Recoletos Formation Center required nine (9) intern seminarians from different congregations and dioceses to yield negative for swab testing before joining the community for the new academic year 2020-2021.
In compliance with the health protocols from government health organizations and Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF), the incoming theologians: one from each of the Diocese of Tandag, the Apostolic Vicariate of Taytay, and the Disciples of Hope (DS), and two from each of the Emmanuel Servants of the Holy Trinity (ESHT), the Missionaries of Mary Mother of the Poor (MMMP), and the Order of Saint Benedict-Celestine (OSB-Celestine), faithfully complied with the aforesaid requirement.
Notwithstanding the negative results with the swab tests, the intern theologians also observed the required fourteen-day quarantine, wore face mask and maintained physical distancing. They were temporarily housed at the St. Monica building, during which time, Fr. Ian Espartero, OAR, celebrated the daily mass for them. They were allowed also to join the community five-day retreat online, and in the week that followed, to attend online seminar classes. With no signs or symptoms of the COVID-19 after a period of two weeks, the intern seminarians were formally integrated to the common living.
In line with quarantine protocols, the Recoletos School of Theology put up pedal dispensers beside the door of each classroom for purposes of disinfection and hand sanitation. In the same manner, the offices of the school Registrar and the Dean, as well as the Library and Research also provide hand sanitizers. An electric thermal-scanner is also set-up at the school lobby to constantly monitor the temperature of students, professors, and personnel alike. Professors are duly provided with face masks and face shields. These are carried out not merely in compliance to quarantine protocols but also for pastoral reasons.
In the midst of the battle against the notorious and life-threatening COVID-19 pandemic, the Recoletos Formation Center and the Recoletos School of Theology are proactive and concrete in their response. In solidarity with all the heroic front liners worldwide, we join the clarion call: We heal as one!
Joselito Dumogho, MMMP