2013 | 2014
The official newsletter of Karith Postulancy Community, Order of Carmelites — Pilipinas
table of contents
From the formator’s desk Understanding me Enriching the soul The plight for human dignity I am yours forever Celebrating life Transcending self Community life Sexuality Knowing the self Authentic faith Community, simple living, vocation Learning from goodbyes Igniting the being Enlivening the spirit Divine intimacy Karith news The postulants Gratus
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Karith Postulancy Community Carmelite Monastery Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish Brgy. 3, San Francisco, Agusan del Sur
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Drawn by Bro. Joiezl Fern S. Piñon as output of one of the modular sessions of Fr. Noel Rosas, O.Carm on sexuality. The artwork illustrates the six dimensions of psychosexual development: biological, cognitive, emotional, social, moral, and spiritual.
Fr. Billy Bong Manguiat, OCarm Editorial Adviser Bro. Wilson Bolocboloc Bro. Clark Canillo Bro. Vinson Luayon Bro. Joiezl Fern Piñon Bro. Ritche Salgado Writers Bro. Ritche Salgado Page Design
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Order of Carmelites (O.Carm) Province of Bl. Titus Brandsma—Pilipinas Titus Brandsma Center 26 Acacia St., New Manila, 1112 Quezon City
from the formator’s desk
a journey of commitment
The beginning of this year’s Postulancy Program in the community of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish in San Francisco, Agusan del Sur is somewhat a combination of joys, challenges and commitment. Joy because we were blessed with five young men who joined the Postulancy Program for the school year 2013-2014. The first two months served as a period of adjustment for these five postulants who came from different provinces and of different family backgrounds. Some of them got their feel of seminary life while others are still making effort to go by and it became a real challenge as they experienced the day to day program of postulancy. Commitment for these young men became an essential part of their journey to Carmel. Being true to a commitment does not mean to behave exactly the same way always, or to stick to a certain view. Rather, it means that we have to live our basic values today as well as we did yesterday, but according to present conditions, possibilities, and requirements. Sooner or later we will discover the significance and demands of our commitment in our day to day lives. Upon knowing our discoveries we ought to listen consciously to the ‘calling’ which evokes an invitation to trust and to commit. As our Postulancy Program is about to end with a good number of postulants, the more we become committed, the more we face the daily challenges that come our way. We can move forward with the courage and optimism of proclaiming the Good News because we are a community in ALLEGIANCE TO JESUS.
Fr. Billy Bong Manguiat, O.Carm
Postulancy Director, Order of Carmelites
nce I decided to follow the footsteps of Christ and put myself into this formation, I recognized the need to strive strong and to always look for whatever oppurtunity that would come.
By Bro. Vinson P. Luayon
were good at anything. I have learned the moral of this story when I finally closed the month of September especially ending with my processing. I see myself growing in terms of knowing myself more; that I dont need to try being what I am not, for if I’m not what I am, then who am I? That’s the big thing that I need to carry
Month of September became so memorable for me and I am very thankful for the outcome of the processing with Ate Cynthia and Fr. Noel, summing up how I should carry and handle myself as me, recognizing that I don’t fully know myself. This reminded me of a good story I read about a group of animal friends who decided to go to school. Each was going to study a skill that he was not good at. The duck, an excellent swimmer, took up running. Try as he might, he remained a poor runner and because he stopped practicing to swim, he became a second class swimmer as well. The dog was a good runner, but when he studied how to fly he broke his leg. The eagle was natural at flying but almost drowned when he tried to swim. At the end of the special courses none of the animals
Photo from the net.
– being what I am to my brothers, to others and to gain respect as well as to respect them. And being who I am to God – to be honest, be more faithful, and prayerful and that is what I am thankful for; that my prayer life became more strong and consistent aside from reading the Bible every night, inspirational stories and especially my personal prayer life. I am so thankful for my brothers who, having their strength and weaknesses, shared their pasts. I thought I already know them all but in terms of sexuality it is again another unfolding of our life maps. Ate Cynthia is right when she said that knowing and relating with each other is a life long process and we cannot say that we are fully adjusted. Sometimes I empty myself so that in whatever circumstances I am in, I am always ready to
render heartwarming understanding and patience. I am now also aware that I need to know myself well – to know, appreciate, and honor who I am now. This is the first line that I appreciated with sexuality. This captured the essence of sexuality and it allowed me to clearly see how I should handle and accept myself. I was able to recognize the importance of a mature and healthy sexuality; how I should carry myself and be aware of it; and understanding who and what I am and stand by it. The difference between sexuality and genitality also became clear to me. Respect is the key for me to be able to relate, manage, and have a healthy relationship with others – making friends. Loneliness is part of life that cannot be hidden. I should be aware of this so that I would understand the triggers of my urges although I am able to manage to balance my spirituality and sexuality. As a straight man I have fantasies and I appreciate the opposite sex but I have a fear of falling into the trap. But having the gift of faith which God gave me, I am devoted not to let go of my commitments and to nourish it and honor this life that I have chosen at this early stage of my formation.
