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Written by augustinian recollects   
Thursday, 03 July 2014 19:51

Last June 25, the Positio on the life, virtues and fame of sanctity of the Servant of God Bishop Alphonse Gallegos, OAR, was presented to the Congregation of the Causes of Saints. It answers to the doubt whether the Servant of God practiced in a heroic manner the theological virtues of faith hope and charity to God and to his neighbor and the Cardinal virtues of prudence, justice, temperance and fortitude and has fame of sanctity. It has 640 pages elaborated by Fr. Samson Silloriquez, OAR, Postulator General of the Order of the Augustinian Recollects with the collaboration of Fr. Eliseo Gonzalez, Jr, OAR. It consists primarily of the History of the Cause or the Iter followed from the moment the Cause was opened in the Diocese of Sacramento, California, till it was presented in Rome, the Informatio, which is the presentation of how the Bishop practiced the virtues, the Summarium Testium which are testimonies of 130 witnesses who all knew him personally, an elaborated Documented Biography, the documents pertaining to the Servant of God, and some favors received through his intercession during his life, his death and after his death. The work was directed by Fr. Zdazislaw Kijas, OFMConv, appointed by the Congregation of the Causes of Saints as Relator.

Normally, once the Positio is completed, it is being presented to the Congregation and there it waits for its turn to be studied by the Commission of the Theologians, then by the Commission of the Bishops and Cardinals and finally the Pope confirms his heroic virtues and confer on the Servant of God the title of Venerable. The next phase is the presentation of a miracle through the intercession of the Servant of God for him to be declared blessed. Another miracle is needed for his canonization. Because of the great number of Positio waiting for their turn to be studied, it takes 15 to 17 years of waiting. However, the Congregation can give exemption for those Causes coming from Africa, Asia, Americas and northern Europe. There are few candidates for sainthood from these countries.

Fr. Miguel Miró Miró, OAR, Prior General of the Order of the Augustinian Recollects, together with Fr. Samson Silloriquez, OAR, and Fr. Eliseo Gonzalez, OAR, presented directly the copy of the Positio of Bishop Gallegos to Cardinal Angelo Amato, the prefect of the Congregation of the Causes of Saints, requesting that this be given priority. Bishop Jaime Soto, of the Diocese of Sacramento, also sent a letter to the Cardinal for the same purpose. The Cardinal graciously granted the request and scheduled its study in the year 2016. He indicated that this is a modern cause and Bishop Gallegos would be the first Hispanic saint and an intercessor for the many migrants in the United States, especially the Hispanics.


A brief synthesis of the heroic virtues of Bishop Gallegos

Bishop Alphonse Gallegos, OAR, was on February 20, 1931 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, entered the novitiate of the Order of the Augustinian Recollects on September 2, 1950 and pronounced his first vows on September 3, 1951 in Kansas City. He was ordained to the priesthood on May 24, 1958 in New York, appointed titular Bishop of Sasabe and Auxiliary Bishop of Sacramento, California on September 1, 1981 and had his episcopal ordination on November 4, 1981. A vehicular accident claimed his life on October 6, 1991, at the age of 60.

The Lord did not endow Bishop Gallegos with brilliant intelligence, or a great organizational capacity, or an exceptional oratory, or a sharp ability to confront the problems of his time. Neither did he write books. He had a modest intellectual capacity. Yet one striking characteristic he had, that perhaps only grows in the garden of humility, was his total joyful availability. He did not know how to say “no” to anyone. He ran the risk of a face-to-face encounter with others, with their pain and their joy. He never rushed aimlessly, but put aside his eagerness in order to see and listen to others and gave them hope. In spite of his visual problem, which would have limited his movement, he untiringly dedicated his ministry, first as a priest then as a bishop, to the poor and the sick, the despised and overlooked. He had a special affection to the low riders and the youth, especially those who are out of school, who spent their time in the streets or in the parks, indulged into drugs or committing violence. He was unafraid of going out with them at night, meeting them on their way, entering into conversation with them and always inviting them at the end to go to church on Sunday and to return back to school. They responded willingly because they found in him a father, a friend and someone to go to. He also had a clear stand against abortion, participating at the anti-abortion rallies and praying publicly for the conversion of the abortionists. In some instances he was spat upon, kicked or insulted.

