The Secular Augustinian Recollect Fraternity (SARF), an organization within the Church and the Order of Augustinian Recollects that is composed of lay faithful who made their Promise and follow the Rule of our father St. Augustine and the Particular Statutes of the SARF. The Life and Mission Projects of the Order of Augustinian Recollect for 2016-2022 and of the Province of St. Ezekiel Moreno expressed the desire of the Order and of the Province to strengthen the life and spirituality of the SARF through constant formation based on the Augustinian Recollect Spiritual Exercises and the publication of the “Pilgrims” (cf. LAMP OAR p. 46; LAMP PSEM no. 60).
The Directory of the Province of St. Ezekiel Moreno (2018-2022) encouraged all brothers to attend with special interest to the needs of the Secular Augustinian Recollect Fraternity (cf. Const. 114); promote the alumni associations of our schools and seminaries (cf. Const. 313); and show friendliness and extend help to those who abandoned the Province, fomenting a spiritual link with them (Const. 513).
During the 2017 SARF Biennial National Convention, the following brother and sisters were elected as National Council Officers:
|National President||Edwin T. Ruiz||SEMoNoRe–Antipolo|
|Vice President –Luzon||Zenaida Lapuz||Recoletos de Provincialate|
|Vice President–Visayas||Carmenda Leonoras||UNO-R Bacolod City|
|1st Councilor – Luzon||Ceres C. Alcantara||SSBP–Quiapo, Manila|
|2nd Councilor – Luzon||Yolanda V. Zaragoza||SEMoNoRe–Antipolo|
|Councilor – Negros||Fe Violeta B. Taring||POLA-Valencia|
|Councilor – Cebu||Evangeline E. Gubatao||OLMCP–Cebu|
|National Secretary||Ma. Windle M. Oane||SEMoNoRe–Antipolo|
|National Treasurer||Corazon A. Padua||RFC – Miranila, Q. C.|
With the appointment of Fray Bernabe Dosdos, OAR, as Head of the Section for SARF and Spiritual Adviser of SARF National Council, he and the National Council Officers intended to visit the different SARF Local Chapters with the philosophy in mind:
1.To bring the SARF National to different Local Chapters.
2. To meet and know all members of SARF, thereby fostering unity among all.
3. To offer help to the Chapters, in terms of suggestions, recommendations, corrections, clarifications, and encouragements.
With these principles in mind, the National Council and the SARF National Spiritual Adviser, even before Fray Dosdos took the office, visited the Local Chapters in Luzon and Visayas Regions. Aside from the visits, the SARF in the Philippines joined many activities that strenghtened their bonds and their spirituality as Augustinian Recollect Tertiaries.
LUZON REGIONAL CLUSTER ACTIVITIES
On January 13, 2018, the National and Regional Council Meeting was convoked at Casiciaco Recoletos Seminary, Baguio City. Fray Emilio Larlar, Jr., OAR, former SARF National Spiritual Adviser, together with the SARF National officers also took the opportunity to visit SARF CaReS Baguio Chapter.
The following month, on February 9-11, 2018, Fray Ceferino Roberto Añez, OAR, gave an Augustinian Recollect Spiritual Exercises (ASRE) Retreat to the National and Local officers and members of Luzon Chapters at Saint Paula Retreat House, Tandang Sora, Quezon City.
On March 24, 2018, Fray James Castelo, OAR, gave Trial Teaching for the Trial Candidates. SARF San Sebastian College-Recoletos de Cavite Chapter was also visited by SARF officers. The date was also set for the National and Luzon Regional Council Meeting.
As the Philippine Church celebrated the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first Carmel image in the Philippines, different SARF Chapters sent delegates to Manila to witness the Traslacion at Salubong 2018. They also attended the celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass at Quirino Grandstand that was presided by His Excellency, Most Rev. Romulo Valles, DD, Archbishop of Davao and President of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines. Thousands of devotees of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel de San Sebastian joined this momentous event.
A welcome party and birthday celebration was given to Fray Bernabe Dosdos, OAR by SARF Metro Manila Chapters on June 10, 2018.