Bro. Wilson assisting Fr. Tim at a baptism in Brgy. Ormaca.
Bro. Jo assisting Fr. Billy in one of the barrio masses.
Enriching the Soul
Postulancy is an opportunity for postulants to enliven their spiritual life, adding more zest to their personal devotions and at the same time opening themselves to new ways, new methods, and new paths that would bring them closer to God. This is achieved not just through activities like retreats or by participating in the different happenings of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish like processions or the barrio mass, but also by nurturing the love for the Eucharist and prayer, including moments of solitude and reflection.
Mass with Fr. Clyde during the mid-year retreat.
Reflecting after a session with Fr. Clyde
All Souls’ Day.
The plight for human dignity
By Bro. Ritche T. Salgado
“The development of peoples has the church’s close attention, particularly the development of those who are striving to escape from hunger, misery, endemic diseases, and ignorance; of those who are looking for a wider share in the benefits of civilization and a more active improvement of their human qualities; of those who are aiming purposefully at their complete fulfillment.”
Pope Paul VI Populorum Progressio, 26 March 1967
t first thought, one might say that our immersion with the palm oil workers in Barangay Mate, San Francisco, Agusan del Sur last November 25 to December 26 was a failure because when we arrived, the residents were no longer working at the palm oil plantation or the palm oil mill.
For several months before we arrived, the palm oil company, where majority of the residents of Mate were employed, was beset with one problem after another, forcing them to lay-off a significant number of workers. Gone was the chance for us to
experience the hardship of work done by palm oil workers, but then, now we are faced with another reality that every worker, especially casual and contractual workers, are made to face due to greed, globalization, and the profit-oriented attitude of companies and businessmen — the absence of job security. Desperate, many residents resorted to destructive and dangerous illegal, unregulated, open-pit, small scale mining.
What this episode in our postulancy program has given me is new respect for the struggles of the poor workers. That many are pushed to participate in illegal activities because in their present condition, that is the only way they know to survive, for them to get some semblance of human dignity in their desperate lives.
For many, gold represents wealth, but for those whose life has become dependent on this symbol of wealth, including the laid-off palm oil workers of Enterprising individuals took advantage Mate, it is far from becoming a source of of the situation; providing the much wealth, so much more of human dignity. needed financial support for the mining Rather, it has become a source of activity on the indignity, where condition of getting “What this episode every shovel-full of a share of the soil deepens the proceeds in in our postulancy grave in which the addition to the dignity is payment of the program has given digger’s being buried. expenses incurred me is new respect True wealth is plus interest. hidden in the depth At other times the for the struggles of of a strong family financier gets the bond and a exclusive buying the poor workers.” community that rights for the mined supports and promotes the welfare of gold, and they get to dictate the price. each of its members, regardless of the extent of their contribution. In any case, whether they work for the palm oil company, the cooperative who Poverty and desperation is slowly now runs the plantation, or the gold corrupting this treasure as each member mines, the workers are always at a of the community starts to fetch for their disadvantage. own needs, even giving up on God and their spiritual obligations in favor of the Despite their unfortunate condition, hunt of a better future. they continue to make the best of what they have, but until where? Until when? This is made evident in a loose organization in Mate called Dayong. Already, poverty has pushed the laid-off workers to engage in illegal and Dayong is a Visayan word which means dangerous activities because according to to carry together, and the object of the them, how else could they survive? How organization is to help members with a else could they lift their children out of death in the family. A recent death in the the pit of poverty? How else could they barangay, however, revealed the live a dignified life?
(Human dignity | 28)
Photo from the net.
I am yours forever
By Bro. Joiezl Fern S. Piñon
Like a sweet little child I am yours my loving father I am like a lamb so meek and mild You are my dear shepherd and no other To you, O Lord, I am grateful For the call to which I answer I desire to be your disciple A believer, a servant, a follower
You have lavished me with love My sweet and gracious maker Filled with liberty like a dove You have lifted me higher
Teach me your ways, O Lord As you are my friend and brother Let your words be my shield and sword My salvation comes from your power
In the darkness of the night You are my guide, my leader I am a candle who needs your light Let your spirit burn in me brighter
From the depth of my heart My love and gratitude to you I offer My Jesus, never set me apart For in heaven I want to be with you forever
The first birthday celebrant, Bro. Jo.