As a Mexican- American, whose roots migrated to America in search of a better life for their families, he also championed the cause of many migrant workers. He went to live with them in the labor camps, spoke in their behalf before the government and found companies to donate for them some of their products. He went out to the existential peripheries, involved himself by word and by deed in their lives, touching the suffering flesh of Christ in others. He took on the “smell of the sheep” and the sheep were willing to hear his voice. (Evangelium Gaudii, 24). He was a shepherd according to the heart of God.


Fr. Samson Silloriquez, OAR

Last Updated on Saturday, 05 July 2014 01:52
Message from our Prior General, Father Miguel Miró, OAR PDF Print E-mail
Written by augustinian recollects   
Wednesday, 02 July 2014 17:53



On June 15, in Baeza, Spain, we celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of the death of Sister Monica of Jesus, an Augustinian Recollect contemplative nun. Particularly noteworthy in her life were the natural ease and spontaneity with which she spoke about God and spiritual things. She viewed everyday happenings in the light of faith. Her self-giving presence to the sisters in her community, the joy and peace that she exuded, even in times of persecution and war, vividly revealed her love for Christ. The virtues of Sister Monica were approved by Pope Saint John Paul II in 1992, and now we are waiting for a miracle so that she can be beatified.

A few days later I was in the Augustinian Recollect monastery in Monteagudo, Spain, where the mortal remains of Saint Ezekiel Moreno are venerated. In that community fourteen young men from several different countries are completing their novitiate, a year of community experience, and giving direction to their lives along paths of commitment and holiness. The novices transmitted contagious hope and expectation; they gave evidence of their desire to live with consistency their life of prayer, fraternity, and apostolic service. They declared that the revitalization of the Order is their future. In the mystery of the human heart, the Lord continues to call followers to accompany him along different paths and to be witnesses of hope.

And on June 25 I was back in Rome. I had to go to the Congregation of the Saints, together with Father Samson Silloriquez, our councilor in charge of promoting the causes of the saints of the Order, and with his assistant Father Eliseo González. We visited the Prefect of the Congregation, Cardinal Angelo Amato, and presented to him the study of the life and virtues of Bishop Alphonse Gallegos, an Augustinian Recollect and Auxiliary Bishop of Sacramento, California, USA. Bishop Alphonse died in a traffic accident in 1991. We explained to the Cardinal that Bishop Alphonse had a serious problem with his vision and so experienced serious difficulties in his studies. As a priest and a bishop he went out of his way to serve the needs of the poor and the sick, immigrants and the marginalized. He befriended the young people on the street to help them in their problems with drugs and violence. They liked to call him “Father Al” or “the chaplain of the low-riders” or “the Bishop of the Barrio,” the troubled barrio of Watts in Los Angeles. He was Hispanic and was a pioneer in Hispanic Ministry. Among the Hispanics he was a witness of hope.

Bishop Alphonse Gallegos, OAR (1931-1991)

The paths of holiness are many and varied, depending on the particular vocation of each individual. In the mystery of the human heart, the Lord continues to call his followers to sanctity in different ways. But all the saints are witnesses of hope; they intercede for us and inspire us by their example. We frequently ask them to intercede for us, and the Lord grants us his favors. To declare a Christian a saint, however, the Church makes no small demands, but boldly requires that, in addition to virtues in a heroic degree, there be a miracle. Or, rather, two miracles granted through the person’s intercession, miracles scientifically proven. To see a miracle requires faith, that simple and profound faith that only God can give and that takes root in a humble heart.

