University of Negros Occidental - Recoletos
University of Negros Occidental-Recoletos President Fray Don H. Besana, OAR gave his Advent message during the Opening of Christmas@UNO-R last December 5, 2020, at the university lobby. He said that there are a lot of things to thank God, especially the graces we have received as we celebrate the 32nd Foundation of the Augustinian Recollection. To start with, we have to thank the Lord for the gift of vocation. The day started with the solemn profession of Sr. Mary Grace Gicos, OAR. She received her vocation from God and with her solemn vow, she returns it to God.
Members of the Augustinian Recollect family renewed their vows to God. “It was an expression of commitment to the Lord and to live a life of chastity, poverty, and obedience”, he added. Secondly, on the virtual conferment of Baccalaureate degree, Fr. President said that today, we have launched UNO-R graduates to the world. After training them with the value of the Gospel, the values of St. Augustine, and with “Caritas et Scientia”, our graduates are now ready to take on the responsibilities of the world. The skills, knowledge, and capabilities will be used to build the edifice of Love. He also shared the inscription at the entrance of the Capuchin nuns in Brgy. Cabug, “One child evangelized, one generation redeemed”, gives us the inspiration for evangelization. The graduates are our gift to the world. Thirdly, the Caritas: One Love UNO-R musicale is a manifestation of God’s Love. This was a concert for the benefit of the poor members of the community. Sharing of talents and gifts is sharing God’s love. The “Boxes of love” are always full. This shows that we could still afford to give and share despite the pandemic. And lastly, the Lights, although simple, austere, and humble, are symbols of the Light of Christ.
Christmas lights and parols remind us of Jesus Christ as the Light of the world. It is God’s love that endures forever. We have to share the Light of Christ to others. Our Hearts must be burning with the Love of God. Fr. Besana closed his message saying, “Christmas Season is a moment of Joy.” The “Lights-on” at the Founders’ Park was done by Fray Besana and Fray William Villaflor, OAR; at the Paseo Rekoleto by Fray Ronel Gealon, OAR; Fray Jose Alden Alipin, OAR and Fray Persiuz Joseph Decena, OAR; at the main Lobby by Fray Cristituto Palomar, OAR; Fray Amadeo Lucero, OAR; Fray Romeo Ben Potencio, OAR and Fray Joaquin Jamelo, OAR.
The annual tradition of the opening of Christmas at UNO-R was started by the late Fray Cornelio Moral, OAR. The “lights-on ceremony” was done after the advent Mass with the university community.