Surrendering oneself to God is one way of celebrating God’s gift of life. Even though the postulants are far from their families and friends, they managed to express their gratitude for the gift of life together with their new family. When there were opportunities, a special birthday liturgy was included during the community’s mass at the chapel and ending the day with a special dinner.
Bro. Wilson’s Birthday cake.
Bro. Clark’s simple birthday celebration with the brothers.
Bro. Ritche’s confirmation with Nanay Emma Montecillo, TOC as sponsor.
ast November 18 to 22, Ate Cynthia Lakip facilitated once again our third processing for the postulancy program. This time, our challenge is not only to see and know more of ourself but also to transcend it. We were then asked to re-examine ourselves and see whether there is a transformation that happened since our Lumad immersion, to our mid-year retreat, and in our one month stay in the formation house.
By Bro. Joiezl Fern S. Piñon
After a month long exposure together with the Manobos at Sitio Binatunan, San Luis, a whole week of retreat is what we really needed. Thus, from November 11 to 15, we had our retreat at the Stigmatine Fathers Novitiate House in Cagayan de Oro City. Our retreat master for the entire week was Fr. Clyde Salitrero, O.Carm. The place is very conducive for prayer, silence and solitude; and our retreat master has facilitated our week long spiritual refreshment filled with reflections and prayer. For me, the retreat made me a new person. I was able to breathe out a lot of negative
Photo from the net.
energy that trapped me for months. I was able to talk more freely and intimately to God in my moments of solitude. And, I was able to slowly and gradually let go of my personal desires and lift them up to him. Surrendering my personal desires to God allows me to see things in different ways. I became more optimistic and calm within. Although total serenity was not yet completely achieved, yet I am beginning to accept things if they do not turn out my way as patiently as I can. My prayer life developed all the more, and my devotion
(Transcend | 29)
C ommunity life
By Bro. Clark B. Canillo
hy do you gather? Are you gathered together as a religious for the purpose of a particular job or task? Is ministry, relationship, and security the primary reason why you come together as one community? These are the few questions my friends, who does not know the real essence of community life in the light of religious life, have asked me .
As one community in the Order of Carmelites in Agusan, consequently, relationship and companionship must be nourished. I myself, together with my fellow brothers were indeed called to be in relationship both with God and with each other as brothers. Further, security cannot be the purpose of coming together as religious for we live a life of humility, simplicity, and economical living —a life of poverty. In addition, there has to be more to religious community than any of these. We are formed as one community because it brings us together not simply for the purpose of
The Karith Postulants
togetherness but to support each other in the hardship and joy, happiness and sadness, consolation and desolation, of the journey of our life especially in our inward and spiritual journey. The inward journey is focused on my inner self, which is indeed demanding and rigorous. Along the way, the road can be rocky and there are snares which lurk in my path. There are times wherein I experience periods of discouragement as well as periods of joy, peace, and love. There are also moments when I am astonished by the graces and blessings; times when I am strong against the wiles of the enemy; moments when I have glimmers of understanding and times when I am miserably confused. Truly, it is a rigorous journey; more rigorous than wall climbing, than any sports activity like marathon or even mountain climbing in Mt.Apo. One that is much too ardous and toilsome to be undertaken alone.Without the community, the journey can be nearly impossible. I believe that when I said yes to religious life,this journey is filled with its challenges and blessings. It is a purpose that God knew,even if i did notthe call to give my whole self to God in this journey of transforming union in love. With regards to my spiritual journey, it blesses me with the joy of being loved and forgiven by God.This requires me to learn compassion toward the uncompassionate and to love those who do not love me. It tells me to see loveliness in those who appear unlovely, recognizing how incredibly beautiful we all are. The spiritual journey demands an acknowledgement of my own sinfulness, my helplessness, my frailties and
Postulants at San Elias Chapel.
Postulants in Butuan City
limitations. This journey obliged me to take one step at a time, without knowing where it ends and often uncertain whether the next step is the right one. It can take me through a wide range of horizon where it may seem as if someone removed all the markers on the road I am traversing. But the burdens and blessings I encounter along the way in my spiritual journey are intermingled and are often vague, one from the other. What seems like a burden may in reality be a blessing, and each blessing tends to bring its own weight, imperceptible at times. In community, each of us accompany each other by supporting each other in the rigors and hardships of this spiritual journey. We are for each other burdenbearers, burdens, and blessings.
