Journey to St. Augustine: A CSFIP Encounter

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

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< 2019 >
December
SMTuWThFS
1
  • All day
    December 1, 2019

    1ST SUNDAY OF ADVENT

    40th INTRAMUROS GRAND MARIAN PROCESSION
    Start of the Procession: 4:00 P.M.
    Carroza #67: Nuestra Sra. de la Salud

    PRESBYTERAL ANNIVERSARY
    (1984-2019)
    Fray Constantino Real

    (2007-2019)
    Fray Excel Saycon
    Fray Allan Rubett Cabatian

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    (2014-2019)
    Fray Cornelio Moral

23
  • All day
    December 3, 2019

    ENCOUNTER OF NATIONAL SARF PRESIDENTS
    General Curia, Rome December 3-6, 3019

    SILVER PRESBYTERAL ANNIVERSARY
    (1994-2019)
    Fray Rouel Sia
    Fray Joel Villaruel
    Fray Bernabe Dosdos

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    (2011-2019)
    Fray Crisostomo Garnica

4
  • All day
    December 4, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray John Paul Tanquis
    Fray Kenneth Caligdong
    Sr. Noemi Manzo, AR

5
  • All day
    December 5, 2019

    431ST ANNIVERSARY (1588-2019) OF THE AUGUSTINIAN RECOLLECTION

    28th FOUNDING ANNIVERSARY OF SEMoNoRe, Antipolo

    PRESBYTERAL ANNIVERSARY
    (1995-2019)
    Fray Reynaldo Jaranilla
    Fray Antonio Zabala, Jr.

    (2003-2019)
    Fray Romeo Ben Potencio, Jr.

    (2009-2019)
    Fray Roy Baluarte
    Fray Dominador Mercado, Jr.
    Fray Renier Alviola
    Fray Christopher Gaspar

    (2018-2019)
    Fray Kenneth Caligdong
    Fray Paul Demillones
    Fray Niel Ryan Jarumay
    Fray Keneth Pahamutang
    Fray Elpedio Sarita, Jr.

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    Sr. Ma. Grace Gicos, OAR (2014-2019)

    ANNIVERSARY (2006-2019) OF ACCEPTANCE AS SISTERS-GENERAL OF THE ORDER (OAR)
    Ms. Brenda Saliendra
    Ms. Nestoria Bad-an

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Joseph Granada

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Juana de Sta. Rita

6
  • All day
    December 6, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Manuel Lipardo
    Fray Amado Emmanuel Bolilia

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Paciencia Orsolino, AR

7
  • All day
    December 7, 2019

    PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION
    OLCP Church, Miranila, QC / Time: 9:00 AM
    Ordaining Prelate: Most Rev. Roberto Gaa, D.D.
    Ordinandi:
    Fray Jorr S. Rabacal
    Fray Monday Benjamine Edobor
    Fray Ifeanyichukwu Maximillian Omem
    Fray Jovy A. Gallego
    Fray Andrie S. Pugate
    Fray Tomokatsu N. Yamaguchi
    Fray Jessriel L. Marcha

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Jaazeal Jakosalem
    Sr. Teodora Gentapa, AR
    Sr. Marlyn Escalante, AR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Andrea Martinez, AR

8
  • All day
    December 8, 2019

    2ND SUNDAY OF ADVENT

    ROME: Act of Veneration to the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary at the Spanish Steps (1600H, Rome Time)

    150th ANNIVERSARY OF THE OPENING OF THE FIRST VATICAN COUNCIL (1869)

    JUBILEE YEAR (Dec. 8, 2019 – Dec. 10, 2020): Marking the 100th anniversary of the declaration of Our Lady of Loreto as the patron saint

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Leo Neil Bullos
    Sr. Concepcion Anadon, AR
    Sr. Concepcion Potoy, AR

    PRESBYTERAL ANNIVERSARY
    (1967-2019)
    Most Rev. Patricio Buzon, SDB, D.D. (Diocese of Bacolod)

    (1972-2019)
    Most Rev. Honesto Ongtioco, D.D. (Diocese of Cubao)

    (2000-2019)
    Fray Jose Alden Alipin
    Fray Don Besana
    Fray James Bumangabang
    Fray Arnel Diaz
    Fray Rommel Rubia
    Fray Edgar Tubio

    (2006-2019)
    Fray Roland Cepe
    Fray Gideon Antolin Lagrimas

    (2015-2019)
    Fray Ken Oliver Lao
    Fray Nimrod Launio
    Fray Leo Neil Bullos
    Fray Mark Ryan Prado
    Fray Enrico Nacorda
    Fray Nelson Plohimon
    Fray John Zachary Haguisan
    Fray Rafael Pecson
    Fray Jerik Troy Siozon
    Fray Lounal Jarumay

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    Sr. Marites Carasig, OAR
    Sr. Lucita Minguito, OAR

    ANNIVERSARY OF SOLEMN PROFESSION
    Sr. Marites Carasig, OAR
    Sr. Lucita Minguito, OAR

