PROVINCIAL CURIA—In the spirit of collective spiritual preparation for the opening of the Augustinian Recollect “Year of Holiness” on March 5, first Sunday of Lent, the community of Recoletos de Provincialate modified the liturgical guide sent by the General Secretariat of Spirituality and Formation.
At 8AM in the morning of March 4 (today), the friars of the central house convent, together with the members of the Secular Augustinian Recollect Fraternity-Provincialate Chapter, gathered at the San Nicolas de Tolentino Parish church for a holy hour. Some of the prayers and reading materials were adapted to the anticipated celebration which, according to the instruction, should have been done in the evening.
Fray Amado Emmanuel Bolilia, President of the Provincial Secretariat of Spirituality and Liturgy, clarified that this recourse to the modified schedule was a compromise since a much earlier commitment regarding the evening celebration of Fray Buñao’s birthday bash in San Sebastian Manila was already made prior to the arrival of this protocol from the General Curia.
The Provincialate community members have decided to attend the birthday tribute to the so-called “The Last of the Mohicans” referring to Fray Buñao as the last Recollect Director of the San Miguel Corporation.
As of this writing, Fray Bolilia is trying to negotiate with San Sebastian community the possibility of integrating in the long program the “opening vigil guide” which includes a lucernarium, vespers, etc.
In reference this vigil rite, Fray Miguel Miró, prior general, in his letter addressed to the brothers, urged everyone “to give thanks to the Lord for the gift of being Augustinian Recollects and for the mission entrusted to us daily in the service of the Church.”
The OAR Year of Holiness will run from March 5 to November 13, 2017 (Feast of all Saints of the Order).
PROVINCIALATE—Fray Dionisio Selma OAR, prior provincial, has just completed his “visita de renovación” to the newly-created community of Saipan last February 23 to 26, 2017. He was accompanied by Fray Jose Ernil Almayo OAR, provincial secretary, who assisted him in the checking of the official books of the community.
Cebu City — The Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish-Recoletos has received a much-needed facelift and upgrade to distinguish it from the adjacent and more popular University of San Jose-Recoletos (USJ-R) on Magallanes Street here.
Parish priest Fr. Joseph Granada, OAR installed on the façade of the 45-year-old parish church a giant clock that is connected to a digital bell system (DBS) in lieu of the traditional church bell.
The church structure couldn’t support a more traditional bell after it endured the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that hit Bohol and Cebu in October 2013.
“We are doing this because ever since this church was constructed in 1971, it didn’t have a bell,” Fr. Granada said in Cebuano. “Nothing calls the parishioners’ attention whenever we have Eucharistic celebrations here.”
“People even think that this church is just a big chapel for USJ-R,” he added, noting that this had discouraged people from attending masses here, choosing instead to go to nearby and more popular churches like the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño.
Fr. Granada said the giant clock measures 10 feet in diameter. It is perched just atop the also giant statue of the Our Lady of Mt. Carmel which in itself measures 27 feet by 12 feet.
The parish priest revealed that they ordered the giant clock and DBS from a Singapore-based company which also supplied the same products to some big churches here, including the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral, Archdiocesan Shrine of San Roque and Our Lady of Fatima Parish.
He said the DBS sounds 30 minutes and 5 minutes before every mass respectively. It also reminds the parishioners to pray the Angelus every 6 a.m., 12 noon and 6 p.m.
It also rings for the 3 o’clock prayer and at 8 p.m. for the poor souls in purgatory.
It has 5 horns that blast sounds facing Carbon Market (Cebu’s biggest market), Brgy. Ermita, and the surrounding streets of Panganiban, Borromeo, and Balagtas.
“More or less, we can notice that the number of churchgoers is rising,” Fr. Granada said. “We have been telling our parishioners during sermons that this is your church and that we are waiting for you here.”
The parish church serves parishioners coming from portions of Brgy. Ermita, Kalubihan and Pahina Central.
Today at the Carbon Market, when the DBS sounded at noon, flower and handicrafts merchants scampered to the nearest carenderia. “Let’s go eat,” they said in Cebuano upon hearing the bell sound. “Let’s eat together with the priest.”
CEBU CITY -Dating its roots in the Province of Cebu as early as June 1621, the Parish of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel - Recoletos has been one of the pillars of Christian faith in the province. The parish, canonically established on January 1, 1971, centralized the devotion to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel from the rest of the province.
The church is physically attached to the main architecture of the University of San Jose Recoletos (USJ-R), which, by association, led the non-parishioners to name it as St. Joseph’s Church. The non-association of the church to the patroness continued long enough up to the present.
Together with the Parish Pastoral Council (PPC), the present Parish Priest, Rev. Fr. Joseph Granada, OAR, planned to install a large image of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel at the anterior part of the church. The image will serve as a landmark and a patronal identification of the parish. The project also includes the installation of a large Clock.
On February 28 this year, the parish held a fundraising activity by means of a raffle draw. From the amount raised, the project was realized through the procurement of the image of the Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. The image, 12 feet by 12 feet in dimension and costing P320-K, was installed at the church's façade on July 30, 2016.
On November 2016, a Php 2-M large clock is expected to be installed in the church edifice.
The Recollects’ mission of attending to the spiritual needs of their parishioners continues with the Lord's guidance and the intercession of our Blessed Mother, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. The support of the parishioners and the devotees of the Blessed Mother will invite more faith-oriented projects for the growth and development of the local church.
by: Ian Rey Pableo
President-Parish Pastoral Council