Father General’s visit to Recoletos de Caidiocan: Apostolate is more of sharing life than crafting programs

Caidiocan, Valencia, NEGROS ORIENTAL – The proximity of Recoletos de Caidiocan to the community of brothers in the town proper (i.e., Recoletos de Valencia) behooved them to coincide their February 22 schedule for a joint conference with the visiting Prior General, Fray Miguel Miró, OAR.

(This is the second time that two Recollect communities have merged for the visita de renovación input. The first took place in Inagawan, where the nearby Plaridel community came to join in the assembly. In both cases where the new community is a “child” of the “parent” community, the coming together instantiated the reunion of brothers.)

Father General exhorted the brothers to be always open to the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and to work as part of the whole Order. In a particular way, he addressed the new community of Caidiocan which, he said, has very rich apostolates because of the two quasi parishes and the school. He also encouraged the brothers to keep going despite serious problems that might arise. Being a new community, according to him, has the advantage of starting from scratch due to the fact that a point of comparison from a previous one is absent.

He clarified to them that apostolates are not the crafted programs for the parish but rather the life that the community shares with the people. As Augustinian Recollects, the community has an order from the Holy Father to be “creators of communion” that begins in the community, he said referring to the message of Pope Francis to the 55th General Chapter participants during their audience in the Vatican in October 2016.

Established last June 2018, the Recollect community of St. Ezekiel Moreno Quasi Parish takes charge of the ministerial and educational apostolate in this mountainous barangay which is around 7 kms from the población proper. The brothers here also man “in solidum” the San Pedro Academy-Recoletos which is within the convent premises, and the San Vicente Ferrer Quasi Parish in Apo Island, in the town of Dauin.

The community of Recoletos de Caidiocan is composed of Fray Jay Parilla (Prior, Chaplain of Apo Island, House Librarian and CSEC-R Anchor); Fray Excel Saycon (Chaplain of Caidiocan, Local Procurator, Local Vocation Promoter & School Treasurer), Fray Roweno Eugenio Hamo (School Director, House Chronicler, House Liturgist & Chapter Secretary); and Fray Jovy A. Gallego (deacon).

During the conference, Father General advised them to be an evangelizing community through the collective efforts of every member. He said that the apostolates of the two quasi parishes should not impede them in living out their religious life. He also reminded them to observe the common observances of the community, and to live their consecrated life not to give mandates but to be with the people.

At the final part of his talk, the Prior General gave emphasis on the issue of clerical abuses especially towards minors or children. He said that the community, the parish, and the school should be safe places for these most vulnerable people. He strongly instructed the brothers that there must be no cover-ups if there are positive cases of abuses, for what is at stake is the credibility of the Church. Every religious, according to him, should be conscious of and faithful in living out his vow of chastity.

In the afternoon, the Prior General, together with Fray René Paglinawan, OAR, made his ocular visit to the place. He checked the on-going renovation of the convent edifice and the San Pedro Academy-Recoletos. After the inspection, the brothers had a community picture-taking. Individual dialogue with the members of the community followed.  The visit ended with the closing rites integrated in the evening prayers.

With reports from Fray Jovy Gallego, OAR

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