(Community | 28)
By Bro. Vinson P. Luayon
Photo from the net.
S E X U A L I T Y
pirit filled sincerity; olitude and sharing.
ndurance in emotional struggle; nergy to enhance self-intimacy.
erox copy of all experiences and learning; ylem in my spirit, transporting energy, giving me joy in serving my community.
nited with understanding; sed in enhancing underdeveloped skills.
uthenticity of actions aided by awareness; ccepting and applying the proper attitude of establishing a deeper degree of intimacy.
earning to accept; ove and live to the fullest.
ntegration of personal issues for self-knowledge; mportance of integrity as an individual.
ruthfulness in a healthy way of transference; ime, talent, and treasure management.
earning for intimacy with God; ielding God’s love as I walk my talk, making me a new person, whole and better.
Bro. Clark sharing his life map with the group.
Knowing the self
Postulancy is an opportunity for each postulants to dig deep into themselves to discover unrecognized and unnamed fears. With this awareness of the self, each postulant is given the opportunity to accept his weaknesses and appreciate his humanity. In the process, he is able to heal himself, explore untapped potentials, and conquer the self. This was achieved with the help of Ate Cynthia, Fr. Noel, Fr. Alain, Ms. Ann, and of course, each other and our very own father, Fr. Billy.
Bros. Wilson and Vinson painting their masks
The postulants were guided into discovering, recognizing, and uncovering the masks that they wear in their day to day interactions.
By Bro. Ritche T. Salgado
Joining the seminary was a leap of faith for me. It was an act of surrender and trust that God called me into this life, and so, as a servant, it is my duty to answer this call just as young Samuel answered the Lord when he was called (1 Samuel 3:10). With no delay, I surrendered everything to God – a stable and promising job and an opportuity for a much comfortable life abroad as my application for immigrant status was about to be deliberated by the US Immigration. I told myself, the sacrifice I am making is nothing compared to that made by God when he sacrificed his Son for my sins; by Christ when he made the sacrifice; and the Blessed Virgin when she bore the pains of her Son’s sacrifice for me. If there is something much more minute than an electron, the sacrifice I made, is making, and will be making is even much more insignificant compared to that made by Christ for me. Each of us is on a journey that would bring us closer to God. Every journey is unique and we can only appreciate these journeys when we are able to understand and own the treasures that we uncover along the way. The journeys we make are personal and no one, not even Christ, could make the journey for us. Well, Christ already did that when he journeyed for our redemption, but now it is our turn to make the journey to meet him and the Blessed Virgin and all the angels and saints in heaven. This journey we have to make on our own. And so, as I make my
(Faith | 29)
aith, for me, and its expression, has always been and will always be very personal. It transcends the outward expression of my beliefs. It is a way of life, a guide, a map that would bring me into a deeper relationship with God.
Photo from the net.
By Bro. Wilson C. Bolocboloc
simple living vocation
umad immersion was one of the best experiences I had in my whole religious journey.
difficulties. There is the need to talk to someone. One who would listen to my cries. Second is simple living. Without snacks and lack of food during meals is not a hindrance for me to enjoy life. Simplicity is also a way of giving and helping others, like sharing what they have. Third is that it strengthened my vocation. I have seen that there is a need of shepherding through good education and right information.
It was indeed an enlightenment and a turning point to a more certain response to God’s call of living a simpler life. Moreover, the immersion inculcated in me the appreciation and understanding of little things. The duration was enough for me to find myself and to remove my old clothes, replacing it with a new one. I respect the assessment of the expert and I believe that this is the right way to fill and respond to the needs of my existence as an aspiring member of the Order of Carmelites family. There are three important things that I gained from my immersion: First is the importance of community. Towards the venture, I experienced hardships and
Title photo from the net.
Enjoying lunch with the brothers and the lumad family.
aying goodbye can be a sad experience. I suppose that this is true of farewells in every place or culture. I guess, it is also one of life’s most stressful events, though I am not so sure.
and accepted as who I am. All these helped me realize and appreciate how much I mean to them and how much they mean to me. As I start a new chapter in my formation, I often think about settling down with the formation I had in pre-postulancy and make a new home in Agusan. The idea of moving to a new place as I advance in my formation, making new
I remember leaving this place two months ago — looking at the four corners of San Alberto Carmelite Formation Center in Cebu. The scene remains vivid in my memory. We already had our “farewell party” the night before our scheduled trip to Agusan. Though I was not able to join the party but I could hear all the merry making, fun-filled laughter, and the lively music as I scribble to finish all the paper works needed by the Cebu NVAT office. At the party, there were lots of visitors and friends, as well as sumptous food and cold beverages. Yet, there they were the next morning, standing just near the refectory. Some waving goodbye, others sharing a huge hug and a simple tap on the shoulder to say their well-wishes for our safe travel, watching as we and the seminary service that brought us to the sea port disappeared from their sight.
