Photo: The Capitulars of the recently concluded 55th General Chapter of the Order of Augustinian Recollects during their audience with Pope Francis got featured in the October 21, 2016 publication of the Vatican paper, L'Osservatore Romano.
QUEZON CITY- The newly risen sun is just starting to dry the drenched grass of the Himlayang Filipino when members of the OAR family trooped to the Recoletos Musoleo to commemorate All Souls' Day with a mass led by the Prior Provincial himself, Fray Dionisio Selma. It was well represented by priests, religious brothers, Coristas, novices and prenovices, members of the Third Order and some parishoners. Before starting, the Provincial enumerated all the dead Filipino members of the Province, asking everyone to pray for them, as they pray for us, emphasizing Church unity, members that we are, Triumphant, Suffering and Militant. The newly elected General Councilor, Fray Raul Buhay gave the homily calling all to 'memento mori' (remember death). He asked Fray Hubert Decena to share his memoirs about the friars buried in the Musoleo. Before the final blessing, Fray Emilio Larlar led the prayers for the departed brethren while everyone joined the Coristas in singing the 'Libera me.' All 'gave-a-share-got-a-share' of a AGAPE breakfast before parting for home praying...
Eternal rest grant unto the faithful departed O Lord! And let perpetual light shine on them. May they rest in peace. Amen
ROME – The last session of the 55th General Chapter on October 26, 2016 moved forward with the election of the General Councilors in accordance with the OAR Constitutions 345: “…the members of the general council are to be elected by absolute majority of votes.”
The provision continues: “Six councilors are to be elected, the first of these being the Vicar General. For the elections of each of them, having listened to the priors provincial, the Prior General may put forward three names, respecting always the freedom of the members of the chapter to elect the particular religious of the Order whom they believe most suitable.”
Here are the elected religious who comprise the new members of the General Council:
Fr. José Ramón Pérez Sáenz, OAR
First General Councilor and Vicar General
Birthplace: Manjarrés (La Rioja, España)
Solemn Profession: 1979
Presbyteral Ordination: 1983
Assignments: Venezuela (16 years); Monasterio de San Millán de la Cogolla; Prior Provincial of the Province of San José (for 2 triennia); Vicar General of the Order (2010-2016)
Studies: Licentiate in Theology (University of Salamanca, Spain); Licentiate in Theology and Patristic Sciences (Instituto Patrístico Augustinianum, Rome)
Fr. Raúl Buhay Murillo, OAR
Second General Councilor
Birthday/year: June 1, 1962
Birthplace: San Miguel (Surigao del Sur, Philippines)
Solemn Profession: 1987
Presbyteral Ordination: 1988
Assignments: Master of the Professed at Recoletos Formation Center in Quezon City; Councilor of then Vicariate of the Philippines and China; a missionary to Sierra Leone (3 years); VP for Administration at USJ-R, Cebu; VP for Academics at UNO-R Bacolod; Third Provincial Councilor of the Province of St. Ezekiel (2009-2012); Prior of the community of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish in Inagawan, Puerto Princesa City, Palawan (2012-15); Parish Priest of OLMC Parish, Inagawan (since 2012 to date).
Studies: Licentiate in Biblical Theology (Gregorian Pontifical University, Rome); MA in Educational Management and PhD in Educational Management (USJ-R, Cebu)
Fr. Juan Pablo Martínez Peláez, OAR
Third General Councilor
Birthplace: Medellín (Antioquia, Colombia)
Solemn Profession: 2004
Presbyteral Ordination: 2008
Assignments: Santuario de Nuestra Señora de los Dolores de Manare (Casanare) as Parochial vicar, then as Prior and Parish Priest until July 2013; Master of the Professed (Colombia)
Studies: Licentiate in Theology (Universidad San Buenaventura, Bogotá); Licentiate in Sacred Liturgy (St. Anselm Pontifical Institute, Rome)
Fr. Francisco Javier Monroy Rodríguez, OAR
Fourth General Councilor
Birthplace: Valladolid (España)
Solemn Profession: 1994
Presbyteral Ordination: 1995
Assignments: Councilor of the Vicariate (2012-16); Parochial Vicar in Lodosa, Zaragoza and Madrid; Formator since 1998 in Zaragoza, Madrid, and from 2009 at the St. Augustine Postulancy.
Studies: Licentiate in Biblical Theology (Gregorian Pontifical University, Rome); Máster de acompañamiento espiritual y discernimiento vocacional. Máster Terapueta Councellor.
