TAGAYTAY City, May 13, 2014 – The National Fraternity of the Secular Franciscan Order (OFS) – Philippines recently held its 11th National Chapter from 1 to 4 May 2014 to talk about challenges and perspectives in relation to the New Evangelization and to elect a new set of officers.
Inspired by the theme “Keeping the Fire Burning in the Era of the New Evangelization”, the OFS delegates were given the opportunity to review and reflect on the challenges of spreading the Gospel in the modern world, especially in the family, and to define the direction of the Order in the light of these challenges.
Held at the St. James Retreat Center, Brgy. Neogan, Tagaytay City, the Chapter convened about 110 permanently-professed members from different fraternities across the country, to review the accomplishments of the previous three years, to define the priorities of the Order, as well as to elect the members of the National Council for the next three years.
The OFS officers elected for the new three-year term from 2014 to 2017 are: Ma. Yvonne Lanuza,OFS, Minister; Luz Hernandez, OFS, Vice-Minister; Aldo Tayao, OFS, Formator; Larry Manongtong, OFS, Secretary; Garlene Jose, OFS, Treasurer; Antonio Maghirang, OFS, Councilor 1; and Belinda Inao, OFS, Councilor 2.
The delegates were ably guided by their spiritual assistants from the First Order: Fr. Joe Litigio, OFM; Fr. John Vianney Ma. Acosta, OFM Conv.; and Fr. Jonecito Saguban, TOR; and the OFS clergy, represented by Fr. Ed Coroza, OFS and Fr. Rolito Ramos, OFS. The elections for the National Council was presided over by Doug Clorey, OFS, and was witnessed by Fr. Amando Cano, TOR.
The assembly was first welcomed by an inspiring message from Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) President Archbishop Socrates Villegas, OFS. Prominent liturgy celebrants included Bishop Francisco de Leon, OFS and Bishop Reynaldo Evangelista, Three Provincial Ministers of the First Order, Fr. Greg Redoblado, OFM; Fr. Eugene Lopez, OFM Cap.; Fr. Francis Victor Mateo, OFM Conv., ; and Fr. Amando Trujillo Cano, TOR, one of the four comprising the Conference of General Spiritual Assistants of the Order, celebrated the opening liturgy of the event.
Fr. Amando Cano, TOR conducted a pastoral visit, which preceded the Chapter, while the General Vice-Minister of the International Fraternity of the Order, Doug Clorey, OFS went on a fraternal visit from 30 April to 1 May and from 5 May to 6 May, 2014. The purpose of both the pastoral and fraternal visits is to assure the continuous animation of the evangelical Franciscan spirit and fidelity among the fraternity members; to offer help to fraternity life; and to promote unity in the Franciscan family and the Church.
The Secular Franciscan Order is an organic union of Catholic fraternities whose members in their secular state, have committed themselves through public profession to live the Gospel in the manner of St. Francis of Assisi, by following the Rule approved by the Church.
Presently, the Order in the Philippines has 125 established local fraternities, 31 emerging local fraternities, 24 constituted regional fraternities and 1 emerging regional fraternity. (Jes Matias)