Valencia, NEGROS ORIENTAL – The Prior General of the Order of Augustinian Recollects, Fray Miguel Mirό, OAR, visited the Recoletos community of Valencia on February 22, meeting both the religious and the lay people connected with the parish and school apostolates, and leaving behind a powerful message of what it truly means to get involved.
Fray Miró, together with Fray René Paglinawan, OAR, arrived all the way from Cebu at the convent of the Parish of Our Lady of the Abandoned for his renewal visit on the evening of February 21. The visitors were warmly welcomed and accommodated.
Recoletos de Valencia community is composed of Fray Enrico Peter Silab (Prior, SARF-Valencia Chapter Director, School Treasurer); Fray Roderick Deguit (Parish Priest, Local Procurator, House Liturgist); Fray James Dexter Tanquis (School Director and Principal, Local Vocation Promoter, House Librarian, and CSEC-R Anchor); Fray Paul Demillones (Parochial Vicar); and Fray Ifeanyichukwu Maximillian Omem (deacon).
Opening of the Visit
The following day, February 21, the renewal visit kicked off with the celebration of the Holy Eucharist at the parish church at 6:00 in the morning. All the religious priests of the community concelebrated in the Holy Mass, with Fray Deguit as the presiding minister. It was then followed by the praying of lauds, with the members of the Secular Augustinian Recollect Fraternity (SARF), Parish Pastoral Council, Recollect Augustinian Youth (RAY), Confraternity of Augustinian Recollect Altar Servers (CARAS), and some mass-goers.
Breakfast followed at the St. Ezekiel Hall. At 8:00 AM, a simple parade was held from the convent to San Pedro Academy campus. With great delight, the students, faculty and staff welcomed the Father General. Much later, in the school library, Father General had a conference with the members of the SARF, RAY, CARAS and the faculty and staff of the school.
In that conference, Father Mirό shared with the school personnel some pointers related to Augustinian pedagogy. He also challenged the youth to take up its special role in the Church and in the society. And to those present, he challenged them to get involved actively in the programs of the community and to contribute the best they can for the institution instead of thinking only of what they can benefit from that institution.
Back to the St. Ezekiel Hall, Father General talked to the religious of the communities of Valencia and Caidiocan. He encouraged everyone to make our communities and institutions a safe place for everyone especially for the minors or the most vulnerable. This is in response to the call of the Church for their protection from all forms of abuses. After the talk each religious had an opportunity for personal dialogue with the Father General.
In the afternoon, he visited the community of Caidiocan. And since the convent was still under rehabilitation, he returned to Valencia proper where he spent his second night.
Closing of the Visit
On February 23, 2019, after the Office of Readings and Lauds at the chapel of the convent, the renewal visit was closed. Father General then gave his final exhortations to the religious, and after breakfast, he departed for the next community.
With reports from Fray Paul Demillones, OAR