It was a joyous event when lay volunteers affiliated with the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño gathered on-site and online for a single purpose to look back at the principles and practices that bind them.
On a balmy Saturday afternoon (October 09, 2021), the participants to the forum titled: “Reorientation on the Augustinian Volunteerism”, was joined by stalwarts of the Santo Niño de Cebu Augustinian Social Development Foundation (SNAF), Inc., the social development arm of the Justice and Peace Commission of the Philippine Augustinians. Among them was Fr. Tito Soquiño, OSA, founding Executive Director of SNAF in 2009, who laid out at the forum the core values of the Augustinian volunteerism as encapsulated in the precept unity in mind and hearts upon God. He explored the local manifestation of these values by juxtaposing them with the Filipino indigenous expression of unity, specifically through the bayanihan.
Aladdin Luzon, OSA, who succeeded Fr. Tito as the Executive Director of SNAF in 2016, expounded on the various platforms of social engagement that the spirit of Augustinian volunteerism may be applied on. Now newly appointed Augustinian Ambassador to the United Nations, Fr. Aladdin challenged the participants to continue enacting their faith upon their daily commitment to justice and peace.
Fr. John Ion Miranda, OSA, current Executive Director of SNAF, set out the direction for the integral solidarity among Augustinian volunteers amidst the complexities of prevailing conditions of disunity across the country intensified by the increasing political turmoil and worsening health crisis.
The volunteers responded by reaffirming their faithfulness to the devotion to the Holy Child and the Augustinian missionary zeal in the time of the quincentenary of Christianity in the Philippines. They went home with greater resolve to act as one for the common good of God’s Creation and for renewing the Oikos of God.
“A home for all? Renewing the Oikos of God” is the theme of this year’s Season of Creation that was adopted by SNAF for the Philippine Augustinian Laudato Si Campaign. (DRA)