By Bro. Clark B. Canillo
friends and starting all over again, though enjoyable to a certain extent and at times even exciting, is to be more mature. One good thing about moving forward with my new formation is the invitation to learn and to grow more mature spiritually, emotionally, and psychologically. Living in a new place for my formation is like an experience of “starting over again,” something I’ve experienced in the past, but its time to wrap up the past and the experiences I had, learn every bit from it and move on to something new with the Carmelite
It was a moving experience for me since I am not really one for long goodbyes. Saying goodbye to the place which I already consider as my second home, the ambiance that has brought me joy; goodbye to the dear friends that made my stay a happy one; goodbye to the anatgonist-potagonist battles I had with my personal crises with those walls as the sole mute witnesses. Goodbye to so many wonderful and painful memories; goodbye to old relationships; goodbye to everyone in this shelter which made me feel secure
community in Agusan del Sur.
As the few remaining days of my stay in San Alberto Formation Center came to a close, I found myself ready to move on, with the opportunity for a final backward glance. In any case, I want to take this opportunity to write this down and thank everyone for all the love, kindness, and understanding they showed me. I’ve learned a lot from the two-months prepostulancy formation in San Alberto. Different culture and upbringing with my fellow brothers, the friars, the workers, friends, and, perhaps most of all, myself. I want to thank them for accompanying me in this journey. Life in pre-postulancy can sometimes be an intense experience, but finding one’s self and learning how to share it with others is a great way to move beyond loneliness or isolation, towards understanding, fellowship, and brotherhood –and I have been very fortunate to be given the opportunity to move on with my formation officially with the Postulancy Formation Program. For that, my heartfelt gratitude to the Order of Carmelites. Well, its time for another farewell as I say goodbye to all my friends, kuyas and ates, the friars in San Alberto. Its been a great experience to be with you all. I want to thank everyone for their supoprt as well as to my family back in Iligan. And most especially to God. Instead of saying “Goodbye” allow me to say this: “I am looking forward to seeing all of you there again someday!”
Photo from the net.
Igniting the being
Living with the people is an integral part of the postulancy program. For four months, the postulants immersed with various sectors of society to better understand and appreciate their struggles, their desires, and their hopes, in the hope of finding Christ and understanding themselves. For the month of August, the postulants were given the chance to know and learn from the students and staffs of the Agusan Carmelite Schools. By October they immersed with the Manobo tribe of San Luis, Agusan del Sur. And then on December they spent their Christmas with the palm oil workers of San Francisco, Agusan del Sur. In February they also immersed with the farmers of Rosario, Agusan del Sur.
Palm oil workers immersion. December 2013. Mate, San Francisco Agusan del Sur.
Lumad immersion. October 2013. Purok Binatunan, Culi, San Luis, Agusan del Sur.
School immersion. August 2013. Agusan Carmelite Schools.
Island hopping in Britania, San Agustin with Cabanban family.
Enlivening the spirit
Holistic formation is not just about physical, emotional, and spiritual growth. It is also about social development. For the last six months, the postulants were given the opportunity to learn how to connect with other people through the many opportunities for fellowship with members of the Agusan Carmelite Community, visiting Carmelite friars, Parish workers and volunteers, and partners of the Carmelite family. Most especially, they were given the chance to strengthen their bond as one community and family.
With Kuya Noel Valencia at Enchanted River.
In Cagwait with officers of the Parish Pastoral Council of Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish.
Community night with the Agusan Carmelite Community.
To the Carmelite Beach in Lianga with Convent staffs.
By Bro. Wilson C. Bolocboloc
Wherein my intimacy with God is being practiced as I respond to His call in the Carmelite way of life.
