Four Brothers make Solemn Profession of Vows
The Order of Discalced Carmelites Philippine Commissariat celebrated with great joy the Solemn Profession of vows of four new confreres last August 15, 2009 on the occasion of the Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary at the shrine of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish, New Manila, Quezon City. It is the first time in the history of the Order here in the Philippines that, four brothers professed their solemn vows at the same time. They are: Bro. Peter Paul Ganon of the Good Shepherd (Iloilo City), Bro. Ramil Paul Michael of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (Gen. Santos City), Bro. Joey Mabborang of the Blessed Sacrament and of Mary (Apayao), and Bro. Jack Joseph of the Cross (Cagayan Valley). Father Narciso C. Reyes, Provincial Superior of the Order, received their lifetime profession of vows of chastity, poverty and obedience.
In accordance with the Norms and Constitutions of the Order, the newly-professed friars are now given their respective assignments—Bro Peter is stationed in our Novitiate House in Tugbok, Davao City, Bro. Ramil in Postulancy House in Jaro, Iloilo City, Bro. Joey in the Students’ House in New Manila, Quezon City, and Bro. Jack will have his diaconate in the Mt. Carmel Shrine Parish in New Manila, Quezon City.
The Order wishes to thank the families, friends, and benefactors, especially the Carmelites Scholastics Foundation, who is very instrumental in sustaining the financial needs of the education of these four brothers and the rest of the students as well. May God continue to bless you and your family! Let us continue to support and pray for our newly professed brothers that they may truly be like Christ in offering their lives for others.
The Spirituality Team, in collaboration with the OCDS Sta. Teresa of Jesus Community, facilitated the annual Lecture Series. The theme for this year's series: "Louis and Zellie: Saints for the Modern World." Louis and Zelia Martin, parents of St. Therese of the Child Jesus, were beatified on October 19, 2002. Three consecutive Sundays of November were alloted to four distinctive speakers, namely: Prof. Eduardo Calasanz, NDV, Thelma Balajadia, OCDS, Mel Lopez, OCDS, and Fr. Paulo Gamboa, OCD.
May 2008: We had our Community Summer Spirituality Seminar with focus on St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein). This is our way of grounding ourselves with our Carmelite spirituality. Fr. Nadz Ruanto was our main speaker. The following week we had our Annual Community Retreat, a week of complete silence setting our minds and hearts on God as we readied ourselves for the challenges and opportunities of the school year ahead.
June 2008: We took time out by going to the Bicolandia for our Annual Community Outing. The OCD Naga Nuns were our gracious hosts. We were also warmly welcomed by the families of our Bicolano brothers, Vito Competente Jr. in Tiwi, Albay, Archie Buenaagua in Goa and Dionesio Balute in Ragay, both in Camarines Sur. Among others, the community visited the majestic Mayon volcano and the renowned virginal islands of Caramoan (it’s a must visit place). We were also lavishly entertained by the University of the Northern Philippines (UNEP), complete with sumptuous meal and a chorale. We give thanks to all our hosts especially the Naga Nuns for such a tremendous accommodation.
August 2008: Bro. Willow Andaya made his renewal of vows before Fr. Chito Reyes and the community as witness.
September 2008: Three newly professed brothers from the Taiwan-Singapore circumscription have joined our student community. They took their Novitiate formation last year in Davao and were professed last July 2008. They are Chin Sin Wee (Malaysian), Christopher Loh (Malaysian) and Jeffrey Tan (Singaporean). They will complete their theological studies here in Manila.
October 2008: This time the students went to La Union for their Extra Recreation. This annual event is a venue for students to make ‘kamustahan,’ fraternal corrections, personal sharings and the likes. The San Fernando OCD Nuns were our gracious hosts and they billeted us at Cesmin beach resort. It was a first for many of the students to visit La Union especially the San Fernando Carmelite Nuns. We give thanks to all who supported us in our brief stay, especially our dear Carmelite sisters.
Two of the three students taking their pastoral year have moved to their new areas of ministry. Bros. Carlo and Johmie are now in the Our Lady’s Hill Spirituality Center in Sta. Rita, Bago City. They will help in running the center. Bro. Willow, meanwhile, is just back from Vietnam from visiting our Vietnamese aspirants. He still heads the vocation ministry. Bro. Ramil, together with Fr. Chito, is in India for a two-week seminar on Liturgy.
As we go into the second half of this school and formation year, we are ever trustful that our good Lord will continue to bless us with many graces so that we may continue to build a better community for the service of His people.
'Men in Brown' is a catchy and distinctive paraphrase of the 'Discalced Carmelite Friars'. It's hip, modern and forward looking yet retaining the essential elements of our religious character. The color 'brown' refers to the 'habit' we wear; it is one of our most direct tangible links to our holy founders and at the same time continually bears symbol to the spiritual heritage we inherited and are called to continue.
Our constitution states that our pattern of life consists in 'living in allegiance to Jesus Christ, pondering the law of the Lord unceasingly while strengthening our hearts with holy thoughts, coming together for the daily celebration of the sacred liturgy, putting in the armor of God in an intense life of faith, hope and charity, entering into a genuine sharing of life, leading a life of unceasing prayer in silence and solitude, and using prudent discretion in all that we do'. These are the basic foundations of our life observed in all the communities and are integrated to the three pillars of Carmel: PRAYER, COMMUNITY LIFE and APOSTOLATE. This is as sample as it can get. This is our blood; this is our life.
It is clear then who and what we are. We are responding to our charism as a student formation community. In particular, our community objectifies to: a) develop, deepen, and consolidate in the student the basic attitudes of religious and Carmelite life which has been instilled during the novitiate, b) provide the student with an adequate human, theological, technical, cultural, and apostolic formation, c) systematically prepare the student for a life of ecclesial and apostolic service and, d) ascertain the student's human and religious maturity required for admission to solemn profesion.
Hence our concerns differ from our parish, postulancy and novitiate communities but we do not cease to share the same essence. Our participation is more on a collaborative teamwork. At present, forming part of their apostolate, the student assist in the parish in some works in BEC, Youth, Lay Formation and in particular Liturgical Acts. They also assist in the Vocation Ministry, OCDS formation and are involved in exploring new methods in spreading the rich spirituality of Carmel especially through the use of media. Nontheless, these works are secondary to their obligations as students in formation in the same way that the friars are primary responsible for the formation of the students.
All this are interwined with the students' areas of formation so that they may achieve Christian maturity in all the areas of their formation: spirituality, academics, affectivity, apostolate and community.
For a better viewpoint, it would be better to note that our community is consist of the Students, the Director of the Students who is directly in-charge of supervising and educating the students, the House Superior, and he formation group which also include the last two mentioned.