- Augustinian Province of Sto. Niño de Cebu, Philippines
The Augustinian Province of Sto. Niño de Cebu, based in the city of
Cebuin the Philippines, is a geographical and administrative subdivision of the religious Order of St. Augustine. The Province is actively involved in education, parish administration, mission work and formation of candidates for religious life. It has worked on joint missions with other Augustinian provinces, namely, the Australian Province in South Korea, the Dutch Province in Indonesia, and the Provinces of Villanova ( United States), Irelandand England- Scotlandin South Africa. In keeping with its goal to become a missionary Province, it has begun sending friars overseas to help in apostolic and pastoral ministries. [cite news | publisher=www.basilicadelsantoninodecebu.org.ph | title=Augustinian Order | author = | url=http://www.basilicadelsantoninodecebu.org.ph/agustinian.html | date= 2006| accessdate=2007-01-17]
The first group of Augustinians, under the leadership of the Venerable
Andres Urdaneta, came to the Philippines in 1565 from Spain through Mexicoas the pioneers in the Catholic Church's task of evangelization in that part of the globe. Originally establishing themselves in Cebu, these missionaries soon expanded their apostolic activities to the neighboring towns and islands and later, to almost all the other principal regions of the archipelago.
On March 7, 1575, the then Prior General of the Order, Fr. Tadeo de Perusa, decreed the creation of a new Augustinian Province in the Philippines under the title "Santisimo Nombre de Jesus de Filipinas" – Most Holy Name of Jesus of the Philippines. During the Spanish colonial times in the Philippines, they had founded almost three hundred towns and churches from 1565 to 1898.
At the turn of the twentieth century, the Province of the Most Holy Name of Jesus of the Philippines decided to shift its missionary activities to newer territories, such as
Peru, Colombia, and Venezuela. As a logical consequence of this move, the seat of the Province was transferred from Manilato Madrid. The Augustinian presence in the country was then reduced to a minimum.
To compensate for this loss in manpower, the remaining Augustinians intensified the recruitment and formation of Filipino candidates. And as the number of the latter increased and their preparedness adequately established, the idea of creating a new Province came to be seriously considered.
The coming into existence of such a new Province dawned in 1974 when the Regional Assembly of the Philippine Augustinian Vicariate asked for the creation of a Vice-Province in the islands. Though the plan was not realized, it was again revived by a group of Filipino Augustinians at a meeting in the
Basilica Minore del Santo Niñoin Cebu on April 29, 1981. The plan this time was for the creation of a new Province.
Formation of the province
The province was officially formed on September 13, 1983, inside the
Istituto Patristico Augustinianumin Romeduring the 174th General Chapter of the Augustinian Order, where ninety-three delegates approved the creation of the first indigenous Augustinian province in Asiaafter over 400 years of control by Spanish religious leaders. The Province of Sto. Niño de Cebu gained autonomy from the mother province, the Province of the Most Holy Name of Jesus of the Philippines, which is based in Spain. [Fr. Eusebio B. Berdon, OSA: "The New Province: Profile, Challenges & Goals", Inauguration of the Augustinian Province of Sto. Niño de Cebu, Philippines, Yuhum La Defensa Press, Iloilo City, 1984]
The first Prior Provincial was Rev. Fr.
Eusebio B. Berdon, OSA, who later became an assistant Prior General of the Order in Rome. Initially, the Province had thirty-six friars and religious brothers and sixty-one aspirants, novices, postulants and theology students. [Anita D. Bellosillo: "Fr. Eusebio Berdon: His Brethren's Choice," Inauguration of the Augustinian Province of Sto. Niño de Cebu, Philippines, Yuhum La Defensa Press, Iloilo City, 1984]
Institutions, or "houses," owned by the Province, include the following:
Basilica Minore del Santo Niño, also called the "Basilica of Sto. Niño de Cebu", where the image of the Santo Niño de Cebúis kept.
University of San Agustinin Iloilo City.
* University of San Agustin Extension Campus at Sambag, Jaro, Iloilo City.
Colegio San Agustin-Bacolodin Bacolod City.
* San Jose Parochial School and Parish in Plaza Libertad, Iloilo City.
Colegio San Agustin-Biñanin Biñan, Laguna.
* Guadalupe Monastery in Makati City.
* San Agustin Seminary in
* Augustinian Novitiate and Parish in Talisay City,
Augustinian Province of the Most Holy Name of Jesus of the Philippines
* [http://www.basilicadelsantoninodecebu.org.ph/basilica.html Official Website of the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño]
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