Batch 3 completes 5-day spiritual exercises


CEBU CITY – Close to 40 Recoletos friars that comprised this year’s third batch of participants have completed the 5-day Augustinian Recollect Spiritual Exercises (ARSE) held from November 12 to 16 at the Talavera House of Prayer-Recoletos in Cebu City.

A scripturist by specialization, Fray Dunstan Huberto Decena, OAR, very ably facilitated the spiritually re-energizing journey of the brothers towards “the hinterland of the self” employing the relevant Johannine pericopes with corresponding commentaries by St. Augustine and/or from Augustinian and Recollect literature that essentially trace the icon of a beloved disciple.

Fray Decena also facilitated the ARSE of Batch 1 last June18-22 in Baguio and of Batch 2 last October 15-19 also in Talavera.

The friars on the celebration of the Penitential Liturgy and the Rite of Veneration of the Cross. /Photo: Fray Tolentin

The inputs for this year focused particularly on five landmarks: the calling of the disciple (Jn 1:35-39), the intimacy with the Master (Jn 13:21-29), the experience of trials, loneliness and pain (Jn 19:25-27), a race of hope and faith (Jn 20:1-10), and the recognition of the Risen One (Jn 21:1-14).

From a journey that began with a curious question about the “residence” of the Lord: “Master, where do you live?” (Jn. 1:38), series of profound discoveries ensued that would lead to the climactic exclamation of certitude: “It is the Lord!”(Jn 21:7). But, as it has been rightly pointed out by the assigned homilists during the retreat, by the facilitator himself, and during the group dynamics, the pivotal moment would be the application of those precious insights and lessons in the daily life and inthe ministry.

ARSE Batch 3 participants on their “wacky” pose at the end of their 5-day spiritual retreat. /Photo: Fray Tolentin

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Fray Jose Ernil Almayo, OAR

Fray Jose Ernil Almayo, OAR

Fray Jose Ernil F. Almayo, OAR, is currently the Provincial Secretary of the St. Ezekiel Moreno Province.