Recoletos Family in St. Ezekiel Province thanks, bids goodbye to Father General

Provincial Curia, QUEZON CITY – To express their collective gratitude to the Prior General, Fray Miguel Miró, OAR, for the fruitful six-week visits of renewal to the Province of St. Ezekiel Moreno and to bid him farewell as he prepared for his trip back to Rome, the members of the Recoletos Family held a memorable program “Despedida & Tribute to Father General” on the evening of March 24.

Father Provincial, Fray Dionisio Selma, in his opening remarks, noted the special role of Father Miguel when he was still the Prior Provincial of San Nicolas de Tolentino Province during the transition period of the Vicariate of the Philippines and China, which then pertained to that Province, to being the youngest of the eight Provinces of the Order since 1998. [And even now that the Order is restructured into four Provinces, St. Ezekiel (SE) continues to hold that distinction not only because it is the latest to be established but also because, with 47.9 years old median age of the 179 religious, it is considered the youngest compared to 63, 58, and 57 of San Nicolas (SN), Candelaria (CD), and Sto. Tomas (ST), respectively.]

Fr. Dionisio Selma thanking the Prior General for the latter’s visit of renewal

Practically, for the past 20 years of the Province, Father Miguel, who was elected as Vicar General and then twice as Prior General, continued to guide the growth and progress of this Asia-based and Filipino-majority Province.

In this last “visita de renovación” as the second-termer Major Superior of the Order, Father General remained consistent in his observation about the Province as a whole: “What draws most my attention is that the communities are many, of which few are composed of three religious while others are made up of four or more, and the majority of these are young, if not almost young. These are displayed well in their hopes, commitments, and enthusiasm to do the work of evangelization, combining well what is traditional and what is novel…”

Triple treat

The evening treat was divided into three parts. The first part was a book launch of the second volume of Fray Francisco Antonio’s “Pointless Points to Ponder Not” which, in 140 pages, commits itself to present the hilarious edges of religious life and other oddities. The Foreword writer said that the book “explodes with insightful energy that can transport a reflective reader to a whole new world of realization about his vocation, mission, and dreams.”

Fr. Dionisio Selma, OAR (right) congratulating the author, Fr. Francisco Antonio, OAR (left)

After the launching, everybody shared the food served. The presence of Mo. Lucena Antipala, AR, Superior General of the Congregation of the Recollect Sisters, together with her Councilors, as well as the National Officers of the Secular Augustinian Recollect Faternity (SARF)-Philippines, headed by its National President, Bro. Edwin Ruiz, SAR, made the occasion another special bonding moment with the OAR Fathers, Brothers, and seminarians.

The third part of the program was composed of message-giving and song renditions as tribute to Father General. Bro. Edwin, Mo. Lucena, and Father Provincial – being heads of their respective groups – conveyed their message and wishes, on behalf of their respective constituents, to the visiting VIP from Rome. The Spanish songs sung by the coristas and the Recollect Fathers and Brothers expressed their prayerful tribute of thanks and appreciation.

Some of the AR Sisters led by Mo. Lucena Antipala, AR offering prayer for the Prior General
The Prior General delivering his words of thanksgiving to the members of the Province of St. Ezekiel Moreno; Fray Allan Jacinto, OAR providing the English translation

The community singing of the 7th Provincial Chapter theme song, “Sharing our vision,” aptly punctuated the despedida party.

Photo credits: Fray Ivan Cuison, OAR

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