Augustinian Recollects celebrate 400 years in Cebu

THE Augustinian Recollect community in Cebu is set to launch its celebration for the 400 Years of the Augustinian Recollect Missionary presence in Cebu on April 29, 2021.

Among the highlights of the launching are the unveiling of the 400th anniversary commemorative marker at the Our Lady of Mount Carmel (OLMC) Parish lobby at 9:30 a.m.

Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma with the Order of the Augustinian Recollect (OAR) Prior of the House, local government officials and representatives from the Commission on Higher Education and the Department of Tourism are expected to grace the event.

After the unveiling of the commemorative marker, a Eucharistic celebration to be presided by Palma will follow at the OLMC Parish at 10 a.m.

A brief historical review video and video explanation of the logo will also be held prior to the mass.

Lorraine Ambrad, communications officer of the University of San Jose-Recoletos, one of the schools operated by the OAR, in a brief conference with the media on April 27, recalled that the Recollects first arrived in Cebu from Spain in 1606.

Thirteen Recollects onboard the galleon Espiritu Santo disembarked in Cebu on May 12, 1606.

They were welcomed by the Augustinian Bishop Pedro de Agurto. Toward the end of May of the same year, they sailed to Manila where they founded their first convent in Bagumbayan on July 24, 1606.

On March 4, 1621, the Bishop of Cebu, Bishop Pedro de Arce, OSA, DD., issued the required episcopal license and official credentials to the then Vicar Provincial of the Recollects of St. Augustine Fray Rodrigo de San Miguel to construct the first Augustinian Recollect convent and church in Cebu.

On April 29, 1621, Don Alfonso de Tenza, Governor General of the Philippines and Vice Royal Patron, granted the official permit and license to the Augustinian Recollect fathers to put up a monastery of their religious congregation in Cebu by virtue of the Royal Patronage.

On June 9 of the same year, Fray Juan Crisostomo de la Ascension (superior of the first Augustinian Recollect community in Cebu) solemnly took possession of the Hermitage of the Immaculate Concepcion in the name of the newly erected Recollect Congregation.

Among the established Recollect communities and parishes in Cebu, aside from the ones in Cebu City, are the ones in Danao (1835), Poro (1846), Consolacion (1869) and the OLCP-R in Talisay (1987).

Ambrad also introduced the event logo, whose elements include the isle of Cebu (which means Christianity springs from Cebu), a green bamboo cross (that signifies the Augustinian Recollects’ expansion of the missions such as building churches in Cebu and founding educational apostolate) and the flaming pierced heart (that symbolizes the hearts of Augustinian Recollects ablaze with the love of God and His people).

Other elements include the two symbolic circles (or the zeroes in 400). The first one bears the image of the Virgin Mary as the Immaculate Conception and the second one bears the image of St. Joseph.

To show support for the historical event, parishioners and other individuals affiliated with the OAR are invited to use the official Facebook frame the organizers created for the celebration. (WBS)