The Philippines is celebrating 500 years since Christianity was introduced. Since then, many people have given their lives for the propagation of the faith in our land. It is, but timely, to also give credit for the spread of the faith through the educational ministry of the Brothers of the Christian Schools.
Many Brothers have given their lives for this educational ministry, going to assignments, to new places, and letting the presence of God be felt through their actions. One such Brother is Br. Edgar S. Esparagoza FSC, who professed his perpetual vows as a De La Salle Brother on 04 April 2021 at 4:00 PM. Br. Edgar consistently described the life of the Brothers or #buhayBRO as a life worth living, but more than living it out, he has given it all to the ministries entrusted to him in his role as a teacher in De La Salle Lipa, the vocations promoter of the Brothers in the Philippines, and more recently, the formator at the House of Studies in De La Salle University.
The event was graced by the PARC General Councillor, Br. Ricardo Angel Laguda FSC, LEAD Visitor, Br. Armin Luistro FSC, and former LEAD Visitor, Br. Edmundo Fernandez FSC. Also present during the event were the Brothers Communities of Bagac, Lasallian Formation Center, and St. Benilde. The mass was at the Chapel of the Divine Child and was presided by Fr. Louie Punzalan SVD, chaplain of La Salle Green Hills.
Br. Edgar’s “call” began when he was a Lasallian volunteer in Bagac. His experience with the young and the teaching ministry made him closer to the call and to God. One such experience, as Br. Normandy Dujunco FSC recalls, was when a child asked, then volunteer Edgar, to assist him to the comfort room. By saying yes to this experience, Br. Edgar, like the Founder, gave his “yes” to any experience that would allow him to be of service to others.
We continue to pray for Br. Edgar, his parents, and his loved ones that God may continue to grace them more as Br. Edgar continues to respond to living a life worth living by giving it out to the last, the least, and the lost.
Congratulations, Br. Edgar! (Text: Br. Miggy Crisostomo FSC; Photos: Mr. Marc Gepaya)
Click on the link below to view the event on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-etV67Nh_EM&t=3007s
Excerpts from Br. Normandy Dujunco’s shared reflection:
“Today, we also celebrate such a daring commitment: Br Edgar will profess perpetual vows. He also finally shaved off his goatee. The process that led Br. Edgar to this day was one of joy, but also of hardship, endurance, and careful discernment. Just as our responsorial psalm extolled God’s unending mercy, Br. Edgar’s life is a living witness to the fidelity of God.
It was in Br. Edgar’s second year as a volunteer that we met each other. I was a young Brother assigned to Bagac, and he was the director of the volunteer’s community. Another Brother requested that I try to invite him to consider joining the aspirancy program. So I approached him one day to invite him to walk with me: “Halika, lakad tayo.” My premise was that we will exercise together, and hopefully, lose weight together. No volunteer has ever joined the Brothers and stayed, so my expectations were rather low. Br. Edgar, you and I have come a long way from those days. Here we are today, still fat.
Today, you make public your intention to be a Brother for the rest of your life. You commit to the Institute, as much as the Institute commits to you. “Halika, lakad tayo” has now taken on a wider meaning. From the moment you made first vows, you have chosen to join the journey that was started by John Baptist de La Salle and his followers more than three hundred years ago. You are one of us and we are very happy to have you among our company.
You have come a long way since your Balayan days. You have been assigned to many places and have fulfilled a variety of duties. Some of them were very dear to you, while others were a bit more challenging. Through all of these different roles you discovered God’s enduring love and consistent presence, even if reality turned out different from your expectations. In the years of your temporary vows, you have further confirmed that God provides beyond what you ask. God’s providence has never failed you and you have learned to cling to the promise of God’s goodness no matter what happens.
Br. Edgar, as the years unfold for you, please do your best to keep these virtues, no matter what assignment you are given, no matter what authority you may wield one day. When one day you find yourself entrusted with greater authority and power, always be kind, compassionate, and fair to those entrusted to your care.
As we celebrate this day, Br. Edgar, know that I am so proud of the Brother you have become. May you always be attentive to God’s tiny whispering voice saying “Feed my lambs, feed my sheep.” Like the disciple whom Jesus loved, may you be able to exclaim “It is the Lord!” in the many events that will unfold in your life.”