“The Church rejoices and celebrates”- Bishop Bacani says on Fray Bitancor’s Presbyteral Ordination
Mira Nila, QUEZON CITY—An Augustinian Recollect deacon was ordained to the Sacred Order of Presbyterate on Saturday, December 4, 2021, a day before the 433rd founding anniversary of the Augustinian Recollection, at Our Lady of Consolation Parish.
Most Rev. Teodoro C. Bacani, Jr., DD, Bishop-Emeritus of Novaliches, officiated the Presbyteral Ordination, together with Fray Ian Anthony Espartero, OAR, Vicar of the Province of St. Ezekiel Moreno, Fray Hector Gonzales, OAR, Parochial Vicar of Our Lady of Consolation Parish, the members of Formation Team of Recoletos Formation Center, and other OAR priests from different communities in Luzon.
Fray Ramon Buslon Bitancor III, OAR, 27 years old, hails from Tagbilaran City, Bohol. After the period of long seminary years of formation, he is the only one in his batch who definitely offered his entire self to God as he was solemnly consecrated to the presbyteral rank.
Since there was already the low risk of contamination from the COVID-19 virus, the event was attended in person by a good number of Augustinian Recollect friars and sisters, Secular Augustinian Recollect Fraternity members, Recollect Augustinian Youth and the parents of the candidate. It was also aired via Facebook live for those who were not able to attend in person.
Bishop Bacani, in his homily, addressed the ordinandus, “Rev. Ramon, on the day of your ordination it is not you alone who rejoice and celebrate, the Church rejoices and celebrates,” said the bishop. He also pointed out the reason why we celebrate, that the ordination is worth rejoicing for the Church. The good Bishop also quoted a phrase from St. Augustine as he said, “Your ordination is for you to help you come nearer to the Lord but it is even more for the Church, St. Augustine said it beautifully, ‘with you I am a Christian, for you I am a bishop, the first is a tittle of honor, the second a duty…’ how happy we are to you, come forward to the Church, to serve not in your name but to serve the Lord Jesus.”
After the communion, the newly ordained priest delivered his words of gratitude emotionally as he thanked the Order, the Province, the communities where he was assigned, his parents, relatives and friends. Lastly, he is forever grateful to the Almighty Father that in his journey he is definitely not alone despite being the only ordinandus on this special day of his life. Before the final blessing, Fray Ian Anthony Espartero, OAR, awarded to the parents the Plaque of Appreciation, for generously offering their son in the Augustinian Recollect way of life. After which, he announced to the public the patente , the official document stating where he is to be assigned. Fray Bitancor will live and work in the community of brothers of Our Lady of Visitation Parish–Recoletos, Urbiztondo, Pangasinan.