Journey to St. Augustine: A CSFIP Encounter

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What a privilege it is to be in a community where spirituality is being nourished and nurtured! But, learning about one’s spirituality requires willingness to ask, listen and most importantly, surrender.

I was in a reflective mood when I accepted the challenge to be one of the delegates of the Comprehensive Formation and Immersion Program for OAR Schools (CSFIP) at the Recoletos Formation Center (RFC), Mira-Nila Homes, Quezon City last May 14-24, 2019.

The 10-day formation program is a response to Decision #32 of the Life and Mission Project (LAMP) of the Order of Augustinian Recollects in the Province of St. Ezekiel Moreno which requires that it “design and implement a comprehensive spiritual formation and immersion program for all religious and lay administrators, teachers, and office staff of all our educational institutions” (cf. LAMP, OAR p12).

During one of the Values and Pedagogy talk sessions with Rev. Fr. Lauro Larlar, OAR, RFC Prior.

Being Recoleto

I have been a Recoleto by heart and mind ever since I can remember. What I have come to know about my spirituality helped me to understand my ideal way of life—the Augustinian way of life. The significant part of my Augustinian spiritual journey is identifying my unique God-given purpose. But I also need tools if I want to continue living with purpose; this is one of my significant realizations.

During the 10-day program, I came to appreciate more than ever the value of friendship in the community, that as a member of the Recoleto family we must spiritually equip ourselves and embrace the OAR charism.

Living the Augustinian Values

Fray Lauro Larlar, OAR, prior and rector of the RFC, talked about Augustinian Values and Pedagogy. Stepping into interiority always connects to truth and freedom— if I am an interior person I live in truth, in consistence with who I am and my commitment.

Being an educator and counselor is quite a big task. I guide students, who are mostly teenagers, as they discover themselves. I lead them to the true knowledge of their own selves. I am an instrument of God for the formation of these youth who are truly the future of our society.

My passion is to develop their potential and to encourage their growth and journey until they become like Christ. This lifework maybe exhilarating but it can also be exhausting. In the process of counselling students, it is so easy to share fondness, enthusiasm and joy with them. Yet, I see to it that I also maintain the proper atmosphere in my class making sure that while fraternity and friendship is promoted, discipline is also observed. No matter how warm these scenes appear to be, I also make sure I take a break from the nonstop demands of being both counsellor and teacher. I recharge myself through silence and rest to make sure I do not exhaust my spirit so that I will always have something to keep on giving to young ones charged to my care.

Imbibing the Communitarian Spirit

Along the way we need tools that will lead us closer to our goal thus, values and pedagogy are part of our journey in achieving the goal to become like Christ. These not only take us to a whole new level but also help us to strive for further growth and learning. The more we grow and learn, the more experiences we can share with others. Through this, the cycle of learning through the OAR charism becomes evident. Then, relating with other members of the Recollect community becomes easier than what we imagined.

However, the great challenge is that all communities should be able to live in unity despite the individual differences of its members.

The delegates immerse in the daily routine of the RFC theologians.

Community was very important to St. Augustine and he believed that personal differences should enrich the members of the community rather than divide it. We may be all different, but we can live in unity, enriching our brothers and sisters with the gifts that we have received from God. It is our goal to complement each other.

Just like the tension of having opposing minds and ideas, choosing one at the expense of the other can be challenging. Once, I had to choose between the brightest idea presented by a colleague and the opposition of a dear friend against that idea. I had to encourage people to work as a team instead of focusing on our differences so that we could understand each view. This way we avoided division in the community. In the end, our values kept us together and prevented issues from breaking our workforce apart.

The climax of our spiritual formation was the Immersion Program. The closest thing that we could practice the communitarian spirit was through the formation life in RFC. That became both a challenge and a grace. We were able to join some of the activities (Holy Mass in the morning, meal times and even recreation time) of the novices. The idea that you have something in common with people you don’t even share a common language with became fascinating to me. We found ways to connect despite the barriers. Life at the formation center had been a pleasant surprise and yet I realized that it is truly a blessed life.

The Legacy of Agustinos Recoletos

Being now spiritually awakened, I gained insight on the importance of knowing about the Agustinian Movement. Fray Emil Quilatan, OAR talked about the history of the presence of the Recoletos in the Philippines and the influence of the Augustinians to the spirituality of every Filipino. Truly, it is commendable how the Agustinos Recoletos helped to evangelize people across the archipelago—from building churches to fulfilling apostolic works, to establishing schools for the education and formation of the Filipino youth.

The historical Bamboo Organ Church in Las Piñas houses the world-famous Bamboo Organ that a Recollect priest, Fr. Diego Cera, invented. This became a national heritage and the famous Recoleto-established Intramuros Museum in Manila is now one of the most sought-after historical landmark.

Fray Emilio Edgardo A. Quilatan, OAR of the Recoletos School of Theology, guides the CSFIP delegates during the tour at the Bamboo Organ Church in Las Piñas.

