Prior Provincial tours 3 OAR sites during Recoletos de San Carlos Visit
San Carlos City, NEGROS OCCIDENTAL—Fray Dionisio Selma, OAR, Prior Provincial of the Province of St. Ezekiel Moreno, toured Motril-Recoletos de Calatrava, the site of the future Colegio de Sto. Tomas-Recoletos Eco-Park and Monteagudo-Recoletos during his three-day Renewal Visit to the Augustinian Recollect Community in San Carlos City.
Fray Selma’s visit began last July 16, when the opening salvo was the blessing of the new image of the Nuestra Señora de La Salud and the Escalera at CST-R.
Motril-Recoletos de Calatrava
The Prior Provincial’s off campus tour was in July 18 and his first stop was the Augustinian Recollect property now called Motril-Recoletos de Calatrava (named after the Martyrs of Motril who were executed in Granada, Spain) in Barangay Calampisawan of the town next to San Carlos City.
With Fray Vicente Ramon, Jr., OAR, Local Prior, Fray Selma mapped out initial plans for the development of the more or less two-hectare property that encompasses brackish water fish ponds and a hilltop overlooking the shores of Calatrava and the silhouette of nearby southwestern Cebu Island. Part of the initial plan for Motril-Recoletos is to establish a community chapel for locals who have long settled at the area before it became owned by the Augustinian Recollects.
Fray Selma then visited the site of what will become the CST-R Eco-Park, located along the Trans-link Highway, across Monteagudo-Recoletos, Barangay Rizal, San Carlos City. Covered mainly with endemic tree species and bordered by a creek, the CST-R Eco-Park will become the venue for trail hiking, scouting and ecological activities. Its development will be under the CST-R ‘Laudato Si’ Center—an office established and organized to respond to Pope Francis’s call to “the care of the Earth, our common home.”
The Recruiter and the Recruited at Monteagudo
Highlighting the Father Provincial’s day tour was the Monteagudo visit with Fray Rafael E. Cabarles, OAR, as guide. Fray Cabarles, the custodian of Monteagudo, took Fray Selma to the Chaplet of the Our Lady of the Rosary (Birhen sa Rosaryo, Rayna sa Filipinas) which was opened and dedicated last October 2020.
In a poetic turn of events, Fray Cabarles, the vocation promoter who recruited the Prior Provincial, once again led the younger Augustinian Recollect to the winding and rocky trail of Monteagudo-Recoletos while showing Fray Selma the attractions of the Chaplet of St. Ezekiel Diaz Moreno, the Resurrection Hill of the Risen Christ, and the highest peak of the property with its natural canopy of balete tree.
SARF and Ray Bonding
Meanwhile, Fray Selma also met with the Secular Augustinian Recollect Fraternity (SARF) San Carlos Chapter and the Recollect Augustinian Youth (RAY) on July 18, right after the Sunday Mass that he himself celebrated at the Sto. Tomas de Villanueva-Recoletos Chapel.
Fray Selma explained the objective of his visit based on the canonical mandate that the Prior Provincial must personally visit all communities in his province during his term in the spirit of Fraternity and Renewal.
He addressed controversial issues during the open forum such as the acceptance to candidacy for SARF of annulled and separated women. Fray Selma said that based on the current constitution, this is not possible but reviews of this decree are now taking place thus he encouraged SARF members to keep on praying for faithfulness among current members while praying for more candidates.
“Do not be discouraged. Continue to pray even though you do not have candidates for now,” he counselled both the SARF and Ray.
To the RAY members, particularly, he admonished that withstanding the pressure of comparisons against other communities means “to know who we are to be able to understand others.”
Parting with the SARF and RAY, Fray Selma inspired the members and told them to “be the number one promoters” of the Augustinian Recollect way of life.
Fray Jose Ermil Almayo, OAR, Provincial Secretary, accompanied Fray Selma. Prior to their departure for the Our Lady of Lourdes Quasi-Parish in Tambo, Ayungon, Negros Oriental on July 19, Fathers Selma and Almayo celebrated Holy Mass at Colegio de Sta. Rita and had a dialogue with the Augustinian Recollect Sisters.
The Renewal Visit 2021 officially ended with a fraternal dinner at the heights of Monteagudo-Recoletos Retreat Center and the night lights of San Carlos City down below served as backdrop.