SARF de Filipinas online celebration: “Holding on to Faith in the Midst of Suffering”

invitation 1

by Sis. Yolanda V. Zaragoza (SARF de SEMoNoRe Chapter) and Lino Sumbillo Jr. (SARF de UNO-R Chapter)

QUEZON CITY—God is good, all the time. The current pandemic did not hinder the Secular Augustinian Recollect Fraternity (SARF) from celebrating the feast of St. Magdalene of Nagasaki, Patroness of SARF, last October 20, 2020, with the theme “Holding on to Faith in the Midst of Suffering.” It was done virtually via Zoom meeting, participated by the 17 SARF chapters from the Province of St. Ezekiel Moreno.

As early as January this year, the SARF members were already excitedly preparing for what could have been the SARF National Convention in San Carlos City, Negros Occidental. Not a few have already purchased their plane tickets and have made reservations for their board and lodging. Some have even made plans to visit their relatives and friends as well, aside from touring nearby tourist spots. However, the sudden onset of the COVID-19 pandemic compelled the indefinite postponement of the National Convention, hindering such plans.

Notwithstanding the pandemic and the restrictions imposed by the government, the internet has made the conduct of virtual meetings and other SARF activities possible, but within the limits set by the guidelines of the Inter-agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases. The celebration of the feast of St. Magdalene of Nagasaki still pushed through, albeit virtually, with 232 participants (comprising 18 priests; 1 deacon; 3 Augustinian Recollect Sisters; 11 candidates from Sierra Leone, Africa; and 199 SARs from various chapters).

The celebration started at 4:00 pm with a Holy Mass streamed live from San Nicolas de Tolentino Parish Church in Quezon City. The Prior Provincial of the Province of St. Ezekiel Moreno, Order of Augustinian Recollects (OAR), Fray Dionisio Q. Selma, was the main celebrant while being concelebrated by the friars of the Provincialate. Sis. Rosario Galang, SAR and Sis. Emilie Pandong, SAR from San Nicolas de Tolentino Chapter served as lector and commentator, respectively. In his homily, the Prior Provincial reminded everyone that wherever we are, we are called to follow the Lord to be holy and to be happy. According to him, this is our ultimate goal in life.

Following the Holy Mass was vespers, which was participated by all SARF chapters in the province, after which Fray Miguel Miro Miro, OAR, the Prior General of the OAR, delivered a congratulatory message in Spanish (translated into English by Fray Raul M. Buhay, OAR). He emphasized the importance of prayer, love, and unity in this time of need; prayer and love should be shared in the family. The Prior General further cited the message of His Holiness Pope Francis on unity and peace toward our salvation because we are all children of God.  

The program proper started shortly thereafter, with the singing of a new version of the St. Magdalene of Nagasaki hymn (Lyrics by Dwight J. Ypanto; music and vocals by Bro. Jocabz Cabanes, SAR). The hosts were Bro. Elmar Malvar, SAR of SARF San Sebastian Basilica and Bro. Lino Sumbillo, Jr., SAR of SARF de UNO-R Bacolod Chapter. In between messages delivered by speakers, trivia games with cash prizes were played and pre-recorded presentations from different chapters were showcased.

The opening prayer and the opening remarks were led by Fray Emeterio D. Buñao, OAR (SARF National Assistant Spiritual Adviser). The message immediately resonated as he opened the session with questions like “What made St. Magdalene’s faith so strong?”, and “How did she get it?” Sis. Zenaida R. Lapuz, SAR, the SARF National Vice President for Luzon, enumerated the objectives of the celebration and acknowledged the participants from the different chapters. This was followed by a message from Fray Bernabe M. Dosdos, OAR (SARF National Spiritual Adviser) where he emphasized the spirit of mission and oneness as vital in holding on to faith. 

In his message, the Prior Provincial focused on “identity and mission.” He invited the candidates and members to make a self-examination, asking among others the following questions: Do you know yourself? Do you know what the SARF is? What is your purpose? Why are you consecrating or dedicating yourself, your service to this family following the charism, the spirituality of the Augustinian Recollect? He emphasized that “If you do not know your identity, you will be confused and you will not commit wholeheartedly to your mission in this fraternity.” He encouraged all spiritual advisers and all the religious to accept, accompany and inspire the members of the fraternity and to continue to form them so that “as pilgrims, together we are going towards the same direction on our way to God”.

