On June 3, 2021, 10 Augustinian simply-professed friars graduated in their respective academic degrees from the Recoletos School of Theology (RST) in Quezon City – and with a stroke of grace, all of them received academic distinctions.
The RST Rites of Solemn Investiture were held, with the observance of health protocols, in Our Lady of Consolation Parish in Mira-Nila Homes, Quezon City. The Baccalaureate Mass was presided by Fr. Dionisio Selma, OAR, the provincial of the Augustinian Recollect Province of St. Ezekiel Moreno. Fr. Jasper Valmores, OSA, then the Master of the Simply-professed Friars, and Fr. Willibaldus Jampa, OSA accompanied the Augustinian graduates in the occasion.
Seven of the friars were conferred the degree of Bachelor in Sacred Theology (SThB). Along with their respective academic distinctions, they are:
- Fray Jules Van A. Almerez, OSA (magna cum laude)
- Fray Fevin T. Baoc, OSA (cum laude)
- Fray Alberto Jr. C. Bartiana, OSA (cum laude)
- Fray Ronelle S. Dogon, OSA (magna cum laude)
- Fray Keith Lawrence J. Ermac, OSA (cum laude)
- Fray Eugenio S. Reserva, OSA (cum laude)
- Fray Albert Benedict B. Soliman, OSA (magna cum laude)
Three other friars were vested with the degree Master of Arts in Theology (MAT). Along with their respective academic distinctions, they are:
- Fray James O. Alibong Jr., OSA – MAT (Major in Systematic Theology) (cum laude)
- Fray Ronnel Ian M. Garcia, OSA – MAT (Major in Systematic Theology) (magna cum laude)
- Fray Jan Mark A. Placido, OSA – MAT (Non-Thesis Program) (with high honors)
Coincidentally, the Augustinians also placed at the top of their respective classes. Fray Garcia headed the list of MAT graduates, while Fray Soliman, Fray Dogon and Fray Almerez respectively swept the first three places among the SThB graduates, with Fray Soliman as the class valedictorian. In his address, Fray Soliman invited his fellow graduates to make progress in faith, hope and love in order to become faithful ministers of the Church: “Let us keep the faith in us, and faith will guide us in life. Let us keep the hope in us, and hope will see us through. Let us keep the love in us, and then we can sing with the Eagles, ‘love will keep us alive.’”
Later that evening, the Simply-professed Friars held a celebratory party for the brothers who both brought home academic degrees and awards. /