Fray James Ompad Alibong Jr., OSA, the remaining graduate from the 16th Villanovans of the St. Thomas of Villanova Institute as aspirants in 2011, professed his final vows at the San Agustin Center of Studies in Quezon City on September 25, 2021.
During the occasion, Fr. Andres Rivera Jr., OSA, Prior Provincial of the Province of Sto. Niño de Cebu- Philippines, highlighted that his solemn profession is the beginning to continue listening to the voice of God and to seek His face in the community.
Fr. Rivera added that as Augustinians living in the community, “We are not making a living here in the community. Hindi tayo pumasok sa community para mabuhay; but we are called to enter for us to experience life in the community.”
Fray Alibong, OSA hails from Olango Island, Lapu-lapu City, Cebu. He is the eldest son of James Maloloy-on Alibong and Merlina Amit Ompad.
At the age of 17, he was accepted as an aspirant and entered the Order at the San Agustin Center of Studies (SACS) in Quezon City where the Augustinians’ philosophical institute is also located. Three years later he was accepted to the postulancy. For four years he studied at the St. Thomas of Villanova Institute affiliated to the University of San Agustin in Iloilo City finishing Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and graduated in March 2015.
In the same year (2015), he travelled to Cebu to spend his canonical novitiate year at the Augustinian Novitiate and Prayer House, Talisay City from June 2015 to June 2016. His first profession of vows was held at Santo Niño de Cebu Parish, Mohon, Talisay Ciy, Cebu on June 28, 2016.
After his first profession, he went back to SACS to take his Theological Studies at the Recoletos School of Theology in Miranila, Quezon City which is affiliated to the Royal and Pontifical University of Santo Tomas. He finished his theological studies in three years and graduated with the degree of Bachelor of Arts Major in Sacred Theology in 2019. Two years later, he was conferred with the Degree of Master of Arts in Theology in June 2021.
The Solemn Profession of the vows of Obedience, Poverty and Chastity is the last step of becoming a full member in the life of the Order of Saint Augustine.
It is a custom in the Province of Sto. Niño de Cebu- Philippines that after the solemn profession, a friar receives his first assignment and lives together with the brothers in the community.
Fray Alibong will continue to discern and seek the face of God in his new community as he will be assigned to the Colegio San Agustin – Mati community in Davao Oriental.