How the Provincial Chapter Opening Unfolded

CEBU CITY—The Provincial Chapter o cially starts February 13 at Talavera House of Prayer.

Preceding the o cial opening of the said chapter was a day of recollection to give the Capitulars the opportunity to re ect, pray and ask the guidance of the Holy Spirit for a successful and fruitful chapter. The spiritual preparation was held February 12 with Archbishop Socrates Villegas of Lingayen- Dagupan as the recollection master.

The recollection was also an opportunity for the brothers to spiritually and fraternally enjoy one another’s company as they are given sacred space in preparation for the Revitalization of the province. They are expected during the chapter proper to share past experiences as religious in their particular apostolates and their hopes for a deeper and more meaningful religious life and mission in the future. Or to adopt the words of the Life and Mission Project of the Augustinian Recollects: “To live and proclaim the Gospel, bearing witness to a contemplative and fraternal life, at the service of the Kingdom and in a shared mission with lay people.” And as one religious commented, “we have gathered praying for the courage and the freedom to dare the most challenging task of restructuring and revitalizing the Province.”

In his homily, Bishop Soc led the Capitulars into re ection by challenging them with these three questions: Where is your heart? Where is your joy? Who really are you?

After the celebration of the Holy Eucharist, the capitulars, together with Archbishop Soc as their recollection master, proceeded to St. Augustine Hall for the spiritual input. During the morning session, Archbishop Soc shared with the capitulars the connection between Pope Francis’ re ection and the tria munera of Christ—the ministry of encounter with the priestly o ce, the ministry of accompaniment with the prophetic role, and the ministry of discernment with the kingly function of Christ. In the afternoon, Archbishop Soc re ected on vocation to the priestly and religious life as the Philippine Church celebrates this year as the Year of the Clergy and Consecrated Life.

Having shared the bread and wine of the Eucharist together and spiritually recharged by the talk of Bishop Soc, the brothers are ready to put out into the deep and cast our nets wide, with joy, faith, and hope.

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