Mira-Nila Homes, QUEZON CITY – “The community cannot be renewed by just one day of visit. The only one who can renew our hearts is the Holy Spirit,” said Rev. P. Fray Miguel Miro, OAR, Prior General of Order, addressing the formands and Religious Formators of Recoletos Formation Center during the Eucharistic celebration last March 8, 2019.
In his sermon, he reminded the formators and seminarians on the importance of the Pope’s message on conversion: personal and communitarian conversion. He explained the need to serve the people and to be close to the suffering: “We need likewise pastoral conversion.”
The Prior General asked the friars to continue listening to the Word of God during this season. He mentioned his tweet last Ash Wednesday (in his twitter account- @PriorGeneralOAR): “La Cuaresma es una buena oportunidad, un tiempo de gracia y tarea para escuchar la Palabra, amar y crear comunión.” (Lent is a good opportunity, a time of grace and a task to listen to the Word, to love and to create communion). His tweet nearly covered the topics he had wished to treat during his visit.
“Our encounter with God is a sacrament of Love,” P. Fray Miguel enunciated. He highlighted the essence of love in the community. To build Communion is to listen to others: “In the community even we are together if there is no fraternal communion, there is no real communion.” Community brings us to evangelizing mission, he added. He challenged all to respond to the Holy Spirit’s work of conversion.
Meeting and Dialogue with Formators
During the encounter with the Prior General and the formators of RFC the topics are as follows: first, the joy of living the gospel: evangelizing communities; second, Life and Mission Project of the Province and the Order; third, OAR charism in the formation apostolate; fourth, social apostolate: ARCORES; fifth, protection of minors, prevention of abuses and attention to victims; sixth, communication and communion. Most of the time allotment during the visit was scheduled for the dialogue with religious.
The Recoletos de Miranila Community is composed of Fray Lauro V. Larlar Prior (Prior) Fray Leander Barrot (Vice Prior, RST Director of Libraries & Research Director); Fray Gideon U. Antolin Lagrimas (2nd Councilor, Pastoral Ministry, Parish Priest); Fray Ian Anthony R. Espartero (Vicar Provincial, Registrar); Fray Kenneth Joseph L. Onda (Master of the Professed In-Charge of RAY- RFC); Fray Radni Caparas (Dean, RFC In-Charge of Student Affairs); Fray Feliciano Campomanes, Jr., (Local Procurator School Treasurer); Chapter Fray Rey Tripulca (Guidance Counselor, Assistant Master of the Professed); Fray Francisco Antonio (Secretary, House Chronicler, Outreach Program); Fray Hector Gonzales (Local Vocation Promoter & Parochial Vicar); Fray Huberto Dunstan Decena (Spiritual Director & Ordinary Confessor); Fray Emilio Edgardo Quilatan (Archivist, Chaplain- SARF RFC).
An Hour with the Interns
“I was surprised to see religious [other than Recoletos] during mass. I really wanted to meet you. Considering the situation, we have to come up with a formula to protect the identity of each congregation,” Father General said during his conference with the interns.
“We must put in mind that there is no competition among us. We are like rivers. We have our own riverbeds to follow and we have to be faithful to it,” he added.
The Interns introduced themselves and explicitly stated their gratitude to the worldwide head of the OAR. Br. Constantino V. Salas expressed: “We thank you for allowing us to stay with you (RFC), and in the process break the rule of ‘clausura.’ We appreciate it so much. The fathers and the friars have been very welcoming. We did not feel out of place from day one up to now. As far as formation is concerned, we have grown by leaps and by bounds.”
Addressing the SARF and the RAY
On March 9, after the Eucharistic celebration at Our Lady of Consolation Parish at 8AM, P. Fray Miguel Miro met the Secular Augustinian Recollects and the Recollect Augustinian Youth. “I challenge you to deepen the Augustinian Recollect charism so that you may be able to live our faith,” he exhorted.
He pointed out to the RAY that their gatherings should make them responsible and study well. “You should learn to utilize your spare time well for that will help you.” He encouraged the SARF to follow their itinerary (Pilgrims) and he said: “We have to know that being SARF will help us in our family…we live the joy of our life and we have to share the same joy.”
A representative of RAY and SARF reported their status as an organization, their apostolate, schedules of prayers, gatherings and involvement in the Parish. The Prior General urged them to continue in the journey of faith in giving of self to others for service: “We continue being one in mind and heart.”
Encounter with the Coristas
Enjoy yourselves to where you are now, fall in love with your studies. Those are the words primarily mentioned by the Father General during his encounter with the twenty-one OAR theology students. “Do not ever think that after formation things will be done,” he articulated.
He invited them to be open and allow themselves to be accompanied along the formation years. He also insisted that each should know that: “We belong to the Province but first of all we belong to the Order.” He discussed that each religious should strengthen his sense of belonging to the Order despite the diversity of culture that one may find himself integrated.
P. Fray Miguel accentuated to the formands, “It is good that in the formation we become open to where we are called. We try to consider the initial formation as a time to open up, identifica con Cristo, and to establish stronger relationship with him.
P. Fray Javier Monroy, OAR being the President of the Secretariat of Formation and Spirituality was asked by the Prior General to give some points with regards to initial formation. P. Fray Monroy asked the youngest and the eldest seminarians as to where do they see themselves ten years from now, when they are going to prepare and what preparations they are supposed to do. A time was also given to P. Fray Raul Buhay, OAR (the translator of Fray Miro) to talk about the apostolate and so he presented the manual of the Order concerning the apostolate: Guidelines for Pastoral Care.
P. Fray Miguel shared his main concerns as Prior General to formation, pastoral, youth & vocation promotion, community and spiritual life. Then, some brothers raised their questions to him. He highlighted the value of trust (confianza para hablar). “The important thing is that you have trust. You have so many things to open up and these things are concerns that you cannot heal by just praying.” He concluded the session with an invitation, “We really need to trust each other and we will grow together.”
The visit ended with the praying of vespers and P. Fray Miguel Miro, OAR explicated the prominence of peace in the community.