Recoletos friars attend APAC Convention in Vietnam

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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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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Fray Jose Ernil Almayo, OAR

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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< 2021 >
September
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3
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    PRAYER INTENTION: FOR OAR VOCATION (cf. LAMP I,5c)

    SOLEMNITY OF OUR LADY OF CONSOLATION
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    Sis. Mary Grace Morales, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)
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    Ms. Brenda Saliendra, Sister General of the OAR

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    +Sis. Dorotea Magallon, SAR (Cebu Chapter

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    September 5, 2021

    52nd INTERNATIONAL EUCHARISTIC CONGRESS
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    OLCP- MIRANILA FIESTA MASS
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    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Sixto Ciriaco Bitangjol
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    Camila Doctor (RAY-Urbiztondo)

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    +Sr. Antonia Dinsay, AR

6
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    Sis. Osita Atotubo, SAR (Talisay Chapter)
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    BIRTHDAY OF MAMA MARY

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    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE & SOLEMN PROFESSION
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    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sis. Lourdes Lolita Caballero, SAR (San Carlos Chapter)

9
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    BIRTHDAY
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    Laurence Canillo (RAY-Balamban)

    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION
    (1985-2021)
    Fray Dionisio Selma (Prior Provincial)

10
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    September 10, 2021

    SOLEMNITY OF ST. NICHOLAS OF TOLENTINE
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    51st FOUNDING ANNIVERSARY
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    OAR STORY LECTURE SERIES / 8:00-12:00 A.M. / via Zoom & FB accounts
    “The Birth of the Augustinian Recollection”
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    PATRONAL FIESTA MASS @ SNTP-DALIAO, KAOHSIUNG CITY, TAIWAN
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    PRESBYTERAL ANNIVERSARY
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    Fray Amadeo Lucero

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    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION
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    Fray Charlito Orobia
    Fray Amado Emmanuel Bolilia
    Fray Jonathan Caballero

12
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    September 12, 2021

    FIESTA MASS @ HOLY CROSS PARISH, TALIAO, KAOHSIUNG CITY, TAIWAN
    Time: 3:00 PM
    Presider: Fray Giovanni Gil Magbojos, OAR

    PAPAL VISIT TO HUNGARY & SLOVAKIA
    September 12-15, 2021

    DAY 1: ROME – BUDAPEST – BRATISLAVA

    06:00Departure by airplane from

    Rome/Fiumicino International Airport for

    Budapest

    07:45Arrival at Budapest International Airport
    07:45OFFICIAL WELCOME at Budapest

    International Airport

    08:45MEETING WITH THE PRESIDENT OF

    THE REPUBLIC AND THE PRIME MINISTER at the Museum of Fine Arts in Budapest

    09:15MEETING WITH THE BISHOPS at the

    Museum of Fine Arts in Budapest

    10:00MEETING WITH THE REPRESENTATIVES OF THE ECUMENICAL COUNCIL OF CHURCHES AND SOME JEWISH COMMUNITIES IN HUNGARY at the

    Museum of Fine Arts in Budapest

    11:30HOLY MASS at Heroes’ Square in Budapest
    14:30FAREWELL CEREMONY at Budapest

    International Airport

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    16:30ECUMENICAL MEETING at the Apostolic

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    17:30PRIVATE MEETING WITH THE

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    B
    IRTHDAY
    Fray Jorr Rabacal
    Gerald Artates (RAY-Provincialate)

    PRESBYTERAL ANNIVERSARY
    (1992-2021)
    Fray Leander Barrot
    Fray Paulino Dacanay

13
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    September 13, 2021

    PAPAL VISIT TO HUNGARY & SLOVAKIA

    DAY 2:  BRATISLAVA

    09:15WELCOME CEREMONY at the Presidential

    Palace in Bratislava

    09:30    COURTESY VISIT TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC in the “Golden Hall” of the Presidential Palace in Bratislava
    10:00     MEETING WITH AUTHORITIES, CIVIL SOCIETY AND THE DIPLOMATIC CORPS in the garden of the Presidential Palace in Bratislava
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    16:00     PRIVATE VISIT TO THE “BETHLEHEM CENTER” in Bratislava
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    18:00     VISIT OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE PARLIAMENT at the Apostolic Nunciature in Bratislava
    18:15      VISIT OF THE PRIME MINISTER at the Apostolic Nunciature in Bratislava