On July 14, 2018, SARF officers visited the SARF Local Chapter of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage, Tondo, Manila. Fray René Paglinawan, Local Prior of Recoletos de Tondo, gave a Trial Teaching about SARF History for Trial Candidates. The National and Luzon Regional Meeting was also held on the same day.
On August 11, 2018, the SARF Local Chapter of Recoletos Formation Center, Mira-Nila Homes, Quezon City. Fray Lauro Larlar, OAR, Prior of Recoletos de Mira-Nila, gave an input for Trial Candidates about SARF Challenges. The National and Luzon Regional Meeting was also convoked on that day.
The Secular Augustinian Recollect Fraternity-Mira-Nila Chapter celebrated its 25th founding anniversary last August 25, 2018 with Fray Lauro V. Larlar, OAR, prior of Recoletos Formation Center, as main celebrant and homilist of the Eucharistic celebration at Our Lady of Consolation Parish Church in Quezon City.
On August 28-30, 2018, SARF Palawan Chapters were visited: Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish, Inagawan Chapter; Sacred Heart of Jesus High School, Brooke’s Point Chapter; and St. Ezekiel Moreno Spirituality and Development Center, Puerto Princesa City Chapter.The day after the visit to Palawan Chapters, an ARSE Retreat was given by Fray Louie Gabinete, OAR, Parish Priest of San Isidro Labrador Parish, Casian Island, Taytay, Palawan.
On September 4, 2018, Solemnity of Our Lady of Consolation, a Recoletos Family Day was held at the Parish of Our Lady of the Visitation in Urbiztondo, Pangasinan. Dr. Nilo Dizon gave a talk on the history and contributions of the Augustinian Recollects in Pangasinan. Most Rev. Socrates Villegas, DD, Archbishop of Lingayen-Dagupan, celebrated the Solemn Mass in honor of Our Lady of Consolation, Patroness and Mother of the Order of Augustinian Recollects. SARF members from Baguio, Cavite, Mira-Nila, Quezon City, Tondo, Antipolo, and Manila joined the celebration.
September 8, 2018 marked the visit to SARF St. Ezekiel Moreno Novitiate-Recoletos, Antipolo City Chapter. Fray James Castelo, OAR, Prenovitiate Director, gave the input for Trial Candidate. There was also a meeting of the National and Luzon Council officers.
On September 28-30, 2018, the National and Local officers were gathered at San Nicolas de Tolentino Parish Pastoral Center for the revision of SARF Life and Mission Project 2019-2022. The process of revisiting and revising the SARF LAMP was facilitated by Fray Rafael Pecson, OAR, College President of SSC-R de Cavite. Fray Ian Anthony Espartero, OAR, Vicar of the Province and President of Secretariat of Spirituality and Formation, where the Section for SARF belongs, led the participants in revisiting and revising the Particular Statutes of SARF.
Another milestone in SARF Family was the celebration of the Golden Anniversary of SARF SSC-R de Cavite Chapter. It was participated by SARF members and their Spiritual Advisers from other SARF Chapter to indicate the unity among SARF Chapters. Members of SARF de Cavite who served for more than thirty years were given a Certificate of Recognition for their selfless service to the Fraternity and the Order. Former Spiritual Directors of SARF de Cavite were also recognized. Fray Dionisio Selma, OAR, Prior Provincial, gave an inspirational message to the SARF members.
The Feast of St. Magdalene of Nagasaki, Patroness of the Augustinian Recollect Tertiary was celebrated together with the annual Luzon Regional Cluster Gathering. A Solemn Mass was celebrated in honor of St. Magdalene of Nagasaki presided by Fray Dionisio Selma, OAR, Prior Provincial. Fourteen candidates were admitted for Trial Period and 17 members were accepted as full-fledged members through their pronouncement of their Promises. Afterwards, a celebration was held at St. Rita College, Manila where Fray Ian Anthony Espartero gave a talk. The revised SARF Particular Statutes was unanimously ratified by the members from Luzon Chapters. The different SARF Chapter from Luzon also showcased their talents in a program that capped the day’s activities.
