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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< 2021 >
January
SMTuWThFS
     1
  • All day
    January 1, 2021

    SOLEMNITY OF MARY, MOTHER OF GOD

    54th WORLD DAY OF PEACE

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Cristita Cha, AR

2
  • All day
    January 2, 2021

    ATTENTION: Provincial-Level Christmas Party is CANCELLED.

    SIMPLE PROFESSION OF VOWS OF FRAY CHRISLEAN REY PAMILAGA
    SEMONORE, Antipolo City / 10:00 A.M.

    BIRTHDAY
    Bro. Conrado Flores, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)
    Sis. Emma Toro, SAR (Valencia Chapter)
    Sis. Marcelina Nicolas, SAR (Tondo Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sis. Rizalina Salera, SAR (Cavite Chapter)

3
  • All day
    January 3, 2021

    SOLEMNITY OF THE EPIPHANY

    500th Year of the Excommunication of Martin Luther (1521-2021)

    60th Anniversary of the Establishment of a Catholic Hierarchy in Indonesia

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Ma. Bella Mojica, AR
    Sis. Basilisa Espinola, SAR (Miranila Chapter)
    Sis. Carmencita Abis, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    Sis. Melodina Paragat, SAR (Talisay Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sr. Clemencia Ranin, AR

4
  • All day
    January 4, 2021

    BIRTHDAY
    Bro. Ernil Orbecido, SAR (Bacolod Chapter)
    Sis Mary Grace Susas, SAR (Talisay Chapter)
    Fran Cheska Marie Andan (RAY-Laray)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sr. Regina Cadiz, AR
    +Sr. Adelaida Elli, AR

5
  • All day
    January 5, 2021

    BIRTHDAY
    Sis Estelita Divinagracia, SAR (Miranila Chapter)
    Bro. Jose Pepito Gabriel Bonete, SAR (Puerto Princesa Chapter)
    Sis. Emiliana Carao, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Leila Barizo (RAY-Cavite)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sr. Ma. Cleofe Claro, AR
    +Fray Casiano Cosmilla
    [Attention Recoletos de Manila Community: “the community to which he belongs will celebrate… Mass on the first anniversary of his death” (Add. Code 94a)]

6
  • All day
    January 6, 2021

    BIRTHDAY
    Sis. Sylvia Evina, SAR (Puerto Princesa Chapter)
    Sis. Grace Aba-a, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sr. Juana de la Merced, AR
    +Bro. Rustico Magdales, SAR (Manila Chapter)

7
  • All day
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    BIRTHDAY
    Sis. Eliza Stubbs, SAR (Miranila Chapter)

8
  • All day
    January 8, 2021

    RST: START OF ENROLMENT

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Ian Anthony Espartero
    Sr. Leticia Cerdeño, AR

9
  • All day
    January 9, 2021

    FEAST OF THE BLACK NAZARENE
    (The traditional Traslación is canceled due to Covid-19)

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Rosario Bianes, AR
    Sis. Marcelina Taguinod, SAR (Tondo Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    |+Sr. Dominga Gargarita, AR

10
  • All day
    January 10, 2021

    FEAST OF THE BAPTISM OF THE LORD

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sr. Ma. Luz Asuncion Nitura, AR
    +Sr. Paulina de la Purisima Corazon de Maria, AR

11
  • All day
    January 11, 2021

    BIRTHDAY

    Sr. Catalina Ruiz, AR
    Sis. Elena Dagdag, SAR (Baguio Chapter)
    Ian Gabrielle Canlubo (RAY-Cavite)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sr. Ma. Zita Lloren, AR
    +Sis. Elena Caballero, SAR (San Carlos Chapter)

12
  • All day
    January 12, 2021

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Reynaldo Jaranilla
    Sis. Josephine Guinto, SAR (Tondo Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sis. Bro. Hilario Torcedo, SAR (Baguio Chapter)
    +Sr. Ma. Fortunata Gayumale Gaspillo, AR

13
  • All day
    January 13, 2021

    ANNIVERSARY OF EPISCOPAL ORDINATION
    (1998-2021)
    Archbp. Jose Palma, D.D. (Archdiocese of Cebu)

    BIRTHDAY
    Bro. Jonathan Casiño, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)
    Bro. Antonio Sonsona, SAR (Tondo Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Mo. Rosario Rosales, AR

14
  • All day
    January 14, 2021

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Emilia Madrigal, AR
    Bro. Jose Valdez, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)
    Sis. Luisa Gumiran, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sis. Esterlita Gracia, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)

15
  • All day
    January 15, 2021

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Anthony Irineo
    Sr. Ma. Marcela de la Cruz, AR
    Bro. Maximo Epanto, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sr. Ma. Virgin de la Consolacion, AR

16
  • All day
    January 16, 2021

    COMMEMORATION OF THE DEAD RELATIVES OF THE MEMBERS OF THE ORDER

    BIRTHDAY
    Mo. Maria del Carmen, OAR (Bacolod)
    Sr. Zerah Cordero, AR
    Sis. Alice Mojica, SAR (Cavite Chapter)
    Sis. Bernarda Tan, SAR (Tondo Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sis. Lucia Degamo, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    +Sis. Amelia Casiño, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)