    B
    IRTHDAY

    Sis. Aida Lopez, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)
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    Robert John Navarro (RAY-Miranila)
    Hon. Rufus Rodriguez, Brother General of the Order

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    Fray Dionisio Cachero (1970-2021)

    PRESBYTERAL ANNIVERSARY
    (1997-2021)
    Fray Jose Ernil Almayo

    FIRST DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Fray Emilio Larlar Jr. [Attention! Recoletos de Provincialate Community: cf. Add. Code
    94ª: “When a brother dies, whether a novice or professed, the community to which he
    belongs will celebrate … Mass on the first anniversary of his death.”]

14
  • All day
    September 14, 2021

    PAPAL VISIT TO HUNGARY & SLOVAKIA

    DAY 3: BRATISLAVA – KOŠICE – PREŠOV – KOŠICE – BRATISLAVA
    Departure by airplane for Košice

    08:10
    09:00    Arrival at Košice Airport
    10:30     BYZANTINE DIVINE LITURGY OF SAINT JOHN CHRYSOSTOM PRESIDED BY THE HOLY FATHER in the square of the Mestská športová hala in Prešov
    16:00     MEETING WITH THE ROMA COMMUNITY at Luník IX district in Košice
    17:00     MEETING WITH YOUNG PEOPLE at Lokomotiva Stadium in Košice
    18:30     Departure by airplane for Bratislava
    19:30     Arrival at Bratislava International Airport

    BIRTHDAY

    Sr. Ma. Lourdes Piccio, AR Sr. Floramae Lanuza, AR
    Sis. Catalina Marzon, SAR (Tondo Chapter)

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

15
  • All day
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    PAPAL VISIT TO HUNGARY & SLOVAKIA

    DAY 4: BRATISLAVA – ŠAŠTIN – BRATISLAVA – ROME
    10:00    HOLY MASS at the National Shrine in Šaštin
    13:30    FAREWELL CEREMONY at Bratislava International Airport
    13:45     Departure by airplane for Rome
    15:30    Arrival at Rome/Ciampino International Airport

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Anthony Morillo
    Fray James Bumangabang
    Sis. Leonida Tejada, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)
    Sis. Patria Laguna, SAR (Talisay Chapter)
    Beah Marie Ganarias (RAY-Bacolod)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sis. Lolita Jara, SAR (Tondo Chapter)
    +Sis. Josefina Villa, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)

16
  • All day
    September 16, 2021

    108th ANNIVERSARY
    OF RELIGIOSAS FAMILIAS

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Joseph Cyprian Panaligan
    Fray Robin Ross Plata
    Sr. Mary Ann Lumactao, AR
    Bro. Nestor Paredes, SAR (Puerto Princesa Chapter)
    Bro. Almario de la Cerna, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sr. Angeles Gabutina, AR

17
  • All day
    September 17, 2021

    BIRTHDAY
    Sis. Rosalina Derain, SAR (Tondo Chapter)
    Sis. Anita Luces, SAR (Tondo Chapter)
    Sis. Aurora Guilaran, SAR (Baguio Chapter)
    Julia Tamsi (RAY-Baguio)
    Most Rev. Socrates Mesiona, D.D. (Apostolic Vicariate of Puerto Princesa)

18
  • All day
    September 18, 2021

    OAR STORY LECTURE SERIES / 9:00-12:00 A.M. / via Zoom & FB accounts
    “The Recollect Contributions to Philippine Culture and Society”

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Henry Santiago
    Sr. Ma. Ruth Gulane, AR
    Sis. Mary Ann Cabanes, SAR (Baguio Chapter)
    Sis. Demetria Bayona, SAR (Talisay Chapter)
    Sis. Josefina Tampus, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sis. Lourdes Donayre, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

     

19
  • All day
    September 19, 2021

    PRAYER INTENTION: FOR THE SICK (cf. LAMP I,5c)

    FEAST – ST. ALONSO DE OROZCO

    3rd ANNIVERSARY OF THE ARRIVAL OF THE
    PIONEER RECOLETOS MISSIONARIES IN INDONESIA

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Joseph Philip Trayvilla
    Fray Joel Alve