As I go along in this journey, I need to be aware and vigilant in dealing with different people so that the Kingdom of God may realize in this world.
karith news Postulants arrive in Agusan, starts personality and housekeeping class
Seven aspiring members to the Order of Carmelites arrived in San Francisco, Agusan del Sur last June 1 for the Postulancy Program under Postulancy Director Fr. Billy Bong Manguiat, O.Carm. The seven are Clark Canillo of Iligan City, a former finance officer for a Makatibased construction firm; Ritche Salgado, of Valencia, Negros Oriental, a licensed physical therapist and a practicing journalist in Cebu City; Mike Gaza of Laguna who worked for Gawad Kalinga; Wilson Bolocboloc of Catmon, Cebu, a licensed teacher and a Master in Arts in Theology graduate; Brian Bantilan of Iligan City who taught Philosophy at Misamis University; Vinson Luayon of Davao City, a graduate of AB Literature; and Joiezl Piñon of Isabel, Leyte, an AB Philosophy graduate, magna cum laude. The candidates finished the two-month pre-postulancy program in Talamban, Cebu City from April 1 to May 31, 2013. On their first month, they underwent personality development sessions with Fr. Alaindelon Balasabas, O.Carm, parish priest of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Parish in Rosario, Agusan del Sur, and Ann Abelita, guidance counselor of the Agusan Carmelite Schools. They were also given classes on basic housekeeping by Bebeth Rejas, aO.Carm, manager of Paseo de San Francisco.
Postulants celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel
The six postulants of the Order of Carmelites celebrated the feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel last July 16 with a triduum at the community chapel and a fiesta mass celebrated by Fr. Jun Nuñez of Saint Vincent Ferrer Parish of Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur at Brgy. Ebro, San Francisco, Agusan del Sur. They also joined the torch procession of the sacred image of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. The procession was initiated by Mt. Carmel College of San Francisco. On July 18, the postulants participated in a memorial mass for the first Carmelite martyr in the Philippines, Fr. Engelbert van Vilsteren, O.Carm, at a chapel erected in his honor by the Knights of Colombus at the San Francisco Public Cemetery. The mass was officiated by Fr. Eduardo Albiño, O.Carm and con-celebrated by Fr. Eef van Vilsteren, O.Carm, brother of Fr. Engelbert and councilor for the Dutch Province of the Order of Carmelites, and Fr. Ben Wolbers, O.Carm, provincial prior of the Dutch Province.
Postulants hold school immersion
The six postulants of the Order of Carmelites-Pilipinas started their school immersion with the Agusan Carmelite Schools last July 27, 2013 and ending it on August 30, 2013. The postulants were divided into three groups. Brothers Wilson Bolocboloc and Vinson Luayon were assigned at Mount Carmel College, while Brothers Clark Canillo and Ritche Salgado were placed at Mt. Carmel High School in Rosario, Agusan del Sur. Brothers Joiezl Piñon and Brian Bantilan were detailed at Fr. Urios High School in Babah, Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur. The brothers were given special tasks: Bro. Wilson was tasked to assist ACS President Br. Sheldon Tabile, O.Carm, while Bro. Vinson assisted in organizing the simultaneous schools intramurals of the ACS. Bro. Brian, on the other hand, helped prepare the school’s documents for the upcoming accreditations, while Bro. Clark helped review the financial outflows of the different schools to identify ways of reducing and saving on expenses. Brothers Ritche and Joiezl, meanwhile, organized the Patik Journalism Fair together with the Journalism advisers of the different schools. In addition to their special tasks, the brothers were also asked to teach in the schools where they were assigned. As a special requirement to his students, Bro. Wilson held a speech contest. Meanwhile, Brothers Jo and Brian facilitated the school’s recollection for their students.
Postulants enrich their spirituality, self-knowledge
The Postulants of the Order of Carmelites initiated activities that would further enrich their spiritual life, and at the same time was accompanied by resident counselor Cynthia Lakip, to better know themselves. Last September 8, 2013 they held their first Dawn Rosary to conclude the triduum celebration in honor of the Nativity of Mary. In addition, the postulants also held a novena prayer in honor of St. Therese of the Child Jesus. The novena, however, was held ahead of
the feast day due to the scheduled area entry of the postulants for their immersion with the Manobo tribe of San Luis, Agusan del Sur. A week-long session was also held with Cynthia Lakip focusing on the topic Transformation Process and Spiritual Integration. Activities included mask making, body-mirroring, and psychophysical release. After the processing, Fr. Noel Rosas, O.Carm held a week-long modular class on sexuality and spirituality. Another session was also done with Noel Valencia on current national issues, especially those concerning the church.
karith news Postulants experience IP culture in lumad immersion
into the family’s culture and life. Bro. Clark stayed with the family of Raul and Lerma Ortega, Bro. Wislon with Violeta and Teodolo Alvaracin, Bro. Vinson with Clarita and Eddie Bongat, Bro. Joiezl with Datu Tuay and Herminia, and Bro. Ritche with Datu Hapao and Tabik. The postulants were able to experience various tribal celebrations including the Araw ng Binatunan, the Araw ng Magdiwata, and the installation of the new Datu of San Isidro (San Mariano), San Luis. The brothers, however, were not remiss in enriching their spiritual life. In addition to the participation in the Sunday Kasaulogan sa Pulong at the barrio chapel, they were also able to celebrate the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi with a community prayer.