Fr. Gabriel Antonio Robles Alonso, OAR
Fifth General Councilor
Solemn Profession: 1985
Presbyteral Ordination: 1989
Assignments: General Councilor (1992-2004); General Procurator before the Holy See (1998-2004): Vicar of Panama of the Consolation Province (2010-2013); Vicar of the Province (since 2013)
Studies: Licentiate in Theology (Gregorian Pontifical University, Rome)
Fr. Antonio Carrón de la Torre, OAR
Sixth General Councilor
Birthplace: Madrid (España)
Solemn Profession: 2004
Presbyteral Ordination: 2005
Assignments: Professor, Tutor and Coordinator of Pastoral Ministry at Colegio Santo Tomás de Villanueva in Granada, Spain; Director of the Colegio Santo Tomás de Villanueva (Granada, since 2010 to date); Provincial Councilor of the Province of Sto. Tomas and in-charge of the Secretariat of Educational Apostolate; Haren Alde Delegate in Andalucia
Studies: Licentiate in Pastoral Theology (Universidad de Granada); MA in Contemporary Philosophy and Doctor of Philosophy (Universidad de Granada)
At the very first meeting of the newly-constituted General Council, the election of the office of the General Secretary was made. It resulted to the re-election of Fray Tello.
Fr. Francisco Javier Tello Vegas, OAR
Birthplace: Cáceres (España)
Solemn Profession: 1996
Presbyteral Ordination: 1999
Assignments: Formator at Seminario Menor de Santo Tomás de Villanueva; School administrator in Cristo Rey (Caracas, Venezuela); Councilor of the Vicariate of Venezuela (2003-2006); Formator of Postulants (Seminario Nuestra Señora del Buen Consejo in Palmira, Táchira); Vicar Provincial (from 2011-1013); General Secretary of the Order (2013-2016)
Studies: Catechetics (Instituto San Pío X of the Universidad Pontificia de Salamanca, Madrid)
ROME—Fray Miguel Miró Miró OAR was elected for the second term as Prior General of the Order of Augustinian Recollects on October 25, 2016 by the 55th General Chapter in Rome.
Garnering an absolute majority of the 40 Capitulars, Fray Miró received the vote of confidence to serve the 428-year old Recoletos and to be at the forefront of the Order for the next sexennium (2016-2022).
Father Miguel was born in Vinebre (Tarragona, Spain). He entered the Order at age 23, in 1972, after having obtained a degree in architecture from the University of Barcelona. Having finished his philosophical studies and completed his novitiate in Monteagudo (Navarra), he proceeded to study theology in the Augustinian Recollect Theological Seminary in Marcilla (Navarra).
Bishop José María Cirarda, archbishop of Pamplona, ordained him a priest on August 28, 1978 in Lodosa (Navarra) where he began to serve in the formation apostolate and where he would remain for seventeen years while working in different formation houses: Lodosa, Fuenterrabía (Guipúzcoa) and Valladolid, as in-charge of the postulants; Monteagudo, as Novice Master for three years; and Marcilla where he worked as Master of the Professed for four years.
In 1995, he was sent to Rome where he obtained his Licentiate in Spiritual Theology from the Gregorian Pontifical University.
In the Provincial Chapter of 1997 convoked in Marcilla, he was elected Prior Provincial of the Province of St. Nicholas of Tolentino. (NOTE: At this time, he was among those who prepared for the birth in 1998 of the youngest province of the Order—the Province of St. Ezekiel Moreno.) He dispensed his office for six years, upon his reelection in the Provincial Chapter of 2000.
As his mandate as Prior Provincial, two goals prompted his action: the promotion-formation of vocations and the intensification of spiritual life.
Among the appointments made by the newly-elected Provincial Council in 2003 was that of Father Miguel who was assigned as the local prior of the theology house in Marcilla. But he carried this out for only a year since in the General Chapter of 2004 in which he was a delegate, he was elected Vicar General and First General Councilor.
During the distribution of responsibilities within the Order’s team of governance, he was assigned to take charge of the General Secretariat of Spirituality and Prior of the Generalate House in Rome, aside from other tasks. As President of the said general secretariat, he was able to expand his knowledge of the Order and establish fraternal rapport with a lot of religious in the entire geography in which the Augustinian Recollects are present.
Furthermore, he was also given the task by the previous General Council to take charge of the publications such as the publication of the newsletter Notitiae OAR. He was also responsible for making the Order present through social media communications. Through his initiative, an institutional website was created for the whole Order which, aside from offering relevant news items, it also serves the religious and the lay people with documents, exchange of ideas, responses to questions, etc.
The 54th General Chapter elected him Chapter President, an index of trust which the former Vicar General had inspired the Capitulars. The same Chapter elected him Prior General. During this six-year term, Fray Miguel was among the great proponents of the process of revitalization and restructuring of the Order. His reelection for this function in the general government is a sign of confidence that the religious have in him.