Each spiritual journey is unique but emulating the journey of enlightened saints could be uplifting. Fray Huberto Decena, OAR talked about Scriptures and the Augustinian Saints. Knowing the biographies of the Augustinian saints and canonical candidates has helped me to embark in my spiritual journey. It may not be important for others to know the Augustinian Saints, but this makes my journey unique because it deepens my understanding about how we can contribute in the revitalization of the Augustinian charismatic identity through the lives of these saints.

United by One Charism

Being one of the seventeen lay delegates of the said spiritual formation has opened my eyes in many ways. Knowing that each one of us is living entirely different lives is in itself beyond amazing. We all come from different backgrounds and yet we were all grateful for the opportunity to study and internalize our being part of this one big Recollect family. We now embark on a journey that is aligned with our own beliefs and faith. We are transforming into a community of purpose-driven people who are living the OAR charism.

Being part of this event made me appreciate even more than before the importance of our Recollect community and how this community helps me to live out my God-given purpose as member of the Recoleto family. Inspiring others, sharing from the heart, inspiring the self and the people around—these are among the beautiful aspects of the Augustinian way of life!

Story and photos by Ma.Nita V. Bolo, CST-R guidance counselor and teacher

(photo below: The 17 delegates of the Comprehensive Formation and Immersion Program for OAR Schools (CSFIP) at the Recoletos Formation Center (RFC), Mira-Nila Homes, Quezon City last May 14-24, 2019.)

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Ma. Nita Bolo

Ma. Nita Bolo

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< 2020 >
February
SMTuWThFS
      1
  • All day
    February 1, 2020

    33rd FOUNDING ANNIVERSARY (1987-2020) OF THE OUR LADY OF CONSOLATION PARISH, Miranila, Quezon City
    Note: The celebration is moved to February 2 (Sunday)

2
  • All day
    February 2, 2020

    FEAST – PRESENTATION OF THE LORD (CANDELARIA)

    WORLD DAY FOR CONSECRATED LIFE

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Ma. Petra Pascual, AR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Socorro Japson, AR

3
  • All day
    February 3, 2020

    CAPACITY-BUILDING & SKILLS TRAINING FOR CEAR ANCHORS-PSEM
    Venue: Bulwagang Recoletos Atrium, RFC, Miranila
    February 3-7, 2020
    [Note: February 3-5: Basic Orientation Enrichment Workshop for Accompaniment / Fr. Renato de Guzman]

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Ceferino Roberto Añez

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Filomena de Jesus, AR

4
  • All day
    February 4, 2020

    PRAYER INTENTION: FOR VOCATIONS (cf. LAMP 5c)

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Bernard Amparado
    Sr. Jannet Nicer, AR

5
  • All day
    February 5, 2020

    CONFERENCE ON RECOLETOS HEART SOLIDARITY CAMPAIGN
    (Attention: ARCORES Execom & CSEC-R Anchors)
    February 5-6, 2020 / USJ-R AV Room
    Theme: “Change your Life, not the Planet”

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray James Castelo
    Fray Jovy Gallego
    Sr. Anselma Millan, AR

6
  • All day
    February 6, 2020

    CAPACITY-BUILDING & SKILLS TRAINING FOR CEAR ANCHORS- PSEM
    [Note: February 6: Interactive Strategies for Evangelization and Faith Formation / Joselito Gutierrez PhD]

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Ronel Gealon
    Mo. Ma. Emilia Gaspillo, AR
    Sr. Doraine Suyko, AR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Fray Alberto Avanzado

7
  • All day
    February 7, 2020

    CAPACITY-BUILDING & SKILLS TRAINING FOR CEAR ANCHORS-PSEM
    [Note: February 7: Overview of CEAR and Basics of Augustinian Recollect Spirituality / Fray Lauro Larlar, OAR; Planning Session for the CEAR-Philippines / Fray Ian Anthony Espartero, OAR]

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Jess Marco Sanchez
    Sr. Ma. Lina Gonzaga, AR
    Sr. Gewena Gay Villarubia, AR

8
  • All day
    February 8, 2020

    6th INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER AND AWARENESS AGAINST HUMAN TRAFFICKING (cf. LAMP, 52)

    2nd ENCOUNTER OF ESCUELA DE FORMACION February 8-23, 2020 / Rome

    “TATAK REKOLETO” CONCERT
    Theme: “Tatak Rekoleto: Okay Keyo!” Venue: OLCP-R, Laray, Talisay City, Cebu

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Elflida Palma, AR

9
  • All day
    February 9, 2020

    INSTALLATION OF MOST REV. JESÚS MARÍA LÓPEZ MAULEÓN, OAR, D.D. (Prelate of Alto Xingu-Tucumã, Para, Brazil)

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Elpedio Sarita, Jr.

10
  • All day
    February 10, 2020

    150th ANNIVERSARY OF ST. EZEKIEL’S ARRIVAL IN THE
    PHILIPPINES
    [Note: As approved, the celebration will be held on August 19, 2020, following the customary celebration of each community or cluster of communities.]

