Recoletos friars attend APAC Convention in Vietnam


QUEZON CITY – Two Augustinian Recollect religious of the Province of St. Ezekiel Moreno participated in the Asia-Pacific Augustinian Conference (APAC) Convention held in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam last November 9-11, 2018.

Fray Edgar Tubio, OAR, Section Head of the Ministerial and Mission Apostolates, and Fray Kenneth Joseph Onda, OAR, Master of the Professed of the Recoletos Formation Center, were delegated to represent the Recoletos in that gathering “not only of the members of the Order of St. Augustine (OSA) but also of other Augustinian congregations and orders who follow the Rule of St. Augustine.”

Currently, there are 11 countries that are members of the so-called “APAC nations”: Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Thailand, Tonga, Vietnam and the Philippines.

The goals of the Conference itself include: meeting the need for close communication at all levels, fostering relations and developing forms of assistance among all the members; promoting projects at regional, national and international levels; promoting vocations to the Augustinian family, better formation of candidates, ongoing formation and Augustinian spirituality; and increasing common awareness of the values, needs and aspirations of the people of Asia and of the Pacific, especially the poor and the young, and developing new models of evangelization.

The recently-concluded APAC Convention, according to Fray Tubio, “was specifically meant to assist in the discernment of establishing communities, receiving candidates, and establishing collaboration in the context of Vietnam.”

A glimpse of Church history in Vietnam

In a historical overview of the Church in Vietnam, it was presented that the 19th-century persecution of Catholics in the country, “one of only five countries in the world that is still ruled by a Communist party,” ranged between 130,000 to 300,000.  “The 117 proclaimed saints represent the many unknown martyrs.”

The end of World War II stoked the start of the decolonization movement which paved the way to the split of the country into two regions: the North and the South.

The Catholic Church in the North became the silent Church under the Iron Curtain while the one in the South enjoyed freedom in doing evangelization and charitable works such as those in the schools, orphanages, and nursing homes for the elderly.

At the end of Vietnam War on April 1975, the Church in the South suffered the same harsh policies from the State.

In 1978, the Catholic Bishops Conference of Vietnam opted for the way that best fit the people of God: “That Catholics should collaborate with the State policies in what is not against the faith, ‘living the Gospel among the beloved people of Vietnam’.” In this way, the Church was construed as renewing Herself with the Vatican’s “Gaudium et Spes” (literally, “Joy and Hope”), a Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, promulgated in 1965.

The years from 1975 to 1990 were viewed as the 25 years of a silent Church, during which the Catholics of the North and the South “traversed the same journey of persecution: all Catholic institutes were confiscated by the State, only parish churches [and residential houses of religious] were spared.”

The year 1990 marked the dawn of “a reviving Church.” Since that year, the State has “opted to try the ‘market economy’ and relaxed some policies towards religions.”

With these, some crucial steps that were quite favorable particularly to the Catholic Church included, among others: the lifting of restrictions on priestly ordination (although not completely yet since a Police Clearance is required for ordination), and of congregations’ admission of young candidates; granting of permits for church constructions; allowing female congregations to operate Kindergarten, etc.

Furthermore, Vietnam, which covers 331,699 sq. km, has a population of 96,279,392 (as of 2017) of whom 6,812,954 (or 7.1%) are Catholics. The Catholic Church in Vietnam is divided into 26 dioceses. In the Archdiocese of Sai Gon alone (as of August 2018), there are 218 religious congregations, 23 secular institutes, 16 societies, and two associations.

Beyond these figures were the observations that: “Catholic lay people still respect and revere the Church leadership and are generous to offer their contribution for the Church’s cause” and “Catholic families are still encouraging their sons and daughters to choose consecrated life or diocesan priesthood.”

Challenges and Recommendations

Several key areas were noted as challenges in relation to religious life. From a wider perspective, there is the negative impact left behind by the indoctrination of Marxist ideology. The “dishonest environment” in which telling lies, for instance, is not considered a grave sin, affects the psychological and spiritual growth especially of the young. And there, too, is the issue of motivation, whether authentic or not, of candidates, which cannot just be known easily within a short period of interaction with them.

The country’s surging economy, moreover, is creating consumeristic mentality and comfortable lifestyle which are factors that, as in other countries, impinge on consecrated persons. The spirit of mission “intra gentes” (especially because 93% of the country’s population are non-Christians) is weak.

“Fidelity is also a challenge because it is being shaken by the fragmented and transient nature of today’s disoriented society,” added the report.

