On the feast of St. Thomas the Apostle, Novice Reden S. Lequin and Novice Miguel Jerrico M. Rodriguez made their profession of religious vows at the Augustinian Novitiate and Prayer House in Talisay City, Cebu last July 3, 2021.
This happened after a year of novitiate formation in discerning and living out the Augustinian religious life more intensely.
After careful deliberation from the formators, the novices have been granted to be suitable for the profession of vows of poverty, obedience, and chastity.
Rev. Fr. Andres D. Rivera, Jr., OSA, Prior Provincial of the Province of Sto. Niño de Cebu, accepted their profession on behalf of the Prior General, Most Rev. Alejandro Moral Anton, OSA.
Nov. Lequin hails from Bogo City, Cebu, and he is under the Province of Santo Niño de Cebu-Philippines while Nov. Rodriguez is from Santo Rosa City, Laguna who belongs to the Vicariate of the Orient. Both of them spent their novitiate life under the program of the Asia-Pacific Augustinian Novitiate (APAN).
During the homily, Fr. Rivera encouraged the brothers – incoming novices, simply and the solemnly professed friars – most especially the two candidates for profession ‘to continue doubting; however, doubt is the beginning of wisdom. For doubt is a process of understanding deeper a reality of something – the presence of Christ in the community.’ At the same time, he hopes that the Holy Spirit through their prayers will lead and guide the brothers as they go and search for the truth of Christ, the presence of the community.
Meanwhile, Fray Miguel Jerrico M. Rodriguez, OSA gave a message of gratitude. He said that with only two brothers undergoing the canonical year of the novitiate, their experience is quite unique compared to the usual number of novices that varies from eight to fifteen novices annually. Nevertheless, he remains thankful to God for the experience.
At the end of the profession, Fr. Rivera, OSA announced the suspension of Asia – Pacific Augustinian Novitiate (APAN) that would send formators and novices from different circumscriptions in Asia and the Pacific to the Novitiate house in Talisay City.
APAN is an international novitiate program of the Order of Saint Augustine in the Asia-Pacific (OSAAP) region as the Augustinians are present in Australia, India, Indonesia, South Korea, Japan, Vietnam and the Philippines.
The decision came from the superiors of the OSAAP and this was due to the continuous threat of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The novitiate program still continues by accepting brothers from the Vicariate of the Orient and the Province of Santo Niño de Cebu respectively.