In faith we acknowledge that everything happens for a purpose. Many of these at instant may be surprising if not confusing. Believing however that it is the Lord who is taking His lead, we do not just open our minds but our whole life to the unfolding of changes, graces and opportunities that will always call us to better ourselves and our communities. POLA seemingly unready with the consequent turns upon the election of the current Provincial Superior Fr. Roel dela Cruz as the new General Treasurer and Consultor, had to go under formal directives that will paint a continuity but with a new face of leadership.
In this case happening for the first time, the 36th General Chapter immediately defined procedures on how to go about the replacement of the current provincial superior who still have more than two years before his term of office ends. As per newly amended provision of the General Statutes, approved and implemented by the 36th General Chapter, and defined as GS 86.01 n.1, «The Provincial/Regional Vicar in charge will convoke quam primum [at the very first] the "Extraordinary Provincial/Regional Council", or "Provincial/Regional Assembly", or "other body" defined in the Provincial/Regional Statutes which is effectively representative of the whole Province/Region, to elect the new Provincial/Regional Superior.»
Hence, POLA’s traditional twice secret selective balloting was observed. However, due to proximity of time, the procedure of selective balloting was done via electronic mail (email). The said provisions were carried out in a period of one week to ensure that all requirements are completed before December 12, 2023 which was scheduled as the POLA Extraordinary Amplified Provincial Council.
Twenty-four POLA religious physically present officially formed the composition of the Extraordinary Amplified Provincial Council held at the Provincialate House, 20 Eymard Drive, New Manila, Quezon City.
At the turns of ballots, the EO-APC 2023 declared the Rev. Fr. Rudsend Paragas, SSS as the New Provincial Superior of the SSS Province of Our Lady of the Assumption. He is currently the Pastor and Rector of the Manila Archdiocesan Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament, Sta. Cruz Church and was Provincial Vicar of POLA prior to his election.
Fr. Roel dela Cruz, SSS now member of the General Council in Rome had officially confirmed on behalf of the General Superior the election of Fr. Rudsend Paragas, SSS as the 8th POLA Provincial Superior.
Immediately after this rite, Rev. Fr. Jonelito Sison, SSS was named Provincial Vicar of POLA. He is currently the Director of Scholastics and the head of the Commission of Lifestyle for POLA.
As the year 2023 ends, POLA with all its grateful spirit recognizes everything coming into its place as God’s retelling of His assurances that it is Him leading us forward to a life taken, blessed, broken and shared – for the love of Jesus in the Eucharist.
Father Marc Bryan Adona, sss