Manila, Philippines- The Augustinian Recollect Sisters launched the 3rd centenary of the Arrival of the Talangpaz Sisters (Foundresses of the Augustinian Recollect Sisters) in Calumpang last July 16, 2018 at St. Rita College- Manila- Chapel.
Gathered around the maternal mantle of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, the Augustinian Recollect Sisters started the momentous occasion with a video on catechesis about the Talangpaz Sisters and fruits of their devotion to our Lady of Mt. Carmel with Sr. Maria Lirio L. Guillermo, AR, one of the members of the Commission on the Beatification and the Congregations’ researcher who also served as the toastmaster.
Sr. Cleofe Maria J. Agua, A.R., Third General Councilor and Chairman of the Commission on Beatification launched the said occasion.
In her words she challenged each member of the Congregation to continue the journey that the Talangpaz Sisters have started by saying “let us continue the journey that they had started 299 years ago, so that, by this same day next year, July 16, 2019 – as a Congregation, we will be completing the 3rd Centenary of their arrival.” Together with this, the essay, poetry (free verse) and photoshop writing contests were also launched.
Revered Fr. Dionisio Selma, OAR officiated the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass after the launching. Finally, the 3rd centenary of the Arrival of the Talangpaz Sisters in Calumpang was formally opened by Reverend Mo. Lucena L. Antipala, A.R., Superior General of the Congregation.
The event was attended by the recollect priests with Reverend Fr. Emil Quilatan, a recollect historian who shared about the cause of the beatification of the Talangpaz Sisters, sisters from different communities and other notable persons in the media.
Tagaytay City, Philippines- Representatives from different Augustinian Recollect Sisters’ communities attended the Conference on the Chapter Ordinations last July 16-22, 2018.
The discussion centers on the implementation of the Chapter Ordinations as Life and Mission Project (LAMP) and the new Manual of Directions of the Congregation as the fruit of the prayerful discernment of the capitulars last April 16- May 6, 2018 at the same venue.
The participants attended first the launching of the 3rd Centenary of the Arrival of the Talangpaz Sisters in Calumpang joined with the Solemnity of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel last July 16, 2018 at A.R. Motherhouse, Saint Rita College- Manila before proceeding to Tagaytay for the Conference.
Lauds and meditation opens the day followed by the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass from July 17-21, 2018. Then the administration leads each group and the same time serves as moderator of the day as they discuss on areas of Charism and Spirituality, Community Life, Formation and Vows, Governance, Finance and Apostolate both in the Chapter Ordinations and the new Manual of Directions.
"The harvest indeed is great, but the laborers are few. Pray, therefore, the Lord of the harvest to send forth laborers to His vineyard" -Lk 10:2
Dionisia Talangpaz was born on March 12, 1691 and Cecilia Rosa Talangpaz on July 16, 1693 in Calumpit, Bulacan, Philippines
from the union of Don Andres Talangpaz and Doña Isabel Pamintuan.
Driven by inner strength and union of desires, they both offered themselves to the service of the Lord in twofold way of contemplation and action: thier lives centered in the daily Holy Eucharist, nourished by the filial devotion of the Blessed Mother under the title of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel as they engaged in silent hard work in the sanctuary. Their fidelity did not escape the notice of the OAR Friars of San Sebastian convent headed by Fray Diego de San Jose and the residents of Calumpang.
In blessed time, the two sisters pleaded to the Friars to don the habit of Mantelatas of the Third Order of St. Augustine which was granted on July 16, 1725.
In their new life, Mother Dionisia de Sta. Maria and Mother Cecilia Rosa de Jesus, as they were now called, experienced difficulties and trials. They suffered severe interior sufferings which an ordinary heart could not bear. It was only the grace of God that sustained them. yet in humility and silence they bore and lovingly endured them all, telling Fray Diego: Father, it is clear that God and the Most Holy Virgin deigned to test us and purify our souls in the crucible of sorrows. But for now, we must be patient and suffer till Our Lord and His Most Holy Mother will have mercy on us.
In God's due time, their immense sufferings turned into joy. The trials blew off. They sttled peacefully now in a new house built by the priest, who become their great provider and protector.
