Augustinians celebrate 30th year as Philippine province

The event themed ‘Filipino Augustinians @ 30: Living in Community, Serving God in Freedom under Grace’ would formally open with a holy mass to be presided by Father Eusebio Berdon, prior provincial.

Philippines
Jan 14 2014, 6:12 PM
Augustinians celebrate 30th year as Philippine province
A group of Augustinians who arrived first in Philippines. (File Picture)

The Order of St Augustine of Sto Niño de Cebu in Central Philippines would celebrate its 30th foundation anniversary as a province on Wednesday.

The event themed ‘Filipino Augustinians @ 30: Living in Community, Serving God in Freedom under Grace’ would formally open with a holy mass to be presided by Father Eusebio Berdon, prior provincial.

The Augustinian prior general in Rome, Father Alejandro Moral Anton, in a message congratulated his Filipino brethren, noting that the “greatest and most current challenge was development of the Order in Asia-Pacific region.”

“Keeping in mind the socio-economic and demographic circumstances, it appears to be that this gigantic part of the world is becoming, is already, the part of the planet most suitable for our evangelization,” Anton said.

Year-long activities are set to commemorate the third decade of the Philippine Province. An on-going exhibit on the province’s history, showcasing paintings and a number of significant artefacts under its custody, would run until January 26 at SM City Cebu.

As forerunners of cultural patrimony in the Philippines and having been the first infrastructure builders in their mission towns, the Augustinians would organize seminars and workshops on cultural preservation.

In 2015, the 450th anniversary of the rediscovery of the Santo Niño icon, the marking of the 450 years of Augustinian presence in the islands and the 50th year of the elevation of the Santo Niño Church into a basilica minore too would be observed.

The first group of Augustinians arrived in 1565 from Spain and Mexico led by thegreat Augustinian circumnavigator, Father Andres Urdaneta. They found in a scorched hut the image of Santo Niño given by Ferdinand Magellan and the chaplain Father Valderramato Queen Juana, wife of the Cebu chief King Humabon, in 1521.

The first church and convent of the Augustinians were erected on the site where the image was found. From there, they fostered deep devotion to the Child Jesus among Filipinos, especially in the Visayan region.

With enough Filipino friars, the indigenous province was solemnly inaugurated on January 15, 1984, on the feast of Sto. Niño de Cebu. The new province has then been tasked to administer several known institutions, such as the Basilica del Sto. Niño (Cebu), University of San Agustin (lloilo), Colegio San Agustin-Bacolod (Negros Occidental), Guadalupe Monastery (Makati), and San Agustin Centre of Studies (Quezon City), among others.

Source: CBCP News

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