The Prior Provincial, Fray Dionisio Selma, OAR, celebrated for the first time his natal day in the Provincial Curia in Quezon City. His usually celebrates his birthday at Talavera House of Prayer-Recoletos in Cebu, that coincides with the annual Spiritual Retreat. However, this year, due to the schedule of the annual retreat was a week earlier than his birthday, he celebrated it with his brothers in the curia. Members of SARF Luzon Chapters were able to join the celebration. After the celebration of the Holy Mass presided by the Provincial himself, a breakfast-cum-birthday party was held at the Provincialate convent.
To celebrate All Souls Day on November 2, 2018, the friars of the Province of St. Ezekiel Moreno, headed by the Prior Provincial, went to Himlayang Pilipino in Quezon City to offer the Holy Mass for their dead confreres. SARF members from Manila, Quezon City, Tondo, Antipolo, Mira Nila, and Cavite joined in the celebration for the dead Augustinian Recollects. Other OAR communities in Cebu, Bacolod, and Baguio also celebrated the Mass for the dead confreres in cemeteries where the body of their brothers were laid. SARF members from Cebu, Bacolod, and Baguio also joined in the celebration of their respective community.
The SARF National Council visited the SARF de San Nicolas de Tolentino Parish, Quezon City Chapter on November 10, 2018.
On November 14, 2018, a birthday celebration was given to Fray Emilio Larlar, Jr., OAR, former SARF National Spiritual Adviser. Together with the friars and the family of Fray Larlar, some members of SARF also greeted and cheered the birthday celebrant.
SARF National Council sponsored the ninth day of the Novena to Nuestra Señora de la Salud at San Nicolas de Tolentino Parish, Quezon City on November 16, 2018. Fray Bernabe Dosdos, OAR, SARF National Spiritual Adviser, presided the Holy Mass in honor of Mary, Health of the Sick. After the celebration of the Holy Mass, the Rite of Annointing of the Sick followed.
In the morning of November 17, 2018 at 9:00 AM, the members of SARF attended the Diaconal Ordination of seven Augustinian Recollect friars, namely, Fray Jorr Rabacal, OAR, Fray Benjamine Monday Edobor, OAR, Fray Maximiliam Ifeanyichukwu Omem, OAR, Fray Jovy Gallego, OAR, Fray Andrie Pugate, OAR, Fray Tomokatsu Yamaguchi, OAR, and Fray Jessriel Marcha, OAR, at Our Lady of Consolation Parish, Quezon City. In the evening, they also attended the Fiesta Mass in honor of La Salud.
To celebrate the 20th founding anniversary of the Province of St. Ezekiel Moreno, the Provincial Council and the Commission on History, Culture, and Heritage-Recoletos organized a two-day gathering of religious and SARF members on November 27-28, 2018. The SARF were invited to join the second day of the celebration where the history of the Province was discussed by Fray Emilio Edgardo Quilatan, OAR, Provincial Archivist. Also, a talk on Climate Change and Consecrated Life was given by Fr. John Leydon, MSSC. Bro. Edwin Ruiz, SAR, President of SARF National Council, gave a reaction to the talk of Fr. Leydon.
For three years, the Province of St. Ezekiel Moreno joined the Intramuros Grand Marian Procession where the original image of Nuestra Señora de la Salud was brought to the streets of Intramuros, Manila for a solemn procession. On December 2, 2018, together with more than 250 devotees, members of the SARF from Manila, Tondo, and Quezon City joined this annual celebration as preparation for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, Patroness of the Philippines and namesake of the Cathedral of Manila.
As the Order of Augustinian Recollect Family joyfully celebrated the 430th anniversary of the birth of the Augustinian Recollection on December 5, 2018, 5 OAR friars were ordained to the Sacred Order of the Presbyterate, namely, Fray Paul Demillones, OAR, Fray Niel Ryan Jarumay, OAR, Fray Elpedio Sarita, Jr., OAR, Fray Keneth Pahamutang, OAR, and Fray Kenneth Caligdong, OAR. SARF members from different Chapters joined in the celebration. After the Prayer After Communion, the Prior Provincial, Fray Dionisio Selma, OAR, led the Augustinian Recollect religious in renewing their Vows. He also received the renewal of Promises of the full-fledged members of the Secular Augustinian Recollect Fraternity.
