Jesus underlined the social duty of all baptized when He proclaimed His prophetic mission, saying: “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because He has anointed me to preach good news to the poor He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind to release the oppressed to proclaim the year of the Lord is favor.” (Lk 4:18-19, see also Isa. 61: 1-2). This gospel mandate is reflected in St. Augustine when he distinguishes three kinds of life: contemplative, active and that which has some mixture of the two. He refers this latter, the mixed form (The City of God 9, 1-2, 19). From the foregoing text, it follows that every member of our Augustinian community has an apostolic task, for the group as a whole has to be apostolic (Plan of Augustinian Formation, 57), however, the basis of Augustinian involvement is Christian charity. This involvement is engaged within and in cooperation with the local Church (Const. 147). It should be an outflow from the spirituality of the individual proceeding from the individual’s union with Christ, and always be directed toward Him (Const. 145).
As Augustinians, our special apostolate ought to permeate all apostolic activity, for it flows from the love of God and neighbor, seeks justice, and desires the advancement of all, the whole person, and society (Const. 182). Proceeding from this principle, our apostolic activities should be assiduously carried out with apostolic zeal in the churches and shrines, in the houses of spirituality, in the parishes, in the schools, and in all services requested of us by the Church (Const. 151). In all these, the restlessness from our social involvement must lead us to listen carefully to the concerns of the church and society by resolving the social questions such as: justice and peace, the rights of persons, the dignity of women, the defense of human life, the care of creation, and a more just economic order (Const. 185).
Mohon, Talisay City, Cebu
SNAF is short for Sto. Nino de Cebu Augustinian Social Development Foundation. Created in 2010 by the OSA Philippine province to initiate/implement programs that promote social development.
The Foundation hopes for an Augustinian organized communities imbued with a deep sense of moral and social values committed to improving their quality of life by alleviating poverty, safeguarding the children and the family, protecting the environment and respecting human rights.
It carries the following goals; to promote respect for human rights and dignity; enhance opportunities for the holistic development of children and families; promote sustainable use and management of critical habitats and resources; and. establish programs that will contribute to poverty reduction in the Augustinian organized communities.
The Basilica del Santo Niño Children’s Welfare Foundation commits to assist in the development of poor children in the different dimensions of life, help them appreciate its value, and teach them live a productive and happy Christian life in the family and community as based with the Church’s preferential option for the poor.
It hopes to build a community where children enjoy and experience peace, harmony and equal opportunity to a life accorded with dignity regardless of sex, race and religion.
The foundation aims to provide poor but deserving children with the opportunity to avail Education. It also wants to create an office to facilitate Christian formation to the poor families, to spouse advocacy of children’s welfare and to initiate and facilitate acquisition of Resource of livelihood.’
One of the programs and services of the Foundation is the E-CARE Program. The E-CARE Program of the Basilica del Santo Niño Children’s Welfare Foundation, Inc., focuses on the holistic education and Christian formation of the less fortunate but deserving children of the candle vendors, balloon vendors and photographers commonly known as Basilica United Vendors and Photographers Association (BUVPA), one of the mandated organization s of the Basilica del Santo Niño de Cebu. This is the program formulated since School Year 2008-2012.
Our Mother of Perpetual Help Parish
Socorro, Bucas Grande Isl., Surigao del Norte
The Roman Catholic Consumers Cooperative (ROCACOCO) was founded on April 28, 2010. The Cooperative hopes to provide quality goods and services to the people of Socorro in a holistic approach by living-out the Christian and Augustinian values of common good, love, humility, friendship, prayer interiority, community and humble service. Its existence has contributed much in the parish and the community. One of the impacts of the cooperative is the help it extended to families in stretching their budget since they can buy goods at cheaper prices. In January 2014, ROCACOCO expanded its services into garments factory. It now offers quality products from the various choices like School uniform, Company Uniform, Children’s Clothing, Women’s Clothing, Men’s Clothing, Promotional Clothing, Supply Stock Garments.
