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Mira Nila, QUEZON CITY – A day before the 433rd founding anniversary of the Order of Augustinian Recollects, Fray Ramon Buslon Bitancor, III Augustinian Recollect deacon was ordained to the Sacred Order of Presbyterate on Saturday, December 4, 2021 at Our Lady of Consolation Parish.
Most Rev. Teodoro C. Bacani, Jr., DD, Bishop Emeritus of Novaliches, officiated the Presbyteral Ordination. Concelebrating were Rev. Fr. Ian Anthony Epartero, OAR, Vicar of the Province of St. Ezekiel Moreno Province of the Order of Augustinian Recollects, Fr. Hector Gonzales, OAR, Parochial Vicar of Our Lady of Consolation Parish, the Chapter of Formation of Recoletos Formation Center, and other recollect priests from different communities in Luzon.
Fray Ramon Buslon Bitancor III, OAR, 27 years old, hails from Tagbilaran City, Bohol. After the period of long seminary years of formation, he is the lone candidate of his batch offering his entire self to God through the solemn consecration to the presbyteral rank.
Since, there was already the low risk of contamination from the COVID-19 virus, the event was attended in person by a good number of Augustinian Recollect friars and sisters, Secular Augustinian Recollect Fraternity, Recollect Augustinian Youth and parents of the candidate. It was also aired via Facebook live for those who were not able to attend in person.
Bishop Bacani, in his homily, quoted a phrase from St. Augustine as he said, “Your ordination is for you to help you come nearer to the Lord but it is even more for the Church, St. Augustine said it beautifully, ‘with you I am a Christian, for you I am a bishop, the first is a title of honor, the second a duty…’ how happy we are to you, come forward to the Church, to serve not in your name but to serve the Lord Jesus.”
After the communion, the newly ordained Rev. Fr. Ramon Bitancor, III, OAR, delivered his words of gratitude. Emotionally as he thanked the Chapter of Formation, his parents, relatives and friends. Lastly, he is forever grateful to the Almighty Father that in his journey he is definitely not alone now despite being the only ordinandus on this special of his life.
Before the final blessing, Rev. Fr. Ian Anthony Espartero, OAR, awarded to the parents the Plaque of Appreciation, for generously offering their son in the Augustinian Recollect way of life. After which, he announced to the public the patente of Fray Bitancor, and he will “live and work in the community of brothers of Our Lady of Visitation Parish – Recoletos, Urbiztondo, Pangasinan” as determined by the Prior Provincial.
-Fray James Francis M. Bago, OAR