20
  • All day
    September 20, 2021

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Ma. Nena Labrague, AR
    Sr. Kristine Ignacio, AR
    Sis. Normita Pleno, SAR (Cavite Chapter)
    Sis. Corazon Catindig, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)
    Estella Marie Andador (RAY-Talisay)

21
  • All day
    September 21, 2021

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Alexus Mansueto
    Sis. Carmencita Estillore, SAR (Baguio Chapter)
    Sis. Estewrlita Alao, SAR (Laray Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sr. Isabel Pantoja, AR
    +Sr. Salvacion Olalo, AR
    +Sr. Ma. Susana Quiñones, AR
    +Sis. Aquilina Gonzales, SAR (Manila Chapter)

22
  • All day
    September 22, 2021

    BIRTHDAY

    Sr. Marietta Angelica Gunayan, AR
    Sr. Nancy Macaraig, AR Sr. Sheryl Garcia, AR
    Sis. Luzonica del Rosario, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    Sis. Pilar Gomez, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Lebron Jay Bantog (RAY-Valencia)

23
  • All day
    September 23, 2021

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Vicente Ramon, Jr.
    Sis. Julia Sonsona, SAR (Tondo Chapter)

    ANNIVERSAY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION
    Most Rev. Roberto Gaa (Bishop of the Diocese of Novaliches)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sr. Sebastiana Jaropojop, AR
    +Sr. Agustina Salcedo, AR
    +Sis. Florencia Velarde, SAR (Manila Chapter)

24
  • All day
    September 24, 2021

    BIRTHDAY
    Sis. Bernadita Campos, SAR (Tondo Chapter)
    Sis. Dinah Espino, SAR (Talisay Chapter)
    Sugarrey Rendajae (RAY-Talisay)

    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION
    (1967-2021)
    Fray Emeterio Buñao

25
  • All day
    September 25, 2021

    OAR STORY LECTURE SERIES / 9:00-12:00 A.M. / via Zoom & FB accounts
    “The Province of St. Ezekiel Moreno”

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Lucita Mingueto, OAR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sr. Esperanza Heffler, AR

26
  • All day
    September 26, 2021

    107th WORLD DAY OF MIGRANTS AND REFUGEES
    Theme: Towards an Ever Wider “We”

    BIRTHDAY
    Sis. Concesa da Silva, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)
    Sis. Ma. Lourdes Mirasol, SAR (Bacolod Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sis. Socorro Ladim, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)

27
  • All day
    September 27, 2021

    2021 WORLD TOURISM DAY
    (cf. Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development)

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Rafaela Paras, AR
    Sr. Damiana Tafalla, AR
    Sr. Ma. Melodina Ramirez, AR
    Sis. Estrella Buelo, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    Sis. Teresa Fuertes, SAR (Cavite Chapter)
    Sis. Rosita Lacao, SAR (Inagawan Chapter)
    Sis. Susan Manalon, SAR (Inagawan Chapter)
    Sis. Ruth Miralles, SAR (Inagawan Chapter)
    Sis. Encarnacion Cinco, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY:
    +Sr. Genoveva del Santissimo Sacramento, AR

28
  • All day
    September 28, 2021

    PRAYER INTENTION: FOR THE MISSION (cf. LAMP I,5c)

    BLESSED MARTYRS OF JAPAN

    ANNIVERSARY OF EPISCOPAL ORDINATION
    Bp. Peter Liu of Kaohsiung (Taiwan) [1994-2021]

    BIRTHDAY
    Sis. Salome Mapili, SAR (Valencia Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sr. Iluminada Apurillo, AR

29
  • All day
    September 29, 2021

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Roderick Deguit
    Sis. Mercedita Macabihag, SAR (San Carlos Chapter)
    Rodelin Oredina (RAY-Talisay)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sis. Maria Acuña, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    +Sis. Elvira Birondo, SAR (Talisay Chapter)

30
  • All day
    September 30, 2021

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Ferdinand Fornilos
    Sr. Crisanta Lerios, AR
    Sis. Teresita Labos, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION
    (2017-2021)
    Fray Invenzor Melgazo
    Fray Jayferson Baldelovar
    Fray Mark Saludes

  

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