Baguio City—Rev. Fr. Anthony Irineo, OAR celebrates his 20th anniversary of simple profession of vows last April 28, 2021.
The College Dean of Studies and Senior High School Principal professed his vows of poverty, chastity and obedience in St. Ezekiel Moreno Novitiate-Recoletos in Antipolo City, on April 28, 2001 together with his other 12 batchmates to Rev. Fr. Emeterio Buñao, OAR, the Prior Provincial at that time on behalf of Rev. Fr. Javier Guerra Ayala, OAR, the former Prior General of the Order.
“I encountered not much of a problem,” Fr. Irineo, OAR, said when asked about the problems he had as a novice.
According to him, his age was a significant factor in the process of formation relating his experience being part of the Adult Vocation program of the seminary for having entered the Order a young professional.
“I was more resolved to really enter the seminary, having decided at rather quite an age. I have known the Recollects—having studied and worked in a Recollect school,” said Fr. Anthony further adding that it is where he saw how the religious lived the vows of poverty chastity and obedience.
When asked how he feels after 20 years of living the evangelical counsels, Fr. Irineo said that “The irony of it all is that, we only remember that we professed such vows during our anniversaries. It (living the vows) has become part already of our nature and it is no longer an inconvenience or trouble.”
Having integrated the vows to his identity, he confessed that he did not regret being a religious.
“I haven’t regretted choosing this kind of life. If I were to live again, I would still choose this vocation,” he admitted.
Looking back, Fr. Dean shared that 20 years has gone so fast giving credit to God having reached this far.
“I have reached this far not because I am good, holy, and blessed. God is faithful, not me,” he said.
On the same day is the commemoration of the 456th anniversary of the Kaplag (finding) of Sto. Niño de Cebu celebrated with a mass officiated by Fr. Irineo, OAR and concelebrated by the rest of the Recoletos de Baguio community.
The celebrant was born in Tibiao, Antique. His family later on migrated to Talisay City, Negros Occidental. Presently, his home address is Banga, Aklan, the townplace of his maternal roots.