Mindoro’s major seminary marks 50 years
St. Augustine Major Seminary (SASMA)
By Madonna Virola
August 29, 2019
The boat-type seminary building of St. Augustine Major Seminary (SASMA) has sailed to a new milestone this week as it celebrated its golden jubilee in Tagaytay City.
The three-day celebration, from Aug. 26 to 28, was highlighted with Masses, the unveiling of Golden SASMA Emblem, talks, and an alumni homecoming.
Fr. Andy Peter Lubi, rector of SASMA, said among their 600 notable alumni are Fr. Florentino Concepcion, former Pampanga governor Among Eddie Panlilio, and Fr. Gabayno Oybad.
Fr. Concepcion founded eight institutions in the towns of Bulacan and in Tondo, Manila catering to the needs of abandoned elderly and disadvantaged children and youth including drug victims, sexually abused and children with special needs.
He also established 3 schools for children of poor families, in cooperation with the Chalice Canada and Angelo King Foundation.
Panlilio, meanwhile, was the director of Social Action Center of Pampanga which worked with communities displaced by lahar following the 1991 eruption of Mt. Pinatubo. He was suspended from the priesthood when he ran for public office.
He was also named “Filipino of the Year” for 2007 by a major news daily.
In 2008, the Mindoreños witnessed the ordination of the first Mangyan priest, Fr. Oybad, now serving as the diocesan social action center director.
“What the priest eats at SASMA is the same as the rest of the community. It’s simple living that I appreciate most,” says alumnus Doi Fuerzas of Bohol.
According to Fr. Lubi, accountability, and service are other core values in the seminary.
The celebration was graced by Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila, Papal Nuncio Archbishop Gabriel Caccia, SASMA alumni Bishop Oscar Solis, the first Filipino appointed to the US episcopacy and now serving the Diocese of Salt Lake City, and Archbishop John Du of Palo.
Bishops Buenaventura Famadico of San Pablo, David William Antonio of Ilagan, Crispin Varquez of Borongan, and Reynaldo Evangelista of Imus, Roberto Mallari of San Jose, and Bishop Narciso Abellana of Romblon were also in attendance.
When the first batch of seminarians of St. Augustine Minor Seminary (SASMI) in Calapan came to the Divine Word Seminary in Tagaytay City in 1968 for their Philosophy course, they lived with the SVD (Societas Verbi) novices.
The following year, Msgr. William Duschak, SVD, then Apostolic Vicar of Calapan, decided to establish SASMA, with Fr. Ewald Dinter, SVD, as the first rector.
“SASMA has been home to more than 600 alumni diocesan priests from different dioceses, religious priests from different congregations and laypersons from all over the Philippines”, Fr. Lubi said. CBCPNEWS