PROVINCIALATE—Last July 7, 2017, Most Rev. Nereo Odchimar, D.D. of the Diocese of Tandag and Fray Dionisio Selma OAR representing the Recollect Province of St. Ezekiel Moreno signed a Memorandum of Agreement for a pastoral ministry. This ministry entrusted to the Recoletos covers “the full pastoral charge of the Quasi Parish of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel” in Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur.

Dasmariñas City – July 5, 2017. Located in the commercial district of Cavite Province, Dasmariñas City celebrates the 150th foundation of its city and parish.

The celebration of the Holy Mass started at 5:00 PM with his Eminence, Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, DD, as main celebrant and homilist. Together with him were Bishop Pedro Arigo, DD, Bishop Emeritus of the Vicariate of Puerto Princesa, Bishop Manuel Sobreviñas, DD, Bishop Emeritus of the Diocese of Imus, and Very Rev. Fr. Dionsio Q. Selma, OAR, prior provincial of the Augustinian Recollect Province of St. Ezekiel Moreno, and a good number of concelebrating priests. Present were various parish organizations and religious congregations.   Government officials graced also the occasion.

During the Spanish colonial period, the city of Dasmariñas formerly belonged to the Augustinian Recollect Hacienda known as “Hacienda de San Juan Bautista de Imus” and it was called Perez-Dasmariñas. The inhabitants of the town were tenants of the Imus Hacienda.

Pérez-Dasmariñas originated from the mother town, Imus. In 1866, a group of nipa houses belonging to the barrios of Imus – Malagasag, Salitrán, Salacay, Paliparan, Malinta and Nancaan – were relocated and regrouped in a reducción (settlement) in barrio Tampus. This barrio was selected as the original site of the town of Pérez-Dasmariñas. It was here that the relocated residents elected their own gobernadorcillo and other local officials. When the physical organization of the residents was accomplished, the settlement was elevated to a civil town in 1867. The town was named after the Gomez Pérez Dasmariñas, governor-general of the Philippines (a. 1590-1593). That same year, i.e., 1867, the town became a canonical parish under the pastoral care of the Augustinian Recollects. The parish church and convent were constructed of stones and bricks, and the town's patroness is La Inmaculada Concepción.

ANTIPOLO CITY—Having completed the mandatory one-year novitiate and passed the evaluation of the Chapter of Formation, eleven novices pronounced their simple profession of the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity, and obedience on July 1, 2017.

The newly professed friars and members of the Order of Augustinian Recollects are: Fray Jay Jasper P. Jamelo of E.B. Magalona, Negros Occidental; Fray Jovanie H. Seismundo of Dagohoy, Bohol; Fray Joshua F. Olaivar of Jagna, Bohol; Fray Leonardo I. Queaño II of Brooke’s Point, Palawan; Fray Ricky John A. Austria of Tiwi, Albay; Fray Ivan C. Cuison of Baguio City, Fray Jhyryx Vincent F. Gamulo of Bayawan City, Negros Oriental; Fray Ivan Rhey G. Mislang of Inayawan, Cebu City; Fray Jazzy Jeff V. Montañez of Jagna, Bohol; Fray James Erold P. Gatinao of Narra, Palawan; and Fray Ralp Andrew R. Cepe of Valencia, Negros Oriental.

Integrated within the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the rite of simple profession was officiated by Rev. Fr. Dionisio Q. Selma, OAR, Prior Provincial of the Province of St. Ezekiel Moreno, on behalf of the Prior General in Rome.

Fray Selma presided the holy mass concelebrated by around 20 Recollect priests, and gave his homily stuffed with reminders on the current demands and relevance of consecrated life. At one point he recalled an author who asked God not for many religious who are not good, but only for a few but good religious. Contrary to the author’s view, he said: “My desire is even to have more, more religious who are good enough to work in the vineyard of the Lord.”

He particularly dwelt on the chapter two of the OAR Constitutions where it said the profession of the evangelical counsels is the response to the love of Christ virgin, poor, and obedient unto death.

“It is a more unimpeded enlistment in his ranks, and a fuller configuration to Him. It is not an obstacle to personal development but rather, by its nature, it greatly favors both individual person and the Earthly City and ‘displays to everyone the heavenly riches as they present even in this life’,” the same paragraph (33) continued.

More than five hundred visitors attended, including the Augustinian Recollect religious Brothers and Sisters, Secular Augustinian Recollects, Recollect Augustinian Youth, other religious congregations, family members, relatives, benefactors, and friends of the newly professed friars, coming from different part of the country.

Fray James Erold P. Gatinao delivered the speech of thanks on behalf of his batch.

The Novice Master, Fray Leopoldo V. Estioko OAR, in one of the conversations, expressed that during the speech he felt some mixed feelings: “I am grateful for the company of eleven, yet ‘emotional’ because of parting time.”

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