The university community celebrated the feast of its Patron Saint, St. Nicholas of Tolentino, September 10 at the Oratory with a procession and a Concelebrated Mass led by Rev. Fr. Julius Marcos, OAR. Fr, Marcos focused on the virtues of the Saint and his love for Christ. He also told the community of the passion of the OAR to produce graduates who bear the mark of a Recoletos – Apostolic, contemplative, communitarian and gazing at the Blessed Mother as model of these virtues.
After the Mass was the UNO-R launching of the International Year of Educational Apostolate (IYEA), where the flags of all the countries with OAR schools were on parade. Rev. Fr. Abraham Latoza, OAR gave the rationale and history while Fr. Marcos read the official communication for the celebration of the IYEA. Fr. President declared the opening of the IYEA at UNO-R. The OAR Fathers were then led to unveil the IYEA logo. Fr. Albert Pellazar, OAR gave the words of gratitude to all who made the launching possible. Distribution of the Blessed Panicillos followed.
The year 2015-2016 is declared as OAR International Year of Educational Apostolate (IYEA) with the theme, “Caritas et Scientia” (“Love and Knowledge: Educating Mind and Heart”). The event coincides with the celebration of the 75th Year Anniversary of the opening of the first Recollect schools in 1940. Presently, the Order of Augustinian Recollects globally engaged in educational apostolate with more than 80,000 students enrolled in fifty educational centers administered by the Order. In the Philippines, the Augustinian Recollects own and administer two universities, two colleges, and four schools. Last August 28, on the Feast of St. Augustine, the whole Order officially launched the OAR International Year of Educational Apostolate in Colombia. Likewise, the Province of St. Ezekiel Moreno in the Philippines launched on that same day its province-wide launching at the University of San Jose – Recoletos in Cebu City. The yearlong celebration will be formally closed on August 28, 2016. On September 10, the solemn Feast of the University Patron, St. Nicholas of Tolentino, the University of Negros Occidental – Recoletos formally launched the celebration of the OAR International Year of Educational Apostolate. To give a fitting tribute to the global presence of the Recollect educational apostolate, the flags of different countries were carried in a solemn entrance escorted by the representative of different colleges and departments, and student leaders. These countries were Argentina (College of Criminal Justice Education), Brazil (College of Arts and Sciences), Colombia (College of Nursing and Allied Health Sciences), Dominican Republic (College of Business and Accountancy), Mexico (College of Engineering), Panama (Grade School Department), Peru (UNO-RSSGO), Spain (College of Information Technology), Venezuela (High School Department), and the Philippines (College of Education). The last to enter was the University Banner, accompanied by the UNO-R Religious Administrators led by the Prior of the Community and the University President. After the entrance of the flags, the program started with a brief history and rationale of the celebration delivered by the Vice President for Religious Affairs and Director of the Department of Religious Education, Rev. Fr. Abraham Latoza, OAR. The Vicar of the Province of St. Ezekiel Moreno and the President of the Recoletos Educational Apostolate of the Philippines (REAP), Rev. Fr. Julius Marcos, OAR read the Official Communication. To officially declare the launching of OAR IYEA in UNO-R, the University President, Rev. Fr. Eduardo Celis, Jr., OAR did the honor. The unveiling of the IYEA Official Logo followed. The ceremony was led by the Recoletos de Bacolod Community Prior, Rev. Fr. William Emilito Villaflor, OAR and the University President, Fr. Celis, and the REAP President, Fr. Marcos. They were joined by UNO-R Lay Administrators, UNOFELA President, Engr. Noli Ortiz, UNO-RSSGO President, Mr. Mark Edwin Jereza. The Vice President for Academics, Rev. Fr. Albert Pellazar, OAR closed the program with the Words of Gratitude. (Dr,Dennis Madrigal)