CEBU CITY—Representatives of Philippine schools run by the Order of Augustinian Recollects (OAR) will flock to the University of San Jose-Recoletos on August 28, feast of St. Augustine, to witness the opening of the Order’s year of educational apostolate. The Order’s Prior General, Very Rev. Fr. Miguel Miró, OAR, and his Council, proclaimed Aug. 28, 2015 to Aug. 28, 2016 as the International Year of Educational Apostolate (IYEA). “The educational apostolate, as provided in the OAR Constitutions, makes the Church present in the academic environment,” said USJ-R President Rev. Fr. Cristopher C. Maspara, OAR in a memorandum sent to all USJ-R employees. “Thus, the 54th General Chapter asked for a renewed commitment to the educational apostolate,” added Fr. Maspara. The opening ceremony, which will be held at the Recoletos Coliseum in the University’s Basak Campus, will be attended by religious and lay administrators, faculty members, staff, and student representatives of the eight Recollect-run schools in the country. It will start with a motorcade from the University’s main campus on Magallanes St., Cebu City to Basak at 7 in the morning. Rev. Fr. Dionisio Selma, OAR, Prior Provincial of the Province of St. Ezekiel Moreno—which has jurisdiction over the Order’s missions in the Philippines, Taiwan and Sierra Leone—will read the official communication declaring the celebration. During the program, the Educational Plan of the Order (EPO) and the OAR Religious Graduate Attributes (RGAs) will be unveiled. The stakeholders of every Recollect school will take part in a ceremonial signing of commitment. The Order’s eco-park at Maslog, Danao in northern Cebu will also be launched. The 10-hectare property is being developed into a pilgrim site to propagate the devotion to the Nuestra Señora de la Salud (Our Lady of Health). USJ-R, as caretaker of the property, targets to plant 75,000 trees in the area and make it a place for recollection and reflections for the Josenian Community and the public. The Order, which maintains presence in 19 countries including the Philippines, is behind the management of USJ-R and its 7 other sister schools. These are the University of Negros Occidental-Recoletos, San Sebastian College-Recoletos de Manila, San Sebastian College-Recoletos de Cavite, Colegio de Santo Tomas-Recoletos, Colegio San Nicolas de Tolentino-Recoletos, San Pedro Academy-Recoletos, and San Pedro Academy. The theme of the IYEA is “Caritas et Scientia: Educating the mind and the heart.” (http://recoletosfilipinas.org/index.php/more-resources/news-features-2/item/326-recoletos-to-mark-int-l-year-of-educational-apostolate)
The University also sent its representatives led by Fr. President; Fr. Abraham Latoza, OAR; Dr. Dennis Madrigal; Ms. Genie Pedrosa; Mr. Joel Tambuson; student leaders: Mark Edwin Jereza; Dyann Errika Garido; Luigi Portuguez; Ma. Victoria Hebron; Jose Gino Gutierrez;and Steven Nelson Segura.