REAP launches ARIF 2021 Program

Logo of the Augustinian Recollect Integral Program (ARIFP)
Logo of the Augustinian Recollect Integral Program (ARIFP)

Bacolod City, NEGROS OCCIDENTAL–Member schools of the Recoletos Educational Apostolate in the Philippines (REAP) joined hands to launch the Augustinian Recollect Integral Formation Program (ARIFP) last July 23, 2021.  More than 600 attended the virtual launching via Zoom and more than a hundred were linked through the REAP Facebook account.

In the invitation letter from Fray William Emelito Villaflor, OAR, President of REAP, he wrote that “after months of meetings and preparations, the ARIF Program is ready to kick off with a Launching Program.”

The activity opened with a dedication to the Blessed Mother through a community praying of the Holy Rosary spearheaded by different REAP schools in different dialects for each sorrowful mystery.

This was followed by offering the entire activity and program to God through the Eucharistic Celebration presided  by Fray Lauro V. Larlar, OAR.  He emphasized two points, as he referred to the Philosophy of the Educacion Agustinos Recoletos (EDUCAR),  that of evangelization and human promotion.  Evangelization is focused on Christ himself while human promotion is this Integral formation.  ARIF should always start with Christ. We have to model this with the love of Christ to his Father, who as a Father has created us and as a Mother who cares and nourishes us. So, we have to see Christ always in our evangelization and our integral formation, especially in the Eucharist, where He feeds our minds with the Word and He feeds us with His Body and bBlood in the Eucharist. 

Fray Lauro Larlar, OAR

The opening prayer of Fray Rommel Rubia, OAR, VP-Admin of San Sebastian College-Recoletos de Cavite, set the mood for the afternoon while Fray Anthony Morillo, OAR, School Director of Colegio de San Nicolas de Tolentino-Recoletos, Talisay City, in his welcome address, reminded us that we are missionaries, and we are all gifted to give. This is a call for all of us to really give our total self, our, hearts and minds to the evangelization and formation of ourselves and those entrusted to us to be brought to the Eternal Master, who is Jesus.

Fray Rommel Rubia, OAR
Fray Anthony Morillo, OAR

Meanwhile, Fray Antonio Carron, OAR, has given us a very inspirational talk about formation.  Fray Carron shared that we need to remember the following things. We are in schools and schools living communities, we need to cope up with the changes of the times. We have to respond to the changes of times. The most important things in our vocation as Augustinian educators are LEADERSHIP, ACCOMPANIMENT, AND INTERIORITY.  We need to see Christ always as our Master/Leader.  He is the Truth and we must share this Truth with our students.  Fray Carron also reminded the participants about  Pope Francis’ document Christus Vivit.  The document instructs us on how to face the challenges of the present times especially in the world of education. We must not prepare our students for the unreal (Disneyland) but we must evangelize them to see the truth, the real world.

Fray Antonio Carron, OAR

“We must also remember to accompany our students on their journey.  We accompany them to Christ, so together we encounter the truth. And we shall also be masters of Interiority. God must always be present in everyone. We have to work together and learn from one another,” said Fray Carron.

A panel composed of members from the different schools was asked to react to the talk of Fray Carron.  They were Lino Sumbillo who gave his reaction that the talk was about challenges and our responses are plans for the future; Ana Mae Gajete and Harold Toreno who were touched by the statement “working in an Augustinian school is different from an Augustinian Educator;”  Namerod Ceralbo who was thankful for the idea of formation; Fray Jessriel Marcha, OAR, who reminded us that we are disciples and students teaching our fellow students; Dr. Edgar Detoya who was struck by the painting of Plato and Aristotle on Realism and idealism in education; Mrs. Eileen Fernandez who shared that we play a vital role in the total formation of the student and Christ as the center of the formation; Ms. Corazon Cosico who recalled the teaching of Christian values and the Catholic identity of schools; Dr. Jennifer Escobar who was reminded that schools should cater to the formation of the person- the heart and the mind; And Mrs. Nailah Lescano who talked about ARIF opening doors to her and her companions at school.

Fray Rafael Pecson, OAR

Fray Rafael  Pecson, OAR, School President of SSC-RdC declared the ARIFP 2021 open while  Fray Eduardo Celiz, Jr., OAR, School Director of University of San Jose-Recoletos, Balamban Campus, gave the closing remarks.

The REAP schools are University of San Jose Recoletos, Cebu City; University of San Jose Recoletos, Balamban, Cebu; University of Negros Occidental-Recoletos, Bacolod City; San Sebastian College-Recoletos, Manila; San Sebastian College-Recoletos, Canlubang; San Sebastian College-Recoletos de Cavite; Sacred Heart School of Cavite-Recoletos de Alfonso, Cavite; Colegio de Santo Tomas-Recoletos, San Carlos City, Negros Occidental; Colegio de San Nicolas de Tolentino-Recoletos, Talisay City, Negros Occidental; Colegio de San Pedro-Recoletos, , Valencia, Negros Oriental; and  San Pedro Academy-Recoletos, Caidiocan, Valencia, Negros Oriental.

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Carlos Legaspi, Jr., PhD

Carlos Legaspi, Jr., PhD

Writer/Contributor, University of Negros Occidental-Recoletos.