    21st INAUGURATION ANNIVERSARY (1999-2020) OF THE PROVINCE OF ST. EZEKIEL MORENO

    CLOSING OF PRIOR GENERAL’S RENEWAL VISIT TO BRAZIL GENERAL COUNCIL MEETING

    February 10-14, 2019
    UNO-R: MIDTERM EXAMS / February 10-14, 2020

11
  • All day
    February 11, 2020

    OUR LADY OF LOURDES

    28th WORLD DAY OF THE SICK (cf. LAMP, 52)
    [Cf. Pope Message: http://www.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/messages/sick/docu- ments/papafrancesco_20200103_giornata-malato.html]

    FIESTA – OUR LADY OF LOURDES QUASI PARISH
    Brgy. Tambo, Ayungon, Negros Oriental
    Time: 9:30 A.M. / Fiesta Mass Presider: Most Rev. Julito Cortes, D.D. (Bishop of Dumaguete)

    CHARTER DAY OF TALISAY CITY, NEGROS OCCIDENTAL SILVER ANNIVERSARY of the RST-UST AFFILIATION (1995-2020)

    USJ-R CEBU: MIDTERM EXAMS / February 11-14, 2020

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Filomena Oliva, AR
    Sr. Ma. Lourdes Tanoy, AR
    Sr. Marisa Dacuya, AR

    PRESBYTERAL ANNIVERSARY
    (2017-2020)
    Fray Roweno Eugenio Hamo
    Fray Sir Michael Dineros
    Fray John Paul Tanquis

12
  • All day
    February 12, 2020

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Pia de Sebastian, AR
    Sr. Ma. Gloria Acha, AR

1314
  • All day
    February 14, 2020

    SPA-VALENCIA: JS PROM

15
  • All day
    February 15, 2020

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Maria Aurora Baygan, AR

16
  • All day
    February 16, 2020

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Porferia Tundag, AR

17
  • All day
    February 17, 2020

    USJ-R BALAMBAN: EXIT CONFERENCE FOR G.10

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Virgilio Paredes, Jr.

18
  • All day
    February 18, 2020

    90th ANNIVERSARY, DISCOVERY OF PLUTO (1930)

    SPA-R: SEMI-FINAL EXAMS / February 18-21, 2020

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Jerik Troy Siozon
    Fray Mark Saludes

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Genoveva del Sgdo. Corazon de Jesus, AR
    Sr. Manuela Mandia, AR

19
  • All day
    February 19, 2020

    PRAYER INTENTION: FOR THE SICK (cf. LAMP 5c)

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Dunstan Huberto Decena

    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION
    (2003-2020)
    Most. Rev. Patricio Buzon, SDB, D.D. (Bishop of Bacolod)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Josefina Disen, AR

20
  • All day
    February 20, 2020

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Ines de Padua, AR

21
  • All day
    February 21, 2020

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Nimrod Launio

    ANNIVERSARY OF CREATION AS CARDINAL
    Pope Francis (Jorge Mario Bergoglio) (2001-2020)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Aniceta de la Santisima Trinidad, AR

22
  • All day
    February 22, 2020

    FEAST – CHAIR OF ST. PETER

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Ma. Flora Silverio, AR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Ma. Lucila Reyes, AR

23
  • All day
    February 23, 2020

    POPE FRANCIS’ VISIT TO BARI FOR “MEDITERRANEAN, FRONTIER OF PEACE”

    [Note: Sponsored by the Italian bishops’ conference, the Pope’s travel to the southern Italian seaport city of Bari will close a meeting of around 50 bishops from 19 countries bordering the Mediterranean.]

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Ana Maria Rosello, AR
    Sr. Exaltacion Lagrimas, AR

24
  • All day
    February 24, 2020

    MEETING OF THE PROVICIAL SECRETARIATS OF SPIRITUALITY & FORMATION / Rome

    MEETING OF THE (GENERAL) ECONOMIC COUNCIL
    February 24-28, 2020

    CHARTER DAY OF CEBU CITY

    CSNT-R: NICOLASIAN BALL

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Rommel Rubia

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Jesusa de Vera, AR

25
  • All day
    February 25, 2020

    34th EDSA PEOPLE POWER (1986-2020)

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Roselyn Jardenil, AR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Wenifreda Sajorda, AR

26
  • All day
    February 26, 2020

    LENT STARTS – BLESSED ASH WEDNESDAY

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Julius James Tinapao [simply prof.]

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Fray Severino Cuesta (2000-2020)
    Sr. Teresa Constantino, AR

27
  • All day
    February 27, 2020

    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION
    (1982-2020)
    Luis Antonio Card. Tagle (Archdiocese of Manila)

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Teresita Caberte, AR

28
  • All day
    February 28, 2020

    PRAYER INTENTION: FOR THE MISSIONS (cf. LAMP 5c)

    7th ANNIVERSARY OF THE RESIGNATION OF POPE BENEDICT XVI (2013-2020)

    RST: LAST DAY OF FINAL THESIS DEFENSE (MAT)

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Ma. Crisanta Armendez, AR
    Mr. Fulgencio Culaton (Brother-General of the Order)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Milagros de San Nicolas de Tolentino, AR

29

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