17
  • All day
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    FEAST OF THE STO. NINO

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Corvin Maturan
    Sis. Belen Taniagao, SAR (Miranila Chapter / Trial)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sr. Celedonia de la Santissima Trinidad, AR
    +Sr. Cesaria Barbarona, AR

18
  • All day
    January 18, 2021

    WEEK OF PRAYER FOR CHRISTIAN UNITY
    Inclusive dates: January 18-25, 2021
    Theme: “Abide in my love and you shall bear much fruit” (John 16:1-17)

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Joseph Dexter Palagtiosa
    Sis. Guia Gonzales, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)

19
  • All day
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    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Cleofe Maria Agua, AR
    Sis. Angelica Tejada, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)
    Sis. Myrna Amante, SAR (Tondo Chapter)

20
  • All day
    January 20, 2021

    ST. SEBASTIAN (PATRON SAINT OF MANILA & CAVITE COMMUNITIES, DIOCESE OF BACOLOD)

    SSC-R MANILA’s FOUNDATION CELEBRATIONS
    Inclusive dates: January 20-22,2021

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Adelina Reyes, AR
    Sis. Mercedes Velada, SAR (Tondo Chapter)

21
  • All day
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    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Urbano Galanido
    Fray Jerome Virtudazo
    Sis. Leticia de Silva, SAR (Baguio Chapter)
    Sis. Alice Catulong, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Sis. Anecita Paglinawan, SAR (Laray Chapter)

22
  • All day
    January 22, 2021

    BIRTHDAY
    Most Rev. Victor Bendico, DD (Bishop of Baguio)

23
  • All day
    January 23, 2021

    BIRTHDAY
    Bro. Marciano Cleofas, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)
    Sis. Gloria Acosta, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    Sis. Esterlina Silva, SAR (San Carlos Chapter)
    Sis. Rosemarie Gaspar, SAR (Valencia Chapter)
    Judith Mondejar (RAY-Caidiocan)
    Kathrine Bacalso (RAY-Laray)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sr. Gertrudis del Pilar, AR
    +Sr. Cresencia Vailoces, AR

24
  • All day
    January 24, 2021

    SUNDAY OF THE WORD OF GOD
    [NOTE: Pope Francis’ Apostolic Letter, Motu proprio Aperuit illis, published on 30 September 2019, establishes that “the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time is to be devoted to the celebration, study and dissemination of the Word of God”.]

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Ma. Paz Bawagan, AR
    Sr. Faith Niña Fuertes, AR
    Sis. Florida San Juan, SAR (Tondo Chapter)
    Sis. Raymunda Co, SAR (Laray Chapter)
    Analyn Martinez (RAY-Valencia)

25
  • All day
    January 25, 2021

    SOLEMNITY OF THE CONVERSION OF ST. PAUL

    CSNT-Rs 50th (1971-2021) FOUNDING ANNIVERSARY Inclusive dates: January 25-30, 2021

    BIRTHDAY
    Sis. Erlinda Casaje, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    Bro. Rodelio Gasparillo, SAR (Bacolod Chapter)
    Bro. Feddie Junsay, SAR (Bacolod Chapter)
    Joelle Maria Mendoza (RAY-Miranila)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Ma. Lucia Sagmit, AR

26
  • All day
    January 26, 2021

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Cristopher Maspara
    Sis. Henrietta Morales, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)

    ANNIVERSARY OF EPISCOPAL ORDINATION
    (2005-2021)
    Most Rev. Reynaldo Evangelista, D.D. (Diocese of Imus)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sis. Margarita Zafra, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)

27
  • All day
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    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Marilyn Cula, AR
    Sr. Remilyn Leonido, AR
    Sis. Evelyn Balingit, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sis. Murita Jara, SAR (Tondo Chapter)

28
  • All day
    January 28, 2021

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Louie Gabinete

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Fernanda del Pilar, AR
    Sr. Ines Garcia, AR

29
  • All day
    January 29, 2021

    LAUNCHING OF HEART SOLIDARITY CAMPAIGN 2021 / Province of St. Ezekiel Moreno only

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Francisca Rojas, AR
    Sis. Lourdes Insigne, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)
    Jona Mendoza (RAY-Miranila)

30
  • All day
    January 30, 2021

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Jonathan Caballero
    Sr. Angelica Fuentes, AR
    Sr. Pascualina Peral, AR
    Sis. Violeta Siozon, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)
    Sis. Fedencia dela Criz, SAR (Brooke’s Point Chapter)
    Sis. Minerva Alcarde, SAR (San Carlos Chapter)

31
  • All day
    January 31, 2021

    4TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

    68th WORLD LEPROSY DAY

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Josephine Ativo, AR
    Sis. Saturnina Antolihao, SAR (Tondo Chapter)
    Lance Raven Lapinig (RAY-Talisay)

      

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