Story and Photos By: Georgene Quilaton-Tambiga
San Carlos City, NEGROS OCCIDENTAL—“Be on a mission, Filipino youth!” Fray Vicente Ramon, Jr., OAR, called to the Recollect Augustinian Youth (RAY) participants of the Regional RAY Summit at Colegio de Sto. Tomas-Recoletos.
The challenge came at the tail of the inspiring homily of Fray Ramon who was the main celebrant of the opening Holy Mass at the evening of the feast day of St. Bartholomew, Apostle.
The youth from 14 Augustinian Recollect communities, specifically from the eight OAR schools and six quasi-parishes and chaplaincies administered by the Augustinian Recollects, were gathered for the 2019 Regional RAY (Visayas-Mindanao Area) from August 24 to 26, 2019.
The RAY from Cebu were from University of San Jose-Recoletos Main, Basak and Balamban; Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, Ermita; Our Lady of Consolation Parish, Laray.
The Negrense RAY were from University of Negros Occidental-Recoletos, Bacolod; Colegio de San Nicolas de Tolentino-Recoletos, Talisay; San Pedro Academy, Valencia; San Pedro Academy-Recoletos, Caidiocan; Our Lady of the Abandoned, Valencia; Our Lady of Lourdes Chaplaincy, Tambo, Ayungon; and CST-R.
The Surigaonon delegates were from Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur led by Fray Mark Saludes, OAR.
Anchoring his homily on the theme, “The Filipino Youth in Mission: Beloved. Gifted. Empowered,” Fray Ramon challenged the millennial Recollects.
“Millenials, you are called to be like Christ.”
He went on to dissect CHRIST to define the Recollect Augustinian Youth as “Change-makers, Heartbreakers, Responders, Influencers, Seekers and Servers, and Trailblazers.”
Fray Vicente, who has practically have been assigned to various apostolates of the Province where the participants are from, confronted contemporary social issues that directly affect the Filipino youth like the controversial yet never ending pre-marital sex and abortion, the continuous environmental degradation, and even the harrowing extra-judicial killings that he described to be “the killing of the poor.”
Meanwhile, Fray Randy Castillo, OAR, Regional Youth and Vocation Promoter and the Parochial Vicar of San Nicolas de Tolentino Parish, Talisay City, Negros Occidental, thanked the CST-R community and his brother-priests for coming together to lead their young parishioners in the varied activities of RAY. Among the co-celebrants of the Holy Mass were Fray Jose Teodulfo Jadulco, OAR (University of Negros Occidental-Recoletos, Bacolod City), Fray William Cordero, OAR (Our Lady of Lourdes Quasi Parish, Tambo, Ayungon), Fray Invenzor Melgaso, OAR (Our Lady of Consolation Parish, Laray, Talisay City, Cebu), Fray Domingo Saladaga (University of San Jose-Recoletos, Balamban) and Fray Renie Alviola (Colegio de Santo Tomas-Recoletos, San Carlos City).
The Diocesan Youth Council of the Diocese of San Carlos also showed solidarity by sending the Pilgrim Cross as a symbol of the 2019 Year of the Youth.
The second day of the summit will involve group dynamics and team building activities that will build camaraderie and develop leadership skills among RAY. On the third day, selected speakers will give the participants talks about contemporary issues and their effects on the Recollect youth.