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The Prior General visits the augustinian convent of Intramuros in Manila

Following the celebration of the novena of the Santo Niño of Cebu, and before his return to Rome, the Prior General took the opportunity to spend time with the friars of the young Augustinian Province of the Most Holy Name of Jesus in the Philippines.

It was on 16 January, after revisiting the Intramuros Museum - home to part of the heritage and legacy of those first Augustinians who landed in Manila with Magellan - with its centenary cloister and gardens, and the new modern style cafeteria which helps to sustain the community of the Church of St Augustine next door, that Fr Alejandro officiated at the Mass for the eternal repose of the deceased members of the Order.

He was joined in celebrating the Eucharist by Fr Peter Jones (Prior Provincial of Australasia), Fr Dante Bendoy (Prior Provincial of the Most Holy Name of Jesus), Fr Norman Abello (Master of the Professed), and the entire community of priests and seminarians of St Augustine.  

The Province’s work in the Manila slums

Thanks to the work and income generated by the powerful educational project of St Augustine College of Makati in the asphalt belt that surrounds the sprawling Manila, initiatives like the 32 chapels of Baseco, where the Order of St Augustine serves, can be sustained thanks to the leadership of the women who look after them on a daily basis, and the pastoral support of Fr Randolf Celso Dayandayan, Master of Postulants of the Province, who has been visiting these communities weekly for 15 years. 

Here, among the tin shacks, between the improvised avenues of caged stores with the seagulls fluttering overhead and the dogs and cats demanding scraps to eat, Fr Randolph has seen in action the values and principles that sustain the faith of the most humble and simplest of people: in the midst of their own hardships - "the Church has been flooded", "we don’t have the means to help the families and the feast of the Santo Niño" - they open the doors of their homes to us, their private temples, and show us how they embody their faith. 



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