Fr. Rector: God may be silent, but never absent

By: Bro. Jesse Meer E. Alipes

Baguio City – The Rector of Casiciaco Recoletos Seminary is the main celebrant of the Mass of the Holy Spirit last September 5, 2020 at the Capilla de Nuestra Señora del Pilar.

In his sermon, Rev. Fr. Bernard C. Amparado, OAR encouraged everyone to have faith in God’s mysterious ways of revealing the truth amidst this pandemic.

“There seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel. Apparently, God seems to be out of sight. God may be silent but he is never absent,” he said, adding that “God reveals the truth in mysterious ways. These mysteries transform us for the greater good.”

The Father Rector said that at the moment, we may not understand God’s mysterious ways and it is then important to invoke the Holy Spirit who endows us the gift of understanding.

“Sometimes the truth is too much too bear that is why we need to invoke the Holy Spirit to give us the Gift of Understanding,” he added.

Lay formators’ Professio Fidei. The Lay Formators professed that they will not teach to seminarians anything contrary to the teachings of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.

During the Mass, the rector also witnessed the Professio Fidei (Profession of Faith) of the religious and lay formators for the Formation Year 2020-2021.

Official Welcome

After the Mass of the Holy Spirit everyone was invited to the Seminary Refectory for the Welcome Program where breakfast was served.

Seminarians prepared various performances to entertain those present in the program.

In the program, the neophytes formally introduced themselves to the community after giving their own rendition of “Harana” by Parokya ni Edgar.

Harana. Bro. Fortune Cano expresses his gratitude in behalf of the neophytes for the warm welcome.

The seminary Dean of Studies, Rev. Fr. Anthony P. Irineo, OAR, invited everyone to remain grateful to God in his Closing Remarks.

Fr. Anthony Irineo, OAR during the closing remarks.

“We thank the Lord for his help and guidance,” he said.

Amidst the problems that surround us on every side, Fr. Irineo asks everyone to see how God works in our lives. “We remain faithful and hopeful, because we have a great God,” he added.

Fourteen New Aspirants Join CaReS Community

By: Bro. Jesse Meer E. Alipes

BAGUIO CITY ­– Casiciaco Recoletos Seminary welcomes fourteen (14) new aspirants for the formation year 2020-2021, last August 21.

The 14 neophytes arrived at the seminary grounds at around 2:00 p.m. aboard the bus chartered by the seminary.

Upon arriving, the newcomers were welcomed by the seminarians as they presented a song and dance number at a safe distance featuring two animation songs: Greatest Dream and Magpapari na.

Oldphytes performing the seminarians’ theme song “Magpapari Na.”

The newcomers this year are as follows: Heljen Lance C. Acha, from Bohol; Alan Dale V. Adel, Palawan; Kent C. Año, Palawan; John Vel B. Candar, Cebu; Fortune B. Cano, Rizal; Lyland P. Cañezares, Cebu; Christian Joseph T. Codilla, Cavite; Jon Midred S. Duran, Davao; Pious F. Garcia, Bohol; Ken Joshua S. Manalo, Quezon; Eivan Earl Martinez (a returnee), Quezon City; Kevin Mark C. Ola, Quezon; Daniel Ray A. Perez, Baguio City; and James Sarilla, Albay.

Neophytes waiting for their turn before admission to the quarantine facility.

After the ceremonial fraternal welcome, the neophytes underwent disinfection and interview before their admission to the quarantine facility.

Like the returning seminarians, the neophytes will undergo the 14-day quarantine period mandated by the city government of Baguio.

New Challenge for Everyone

Earlier that day, the neophytes gathered at the Recollect administered St. Nicholas of Tolentino Parish at Quezon City before taking the six-hour ride to Baguio.

“This is a first for everyone,” said Fr. Alan Jacinto, OAR, the National Vocation Director of the Order of Augustinian Recollects who arrived at the seminary the following day, when asked on the vocation promotion amidst the pandemic.

“On the first months of the year, the vocation campaign in schools were already limited. I was not allowed to meet large audiences since the threat of the virus started to loom. So I decided to administer the exams online,” Fr. Jacinto said.

“Yet, nothing could compare to the experience of conducting interviews face-to-face than just doing it online, since there are places that cannot be reached by the internet.”

Casiciaco Recoletos Seminary has a total of 74 formands as the 14 new seminarians join the 59 returning seminarians and one adult vocation aspirant from Vietnam.