The proposal therefore was: Since “formation to fidelity to God, to the Church, to one’s own Institute… begins from the moment of the selection of candidates, there is a need to place much more emphasis on proactive personalities, with a spirit of enterprise and initiative, with the capacity to make free choices and to organize their lives around these, without external or internal constrictions.”

The need for a relevant form of discernment must take into consideration two reference points, the report said. These are: “on the one hand, a criterion about suitability shared by the team of formation personnel… and, on the other hand, the evident presence in the candidate of those qualities that foster identification with a plan of evangelical life.”

Since it is possible to make mistakes in other areas except in formation, formation then must “be focused more and more on the individual making it his own, and understood as giving greater depths to motivations, taking a personal stand regarding values and attitudes in harmony with the consecrated vocation and good accompaniment by the formation personnel.”

As to the question: “How to begin fishing for vocations in Vietnam?” several tips were shared to the Convention participants and foremost among them were: Make contacts with some Church leaders in Vietnam and know better the situation, and link with the (parish) priests or religious to assist you in initiating contacts with the locals.

14th APAC Convention

With the theme “Augustinians on Common Mission in Vietnam,” the Convention held in the business capital city of Ho Chi Minh was already the 14th since APAC was born on September 13, 1977. The earlier Conventions took place in the following venues: Manila, Philippines (1980, 1984, 1987, 1990); Nagasaki, Japan (1993); Iloilo City, Philippines (1996); Sydney, Australia (1999); Cebu, Philippines (2002); Incheon, Korea (2005); Tagaytay City, Philippines (2008); Novaliches, Philippines (2012); Kalimantan, Indonesia (2014); and Cebu, Philippines (2017).

This year’s Convention was participated in by five (5) religious institutes within the Augustinian Family, to wit: Order of St. Augustine (OSA) of Sto. Niño de Cebu, Australia, Vicariate of the Orient; Augustinians of the Assumption (AA), Augustinian Missionaries of the Philippines (AMP), Augustinian Sisters of the Divine Mercy (of Ketapang, Indonesia), Augustinian Sisters of Our Lady of Consolation (ASOLC), and Order of Augustinian Recollects (OAR).

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Fray Jose Ernil Almayo, OAR

Fray Jose Ernil F. Almayo, OAR, is currently the Provincial Secretary of the St. Ezekiel Moreno Province and Chairman of the Commission on Communications and Publications-Recoletos

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< 2019 >
February
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     1
  • All day
    February 1, 2019

    32nd FOUNDING ANNIVERSARY (1987-2019) OF THE OUR LADY OF CONSOLATION PARISH, Miranila, Quezon City
    Note: The celebration is moved to February 3 (Sunday)

    REGIONAL RAY SUMMIT – LUZON
    Inclusive dates: February 1-3, 2019
    Venue: SSC-R de Cavite, Cañacao Campus
    Theme: “Filipino Youth in Mission: Beloved. Gifted. Empowered.”

2
  • All day
    February 2, 2019

    FEAST – PRESENTATION OF THE LORD (CANDELARIA)

    WORLD DAY FOR CONSECRATED LIFE

    Day of Consecrated Life- Diocese of Cubao
    Venue: National Shrine of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Broadway Avenue, New Manila, Quezon City

    15:00 Registration
    15:30 Talk: “Challenges and Prophetic Roles of the Priestly and Consecrated Life in our Time.” Speaker: Most Rev. Pablo Virgilio David, D.D.
    17:00 Snacks
    17:30 Solemn Vespers
    18:00 Eucharistic Celebration Mass Presider: Most Rev. Honesto F. Ongtioco, D.D.
    19:00 Fellowship

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Ma. Petra Pascual, AR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Socorro Japson, AR

3
  • All day
    February 3, 2019

    APOSTOLIC JOURNEY TO THE UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
    DAY 1: ROME – ABU DHABI
    13:00 Departure by plane from Roma/Fiumicino for Abu Dhabi
    22:00 Arrival at Abu Dhabi Presidential Airport / Official Welcome

    CEAP SUPERINTENDENTS COMMISSION MID-YEAR ASSEMBLY
    Inclusive Dates: February 3-6, 2019
    Venue: L’Fisher Hotel, Bacolod City, Negros Occidental

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Ceferino Añez

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Filomena de Jesus, AR

4
  • All day
    February 4, 2019

    APOSTOLIC JOURNEY TO THE UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
    DAY 2: ABU DHABI
    12:00 Welcome Ceremony at the main entrance of the Presidential Palace
    12:20 Official visit to the Crown Prince in the Presidential Palace
    17:00 Private meeting with the members of the Muslim Council of Elders in the Grand Mosque of Sheik Zayed
    18:10 Interreligious meeting at the Founder’s Memorial