Fr. Miguel Miró, OAR
Prior General
Order of Augustinian Recollects

(from the OAR website: agustinosrecoletos.com)


Last Updated on Wednesday, 02 July 2014 18:06
Message from our Prior Provincial, Father Joseph J. Gallardo, OAR PDF Print E-mail
Written by augustinian recollects   
Monday, 30 June 2014 14:08

Bishop Gallegos: An Example for Our Times

Dear friends,

“How glorious is that kingdom where all the saints rejoice with Christ; clothed in white robes, they follow the lamb wherever he goes.” The Church prays this antiphon for the canticle of Mary on the Solemnity of All Saints. The saints behold God, and from their place in heaven they spur us on to victory and faithfulness and remind us that we are called to holiness.

Many of the religious families in the Church have provided us with saints. These families, through the living out of their different charisms, give to the universal Church examples of holiness to be followed. These holy men and women prove to others that holiness is possible. Their example is especially meaningful, perhaps, to the men and women of each particular community.

In our Recollect family we have many examples of holiness. At the present time, the Order counts thirty-two men and women who are in the various stages of process toward possible canonization. Among these Recollects is The Servant of God, Bishop Alfonse Gallegos (1931-1991). The front cover of our province Newsletter (Volume XLI, Number 2 + Summer 2014) features the saintly Bishop. On June 25, the Positio Super Virtutibus on the life, virtue, and fame of sanctity of Bishop Alfonse was presented to Cardinal Angelo Amato, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, by Father Miguel Miró, OAR, Prior General, Father Samson Silloriquez, OAR, and Father Eliseo Gonzalez, OAR, at the Vatican.

The Servant of God was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico on February 20, 1931, professed vows in the Order of Augustinian Recollects in 1951, was ordained a priest on May 24, 1958, and consecrated an Auxiliary Bishop of Sacramento on November 4, 1981. His life tragically ended in a vehicular accident on October 6, 1991.

The holy Bishop was known for his love for the weakest of our society, the poor, the youth, the immigrant, the ill, and above all the unborn. He was a devotee of our Blessed Mother. During my novitiate year, the Bishop paid a visit to the novitiate in Monteagudo, Spain. On that day, he spoke to our novice class of his love for our Lady of Guadalupe. He referred to our lady as “la morenita de Tepeyac,” the dark one of Tepeyac Hill. Tepeyac is the location of our lady’s apparitions in what is today the city of Mexico. I had the privilege of meeting the Bishop on only a few occasions; there are, however, a number of friars in our province who knew the bishop on a much deeper level. Some lived and ministered with him, and at least one was ordained to the priesthood by him. It is my hope that in future issues of our Newsletter, these friars will write and share with us their memories and recollections of The Servant of God. Bishop Gallegos remains a wonderful example of holiness in our own day and age.

Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus,

June 27, 2014

Father Joseph J. Gallardo, OAR

Prior Provincial


Last Updated on Thursday, 07 August 2014 22:52
News from Mary Star of the Sea Parish, Oxnard, California PDF Print E-mail
Written by augustinian recollects   
Monday, 30 June 2014 13:49


OUR LADY OF GRACE AND THE DIVINE MERCY—The two statues in the plaza of the church were restored by a local artist, Lisa Kelly. Lisa and her crew restored and painted the statues with masonry paint from January 12 to the 17th. The sharp colors and detailed designs added a distinct beauty to these statues of devotion.

SINULOG, SANTO NINO—The annual celebration of the Infant Jesus on January 19, which has its roots in the island of Cebu, Philippines, began at 12 PM with a Mass, then a social gathering and singing/dancing with the Infant Jesus, with traditional Filipino foods served. A Novena to the Santo Nino preceded the festive Sinulog celebration.

PILGRIMS PROGRESS—A group of faithful pilgrims from Mary Star traveled to the Shrines of Italy from March 14th – 28th accompanied by their Spiritual Director, Fr. Eric Crelencia, OAR. The Spirit led them to Venice, Padua, Florence, Siena, Assisi, Ancona, Loreto, Lanciano, San Giovanni Rotondo and Rome. They also visited the hills of Medjugorje, Bosnia and the seaport town of Split, Croatia. The pilgrims celebrated with a thanksgiving prayer in Oxnard.

