Twenty Claretian Postulants of F.Y. 2011-2012 (also known as Templars) stayed at Brgy. Lutao, Albuera, Leyte from February 20 -24, 2012 for their Retreat. Since it was their last Retreat as Postulants, the Postulant master, Fr. Elmer Cantular, CMF intended it to be memorable and special by inviting Fr. Mauricio Ulep, CMF as the Retreat master. Fr. Mau’s busy schedule as the Director of Claret School of Zamboanga did not hinder him from sharing the fire to the incoming Junior Novices.
“A Spiritual Journey” formally started on February 21, 2012 as Fr. Mau guided each Templar to the “JOURNEY through SIGN POSTS”. Each day of the Retreat was an opportunity to reflect on each of the five sign posts, meditate on a particular Gospel reading and spend the remaining time in silence and prayer. As the sea kisses the setting sun at 6:00, the community would once again be gathered around the altar with Christ, to celebrate the Holy Eucharist and to share reflections inspired by the Holy Spirit. Ash Wednesday on February 22 was welcomed with fasting and the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
Going home to the Novitiate House at February 24, 2012, the concluded Retreat left the heart of every Templar ablazed and yearning to be sent-off as a missionary. That very afternoon at 6:00, the Lord answered and satisfied this yearning through the Rite of Sending-Off presided by the Postulant master, Fr. Elmer Cantular, CMF, concelebrated by the Novice master, Fr. Paulino Manila, Jr., CMF. After the Communion, the postulants and novices present inside the main chapel of the Novitiate House intently listened to Fr. Elmer’s message. Reiterating what he said during his homily, Fr. Elmer assured everyone that “You will always be my postulants…” He further emphasized on that moment that it was also his sending-off, like Claret: an itinerant missionary ready to be sent anywhere. Postulant Mon Andrei Ebdani, the Community’s Dean started his response on behalf of the Postulants by reminiscing the Templars’ first experiences in Ormoc. He also thanked Fr. James Castro, CMF, the Local Superior of Ormoc Community; Fr. Carlos Rivas, CMF, Community Vicar; Fr. Paulino Manila, Jr., CMF, Novice master, and the Postulants’ beloved Master, Fr. Elmer Cantular, CMF. The Dean left an inspiring message of being hopeful for the next stage of Formation.