    MEETING OF THE COMMISSION ON FINANCE AND ASSETS IN ROME
    Inclusive dates: February 4-8, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Bernard Amparado
    Sr. Andrea Cabunilas, AR
    Sr. Jannet Nicer, AR

5
  • All day
    February 5, 2019

    APOSTOLIC JOURNEY TO THE UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
    DAY 3: ABU DHABI – ROME
    9:15 Private visit to the Cathedral
    10:30 Holy Mass in the ZAYED SPORTS CITY
    12:40 Farewell Ceremony at Abu Dhabi Presidential Airport
    13:00 Departure by plane for Rome
    17:00 Arrival in Rome/Ciampino International Airport

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray James Castelo
    Fray Jovy Gallego
    Sr. Anselma Millan, AR

6
  • All day
    February 6, 2019

    SPORTSFEST – USJ-R, BALAMBAN CAMPUS
    Inclusive dates: February 6-9, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Ronel Gealon
    Mo. Ma. Emilia Gaspillo, AR
    Sr. Doraine Suyko, AR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Fray Alberto Avanzado

7
  • All day
    February 7, 2019

    13th PROVINCIAL COUNCIL MEETING

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Jess Marco Sanchez
    Sr. Ma. Lina Gonzaga, AR
    Sr. Gewena Gay Villarubia, AR

8
  • All day
    February 8, 2019

    5th INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER AND AWARENESS AGAINST HUMAN TRAFFICKING (cf. LAMP, 52)

    GENERAL ASSEMBLY MEETING – CORE GROUP OF THE SECRETARIAT OF SPIRITUALITY AND FORMATION
    Venue: Bulwagang Recoletos Atrium
    8:00 AM – 5:00 PM

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Elflida Palma, AR

9
  • All day
    February 9, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Elpidio Sarita, Jr.

10
  • All day
    February 10, 2019

    20th INAUGURATION ANNIVERSARY (1999-2019)
    OF THE PROVINCE OF ST. EZEKIEL MORENO

11
  • All day
    February 11, 2019

    OUR LADY OF LOURDES

    WORLD DAY OF THE SICK (cf. LAMP, 52)

    90th ANNIVERSARY OF THE SIGNING OF THE LATERAN TREATY FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE STATE OF VATICAN CITY (1929)

    EPISCOPAL ORDINATION OF BISHOP-ELECT RONALD IGNACIO LUNAS of PAGADIAN

    MEETING OF THE GENERAL SECRETARIAT OF VOCATIONS AND YOUTH – SECTION FOR VOCATION MINISTRY
    Rome / February 11-12, 2019

    PATRONAL FIESTA – OUR LADY OF LOURDES CHAPLAINCY
    Brgy. Tambo, Ayungon, Negros Oriental

    23rd ANNIVERSARY of the RST-UST Affiliation (1995-2019)

    ARRIVAL OF FATHER GENERAL FOR VISITA DE RENOVACION – ST. EZEKIEL PROVINCE

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Filomena Oliva, AR
    Sr. Marisa Dacuya, AR

    PRESBYTERAL ANNIVERSARY
    (2017-2018)
    Fray Roweno Eugenio Hamo
    Fray Sir Michael Dineros
    Fray John Paul Tanquis

12
  • All day
    February 12, 2019

    INSTALLATION OF BISHOP-ELECT DAVID WILLIAM ANTONIO OF ILAGAN

    RENEWAL VISIT TO RECOLETOS DE INAGAWAN

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Ma. Gloria Abrenilla Acha, AR

13
  • All day
    February 13, 2019

    MEETING OF THE GENERAL SECRETARIAT OF VOCATIONS AND YOUTH, WITH THE PRESIDENTS OF THE PROVINCIAL SECRETARIAT
    Rome / February 13-14, 2019

    RENEWAL VISIT TO RECOLETOS DE PLARIDEL

14
  • All day
    February 14, 2019

    RENEWAL VISIT TO RECOLETOS DE CASIAN

15
  • All day
    February 15, 2019

    75th ANNIVERSARY OF THE DESTRUCTION OF THE ABBEY OF MONTE CASINO (1944)

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Maria Aurora Baygan, AR

16
  • All day
    February 16, 2019

    FATHER GENERAL’S MEETING WITH THE AR SISTERS & SARF-PALAWAN CHAPTERS AT SEMSDC, PUERTO PRINCESA

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Porferia Tundag, AR

17
  • All day
    February 17, 2019

    CULMINATION OF ESCUELA DE FORMACION IN COLOMBIA

    RENEWAL VISIT TO RECOLETOS DE BALAMBAN

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Virgilio Paredes, Jr.