VISAYAS REGIONAL CLUSTER ACTIVITIES
The newly appointed SARF National Spiritual Adviser, Fray Bernabe Dosdos, OAR, together with Bro. Edwin Ruiz, SAR, SARF National President, visited SARF Parish of Our Lady of the Abandoned, Valencia Chapter. They also visited the newly established community of Recoletos de Caidiocan.
The Secular Augustinian Recollect Fraternity in Talisay City, Negros Occidental celebrated its 25th founding anniversary last September 1, 2018, first day of the novena to San Nicolas de Tolentino, patron of the parish and of the city.
A two-day ARSE Retreat for SARF Visayas Chapters was given by Fray Leopoldo Estioko, OAR, and Fray Renie Villalino, OAR. This was also a timely celebration for the Annual SARF Visayas Regional Cluster Gathering. The National Council also presented to the brothers and sisters from Visayas Regional Chapter the revised SARF Particular Statutes that was unanimously ratified. Fray Dionisio Selma, OAR, also presided the closing Mass where 4 candidates were admitted to Trial Period and 2 candidates were accepted as full-fledged members of SARF. Another birthday celebration for Fray Selma was held, now with Fray Villalino, who also celebrated his birthday in the month of October.
The following day, on October 29, 2018, the SARF National officers visited SARF Cebu Chapters, namely, Our Lady of Consolation Parish-Recoletos, Laray, Inayawan, Talisay City, Cebu; and Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish Cebu City Chapter.
On December 5, 2018, in celebration of the 430th anniversary of the birth of the Augustinian Recollection, OAR communities in Visayas also had their festivities and renewal of vows and promises. Each Local Chapter joined in the celebration of the Holy Mass of the OAR community where they belong. In Bacolod City, the Holy Mass was presided by Most Rev. Patricio Buzon, SDB, DD, Bishop of the Diocese of Bacolod.
At present, the Secular Augustinian Recollect Fraternity in the Philippines has been existing in almost all of Augustinian Recollect communities in the Philippines. Here are the Local Chapters of SARF in the Philippines:
Luzon Regional Cluster Chapters:
* Casiciaco Recoletos Seminary, Baguio City Chapter
* SARF de Provincialate Chapter
* Recoletos Formation Center, Mira-Nila Chapter
* Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage Parish, Tondo Chapter
* San Sebastian Basilica, Quiapo, Manila Chapter
* Saint Ezekiel Moreno Novitiate-Recoletos, Antipolo City Chapter
* San Sebastian College-Recoletos de Cavite Chapter
* Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish, Inagawan, Palawan Chapter
* Saint Ezekiel Moreno Spirituality and Development Center, Puerto Princesa City Chapter
* Sacred Heart of Jesus High School, Brooke’s Point, Palawan Chapter
Visayas Regional Cluster Chapters:
* Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish, Cebu City Chapter
* Our Lady of Consolation Parish-Recoletos, Laray, Talisay City, Cebu Chapter University of Negros Occidental-Recoletos, Bacolod City Chapter
* Sto. Tomas de Villanueva-Recoletos Formation House, San Carlos City, Negros Occidental Chapter
* San Nicolas de Tolentino Parish, Talisay City, Negros Occidental Chapter
* Parish of Our Lady of the Abandoned, Valencia, Negros Oriental Chapter
The year 2018 has ended. However, the desire of each member of the Order of Augustinian Recollects, including the members of the Secular Augustinian Recollect Fraternity, and the rest of the Augustinian Recollect Family, continue in our journey towards holiness. Fray Genaro Fernandez, OAR, an Augustinian Recollect who is now on the process of being declared as a saint, said: “If it is not to become a saint, why would I desire to live?” May we all continue to live our life founded on the spirituality of St. Augustine and rooted in the love of Jesus Christ, our Lord.