Quite prophetic were the words of Fray Benito de San Pablo, OAR who spoke of them: Living under God's watercourse, these striving Beatas may increase in number in God's due time and cheerfully hover over the branches of the Biblical mustard.
From the Beaterio de San Sebastian de Calumpang started the growth of the Congregation. The foundation which the Sisters had laid on solid rock continued to flourish and develop even after they were called to their eternal reward-Mother Cecilia Rosa on the 31st of July 1731 and Sor Dionisia on 12th of October 1732.
The Congregation of the Augustinian recollect Sisters, which originated in 1719, is he fruit of the missionay zeal of the Augustinian Recollect Fathers in the Philippines. It was canonically established as a Religious Congregation on August 19, 1929 and was declared of juridical autonomy by Pope Paul VI on November 20, 1970.
The cause for their beatification was introduced in Rome through the Sacred Congregation for the Causes of Saints in 1999.
Sensitive to the needs of the time, we, the Augustinian Recollect Sisters envision ourselves as a community of Christ’s disciples
living with “one mind and one heart” on our way to God in solidarity with the Church.
The Congregation of the Augustinian Recollect Sisters originated in the Philippines in the early part of the 18th century.
It was founded by two sisters, both in blood and spirit, namely- Dionisia Mitas and Cecilia Rosa Talangpaz y Pamintuan who hailed from barrio San Miguel of Calumpit, Bulacan.
Convinced of their vocation to a way of living which would allow them a well-disciplined life of the Spirit, these two sisters, after they failed to obtain the habit of mantelatas or lay tertiaries of the Augustinian Order from the local parish priest, undauntedly decided to leave Calumpit to come to Calumpang, then a sitio outside the wall of Manila, on which vicinity stood the first Church of San Sebastian. In this Church, the miraculous image of Our Lady of Mt Carmel already had been enshrined since 1621.
The Talangpaz sisters settled themselves in a rented cottage which was proximate to San Sebastian Church so that they could be near their beloved Mother and protectress, the same Virgin of Carmel.
Later, by the help of their spiritual director and benefactor, the two sisters made known their desire to don the habit of mantelatas of the third order of Saint Augustine to the local Augustinian Recollect Friars. After their credentials were carefully scrutinized and their petition for the habit was approved, they were incorporated as tertiaries of the Order. They received the habit on the 16th day of July of 1725.
Since saints cannot become saints unless they experience the test in the crucible of sorrows the happiness of these two foundresses and their co-beatas ran short-lived. The state of affairs surrounding them went awry. The beatas were divested of their habit by the Prior of San Sebastian convent. They were ordered to vacate the house which was built for them at the convent garden. The two sisters, nonetheless, never for a moment doubted that their agonies were only for a matter of time.
Strong in faith, the hopeful sisters later sought to implore back for the holy habit from the incumbent Prior of the San Sebastian Convent. Haunted by the humble but prophetic supplication of these women of faith, the Prior petitioned the Provincial of the Order that they be invested with the habit of mantelatas and that the community of beatas, henceforth, be assisted by the Recollects in accordance with the Sacred Constitutions of the Order. Consequently, the rites of the re-investiture of the Talangpas Sisters were held in the year 1728, probably on the feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, also. They re-adopted the respective names they took in 1725, namely Sor Dionisia de Santa Maria and Sor Cecilia Rosa de Jesus.
The aforementioned events mark the beginnings of the Congregation of the Augustinian Recollect Sisters which was formerly called Beaterio de San Sebastian.
The Congregation is perpetually united to the Order of the Augustinian Recollects in many ties. It is one of the active congregations belonging to the Augustinian Recollect family and a fruit brought forth out of the missionary zeal of the Order. The primitive Augustinian Recollect Fathers guided the two foundresses and the first community of beatas. They directed the Beaterio from its earlier stage of growth and development until it was canonically erected as a diocesan religious congregation on August 19, 1929 through the recommendation of the Reverend Father Gerardo Larrondo, the incumbent Prior General of the Recollect Friars; and through the benevolence of the Most Reverend Michael O' Doherty, then, Archbishop of Manila.
Still with the nurturing assistance of the Augustinian Recollect Order, juridical autonomy was procured for the congregation which subsequently was declared an Institute of Pontifical Right by the Holy See on November 20, 1970, under the pontificate of Pope Paul VI.
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