New Augustinian Province of the Philippines inaugurated in Manila  

A new Augustinian province in the Philippines was inaugurated on Wednesday (February 23), in a Eucharistic celebration presided by Manila Archbishop Jose Cardinal Advincula D.D. at San Agustin Church in Intramuros.

The inauguration of the new province, called “Province of the Most Holy Name of Jesus of the Philippines”, was also witnessed by 12 diocesan bishops from across the Philippines, as well as seminarians and friars from the Order of Saint Augustine, diocesan priests, other religious men and women, and the lay faithful.

The Very Reverend Father Anthony Banks, O.S.A., Assistant General of the Order of Saint Augustine for Asia-Pacific and President of the first session of the first provincial chapter of the province, confirmed and proclaimed Fray Dante Morabe Bendoy, O.S.A. as the province’s first Prior Provincial during the Eucharistic celebration.

In his homily, Fr. Banks said that the modern Filipino brothers have created a new province that looks sustainable and has a sense of mission for the future that inspires young men of this province. He reminded the brothers of the new province that the gift of entrustment the Order now gave to the brothers comes not with the promise of the past but with a challenge to embrace, to entrust so that in due consultation, they affirm what it is to be bearers of the spirit to all.

“May all of you, as a new province, be in the front of the challenge to proclaim this renewed vision of what it is to be the people of the church,” he said.

Meanwhile, in his thanksgiving message, Fray Bendoy expressed his gratitude to the brothers who elected him for the position, and to God “who gave me the opportunity to serve Him through the brothers in the province and through his faithful in the church.”

“For some of you, today is the culmination of the 40th year story of the Vicariate of the Orient, a story with humble beginnings, challenges and dreams but for us, this is only the beginning as we take the first steps on our journey as a province. While much has changed the past decade, our commitment to serving the church remains. It is through grace…… it is through the grace, mercy and love of our Lord that the Province of the Most Holy Name of Jesus of the Philippines is reborn in the very same place where it started and I am sure that it is the same grace, mercy and love that will guide us in this journey as we serve Him and His Church for another 450 Years,” he said.

“May we learn from the past to have a proper response in the present as we build a brighter future – building the City of God which our forefathers kept in mind when they worked for the evangelization of our country,” he added.

The decree for the creation of a new province in the Philippines was made during the Ordinary General Chapter of the Order in Rome last 2019, which elevated the 40-year-old Augustinian Vicariate of the Orient, then a circumscription of the Spanish Province of the Most Holy Name of Jesus of the Philippines, into a Province, following the union of the four Augustinian provinces in Spain. It will incorporate all of the Vicariate of the Orient’s seven houses in the Philippines and one church in China.

Other officials of the province elected during the first session of the first provincial chapter of the province include Provincial Counselors Fray Asis Rambuyon Bajao, O.S.A., Fray Randolf Celso Dayandayan Jr., O.S.A., Fray Norman Negrido Abello, O.S.A., and Fray Juanito Balena Caspe, O.S.A., Provincial Secretary Fray Johnny Abellera Esmilla Jr., O.S.A., and Provincial Treasurer Fray Alvin Vilches Arig, O.S.A.

Written by:
Sean Bernard Tan
SOCOM-San Agustin Church

Photo by:
Sean Bernard Tan
SOCOM-San Agustin Church

 

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