CAVITE CITY – Fray Miguel Miró Miró, OAR, Prior General of the Order of Augustinian Recollects, paid his second Renewal Visit to San Sebastian College-Recoletos de Cavite last March 7, 2019. He was accompanied by Fray Raul M. Buhay, OAR, one of the General Councilors of the Order who also served as his official interpreter. Fray Buhay was the main celebrant during the Holy Mass that started the program and which was joined by all the members of the OAR community of SSC-
The community of Recoletos de Cavite is composed of the following friars: Fray Rommel Rubia (Prior, Vice President for Administration, and SARF-Cavite Chapter Director); Fray Joseph Dexter Palagtiosa (Vice Prior, 1st Local Councilor, Local Vocation Promoter, Vice President for Religious Affairs, and Vice President for Student Welfare); Fray James Bumangbang (2nd Local Councilor, and Vice President for Academics); Fray Raymund Alcedo (Local Procurator, CSEC-R Anchor, and Vice President for Finance); Fray Samuel Eyas (Local Chapter Secretary, House Chronicler, and Director/Principal of Cañacao Campus); Fray Rafael Pecson (House Liturgist, School President); Fray Vincent Cadeliña (House Librarian, Property Administrator); and Fray Antonio Zabala, Jr. (School Chaplain).
In the words of Fray Buhay, the Father General is the highest in the hierarchy of the OAR religious all over the world, but more importantly, he is the father of all the Recollect communities including SSC-RdC. One of the functions of the Father General is to visit all the OAR communities in twenty-two countries including the Philippines. So far this time, he has visited Palawan, Cebu, Mindanao, Negros, and now Luzon.
In his homily, Fray Miró acknowledged the importance of the over 400 years of OAR presence in the country but he also recognized that looking back is not what is important. The Order has a vision to realize and has to look forward to the future. They are here to evangelize, particularly the youth, who are not just the future of the world, but the present of the church. This was emphasized at the celebration of the World Youth Day the Father General attended in Panama two months ago, in the presence of Pope Francis.
Fray Miró addressed the youth of the SSC-RdC community as the heroes of the Church. The Order is not merely after the academic institution. They want to encourage the youth – educate the mind and the heart, which in the teachings of St. Augustine, is the way to living well.
“As we celebrate the season of Lent, beginning with the imposition of ashes on our foreheads on Ash Wednesday, we must believe in the Gospel,” said Fray Miró. In his Twitter account, his message was that Lent is a time of grace and we all have the task to listen to the Word, to love and to create communion. He pointed us to the day’s Gospel where we were asked what benefits us having the world if we lose our souls thereby. If we want to live happily, we must do something good for our brothers every day. This according to him is the secret to living in happiness.
Fray Miró pointed out, too, to the words at the back of the shirts everyone was wearing – Siempre Bravo, Siempre Baste – an expression of the unity of the community in living the values of the institution. In closing, he prayed for the Lord to bless all, and give everyone grace and peace.
The second part of the visit was a short program to express the community’s happiness and gratitude to the Father General. Selected Basic Education and college classes performed some Spanish inspired modern dances.
In his closing speech, Fray Miró summarized his feelings with the words, “GRACIAS, MUCHAS GRACIAS.” He said that he wishes for the happiness displayed by everyone to be coming from the heart and thus, to last a long while. He wishes for this happiness to be the same feeling students will have towards their studies, and to help them in life. As St. Augustine taught, knowledge must be shared, he added. Sharing is a way to happiness. He thanked everyone, including the members of the Secular Augustinian Fraternity (SARF) and the parents who were present. Finally, as the father of the Recollects he wished everyone unity, peace, and blessings.