After attending the inaugural chapter of the new Province of the Most Holy Name of Jesus of the Philippines in San Agustin Church, Intramuros, Manila, from July 18 to 22, 2022, Assistant General of Order of Saint Augustine, Very Rev. Fr. Anthony Banks, OSA, visited several communities administered by the Augustinian Province of Santo Niño de Cebu – Philippines, particularly, in Cebu and Surigao del Norte.
Fr. Banks went to Burgos, Siargao Island, to see the recovery work of the Order after Typhoon Odette devastated the island last December 2021. At the same time, to be with the people of Burgos as they celebrated the feast of Santa Ana on July 26, 2022.
His visit became more significant when he met the Mindanao-based friars during their forum. In an e-mail correspondence, he said, ” It was a great joy to be with many of the friars based in Mindanao as they celebrated a forum on their missions.”
Four communities and residences in Mindanao: Burgos Residence, Socorro Community, Guipos Residence, and Colegio San Agustin – Mati Community, met in Burgos for three days to share their apostolic experiences in the mission from July 25 to 26, 2022.
He added, “I get huge joy out of being with the great friars of our region and seeing our region increase in personnel and grace.”
Meanwhile, he would spend a week with the novices across the Asia-Pacific region for his last stop after two years of COVID 19 and could not visit the novitiate house. As of writing, he is staying in the Asia-Pacific Augustinian Novitiate (APAN) in Mohon, Talisay City, to impart some words on Augustinian spirituality. Eight novices are currently living their canonical year – 4 Vietnamese and 4 Filipinos (2 in each Province of Cebu and Intramuros).
For him, this is a promising avenue for the Order to re-establish face-to-face contact with them as he tried to visit the community annually.
In the entirety of Fr. Tony’s visit to the Philippines, as an Assistant General, he involves himself in the participation in Chapters of the region, to be the brothers’ support in need and to develop better levels of communication and mutual co-operation across the region.
He will have been in the Philippines just three weeks by the time he leaves.