SARF de Filipinas’ birthday tribute to Fray Selma

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by Sis. Star A. Anotado (SARF de Antipolo)

QUEZON CITY—For the first time, the Secular Augustinian Recollect Fraternity Philippines (SARF de Filipinas) organized a successful virtual birthday tribute for Fray Dionisio Q. Selma, OAR, Prior Provincial of the Province of St. Ezekiel Moreno, who turned 61 on October 26, 2020. Ninety-six (96) SARF members from the 17 chapters as well as some priests from Recoletos de Provincialate joined the virtual celebration.

The virtual affair was hosted by Sis Fe Violeta B. Taring, SAR, National Councilor for the Visayas. The opening prayer was led by Sis Ceres C. Alcantara, SAR, 1st Councilor for Luzon and the welcome greetings was delivered by Bro. Edwin T. Ruiz, SAR, SARF National President.

Bro. Edwin Ruiz, SARF National President

One of the highlights of the virtual program was the video presentation of the passing of the birthday cake. All chapters participated in this very innovative idea of the passing of the cake starting from Visayas, then Palawan to Luzon and finally to the Provincialate House where a real cake was handed by Fray Bernabe M. Dosdos, OAR, SARF National Spiritual Adviser, to Fray Selma.

Birthday greetings from some SARF chapters were also streamed via Zoom, including one from SARF de Kamalo, Sierra Leone, Africa. The simplicity of their greeting was heartwarming. Other entertaining numbers include a musical rendition by Sis Digna Pacis, SAR and Sis Emilie Pandong, SAR (SARF de Provincialate), a tiktok dance by Sis Lucy Anareta, SAR (SARF de SEMoNoRe) with her cute and talented grandchildren, a birthday song by SARF de UNO-R chapter, another tiktok dance (SARF de SEMSDC) and a vocal rendition by Sis Marlin Regalado, SAR (SARF de Mira Nila).

To add more spice and excitement to the virtual party, a short game was also conducted where SARF members unscrambled words related to Fray Selma. Bro. Jocabz Cabanes, SAR (SARF de Baguio) and daughter, Nyle also performed a praiseworthy song number.

The highlight of the celebration was of course the very meaningful message from the celebrant. The Prior Provincial thanked everyone – from the national spiritual adviser, the national president and officers, SARF chapter presidents and all members of the SARF community for their creative and commendable efforts to make the virtual affair successful.

Fray Selma delivers his message of gratitude for the innovative way of celebrating his natal day.

Fr. Selma also stressed that birthdays are opportunities to be grateful to God who made everything possible. In a way, Jesus is practically the main celebrant sent by the Father to save us. The real birthday is the birthday of the Lord and we just share the life that He has for us.

Everyone should also consider it a time to reflect about the past, evaluate the present and to plan the future. In addition to that, he also mentioned that we should focus on our purpose in life because God can cut it short anytime. He quoted Psalm 90 “Seventy years is all we have, eighty years if we are strong…”.

Lastly, he asked everyone to remember the dead members of the Order and the SARF especially because November 1 and 2 were fast approaching. He also asked for prayers for the meeting of the General Council with the Priors Provincial which will be done virtually and will last for one week.

As the program started with a prayer so it was befitting that it was also ended with another prayer by Sis Evangeline Gubatao, SAR, National Councilor for Cebu.

Some glitches happened during the event because of the inclement weather at that time wherein some participants including those from the Provincialate lost their connection at one time or another, but in spite of all that, ALL’S WELL THAT END’S WELL.

Special thanks to our SARF National Spiritual Adviser, Fray Bernabe Dosdos, OAR, Bro. Edwin T. Ruiz, SAR, SARF National President, Sis Ma. Windie “Marwin” M. Oane, SAR, SARF National Secretary and Bro. Jocabz A. Cabanes, SAR for their untiring efforts to make this affair memorable.

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SARF Correspondent

SARF Correspondent