Jesus: Our Mission, The Giver of Vocation, Our Light


BAGUIO CITY – The activities on the second day of the 13th OAR Formands’ Encounter, January 11, 2023, are centered on Jesus Christ—the True Protagonist of the event. This centralization is the common denominator of the entire activities that happened on the second day.


            Rev. Fr. Jessriel Marcha, OAR, currently the Master of the Aspirants in Casiciaco Recoletos Seminary talked about the theme of Encounter. In doing so, he also elaborated upon the theme of the Synod on Synodality which is happening right now in the Church. With this, the theme of Synodality is discussed—communion, participation, and mission.

He highlighted that the Church’s mission is to proclaim Christ. This mission may only be accomplished if everyone gathers in communion and participation. Hence, it is because of this mission that everyone convenes and journeys together. This is the reason why everyone must gather for a peregrinatio as St. Augustine would say.


            During the Eucharistic celebration in honor of St. Augustine, the image of Jesus as the Good Shepherd was highlighted in the readings. Considering Jesus and St. Augustine as examples, Rev. Fr. Rommel Rubia, OAR, the mass presider and currently, the Novice Master, reminded everyone to take care of their vocation and to be proud of it.

            According to him, “Vocation is grace; and grace is a gift. Now, in this gift-giving, the focus must not be towards those who received the gift but to Him who has freely given this gift—Jesus Christ.”

            He emphasized the fact that not everyone who received this gift is worthy of it. This is the reason why the formands who happen to have received such a gift must do their best to safeguard it.


            When evening came, the formands assembled in the Casiciaco Recoletos Seminary Gym for the Lucernarium or the Service of Light. In this liturgical activity, everyone is reminded that Jesus is the Light that illumines the darkness. This is symbolized by the Paschal candle that stood in the middle of the dark gym. The light of the same candle was passed to the other candles which then served as light until the Service of Light was done.

As mentioned, Jesus is the Mission of the Church, in general, and the formands, in particular, but this mission would only be accomplished through communion and participation. No wonder why the rest of the activities done during the second day of the Encounter aims towards the development of the communitarian aspect of the formands. There were some teambuilding activities that enabled formands from different stages to brainstorm together in surpassing the challenges given to them. They were also given a chance to play once again with each other in sports like football and basketball. The shalom after the lucernarium also served to share peace among the brothers; hence, strengthening their brotherhood. The Katuwaan Night also aimed towards the same goal.

All in all, every formand is gathered because of Him who gave their vocation, for Him who is their Mission which can be achieved through Him who is their Light.

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Alvin Laserna

Br. Alvin C. Laserna