Br. Antolin “Butch” Alcudia III FSC professed his final vows on August 10 at the newly-built Holy Infancy Chapel of La Salle Academy, Iligan City.
The celebration commenced with the blessing of the chapel by the celebrant Most Rev. Severo C. Caermare, D.D., Bishop of Dipolog and Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Iligan and concelebrated by guest priests.
Br. Armin A. Luisto FSC, Visitor of East Asia, in his reflection shared “...this is a unique gathering - almost unrepeatable - where we interweave the blessing of a school chapel, the rites of final profession of vows for a La Salle Brother, the feast of the martyr St. Lawrence, the Muslim feast of Eidul Adha and the visit of our Brother uperior General. It’s La Salle Iligan’s version of halo-halo or palapa - take your pick. It could be a veritable nightmare for the liturgist (as well as for the homilist).
Luistro attempted to capture the seemingly divergent threads into one yarn that could all hold on to for coherence and meaning by proposing to simply remember three B’s: Bethel, Butch, and Bethsaida. He expounded “Bethel awakens us to the awesome presence of God. Butch inspires us to live in God’s presence - pound for pound - all the days of our life. Bethsaida beckons us to gather in church as a community.”
LEAD Visitor recalled that Br. Butch texted him two week ago with a shout out “How awesome is this time! When Br. Mario celebrated his 25th year as a Brother, I became a Postulant. He is also 25 years ahead sa ako sa LSA. Batch sila ni Papa... When I moved to Sabah, nag-celebrate ng 25th ang Asrama Butitin Nabawan... When I moved to Ozamiz, 25 years celebration ng LSU...” Luistro added that when he received the approval from Brother Superior for Br. Butch to take final profession, it was on the day of Br. Butch’s 39th birthday - on July 10.
Luistro added how two young Brothers, who lived with Br. Butch in community, described God’s temple embodied in him: Brother A says: “Big Brother to his Brothers in community whom he will defend against online bashers, unfair comments and fake news. Big Brother to the people whom he works with and to his colleagues who would confide with him on personal problems and other work- or love-related matters. Big Brother to his students especially to the most memorable 4A and 4B [sections of USLS]. Big Brother to his family who consults him on all major decisions.”
On the other hand, Brother B says: “Big Heart for the poor as he was a CFC missionary to the different communities particularly in India. Big Heart for Lasallian Partners whom he inspires. Big Heart for God’s creation as he often takes time off for day trips to the beach, mountains, and hot springs. Big Heart for the country and its citizens, for integrity, justice and good governance.”
Luistro, the former Secretary of the Department of Education, added “Kung sa DepED pa: MakaDiyos, Makatao, Makakalikasan at Makabansa. Tiunay, si Butch usa ka masaligang Daku nga Kuya natong tanan! (Truly, Butch is a Big Brother for all!)
Br. Robert “Bob” Schieler FSC, whom Luistro described as “the first Filipino Superior General” accepted the profession of final vows of Br. Butch.
The Holy Infancy Chapel was designed by Architect Jojo Gutierrez, a Lasallian who is behind De La Salle Lipa’s Capilla De La Salle. The pews in the chapel are made of wood harvested from Mt. AgadAgad, planted by Br. Jaime “Jimmy” Dalumpines FSC 20 years ago. The central figure in the sanctuary is the captivating image of the resurrected Christ - a metal sculpture by another Lasallian alumnus, Daniel de la Cruz.
Br. Butch is current assigned in Ozamiz Brothers’ Community as Brother Director and at La Salle University as college instructor and Director of Lasallian Animation in charge of adult formation. (Text: Br. John David Ong FSC; Photos: Mr. Marc Reil Gepaya)