CAVITE CITY—For fifty years, the community of Recoletos de Cavite has become a home for the members of the Secular Augustinian Recollect Fraternity. On October 6, 2018, SARF de Cavite celebrated their Golden Anniversary with the theme: SARF de Cavite at 50: Continuous Commitment to Live Holy Lives through the OAR Way of Life.”
The whole day celebration started with a Thanksgiving Mass presided by the Prior Provincial, Fray Dionisio Q. Selma, OAR. Together with him in the altar were the members of Recoletos de Cavite community headed by the local prior, Fray Rommel Rubia, OAR; the National Spiritual Director of SARF, Fray Bernabe Dosdos, OAR; and Fray Emilio Edgardo Quilatan, OAR, Chaplain of SARF Mira Nila Chapter. Members from other SARF Chapters also joined their brothers and sisters in Cavite.
In his homily, Fray Selma thanked the members of SARF de Cavite for their dedication and commitment to live out in their life the spirit of St. Augustine and the charism of Order of Augustinian Recollects as lay persons. He also challenged the SARF members to continuously carry their cross and become faithful witnesses of the Gospel in their own fields of life.
After the Mass, a motorcade was done in the nearby streets of San Sebastian College-Recoletos de Cavite. Then the program proper commenced.
Fray Rafael Pecson, OAR, School President of San Sebastian College-Recoletos, delivered the opening remarks. He used the song “This is Me” from the movie “The Greatest Showman” to impart to the SARF members his message of being proud for who they are.
The Prior of Recoletos de Cavite, Fray Rommel Rubia, OAR, welcomed those in attendance, including the members from other SARF Chapters. According to Fray Rubia, they intended to invite other SARF Chapters and their Spiritual Directors to join in their celebration because the golden anniversary of SARF de Cavite is not possible without the presence and support from other SARF Chapters in the Philippines.
To entertain the guests, students from SSC-R Cañacao Campus showed their dance prowess during their intermission numbers.
Sis. Corazon Lallana, SAR, President of SARF de Cavite from 1998 to 2004, reminisced the beginnings of the fraternity in Cavite. She shared with the attendees that SARF de Cavite, previously known as Third Order of Augustinian Recollects (TOAR) began with the initiatives of Dr. Rizalina Poblete, first Chapter President and also a former National President, and with the direction of Fray Miguel Navarro, OAR, their first Spiritual Director.
In the sharing of Sis. Lallana, eleven pioneering tertiary members were accepted during the first year of the fraternity. They were the ones in-charge of cleaning the chapel that was opened to the public for the celebration of the Holy Eucharist. Among the eleven tertiary members, three of them have sons who entered the seminary and became priests. They were Sis. Anguing Almario, mother of Msgr. Cirilo Almario who also became bishop of the Diocese of Malolos; Sis. Ester Aguilucho, mother of Fr. Alejandro Aguilucho from the Diocese of Imus; and Sis. Anita Quilatan, mother of Fray Emilio Edgardo Quilatan, OAR.
Fray Bernabe Dosdos, OAR, Spiritual Director of SARF National Council and Head of the Province’s Section for Secular Augustinian Recollect Fraternity, reminded the members of their calling to become willing witnesses of the Lord in their day to day living.
To give honor to the members of SARF de Cavite who served as members of the fraternity for more than thirty years, Certificate of Recognition was given:
- Sis. Felicisina C. Tirona, SAR (46 years)
- Sis. Julieta Herrera, SAR (36 years)
- Sis. Desideria Quinto, SAR (36 years)
- Sis. Corazon Lallana, SAR (36 years)
- Sis. Nyaha Cruz, SAR (33 years)
- Sis. Anita Quilatan, SAR (30 years)
The former Spiritual Directors were also recognized during the program. Previous and present Spiritual Directors of SARF de Cavite were:
- Fray Victor Lluch, OAR
- Fray Federico Dela Rosa, OAR
- Fray Emilio Larlar, OAR
- Fray Joseph Granada, OAR
- Fray Leopoldo Estioko, OAR
- Fray William Villaflor, OAR
- Fray Cristituto Palomar, OAR
- Fray Julius Marcos, OAR
- Fray Rommel Rubia, OAR
The Prior Provincial, Fray Dionisio Q. Selma, OAR, gave an inspirational message to the members of SARF de Cavite, as well as to other SARF members from other chapters. He focused his message to the universal call to holiness. Fray Selma began his talk with the words of Fray Jenaro Fernandez, OAR, a Servant of God and a candidate for beatification: “Si no soy santo, ¿para qué quiero la vida? (If I am not a saint, what do I want to live for?)” To deepen his reflection on the universal call to holiness, Fray Selma said that being a member of the Secular Augustinian Recollect Fraternity is a way towards holiness. “It is a continuous commitment to live a holy life as a Augustinian Recollect Tertiary,” said Fray Selma. Reverberating the interiority of St. Augustine, Fray Selma urged the members of the fraternity not to go out of themselves; return to their heart; and go beyond themselves.
After the inspirational message of the Prior Provincial, the closing remarks was delivered by Sis. Mitz Pleno, Vice President of SARF de Cavite. While guests were having their lunch, a song number was presented by the members of SARF de Cavite. It was an original composition of Fray Samuel Eyas, OAR, on the occasion of the Golden Anniversary of SARF de Cavite entitled “Jubilee Song.” After lunch, a raffle draw was done.