10th Ordinary Provincial Chapter 2020
The 10th Ordinary Provincial Chapter (OPC) was held and celebrated last February 24 to 28, 2020 at Santo Niño Spirituality Center (SNSC) in Barangay Tolo-tolo, Consolacion, Cebu. With this, fifty seven (57) friars gathered and participated in this highlighted event of the Province. The Prior General, Fr. Alejandro Moral Antón, OSA was the Chapter President and was accompanied and assisted by the Assistant General for the Asia Pacific Region, Fr. Anthony N. Banks, OSA.
The first day of the chapter began with the celebration of the Holy Eucharist presided by Fr. Moral Antón on the morning of February 24. Many friars from the different Communities and Residences of the Province as well as the novices from the Asia Pacific Augustinian Novitiate (APAN) were present for the celebration. During the Mass, Fr. Andres D. Rivera, Jr., the re-elected Prior Provincial, was officially installed to his office by the Prior General. The six other Provincial Counselors were also installed during the Mass: Fr. Nelson G. Zerda, OSA, Fr. Aladdin P. Luzon, OSA, Fr. Frederick C. Comendador, OSA, Fr. Jose Rene C. Delariarte, OSA, Fr. Melchor L. Mirador, OSA and Fr. Sisinio A. Paderog, OSA.
After the Mass, the friars assembled at the auditorium of SNSC and listened actively to the reflections of the Prior General that centered on the chapter theme: “The Filipino Augustinians beyond 450: Renewal of Community Life for the New Evangelization.” In the afternoon, a talk was given by Fr. Melchor L. Mirador, OSA that centered on the safeguarding of minors and vulnerable adults. The evening before (February 23rd), the friars gathered at the retreat house chapel for the celebration of the Solemn Vespers presided by Cebu Auxiliary Bishop Midyphil B. Billones, DD who also gave a reflection on the theme of sacramental brotherhood.
At about midafternoon, the Prior General officially declared the Chapter open and the work of determining the Province’s program for the next four years began. During the 1st afternoon session, the election of the Provincial Secretary and the Provincial Treasurer was held through a secret voting. Fr. John Paul S. Mabanta, OSA was re-elected as Provincial Secretary together with Fr. Jose Rene C. Delariarte, OSA, who was re-elected as Provincial Treasurer.
The 10th OPC was notably historic in two ways: At the outset, it was the first time that three friars from the Vicariate of ChristusTotus Papua Indonesia joined the Province’s Chapter (the Regional Vicar, Fr. Jan Pieter Fatem, OSA and 2 discreets – Fr. Willibaldus Jampa, OSA and Fr. Adri Durenge, OSA) after the 2016 Intermediate General Chapter of the Order approved the vicariate’s transfer of dependency from the Province of the Netherlands to the Cebu Province. Secondly, it was the first time that digital voting was utilized in a provincial chapter for the voting of proposals. This measure greatly eased and gave convenience to the work of Tellers and fast-tracked the friars’ voting.
During the succeeding chapter sessions, the Provincial Officials gave their respective reports: Prior Provincial, Provincial Secretary, Provincial Treasurer, Provincial Sacristan and the Director of Santo Niño de Cebu Augustinian Social Development, Inc. (SNAF). The zonal coordinators also gave their respective reports for the Communities and Residences belonging to the Province’s three (3) zones: Fr. Sisinio A. Paderog, OSA for the Central Visayas – Mindanao Zone; Fr. Leo Mario F. Singco, OSA for the Western Visayas Zone and Fr. Danilo M. Carido, OSA who represented Fr. Melchor L. Mirador, OSA for the National Capital Region – Luzon Zone. Fr. Eusebio B. Berdon, OSA also presented the proposed amendments to the Provincial Statutes while Fr. Czar Emmanuel V. Alvarez, OSA, Chair of the Drafting Committee presented the collated suggestions received from individual friars and communities for the Quadrennial Program (QP) of the Provincial Commissions. The friars were also grouped according to their competencies and then discussed the proposed QP for two commissions assigned to their group.
On the last day of the chapter, the friars gathered again at the auditorium for the Morning Prayer and then immediately proceeded to the voting of proposals. It was Fr. Roy D. Aspera, OSA, who presented to the body the results of the voting. The Provincial Secretary then read the Acts of the Chapter followed by some final words and messages both from Fr. Banks and Fr. Moral Antón. The Closing Eucharist was presided by the Prior Provincial who challenged the friars to always discern and listen to the Word of God.
Among the highlights of the 10th OPC were: the institutionalization of the Pre Chapter Assembly; the participation of the friars from Papua Indonesia Vicariate in the life of the Province; the approval of the 10 Provincial Commissions; the approval of the Manual for Initial Formation;Manual of Formation for the Formators; Manual for Vocation Promotion and; the approval of policies on Sabbatical, Reintegration, and Celebration of Anniversaries among others