Basilica Volunteers Revisit Augustinian Principles and Practices of Service
Set to recall the principles and practices of Augustinian volunteerism, lay volunteers affiliated to the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño de Cebu (BMSN) gathered on-site and online for a forum entitled, “Reorientation on the Augustinian Volunteerism” last October 9, 2021 at the Aula Magna Hall, Sto. Niño Pilgrim Center.
Members of the OSA Cares and the Basilica Pilgrim Assistance Volunteers (BPAV) attended the forum aiming to unify themselves in the name of service to the Church and to respond more to the needs of the people.
The Santo Niño de Cebu Augustinian Social Development Foundation, Inc. (SNAF), the social development arm of the Justice and Peace Commission of the Philippine Augustinians, organized the forum with Fr. John Ion Miranda, OSA, Fr. Tito Soquiño, OSA and Fr. Aladdin Luzon, OSA as guest speakers.
Fr. Soquiño, OSA, currently assigned in Surigao del Norte and former executive director of SNAF, laid out the core values of the Augustinians, which is unity in mind and heart on the way to God. He explored the local manifestation of these values with the Filipino indigenous expression of unity through the concept of Bayanihan.
Meanwhile, Fr. Luzon, OSA, presently assigned in Rome working as the Order’s permanent representative to the United Nations (UN) and former executive director of SNAF, expounded the various platforms of social engagement and how these platforms could be applied to Augustinian volunteerism. He also challenged the participants to continue enacting their faith in their daily commitment to promoting justice and peace.
Lastly, Fr. Miranda, OSA, the present executive director of SNAF and the social justice liaison of the Basilica, emphasized the need of integral solidarity among the volunteers amidst the complexities of the society wherein disunity, political turmoil, and health crisis prevail.
The volunteers responded by reaffirming their faithfulness to the devotion to the Holy Child and the Augustinian missionary zeal in time of the quincentenary of Christianity in the Philippines.
They went home with greater resolve to act as one for the common good of God’s Creation and for renewing the Oikos of God.