To better understand the situation of the indigenous people in Agusan del Sur, the five postulants of the Order of Carmelites lived for one month with the Manobo tribe in Brgy. Culi, San Luis, Agusan del Sur. The tribe is co-led by Datus Hapao Tapid and Tuay Fernando. Each postulant lived with a Manobo family, helping in their host family’s livelihood and immersing themselves
Sunday apostolate and All Souls, All Saints’ memorial
The postulants of the Order of Carmelites started their apostolate with the different Gagmay’ng Kristohanong Katilingban (GKK) under the Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish in San Francisco, Agusan del Sur. Bro. Clark Canillo was assigned in Barangay Mate, Bro. Ritche Salgado in Mate Housing, Bro. Buenasuerte. Vinson Luayon in Barangay Ormaca, Bro. The purpose of the apostolate is for the Wilson Bolocboloc in Ebro Housing, and brothers to be familiar with the activities Brother Joiezl Piñon in Brgy.
of the different GKKs. On All Saints’ Day, the postulants joined the mass celebration at San Lorenzo Eternal Garden, and at Hubang Public Cemetery for All Souls’ Day. They also attended a memorial celebrated by Fr. Billy Bong Manguiat, OCarm for the late father of Carmelite Associates Engr. Arlene Cabanban and wife, Leah, at the Cabanban’s farm in Brgy. Alegria, where the Cabanban patriarch was buried.
Carmelite constitution, retreat for Postulants
To further enrich the spirit of community among the Carmelite postulants, a session on the Carmelite Constitution was conducted by Fr. Alaindelon Balasabas, O.Carm focusing on community life. This was followed by the screenings of The Nun’s Story (1959) and Of Gods and Men (2010). A mid-year retreat was also held at the former Novitiate House of the Stigmatine Fathers and Brothers in Cagayan de Oro City. The retreat was facilitated by Fr. Clyde Salitrero, O.Carm. agencies including the Philippine National Police.
Postulants celebrate Christmas with palm oil workers
For the month of December, the five postulants of the Order of Carmelites lived with palm oil workers of Barangay Mate, San Francisco, Agusan del Sur to experience the hardships of manual labor. Despite the absence of work at the palm oil plantation, the postulants made effort to experience work at the plantation especially with harvesting, the hauling of bunches, and the gathering of loose fruits. The postulants also attended a meeting between the local government, the cooperative who now manages the plantation, and several government
And to enrich their spiritual growth, group prayers were done, including the Office of the Dead in memory of the grandmother of Bro. Joiezl Piñon, who recently passed away. All of the postulants were also able to complete the Misa de Gallo in their respective GKK’s – in Mate Housing for Brothers Clark Canillo and Wilson Bolocboloc, and Mate Barrio for Brothers Joiezl, Vinson Luayon, and Ritche Salgado. This was concluded by the Misa de Aguinaldo on the 24th followed by humble Christmas celebrations with their respective host families. The postulants returned to the Carmelite Monastery in San Francisco on December 26, in time for the Christmas celebration of the Carmelite Community including the parish and convent staffs.
(From page 13)
well in the silence and the solitude that we need.
To nurture this wondrous journey and to smoothen out its progress, that’s where the community comes in. I, myself, together with the Order of CarmelitesAgusan Community come together and gather in order to support each other by our words, our prayers, and our presence; to encourage each other as
Packing relief goods at Ate Leah and Kuya Arlene’s place.
(From page 8)
common good, the will and the desire for peace.” These conditions used to richly exist in Mate, but the drive to live, to survive, have corrupted the situation of the residents. Perhaps, what is needed is “the acknowledgement by man of supreme values, and of God, their source and their finality.... faith, a gift of God accepted by the good will of man, and unity in the charity of Christ, Who calls us all to share as sons in the life of the living God, the Father of all men.”
