ReCOR-Return to the Heart


Casiciaco Recoletos Seminary, Baguio City – In a groundbreaking initiative to address the multifaceted aspects of formation, the community of Recoletos Formation Center launches its first month-long ReCOR program on June 19, 2023.

Fr. James Castelo, OAR, the direct in-charge of the ReCOR Program, Fr. Paul Demillones, OAR, a fellow facilitator of the program, and the ten (10) participants traveled from Quezon City to the mountainous roads of Baguio City on June 17, 2023.

On June 19, the head of the ReCOR, Fr. James Castelo, OAR, presided over the Eucharistic celebration which signaled the beginning of the program. ReCOR offered a vast number of topics concerning the human aspect of formation, namely: Psycho-social Development, Attachment Theory, Family Dynamics, Reparenting the Child Within (RCW), Prayer in Darkness: Blocks and Resistances, Affective Praying, The Vows, Human Sexuality, and Deviant Sexuality, Training in Celibate Living, Healthy Intimacy: Personal and Ministerial Boundaries.

The program also provided the participants with psycho-education and Individual Companioning sessions, Spiritual Direction, Formative Group Processing, and Group Spiritual Direction. The team of facilitators that accompanied the participants in the said program were Fr. Paul Demillones, OAR, Fr. Ronel Gealon, OAR, Fr. Ken Lao, OAR, Fr. Ralph Ciceron, OAR, Fr. Joseph Philip Trayvilla, OAR, and Fr. James Castelo, OAR, who spearheaded the event.

The pioneering participants for the ReCor Program were Fray Helfrid Palmis, OAR, Fray Neil Robert Alilain, OAR, Fray Judd Galinato, OAR, Fray Joseph Neil Baygan, OAR, Fray McAirel Capinpin, OAR, Mark Joseph Quirante, James Esplanada, Sem. Felix Cunanan V, Br. Russel Gumobal, ESHT, and Br. Gilmore Malonhao.

The ReCor Program concluded on the evening of July 13, 2023, and went home on July 16, 2023.

What is ReCOR all about?

ReCOR is a 30-day program that takes inspiration from the Augustinian movement of going into the recesses of the heart. The heart is the place of encounter, discovery, and the locus where the authentic experience of transformation or conversion should begin. In the context of formation to the religious and priestly life, the Vita Consecrata no. 65 clearly affirms that “the primary objective of the formation process is to prepare people for the total consecration of themselves to God in the following of Christ, at the service of the Church’s mission.” In the same fashion, Ratio Fundamentalis Institutionis Sacerdotalis states that “the priest is called to have within himself the same feelings and attitudes that Christ has towards the Church, loved tenderly through the exercise of his ministry” [RFIS, 39].  This program, therefore, is an avenue to accompany the participants in the process of gradual attainment of the above objectives inspired by the movement of going back to the heart.

This program is a response to the call of the OAR Province of St. Ezekiel Moreno to heighten the formative experience of its candidates related to the human dimension. Key importance in the process of formation is the integration of personal life and history into one’s vocational journey which includes growing in spiritual life within the context of the religious vows and the future life and ministry as ordained ministers.

This program highlights the human dimension of the formative process. By employing some of the appropriate psychological principles, the participants are given the opportunity to enter into an experience of locating psychological blocks which when left unaddressed, may render inconsistency as far as living his religious and priestly life is concerned. Thus, this program considers the affective and human maturity of the participants and equips them to live their lives and their definitive commitment with a sense of responsibility.

This program highly considers the importance of integrating the charism and spirituality of the Order—Interiority [Interioridad], Community [Comunidad], and Service [Eclesialidad] in the process of human experience to ensure the participants’ profound and personalized experience of the Order’s charismatic identity based on Gospel values. The dynamics of this program are placed within this context.

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Neil Robert Alilain

Fray Neil Robert Alilain OAR