“…Be it done unto me according to your word.” —Luke 1,38
In the light of the Gospel and in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Foundress of the Order of Friars Servants of Mary, the Servites of the Philippines gathered in the Parish Hall of St. Peregrine Laziosi Parish in Tunasan, Muntinlupa City to begin the five-day 2021 Vicarial Chapter. Inspired by the Spirit of Christ the suffering Servant, and of His sorrowful Mother, the OSM friars continue their commitment and service to the Order and to Holy Mother the Church.
The Vicarial Chapter of the Order started with the Mass of the Holy Spirit. The Provincial Delegate, Rev. Fr. Bryan Ma. Eala, OSM, celebrated it together with six of the brother priests who concelebrated with him. The solemn professed friars and temporary professed friars also participated in the Sacred Liturgy. In his homily, Father Bryan extended the prayerful greetings of Prior Provincial to every brother. He emphasized the importance of obedience in expressing love to the Lord. He also told everyone to be open to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete, who inspires every Servite to love and to obey the Lord. He said, “The guiding words for us is ‘courage’, which is the virtue of beginnings, of initiating process and paths, rather than occupying spaces (cf EG223). He also pointed out that the friars were not called to reap but to sow; not to arrive but to leave; sow in every season, embracing like the sower in the parable of the Lord. He also reminded all the friars of the good examples of the Seven Holy Fathers who possessed the gifts of the Holy Spirit upon coming together to Monte Senario. At the end of his homily, the Provincial Delegate elaborated the mission of the Servants of Mary and the importance of the Vicarial Chapter. Right after his homily, the Provincial Delegate confirmed the newly elected Vicar Provincial, the Reverend Father Dominador Ma. Javier, OSM. Rev. Fr. Javier wholeheartedly accepted the duties and responsibilities of being the new Vicar Provincial of the Order here in the Philippines in front of his other brothers.
After the Holy Mass, the election of the Presidential Board began with an invocation led by the Provincial Delegate. Rev. Fr. Jesus Ma. Diaz took his office as the Vicar of the Chapter as announced by the Delegate. With the Delegate and other friars present, Rev. Fr. Vincent Ma. Badongen, OSM facilitated the casting of votes as the moderator of the election, together with Rev. Fr. Robert Ma. Solis, OSM and Rev. Fr. Ryan Ma. Ipili, OSM who acted as tabulators of the ballots. The initial attempt to elect the new members of the Presidential Board was not successful but in the second casting of ballots, the friars elected the new members of the Presidential Board, namely: Rev. Fr. Marciano Ma. Doloroso, OSM, Rev. Fr. Albert Ma. Tulang, OSM, and Rev. Fr. Rey Ma. Gella, OSM. The Delegate met the elected members of the Presidential Board to discuss the schedule for the coming days. Praying the Liturgy of the Hours, the friars concluded the first day of the Chapter. Afterward, dinner was served for everyone.
It is always wonderful to witness the genuine spirit of fraternity and service among the friars while they honor Our Lady in their thoughts and in their deeds. May the Holy Spirit continue to guide them and enlighten their minds and their hearts for a successful and fruitful chapter.
To the glory of God and to praise of the Blessed Virgin Mary!