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Friday, 10 September 2021 08:41

New Carmelite Community Opens in Cabanatuan

The Order of Carmelites in the Philippines recently opened an ad experimentum community in the Diocese of Cabanatuan, through an invitation of Bishop Sofronio Aguirre Bancud.

Fr. Marlon Beredo, O. Carm. and Fr. Michael Condes, O. Carm. will initially be assisting the rector of Saint Nicholas of Tolentino Parish Cathedral, especially in its pastoral ministries. They will be joined by Fr. Baltazar Ronato, O. Carm., who at present is the director of the Bulong ng Simoy-Bahay Pananahimik Carmelite Spirituality Center in Dipaculao, Aurora.

To formalize the presence of the Order in the diocese a “Memorandum of Agreement” was signed by the prior provincial of the Carmelites in the Philippines, the Very Rev. Rico P. Ponce, O. Carm., and the Bishop of the Diocese of Cabanatuan.

Philippine Carmel 450The memorandum was witnessed by Fr. Noel Jetajobe, vicar general of the diocese; Fr. Jeffrey Alarilla, diocesan financial administrator; Fr. Joel Cariaso, vicar for religious; Fr. Sed Calderon, chancellor; and Fr. Esmeraldo Reforeal, O. Carm., provincial secretary and first councilor of the Filipino province.

“We always acknowledge the fact that religious congregations are a gift to the church,” said Bishop Bancud. He said the diocese is highlighting the different charisms of each religious order and congregation to help in the faith life of the people of the diocese. “Together we will be able to build up the Body of Christ in the local church of Cabanatuan,” he added.

The prior provincial, Rico Ponce, expressed his gratitude to the bishop, the clergy, religious, and lay leaders of the diocese for the warm welcome extended to the Order. He said that despite the challenges that the Order is facing because of the pandemic, it is committed to contributing to the spiritual growth of the faithful in the diocese.

The agreement stipulates that the Order will “participate in the mission of evangelization” in the territorial jurisdiction of the diocese. This will be done through the provision of “pastoral assistance in parishes and schools within the diocese.”

The agreement is effective for 25 years and then renewable.

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