Sis. Carmenda S. Leonoras, SAR (SARF National Vice President for Visayas) presented the newest SARF chapter, the SARF de Kamalo, Sierra Leonne, Africa. This was succeeded by the response of Fray Jose Prudencio G. Castillo, OAR (SARF de Kamalo, spiritual adviser). Fray Castillo gave thanks for the recognition of the new chapter and reiterated that the spirit of the mission work is conquering boundaries beyond countries. The newly-organized SARF de Kamalo in Sierra Leone is an example.

Ceres C. Alcantara, SAR, SARF National 1st councilor for Luzon, introduced the guest speaker, Fray Ian Anthony Espartero, OAR (Vicar of the Province and President of Secretariat of Spirituality and Liturgy), who shared his personal encounter with COVID-19 and how it affected his community. “Be convinced of God’s presence,” he said, “bow down and embrace God, remember that He is God and proclaim it (His will be done)”. These were constantly his thoughts which made him more faithful in such trying times. He also emphasized the importance of taking care of one’s self as he shared the 6Rs in self-care: (1) Recognize, (2) Reconnect, (3) Reflect, (4) Renew, (5) Reframe, and (6) Refrain. He also shared what we as individuals and as a community have to put a stop on, which he called the HALT of life: H-hunger, A-Anger, L-Loneliness, & T-Tiredness. To do this, self-care is a must. Furthermore, he reiterated that the best self-care is “Soul Care.”

Edwin T. Ruiz, SARF national president, shared a short message where he mentioned that in this extraordinary time, we must live right, that is, to live with only the essentials in life. Perhaps this pandemic is really a blessing in disguise as it taught us to live simply and closer to God, to our family, and the church. He also took the opportunity to thank and acknowledge those who, in one way or another, helped in making this celebration (and the activities leading to the celebration) a success. In particular, he thanked the SARF “technical wizards” (Sis Maria Windie “Marwin” Oane, SAR, Bro. John Romeo “Jocabz” Cabanes, SAR and Bro. John Eduard “Jayzl” Nebre, SAR) for making the novenas, septenary, and the Triduum in honor of the saints of the Order and devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, prayed by the 16 local chapters regularly. Special thanks, too, to Sis. Ceres Alcantara, SAR of SARF de San Sebastian Basilica for providing the Zoom account used in the virtual celebration.

Fray Vicente L. Ramon Jr., OAR, highlighted suffering in his message. He stated that nobody is exempted from suffering. It can be as simple as suffering from learning new technology or suffering from financial difficulties, or even health concerns. Indeed, suffering in the time of COVID-19 tested our faith, and yet it heralded a time for healing. Not just healing of faith, but the healing of the world and Mother Earth. As SARF members, we pray not to hold on to faith, but rather to live the faith.

Fray Leopoldo V. Estioko, OAR (Regional Spiritual Adviser for Cebu) talked about our fear of suffering. He said that if we can only see suffering in the light of positivity, we may be able to strengthen our faith. Others often complain that they suffer much, but only a few accept suffering as an expression of love (like parents who suffer for the good of the family). As SARF members, we should realize the importance of suffering as a means to our salvation. We must connect deeply with the sacraments as they give meaning to suffering. In summary, he said, “because of Jesus, we can speak that suffering is a call, a vocation”. It is hoped that the real meaning of suffering will be revealed to us in due time. As the celebration wound down, Fray Estioko led the closing prayer. The other St. Magdalene of Nagasaki hymn (music and lyrics by Carmelo Sibug with vocals by Niño Salenga) was played as everybody bade farewell.

In such a short time, so much had been shared to rekindle our camaraderie as brothers and sisters in SARF, and our love with the Lord. It was indeed a memorable celebration.

Happy Fiesta everyone! May Saint Magdalene of Nagasaki continue to intercede for us all. 

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

    ALL SAINTS’ DAY
    “The Solemnity of All Saints is ‘our’ feast not because we are good, but because the holiness of God touches our lives.” (Pope Francis)

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Marjorie Palacat, AR

2
  • All day
    November 2, 2020

    +ALL SOULS’ DAY

    As we prayerfully remember our beloved dead, we are reminded that eternal life “is not an unending succession of days, but an immersion of oneself in the ocean of infinite love, in which time, before and after, no longer exists.” (Pope Benedict XVI)

    Note: The customary celebration of the mass on this day at Himlayang Pilipino by the Recoletos Family members in Luzon is canceled. (cf. IATF Resolution No. 72, dated Sept. 17, 2020)