9
  • All day
    December 9, 2019

    SOLEMNITY OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

    GENERAL COUNCIL MEETING
    December 9-13, 2019 / Rome

    40TH DEATH ANIIVERSARY (1979-2019) OF ARCHBP. FULTON SHEEN

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Ma. Alberta Tabon, AR
    Sr. Ma. Rosalina Fuertes, AR
    Sr. Herminia Limotlimot, AR
    Sr. Myrna Mianagua, AR
    Sr. Bernadette Calzado, AR

    PRESBYTERAL ANNIVERSARY
    (2002-2019)
    Fray Joel Dequilla
    Fray Jay Parilla
    Fray Niño Cesar Ruiz

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Magdalena de Sta. Maria
    Sr. Potenciana de la Encarnacion

1011
  • All day
    December 11, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Ma. Amada de Ramos, AR

    PRESBYTERAL ANNIVERSARY
    (2010-2019)
    Fray Persiuz Joseph Decena

12
  • All day
    December 12, 2019

    EPISCOPAL ORDINATION ANNIVERSARY
    (2001-2019)
    Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle

    EPISCOPAL ORDINATION OF BISHOP-ELECT JOSE ALLAN DIALOGO (Diocese of Sorsogon)

    SPECIAL BOT MEETING – UNO-R, BACOLOD
    Venue: UNO-R Bacolod / 9:00 AM

    23rd PROVINCIAL COUNCIL MEETING

13
  • All day
    December 13, 2019

    GOLDEN PRESBYTERAL ANNIVERSARY
    (1969-2019)
    Pope Francis

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Carmen de Sto. Niño, AR

14
  • All day
    December 14, 2019

    INSTALLATION OF BISHOP JOSE ALLAN DIALOGO (Diocese of Sorsogon)

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Charlito Orobia

15
  • All day
    December 15, 2019

    3RD SUNDAY OF ADVENT

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Florinda Gonzales, AR

16
  • All day
    December 16, 2019

    MEETING OF THE GENERAL COMMISSION ON COMMUNICATIONS AND PUBLICATIONS December 16-18, 2019 / Rome

    SIMBANG GABI STARTS

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Evangeline Geuncion, AR
    Sr. Paulina Admana, AR
    Sr. Ma. Milgaros Lucero, AR

17
  • All day
    December 17, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    POPE FRANCIS (Jorge Mario Bergoglio)
    Fray Nestor Raras

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Generosa Dimapilis, AR

18
  • All day
    December 18, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Most Rev. Ryan Jimenez, D.D. (Bishop of Chalan Kanoa)

19
  • All day
    December 19, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Excel Saycon
    Sr. Modesta San Jose, AR

20
  • All day
    December 20, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Albert Pellazar

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Soledad Samonte, AR

21
  • All day
    December 21, 2019

    BEATIFICATION OF VEN. FULTON SHEEN (1895-1979)
    10:00 a.m. / Saint Mary’s Cathedral, Peoria, IL., USA

    PRESBYTERAL ANNIVERSARY
    (1965-2019)
    Most Rev. Antonio Tobias, D.D. (Diocese of Novaliches)

22
  • All day
    December 22, 2019

    4TH SUNDAY OF ADVENT

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Ma. Emma Navea, AR

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    (1986-2019)
    Fray Agustin Culaton

    ANNIVERSARY OF SOLEMN PROFESSION
    (1989-2019)
    Fray Agustin Culaton

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Mercedes Jayme, AR
    Sr. Felicidad Pangilinan, AR

23
  • All day
    December 23, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Ricky John Austria (simply prof.)

24
  • All day
    December 24, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Allan Jacinto
    Most Rev. Natale Paganelli, SX (Diocese of Makeni)

25
  • All day
    December 25, 2019

    CHRISTMAS DAY
    Urbi et Orbi / 12:00 NN (Rome Time)

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Mary Lou Duhino, AR

    PRESBYTERAL ANNIVERSARY
    (1980-2019)
    Most Rev. Natale Paganelli, SX (Diocese of Makeni)

26
  • All day
    December 26, 2019

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Maria Gavino, AR

27
  • All day
    December 27, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Ma. Editha Escalania, AR
    Sr. Filomena Atun, AR

28
  • All day
    December 28, 2019

    EPISCOPAL ORDINATION OF AUXILIARY BISHOP- ELECT DARÍO RUBÉN QUINTANA MUÑIZ, OAR (Diocese of Mar del Plata, Argentina)

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Joel Naranja
    Fray Niño Cesar Ruiz
    Fray Jessriel Marcha

29
  • All day
    December 29, 2019

    FEAST OF THE HOLY FAMILY

    EPISCOPAL ORDINATION OF BISHOP-ELECT JESÚS MARÍA LÓPEZ MAULEÓN, OAR (Territorial Prelature of Alto Xingu-Tucumã, Para, Brazil)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Justa de Jesus, AR

30
  • All day
    December 30, 2019

    [Rizal Day: Regular Holiday]

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Maria Viñon, AR

31
  • All day
    December 31, 2019

    ROME: Celebration of Vespers and Te Deum in Thanksgiving for the past year (1700H, Rome Time)

    PRIOR GENERAL’S RENEWAL VISIT TO BRAZIL

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Antonio Zabala, Jr.
    Fray Jose Alden Alipin
    Sr. Potenciana Azurin, AR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Benigna de la Purisima Concepcion, AR

    HAPPY NEW YEAR 2020!

    

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