Friday, February 3, 2012

Augustinians hold school groundbreaking, blessing of Friary

MATI City, Feb. 3, 2012—The Order of St. Augustine (OSA), Province of Sto. Niño de Cebu held the groundbreaking of the Colegio San Agustin-Mati (CSA-M) and the blessing of their newly-constructed two-storey San Agustin Friary last January 25.

Mati Bishop Patricio H. Alo and Very Rev. Fr. Eusebio B. Berdon, OSA, Prior Provincial of the Santo Niño de Cebu Province, headed the laying of the school’s corner stone and the blessing of the friars’ new residence.
Mrs. Glenda Rabat Gayta, one of the land donors and a councilor of Mati City, assisted Bishop Alo and Fr. Berdon during the ceremony. A short program followed after the house blessing.
Bishop Alo in his message, highlighted the Cape of San Agustin, a place in Davao Oriental, which was named after the Augustinian community founder. He related it to the significant contributions of the Augustinians who joined the early expeditions as the first missionaries who came to evangelize the Philippines.
Prior Provincial Fr. Berdon, likewise, mentioned that it was providential that the Augustinians chose Mati as the new site of Colegio San Agustin in Mindanao, "following the footsteps of the early missionaries who presumably first came to Davao Oriental—even before Cebu, discovered and named a Cape San Agustin, and dedicated the Cathedral parish to San Nicolas de Tolentino, the first Augustinian saint to be canonized."
Since the celebration coincided with the feast of Saint Paul’s conversion, Fr. Berdon expressed that the new campus was an answer to prayers that aimed at converting Mati, Davao Oriental into a progressively fruitful and peace-loving place, and likewise its people into Godly instruments of global development through holistic, quality education.
For her part, Mrs. Gayta shared remembrances of her deceased father, Don Benito Rabat, as she stood misty-eyed on the place where the new school building will be constructed.
She recounted that “the land donation was my father’s final act of generosity before he passed away, and that, through my father, our family learned that the best way to live one’s life is by sharing the blessings that God gave us.”
She added that her family was deeply honored to become part of the Augustinians’ endeavor in building up a strong community that would positively transform the youth through education.
The activity was attended by the Augustinian provincial council members and friars/ heads of Augustinian colleges, including the renowned University of San Agustin in Iloilo City, priests and lay faithful from various parishes, nuns from different religious congregations, local government officials, Department of Education representatives, and some friends and benefactors of the Augustinians.
It may be recalled that the Augustinian Community in Mati was officially inaugurated on May 26, 2011. At present, the friars assigned in the community are Fray Efren del Rosario Objaan, OSA (House Prior), Fr. Alfonso Dayon Sedurifa, OSA (Sub-Prior), Fr. Ronald Peñaflorida Siaga, OSA (Procurator) and Fray Romeo Tambacan Coronel, OSA (member).
After completing the new two-storey residence building and friary, the construction of the first school building of the Colegio San Agustin – Mati is scheduled to start early this year, as the OSA leadership trusts in the helpful abundance of Divine Providence. (Fr. Ronald P. Siaga, OSA)


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