    NOTE: PLENARY INDULGENCE is extended beyond Nov. 1-8, 2020. Cf. https://www.vaticannews.va/en/vatican-city/news/2020-10/decree-plenary-indulgence- faithful-departed-november.html

    BIRTHDAY
    Jovert Jimenez (RAY-Caidiocan)

3
  • All day
    November 3, 2020

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Lolita Esteves, AR

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    (1971-2020)
    Fray Regino Bangcaya

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Bernardita Villamor, AR

4
  • All day
    November 4, 2020

    PRAYER INTENTION: FOR OAR VOCATION (cf. LAMP I,5c) GENERAL COUNCIL MEETING / Rome / November 4-6

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Zenaida Cabanes, AR
    Sr. Ma. Esperanza Mae Valmores, AR

5
  • All day
    November 5, 2020

    NEGROS DAY / AL CINCO DE NOVIEMBRE

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Romeo Ben Potencio, Jr.
    Fray Rey Jay Quevedo (simply prof.)
    Andrei John Ea (RAY-Bacolod)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    (2000-2020)
    Fray Federico de la Rosa

6
  • All day
    November 6, 2020

    COMMEMORATION OF THE DECEASED MEMBERS OF THE ORDER

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Ma. Leoncia Bandal, AR
    Sr. Rona Alaza, AR
    Sr. Liezl Palabrica, AR
    Jeaseamaine Genelaso (RAY-Provincialate)

7
  • All day
    November 7, 2020

    SOLEMN PROFESSION OF FRAY RAMON B. BITANCOR III, OAR
    Venue: OLCP Mira-Nila Homes, Quezon City Time: 10:00 A.M.

    BLD. GRATIA OF KOTOR, Religious (Patron of OAR Lay Collaborators)

    9th CATHOLIC SOCIAL MEDIA SUMMIT
    VISIT: https://catholicsocialmediasummit.com/

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Ma. Cecilia Palomo, AR

8
  • All day
    November 8, 2020

    START OF THE NOVENA TO NUESTRA SRA. DE LA SALUD

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Alfreda Galinato, AR

9
  • All day
    November 9, 2020

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Emilio Jaruda, Jr.

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Fray Jesus Pastor Paloma (1996-2020)

10
  • All day
    November 10, 2020

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Hermosilla Torreon, AR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Lourdes de San Agustin, AR

11
  • All day
    November 11, 2020

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Gemma Netollama, AR
    Sr. Christie Maquiling, AR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Fernanda Balaba, AR

12
  • All day
    November 12, 2020

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Cristine Tenio, AR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Ma. Corazon Nartia, AR

13
  • All day
    November 13, 2020

    ST. AUGUSTINE’S 1,666th BIRTHDAY

    ALL SAINTS OF THE ORDER

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Mo. Remedios de la Cruz, AR
    Sr. Rechilda Llorando, AR

14
  • All day
    November 14, 2020

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Clementina Galve, AR
    Sr. Luzviminda Escal, AR

15
  • All day
    November 15, 2020

    WORLD DAY OF THE POOR

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Marites Carasig, OAR (Tangub Monastery)
    Sr. Ma. Elisa Abellaniza, AR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Encarnacion del Santissimo Sacramento, AR
    Sr. Consolacion Salamanca, AR
    Sr. Ma. Belen Muñez, AR
    Sr. Juana Mirasol, AR

16
  • All day
    November 16, 2020-November 26, 2020

    SIMBANG GABI STARTS

    BIRTHDAY
    Danica Padilla (RAY-Baguio)

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

  • All day
    November 16, 2020

    DEDICATION AND CONSECRATION of the newly-renovated church of OLMCP-R, Cebu City
    Mass Presider: Archbp. Jose Palma, D.D.
    Live streaming at 4:00 P.M

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Roldan Benemerito (novice)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Mo. Carmen Alba, AR

17
  • All day
    November 17, 2020

    SOLEMNITY OF NUESTRA SEÑORA DE LA SALUD
    Fiesta Mass of La Salud @ SNDTP Quezon City|
    Live streaming @ 6:00 P.M.

    Fiesta Mass of La Salud @ OLMCP-R Cebu

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Nestor Raras
    Fray James Francis Bago (novice)

18
  • All day
    November 18, 2020

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Ricarda Raganas, AR

19
  • All day
    November 19, 2020

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

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Dolores Diana, AR
    Sr. Nobie Noman, AR
    Sr. Ma. Jeanne Partosa, AR
    Sr. Josephine Tanio, AR

20
  • All day
    November 20, 2020

    50th ANNIVERSARY OF POPE PAUL VIs “DECRETUM LAUDIS” granted to the Congregation of the Augustinian Recollect Sisters
    Mass Presider: Bp. Broderick Pabillo, D.D.
    Time: 10:00 A.M.