18
  • All day
    February 18, 2019

    MEETING OF THE GENERAL SECRETARIAT OF SPIRITUALITY AND FORMATION – SECTIONS FOR INITIAL AND PERMANENT FORMATION
    Colombia

    RENEWAL VISIT TO RECOLETOS DE LARAY
    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Jerik Troy Siozon
    Fray Mark Saludes

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Genoveva del Sgdo. Corazon de Jesus, AR

19
  • All day
    February 19, 2019

    MEETING OF THE GENERAL SECRETARIAT OF SPIRITUALITY AND FORMATION WITH THE PRESIDENTS OF THE PROVINCIAL SECRETARIATS OF SPIRITUALITY AND FORMATION
    Colombia

    RENEWAL VISIT TO RECOLETOS DE CEBU

    ARRIVAL OF FRAY ANTONIO CARRON FROM ROME

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Dunstan Huberto Decena

    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION
    (2003-2019)
    Most. Rev. Patricio Buzon, SDB, D.D. (Bishop of Bacolod)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Pia de San Sebastian, AR
    Sr. Josefina Disen, AR

20
  • All day
    February 20, 2019

    FATHER GENERAL JOINS MEETING WITH GENERAL SECRETARIAT OF APOSTOLATE
    Talavera House of Prayer-Recoletos, Cebu City

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Ines de Padua, AR

21
  • All day
    February 21, 2019

    MEETING WITH PRESIDENTS OF EPISCOPAL CONFERENCES
    Inclusive dates: February 21-24, 2019

    PRESENTATION OF FRAY CARRÓN AND MESSAGE FROM FATHER GENERAL WITH ALL RELIGIOUS, LAY ADMIN AND FACULTY & STAFF OF THE RECOLETOS SCHOOLS IN CEBU, TOGETHER WITH THOSE WORKING IN THE PASTORAL MINISTRY IN CEBU
    Venue: USJ-R Center for Performing Arts, Cebu / 10:00 – 12:00
    Theme: “Recoletos Youth in Mission and Communion: Beloved. Gifted. Empowered.”

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Nimrod Launio

    ANNIVERSARY OF CREATION AS CARDINAL
    (2001-2019)
    Pope Francis (Jorge Mario Bergoglio)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Aniceta de la Santisima Trinidad, AR

22
  • All day
    February 22, 2019

    FEAST – CHAIR OF ST. PETER
    RENEWAL VISIT TO RECOLETOS DE VALENCIA
    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Ma. Flora Silverio, AR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Ma. Lucila Reyes, AR

23
  • All day
    February 23, 2019

    RENEWAL VISIT TO RECOLETOS DE TAMBO

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Ana Maria Rosello, AR
    Sr. Exaltacion Lagrimas, AR

24
  • All day
    February 24, 2019

    RENEWAL VISIT TO RECOLETOS DE SAN CARLOS

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Rommel Rubia

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Jesusa de Vera, AR

25
  • All day
    February 25, 2019

    33rd ANNIVERSARY OF EDSA PEOPLE POWER REVOLUTION (1986-2019)

    RENEWAL VISIT TO RECOLETOS DE BACOLOD

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Roselyn Jardenil, AR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Wenifreda Sajorda, AR

26
  • All day
    February 26, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Julius James Tinapao [simple prof.]

    PRESENTATION OF FRAY CARRÓN AND MESSAGE FROM FATHER GENERAL WITH ALL RELIGIOUS, LAY ADMIN AND FACULTY & STAFF OF THE RECOLETOS SCHOOLS IN NEGROS, TOGETHER WITH THOSE WORKING IN THE PASTORAL MINISTRY IN NEGROS
    UNO-R, Bacolod/ 10:00 – 12:00

    BLESSING OF THE UNO-R IS BUILDING

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Fray Severino Cuesta (2000-2019)
    Sr. Teresa Constantino, AR

27
  • All day
    February 27, 2019

    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION (1982-2019)
    Luis Antonio Card. Tagle (Archdiocese of Manila)

    AM: FATHER GENERAL’S VISIT TO OAR NUNS IN TANGUB MONASTERY

    RENEWAL VISIT TO RECOLETOS DE TALISAY

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Teresita Caberte, AR

28
  • All day
    February 28, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Ma. Crisanta Armendez, AR
    Mr. Fulgencio Culaton (Brother-General of the Order)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Milagros de San Nicolas de Tolentino, AR

  

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