-R MANILA’s FOUNDATION CELEBRATIONS
    Inclusive dates: January 20-22,2021

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Adelina Reyes, AR
    Sis. Mercedes Velada, SAR (Tondo Chapter)

21
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    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Urbano Galanido
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    Sis. Alice Catulong, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Sis. Anecita Paglinawan, SAR (Laray Chapter)

22
  • All day
    January 22, 2021

    BIRTHDAY
    Most Rev. Victor Bendico, DD (Bishop of Baguio)

23
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    BIRTHDAY
    Bro. Marciano Cleofas, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)
    Sis. Gloria Acosta, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    Sis. Esterlina Silva, SAR (San Carlos Chapter)
    Sis. Rosemarie Gaspar, SAR (Valencia Chapter)
    Judith Mondejar (RAY-Caidiocan)
    Kathrine Bacalso (RAY-Laray)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sr. Gertrudis del Pilar, AR
    +Sr. Cresencia Vailoces, AR

24
  • All day
    January 24, 2021

    SUNDAY OF THE WORD OF GOD
    [NOTE: Pope Francis’ Apostolic Letter, Motu proprio Aperuit illis, published on 30 September 2019, establishes that “the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time is to be devoted to the celebration, study and dissemination of the Word of God”.]

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Ma. Paz Bawagan, AR
    Sr. Faith Niña Fuertes, AR
    Sis. Florida San Juan, SAR (Tondo Chapter)
    Sis. Raymunda Co, SAR (Laray Chapter)
    Analyn Martinez (RAY-Valencia)

25
  • All day
    January 25, 2021

    SOLEMNITY OF THE CONVERSION OF ST. PAUL

    CSNT-Rs 50th (1971-2021) FOUNDING ANNIVERSARY Inclusive dates: January 25-30, 2021

    BIRTHDAY
    Sis. Erlinda Casaje, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    Bro. Rodelio Gasparillo, SAR (Bacolod Chapter)
    Bro. Feddie Junsay, SAR (Bacolod Chapter)
    Joelle Maria Mendoza (RAY-Miranila)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Ma. Lucia Sagmit, AR

26
  • All day
    January 26, 2021

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Cristopher Maspara
    Sis. Henrietta Morales, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)

    ANNIVERSARY OF EPISCOPAL ORDINATION
    (2005-2021)
    Most Rev. Reynaldo Evangelista, D.D. (Diocese of Imus)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sis. Margarita Zafra, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)

27
  • All day
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    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Marilyn Cula, AR
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    Sis. Evelyn Balingit, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sis. Murita Jara, SAR (Tondo Chapter)

28
  • All day
    January 28, 2021

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Louie Gabinete

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Fernanda del Pilar, AR
    Sr. Ines Garcia, AR

29
  • All day
    January 29, 2021

    LAUNCHING OF HEART SOLIDARITY CAMPAIGN 2021 / Province of St. Ezekiel Moreno only

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Francisca Rojas, AR
    Sis. Lourdes Insigne, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)
    Jona Mendoza (RAY-Miranila)

30
  • All day
    January 30, 2021

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Jonathan Caballero
    Sr. Angelica Fuentes, AR
    Sr. Pascualina Peral, AR
    Sis. Violeta Siozon, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)
    Sis. Fedencia dela Criz, SAR (Brooke’s Point Chapter)
    Sis. Minerva Alcarde, SAR (San Carlos Chapter)

31
  • All day
    January 31, 2021

    4TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

    68th WORLD LEPROSY DAY

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Josephine Ativo, AR
    Sis. Saturnina Antolihao, SAR (Tondo Chapter)
    Lance Raven Lapinig (RAY-Talisay)

      

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