THE JUBILEE marking 50 years of presence of the Institute of Our Lady of the Annunciation (IOLA) in the Philippines had its culmination in the Eucharistic celebration on December 27, 2013 and the Annual Retreat from December 27, 2013 to January 2, 2014.
For the culminating events, the Annunziatine arrived from different parts of the country, and from abroad: USA, Canada, Malaysia, Hong Kong, and Macau.
Jubilee in Makati
The Eucharist, held at the Sanctuary of St. Paul in SSP Makati, was attended by the Annunziatine in formal attires, many in “golden” hues, and representatives of Pauline congregations and institutes. The main celebrant was Bishop Gerardo Alminaza, recently appointed Ordinary of the Diocese of San Carlos in Negros Island. The Bishop, a good friend, dwelt on the spirit of thanksgiving (“Lord, it is good to give you thanks!”) and the challenge of the Jubilee motto: “Responding to God’s Fidelity.”
After Mass, the Paulines gathered for the agape at the Alberione Hall. While they were partaking of the banquet and exchanging Christmas wishes and lively conversation, photos of the IOLA “history” were being flashed on the screen.
For the Golden Jubilee, the Institute published a souvenir publication: RESPONSE. It features messages, the identity and mission of the IOLA, and vocation stories and “responses” of some members. It also carries the names of benefactors and sponsors of the Institute who have been approached especially in view of the project of building a new IOLA Center in Pasay City.
Annual Retreat 2013
In the afternoon, the members boarded the bus for St. Scholastica Center of Spirituality in Tagaytay City. For the three-day retreat proper, Sr. Rose Agtarap, FSP dwelt on the over-all theme of GRATITUDE. She touched on aids to prayer and Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium. Fr. Gil Alinsangan, SSP, the Provincial Delegate, accompanied the retreatants and presided at the Eucharist.
The fourth day, December 31, was spent in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, following the example of the young James Alberione who prayed at the turn of the century. The members also availed of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. The day was also reserved for choir practice and practice of the ceremonies for the following day.
In a simple rite in late afternoon, two observers entered Pre-Postulancy, two Pre-Postulants entered Postulancy, and two Postulants entered Novitiate.
Early morning of the New Year, many Paulines arrived for the rites of Profession. Among the guests was the Superior General of the Pastorelle Sisters, on consultation visit of the sisters. The main presider and homilist was Fr. Jose Aripio, the SSP Provincial Superior. In his homily, he elucidated the acronym M-A-R-Y.
The first of the rites of Profession was the Perpetual Profession of SEGUNDINA L. URCIANA of Manila. Dina is a catechist serving the Archdiocese of Manila. This was followed by the renewal of vows of the Silver Jubilarians: MARILOU B. ONDAP from Cagayan de Oro City and FLORA T. SEBASTIAN from Pulilan, Bulacan. Then three temporary professed members (Juniors) renewed their vows.
In the afternoon, before the general assembly, Fr. Gil announced the composition of the new IOLA Provincial Council following the written consultation of the members and the consent of the outgoing Council. They are: Coordinator—MA. CONCEPCION A. SANTOS; Vice-Coordinator—EMELITA S. TUAZON; Councilors—HERMINIA S. COLIGADO, SONIA P. IBARBIA, TERESITA R. MANALAC, and GLORIA M. SANCHEZ. In the assembly presided by Ms. Maricon Santos, the members renewed their desire for the building of a new IOLA Center in Pasay City and exchanged ideas on how to raise the funds.
For the IOLA Night, the members trooped to the Tangi’s residence in Mendez, Cavite, where Fr. Armand Tangi, SSP welcomed them to a generous repast. It was a wonderful time of conversation, singing, and laughter—of a having a good time.
In the morning of the last day (January 2), the new Council was installed during Mass. The rest of the time was spent for “business” meetings: the regional groups discussed their plans, while the new and outgoing Councils met together for the handing over of responsibilities. In early afternoon, a bus took them to SSP Makati from where they proceeded to their specific destinations.
(Photos by SPAV and Fr. Romeo Hitosis, SSP)
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