Father Eric Crelencia, OAR, visiting the friars at the OAR General Curia in Rome, last March.

Pilgrims from Mary Star of the Sea Parish led by Fr. Eric Crelencia, OAR, at the Vatican grounds, last March.

CARRY THY CROSS—On Good Friday, the faithful of Mary Star prayerfully reenacted Jesus’ walk to Calvary. The Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem was the church parking lot, marked with the sturdy concrete crosses—the 12 Stations of the Cross—and the presence of Jesus among the faithful, especially the men, women and children who carried a heavy wooden cross throughout the Via, were solemnly enacted and prayerfully meditated under the scorching sun. The carrying of our life’s own crosses, the silence and desolation of Christ’s death on Holy Saturday were overwhelmed by the victorious triumph of Christ’s resurrection, celebrated on Easter Sunday.

CHAPLET OF MERCY—The priests, deacons and parishioners sang the Chaplet of Divine Mercy in adoration of our Lord before an Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. The Chaplet was sung in both English and Spanish alternately. A short bilingual talk was presented by Fr. Frank highlighting the canonization of Popes John XXIII and John Paul II. Refreshments followed in the Parish Hall.

FIRST HOLY COMMUNION—The Saturdays of the month of May were filled with the celebrations of First Holy Communion. Two English and three Spanish Masses were devoted to the celebrations of this important Sacrament. More than 30 young students of catechism received our Lord in Holy Communion in each of the five masses. The masses were celebrated in a festive atmosphere with all the parents, godparents, relatives and friends.


Last Updated on Monday, 30 June 2014 14:05
News from Saint Augustine Priory, Oxnard, California PDF Print E-mail
Written by augustinian recollects   
Friday, 27 June 2014 14:16

St. Augustine Priory has been blessed with a large group of very dedicated volunteers, including the members of the Guild and the Third Order. On the Feast of St. Joseph, the Priory was host to over two hundred families and friends at the Mass of Gratitude and dinner.

During the Triduum of Holy Week, the members of the Priory community attended the parish celebrations at Mary Star of the Sea Church. The two communities joined at the Priory for dinner on Holy Thursday. A Pot Luck Dinner was held at the Priory on Holy Saturday evening for the two communities, Officers of the Guild and their families.

For Holy Week, the chapel of St. Augustine Priory was decorated with magnificent flower arrangements, a gift of the Gloria Schuck Family.

Father Domingos Machado, OAR, was the celebrant at the Mass at the Servants of Mary Convent in Newbury Park, CA, on the Feast of Mary Health of the Sick, May 8. Concelebrants were Father Jose Luis Jimenez, OAR, and Father James Brown, OAR.

Father Fidel Hernandez, OAR, and Deacon Ulises Feliciano, OAR, left for the Philippines for their month-long Renewal Course on April 26.

On May 3, St. Augustine Priory was host to thirty-five Cursillistas from Artesia, CA, for a Special Ultreya Day of Recollection in the Portuguese language. Father Domingos Machado, OAR, served as Spiritual Director of the day.

St. Augustine Priory Chapel resembled a rose garden for Mother's Day and the Feast of St. Rita due to the very generous donation of white and red roses by Mr. Enrique Flores.

On May 25, the Priory was host to the 90th birthday celebration of Maria Mota who, together with her daughter Delores, has been a longtime friend of the community. Father Domingo was the celebrant of the Family Mass. A reception followed.

The Annual Retreat for the members of the Province of St. Augustine stationed on the West Coast was held at the Priory, May 26-30, Father Samson Silloriquez, OAR, of the Order's Curia in Rome, was the retreat master.

Fr. Samson Silloriquez, OAR, retreat master, Fr. Domingos Machado, OAR, and Fr. Eliseo Gonzalez, OAR, during the annual retreat in Oxnard, California.


--Father James Brown, OAR


Last Updated on Friday, 27 June 2014 14:24
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