With the initiative and support of the friars assigned, the two-storey coop building was built within the compound of the parish in Brgy. Taruc, Socorro, Surigao del Norte. While, the garments factory is placed at the San Agustin Pastoral Center also in Brgy. Taruc.
Augustinian Novitiate and Prayer House
Mohon, Talisay City, Cebu, Philippines
The Santo Niño Candle House is a candle-making factory that primarily provides the candle needs of the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño de Cebu, the home of the miraculous image of Senor Santo Nino in Cebu. It materially sustains the religious piety of the devotees of the Holy Child in keeping their intentions burning with love and devotion.
The Candle House is administered by the Augustinian friars under the Augustinian Novitiate and Prayer House Community of the Order of Saint Augustine (O.S.A.). It is one of the social apostolates of the community that provides livelihood for the underprivileged and deserving constituents of Brgy. Mohon, Talisay City, Cebu. Established in 1997, it first aimed of augmenting the financial needs of the novitiate house but it later became an avenue to help other people by hiring locals in order to cater the strong demand of the candle house.
Through the course of time, the Candle House extended its produce by manufacturing other candle products which are considered affordable and quality candles. The house of wax is now offering you great choices of candles like the customized candle sticks that varies from 10 to 22 cm long and glass candles of small, medium and large sizes.
Let us together build a community of friends by creating jobs for our employees through this apostolic work. Your support to our cause counts to us meaningfully with precious smiles which in the eyes of our loving God sees. Dagkot na alang kang Senyor!!!
Augustinians at the United Nations
PENNIES FOR HEAVEN
HEALTHCARE OUTREACH TO THE POOR
AN EXPERIENTIAL CONTEXT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS EDUCATION
Saint Augustine Center of Studies (SACS) in Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines and a Canadian school, Blessed Pope John Paul II High School in Scarborough, Ontario, Canada have created a partnership to help indigent people of the Philippines, especially poor children with birth defects, to get the medical/surgical care they could not otherwise obtain. In the process, both the SACS and the John Paul II communities advance in education, understanding, awareness and promotion of human rights. Members of the SACS community—students, faculty, staff and friends—identify poor people in need of healthcare, especially kids with birth defects. The John Paul II community raises funds to help with the medical/surgical care these people need. It is hoped that at both schools, reflection upon the human right to healthcare may raise, address and clarify issues of human rights in their totality.
Human rights education, understanding, awareness and promotion are made more real and relevant at both SACS in the Philippines and at John Paul II in Canada by work with, and reflection upon, real and actually important healthcare outreach to poor people—especially kids in need. We hope that as this project goes onward, friendship between SACS and John Paul II will grow. We have found that as we share our work and experiences with others, they too become interested in sharing our partnership.
The medical/surgical interventions we are accomplishing are facilitated and directed by Augustinian United Nations (UN) Nongovernmental Organization (NGO) team members in the Philippines—Fr. John Paul Szura, OSA and Ms. Alice Mujar. They work in collaboration with Fr. Emeka Obiezu, OSA, Permanent Representative of the Augustinian NGO to the UN, and with the supportive leadership of Fr. Eusebio B. Berdon, OSA, Prior Provincial of the Augustinian Province of Santo Niño de Cebu. At Blessed Pope John Paul II High School in Canada, project directors are faculty members Mr. John Cafferky and Ms. Kathleen McGill, working with the supportive leadership of Principal Paul McAlpine.
Initiated by Blessed Pope John Paul II High School, our outreach has been integrated into the Augustinian NGO association with the UN and aligned with the UNESCO Associated Schools Project Network (ASPnet). Through ASPnet, we are part of a worldwide community in communication together and sharing best practices with one another. The year 2013 is the 60th anniversary of the ASPnet. Now with a membership of more than 9500 schools in 180 nations, the UNESCO ASPnet has had astounding growth from its modest 1953 beginnings as an implementation through education of “cultures of peace”. To learn more about this UNESCO schools peace network, go to www.unesco.org, go to Education, go to Networks, then you will find ASPnet.