OAR Missionaries as Instruments of Peace and Reconciliation

Fray Dennis Castillo, OAR, Fray Jess Marco Sanchez, OAR, Fray Miguel Miró, OAR (Prior General), and Fray Kenneth Caligdong, OAR, </br>during the fraternal visit
of the Prior General to the community of Recoletos de Kamalo.
Fray Dennis Castillo, OAR, Fray Jess Marco Sanchez, OAR, Fray Miguel Miró, OAR (Prior General), and Fray Kenneth Caligdong, OAR,
during the fraternal visit of the Prior General to the community of Recoletos de Kamalo.

Kamalo, SIERRA LEONE—In the rural place of Sierra Leone Africa, petty disputes usually ends up as a tragedy. Youth riots, burning of houses and properties and murders due to this actions happens from time to time, and because of their strong communal ties, incidents of this kind usually end up as a village or town war. This is mainly due to the lack of an effective law and order system in these places, these places are still using their traditional chiefdom-ship law system.

OAR missionaries are assigned in the rural places in the northern part of the country and cannot pull themselves away from this kind of incidents, basically because in-time they have become unofficial elders of the community they administer and they have become the last resort or saviours of the local people whenever things gets out of hand. Missioners have been the local 911 and peacekeepers in their areas.

Last month, Kamabi village in Kamakwie town was burned to the ground right after a group from this village murdered a man from its neighbouring village Kamaporie because of a trivial dispute on a woman. Another incident happened on November 29, of this year when a riot broke out, during a game between St. Paul School Kamalo Town and a School team from its neighbour town Kamakwie. The incident which was started by unknown persons from Kamalo brought physical injuries to a handful of people, including one boy from Kamalo who was found unconscious after the incident, and Fray Jess Marco Sanchez, OAR, who was stoned and wounded hours after the riot.

One of the village houses burnt by a group of locals caused by a tribal dispute.

Fray Jess was then bringing the injured boys from Kamalo and Kamakwie to the hospital, when people from Kamalo threw stones at the mission vehicle which was being driven by Fray Jess, with cabin lights on, to ensure that anybody outside can clearly see that the Augustinian Recollect missionary was driving.

During the height of the this incident, the Recollects directed the Kamakwie players to take refuge at inside the walls of the mission convent. And this action of the missioners might have angered the attacking party; thinking that the OAR Fathers have favoured the side of the Kamakwie people. The missionaries decided to handle the incident within the town community and to never bring this matter to higher authorities or made any criminal complains, to protect the Kamalo Community from any judgements or condemnation coming from the national or international media. This kind of incident was not the first. On the 9th of July 2019, a riot broke out, but this time it was between Kamalo and Kamaranka, where in the Kamalo youth were the one’s who were being attacked and again the riot started because of a meaningless football match. Many people were injured and a lot of properties have been burned. During the incident, it was the OAR Fathers who brought the trapped Kamalo youth back to Kamalo.

Fray Jess Marco Sanchez, OAR

The Fathers, with their vehicles, made two trips back and forth to ensure the safety of the Kamalo people. On his second trip back to Kamaranka, while searching for other Kamalo people who were now hiding in the bushes or in the nearby villages, Fray Jess caught a group of people on the way to the bush, who were on the verge of beating and raping two Kamalo girls which they captured. Fray Jess courageously reasoned with them and begged to let the innocent girls go, the mob later agreed with Fray Jess and left the girls under his care, and later brought them back safely to the arms of their thankful parents.

A week after this July incident, since every peace negotiation should involved a respected neutral party, the Recollects in Kamalo with the district representatives of both towns facilitated the peace negotiations. Then the missionaries with the leaders of both town went to the office of Assistant Inspector General for more police assistance in resolving the conflict between the two neighbouring towns. After a month or so, peace have been successfully restored between the town of Kamalo and Kamaranka.

Following these riot incidents and negotiations, the Recollects appealed to the local elders and youth leaders to create measures that will prevent the eruption of senseless incidents. The Recollects demanded that a youth peace enforcer would be formed in Kamalo that would monitor and control the crowd whenever a public and inter-town activity will be held in Kamalo. In response  to the request, the town officials together with the youth quickly formed a peace and order enforcers and promised and signed that they will try their best to not let this kind of incident happen again, especially incidents that will put the lives of the missioners at risk.

The missionaries still believe and expect that these kind of incidents will continue to happen until the local people have learned to control their impulsiveness and which can only be achieved through good education and strong relationship with God. With these, the missionaries will continue to risk their lives and give their time rendering help even in the public matters of their mission communities and more over double their efforts in their educational and religious apostolate to help the local people grow and prepare them in facing the different challenges of globalisation which is now slowly affecting them. 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Fray Dennis Castillo, OAR

Fray Dennis Castillo, OAR

Augustinian Recollect missionary to Sierra Leone, Africa.

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< 2020 >
February
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  • 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
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    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
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    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
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    February 4, 2020

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

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Bernard Amparado
    Sr. Jannet Nicer, AR

5
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    February 12, 2020

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

1314
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    SPA-VALENCIA: JS PROM

15
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    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Maria Aurora Baygan, AR

16
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    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Porferia Tundag, AR

17
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    February 17, 2020

    USJ-R BALAMBAN: EXIT CONFERENCE FOR G.10

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Virgilio Paredes, Jr.

18
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    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
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    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
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    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Ines de Padua, AR

21
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    34th EDSA PEOPLE POWER (1986-2020)

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Roselyn Jardenil, AR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Wenifreda Sajorda, AR

26
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    LENT STARTS – BLESSED ASH WEDNESDAY

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Julius James Tinapao [simply prof.]

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

27
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    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION
    (1982-2020)
    Luis Antonio Card. Tagle (Archdiocese of Manila)

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Teresita Caberte, AR

28
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    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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