Conditions which Pope Paul VI describes as much more human. If all have the heart to create a world that promotes more humane conditions, situations like that experienced by the workers of Mate would not exist and the world would be a better place to live in. As a Carmelite postulant immersionist, there is not much that I can do except perhaps to listen to their woes, to be in solidarity with them in their struggles when opportunity deems it, and to earnestly pray that some day the rich would find it in their hearts to live a Christian life and be instruments in promoting and lifting the dignity of the poor and the marginalized.
difficulty of getting the cooperation of the members, simply because many thought that they’d make better use of their time digging for gold rather than digging the grave of a dead neighbor. Pope Paul VI in his encyclical Populorum Progressio best describes the situation that the people of Mate is faced — “less human conditions.” As I have observed with the laid-off palm oil workers of Mate this includes “the lack of material necessities for those who are without the minimum essential for life, the moral deficiencies of those who are mutilated by selfishness.... oppressive social structures, whether due to the abuses of ownership or to the abuses of power, to the exploitation of workers or to unjust transactions.” However, there are conditions that are more human like the “passage from misery towards the possession of necessities, victory over social scourges, the growth of knowledge, the acquisition of culture.... increased esteem for the dignity of others, the turning toward the spirit of poverty, cooperation for the
(From page 11)
to the Blessed Virgin Mary was revived. In this month, we also offered our prayers for the soul of our beloved relatives and friends who have gone ahead of us to the eternal dwelling place of our Lord Jesus Christ. We had a special liturgy made in honor of all souls in purgatory especially those of whom we individually remember. On the twenty-fourth of November, we prepared and conducted a special prayer for the death anniversary of the beloved mother of our dear brother Vinson. Our prayer was solemnly offered to our heavenly Father as one family and community.
In preparation for our third immersion, we also had our Sunday GKK apostolate. I was assigned in Brgy. Buenasuerte, San Francisco, Agusan del Sur. Every Sunday, the five of us visited our respective GKK areas with an objective to observe in their activities and to extend pastoral assistance if necessary. November 25 is the date set for our area entry for our third immersion. We will be living with different families of palm oil workers for the entire month. I look forward to new experiences that will give me new opportunities of knowing myself better and be able to transcend myself in becoming a more mature individual fit to become a faithful and humble instrument of our Lord Jesus Christ. the love for the Eucharist, and the intimacy of prayer and solitude. I feel that I am becoming whole.
(From page 16)
journey, every interaction I am blessed with becomes a gift that strengthens my faith. Journeying with my brothers; my formator – Fr. Billy; the resource persons for our modular sessions like Ate Cynthia, Fr. Alain, Ms. Ann, Kuya Noel, and Fr. Noel; the whole Carmelite family, including the Carmelite Sisters of Our Lady and the Third Order Carmelites; the Agusan Community; and even my family and friends, all of them allowed me and inspired me to learn and imbibe the teachings of the Church, the spirituality of the Carmelites, the beauty of devotion,
The retreat with Fr. Clyde was most instrumental in reaffirming my faith. It was during this time that I truly experienced conversion. I’ve learned to love myself, my brothers, and my vocation even more deeply. For all these, I am I continue my continue to search the treasures that I find along the way. grateful, and as journey, I will and uncover will definitely
Photo from the net.
Bro. Clark, 36 Iligan City A business graduate, he worked for a Makati-based construction firm supervising projects in Mindanao.
Bro. Ritche, 35 Valencia, Negros Oriental A licensed Physical Therapist, he worked in print and social media for more than 10 years before entering the seminary. Bro. Wilson, 30 Catmon, Cebu A licensed teacher, he finished his Master of Arts in Theology at the Inter-Congregational Theological Center in Quezon City.
Bro. Vinson, 28 Baguio District, Davao City He finished his degree in Bachelor of Arts in Literature at Holy Cross College of Calinan and served at their district’s chapel as lay minister before entering the seminary. Bro. Joiezl, 20 Isabel, Leyte A graduate of Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy (Magna Cum Laude) at the University of San Carlos in Cebu. As a student he served at the Carmelite Chapel in Talamban, Cebu City.
Our deepest thanks to...
Br. Sheldon, O.Carm
Fr. Tim, O.Carm
Fr. Toots, O.Carm Fr. Eddie, O.Carm
Fr. Clyde, O.Carm
Nanay Bebz Kenneth Fr. Alain, O.Carm Cecil Nay Juling Viemark Dodong Daniel Nanay Emma Sr. Lurian, CarmOL Excel Jenny Kuya Poyoy Totoy Ate Grace Pitao
Fr. Noel, O.Carm Fr. Ken, O.Carm
Kuya Arlene and Ate Leah
Sr. Delia, CarmOL
Agusan Carmelite Schools
Cheerful giver ...our families, friends, and benefactors
Ate Elvie Deo Danny
To all who shared their lives with us...
Karith Postulancy Community 2013: (L-R) Bro. Ritche, Bro. Clark, Fr. Billy, Bro. Vinson, Bro. Joiezl, Bro. Wilson