The entire UNO-R community joined the whole Augustinian family in thanksgiving to God for St. Nicholas of Tolentino. UNO-R celebrates the feast of its Patron Saint, St. Nicholas, last September 10, 2022. The celebration opened with a Penitential Procession around the campus, starting and ending at the Oratory. A Thanksgiving Mass led by Bacolod Bishop Patricio Buzon, SDB, DD. He was joined by Fr. Amadeo Lucero, OAR, Fr. Joel Alve, OAR; Fr. Romeo Ben Potencio, OAR; Fr, Jose Alden Alipin, OAR; Fr. Samuel Eyas, OAR, Fr. Cristituto Palomar, OAR and Fr. Emilio Jaruda, Jr, OAR. After the Mass was the launching of the EDUCAR 2022-2023 logo and motto. The distribution of the panecillos followed.
Bishop Buzon: We are the Church, the Mystical Body of Christ.
Bacolod Bishop Patricio Buzon, SDB, DD, reminded the UNO-R community that the Church is not just the hierarchy or the institution, but we are the Church, the mystical body of Christ. He opened his homily by greeting Fr. Amadeo Lucero, OAR on his 33rd sacerdotal ordination anniversary. He reminded Fr. Lucero that Jesus was crucified when he was 33, but he resurrected also at age 33. his homily centered on St. Nicholas and the synodal Church. Preparing for the 2023 gathering of Bishops in Rome, the Church is becoming a listening Church. All dioceses have opened the mini synods to listen to the Church in the peripheries. The Church needs to hear the voice of God from each one of us, He said. God is always with us, and we must listen to each other. This is a listening Church. The Holy Spirit teaches us to discern and to hear where the Lord is leading us.
The Bishop added that in the Diocese, five years ago, synodality was already integrated into its vision. The diocese’s vision is the envision a listening Church, journeying together towards holiness. “Journeying together” is the first quality of the synodal Church. The sub-themes of the celebration, which are Communion, Participation, and Mission should all bring us to holiness. Communion is to strengthen our unity with God and one another. Participation, for we are all part of the Mystical Body of Christ, and our Mission is to bring the whole of creation to God, the Father- towards holiness.
St. Nicholas was a man of communion, for he was a pacifier and a unifier. He helped resolved conflicts during his time. He was a man of participation. He used the gifts of God for the mission. He was a healer and a preacher. He brought God with him. He was a man of mission. He brought everyone to God, including the poor souls in purgatory. He accompanied many on their journey to holiness. The Bishop added that St. Nicholas was a simple man of great importance to society and the Church.