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Ralph Laureen Ciceron
    Mo. Eufemia Lauzon, AR
    Rea Mae Avila (RAY-Provincialate)

    ANNIVERSARY OF SOLEMN PROFESSION
    (2001-2020)
    Mo. Ma. Emy Catalonia, OAR (Tangub Monastery)

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

21
  • All day
    November 21, 2020

    ANNIVERSARY OF APPOINTMENT AS ARCHBISHOP
    Archbp. Peter Liu Cheng-chung (Diocese of Kaoshiung, Taiwan)

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    (1998-2020)
    Mo. Ma. Emy Catalonia, OAR (Tangub Monastery)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Fray Santos Serato (2003-2020)
    Sr. Ma. Clara Flores, AR

22
  • All day
    November 22, 2020

    SOLEMNITY OF CHRIST THE KING

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Consejo de Santa Monica, AR
    Sr. Ma. Paulita Llacer, AR

23
  • All day
    November 23, 2020

    BIRTHDAY
    Erika Nicole Fruylan (RAY-Bacolod)

24
  • All day
    November 24, 2020

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Sir Michael Dineros
    Sr. Fulgencia Relos, AR
    Sr. Cathryn Nove Vila, AR
    Sherwin Louie Laserna (RAY-Talisay)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Imelda Lachica, AR
    Sr. Mary Bernard Matanguihan, AR

25
  • All day
    November 25, 2020

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Feliciano Campomanes, Jr
    Sr. Ma. Ninfa Inzon, AR
    Kate Lynn Alvarado (RAY-Talisay)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Carmela de Santa Teresita, AR
    Sr. Francisca Abad, AR

2627
  • All day
    November 27, 2020

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Ivan Cuison (simply prof.)
    Sr. Antonietta Castañares, AR
    Sr. Rhiza Eltanal, AR

28
  • All day
    November 28, 2020

    PRAYER INTENTION: FOR THE MISSION (cf. LAMP I,5c)

    CONSISTORY FOR THE CREATION OF 13 NEW CARDINALS
    [Cardinals wear the color red which indicates their willingness to sacrifice themselves usque ad sanguinis effusionem, that is, to the point of shedding their own blood, in the service of the Successor of Peter]

    Below 80:

    • Maltese Mario Grech (Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops)
    • Italian Marcello Semeraro (new Prefect for the Congregation of Saints’ Causes)
    • Archbishop of Kilgali, Rwanda, Antoine Kambanda
    •  Archbishop of Washington, United States, Wilton Gregory
    • Archbishop of Capiz, Philippines, Jose Fuerte Advincula
    •  Archbishop of Santiago, Chile, Celestino Aós Braco
    • Apostolic Vicar of Brunei, Cornelius Sim
    • Archbishop of Siena, Italia, Augusto Paolo Lojudice
    •  Italian Fr. Mauro Gambetti (Guardian of the Franciscan Sacro Convento in Assisi)

     

    Above 80:

    • Felipe Arizmendi Esquivel, Archbishop Emeritus of San Cristóbal de Las Casas (Mexico)
    •  former Apostolic Nuncio Silvano Tomasi, former permanent observer at the United Nations in Geneva who then worked in the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development
    •  Capuchin Father Raniero Cantalamessa, preacher of the Papal Household
    • Pastor of the Shrine of Divine Love, Msgr. Enrico Feroci

     

    XXII FOUNDING ANNIVERSARY of the PROVINCE OF ST. EZEKIEL MORENO (1998-2020)

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Eva Grace Cadungog, AR

    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION
    (2013-2020)
    Fray Jose Prudencio Castillo
    Fray Giovanni Gil Magbojos
    Fray Alexus Mansueto
    Fray Joseph Cyprian Panaligan

    9th ANNIVERSARY (2011-2020) OF ACCEPTANCE AS BROTHERS/SISTER GENERAL OF THE ORDER (OAR)
    Hon. Rufus Rodriguez
    Mr. Fulgencio Culaton
    Dr. Milagros Espina

29
  • All day
    November 29, 2020

    FIRST SUNDAY OF ADVENT

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Glynn Ortega

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Ma. Ester Anacleto, AR

30
  • All day
    November 30, 2020

    ST. ANDREW, apostle

    Holiday: BONIFACIO DAY

     

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