Like many other religious groups and congregations, the Daughters of Saint Augustine have a humble beginning as two sisters of the order of Saint Augustine or better known as the Augustinian sister of the Philippines to discern and accept the promptings of the Holy Spirit and give way to open a new community with the charism to bring the compassionate Christ to all people especially to the orphans and abandoned children and victims of domestic violence that come from the rural areas.

This is a new sprout that shots out from the various religious communities inspired by the rule of Saint Augustine that is to discern the trough of faith in a community of friendship as Jesus would refer to us: "I no longer call you not servants but friends".

However this group which mother Rita founded now know as the order of Saint Augustine has decided to embrace an apostolate of Catholic education thereby delegating the orphans to other religious organizations.

These orphans are now being taking cared by the congregation of the Daughters of Saint Augustine an offshoot of their order who has taken the road trod before so us to move into the future.

Background story
Historically the story of the Daughters of Saint Augustine is tight up to the vocation story of its founders, sister Felicitas Bagaporo de Lima and her companion and cofounder sister Maria La Salette Baysa (1941-2005).

Sister Felicitas was born She was born in December 18, 1936 in San Augustine barangay of Iriga City in a very religious family and was the ten child of Agapito de Lima and Felicisima Bagaporo.

Sister La Salette is originally from Nueva Vizcaya province and was the youngest in a family with seven children.

Both of them in different time joined the order of Augustinian sisters of the Philippines and moved by the love and compassion to the poor people became members of the Rural Missionaries and worked in many parts of the Philippines with the sacada workers and tribals, trying to bring them the love of our God.

That compassion and love to the poor forced them on September 2. 1992 finally to leave the Augustinian order which didn't want them to continue on the apostolate in the rural area, and form the group of their own. It was thus on this date that our new religious community was born in Caseres.

The separation of sister Felicitas and sister La Salette from the Augustinian order was formalized in 1993 when the prescript from the Vatican congregation for the religious came, finally dispensing them from their religious vows.

From now on they were going to live these vows purely according to their private initiative. In any case, it was only much later when the sisters started calling themselves Daughters of Saint Augustine or DSA, when in a mass at Fatima Parish Archbishop Leonardo Legaspi (who succeeded Archbishop Alberto in 1984) assuming the role of protector of the new community, referred to them under such a name in extolled the parish community for the presence of two religious communities in each midst, the other community being the religious of the Virgin Mary (RVM).

Though initially sister Felicitas never wanted to lave the congregation nonetheless, she gained additional courage from the support she received from the archbishop Leonardo Z. Legaspi, a Dominican and archbishop of Archdiocese of Caseres since 1984.

In 1992 sister Felicitas and sister La Salette began recruiting women to join their community and through the years this community of sisters has been serving the church by living the emphatic command of the gospel, that is to love God and neighbor above all things.

The group has been involved in doing apostolic missions with the indigenous people leaving at slopes of mount Iriga in providing non formal education to farmers and fishermen in rural areas and in initiating livelihood programs and finally in organizing basic ecclesial communities.

The sisters also constructed the orphanage at the Villa Felicicima at San Agustin, Iriga City which serves as their formation house and home to more than a hundred sixty abandoned and abused children.

Unlike the traditional orphanages where beneficiaries seem to become dependent on the institution itself this orphanage teaches children the value and dignity of work and at the same time forms them according to Christian values.

The orphanage is a transitory sanctuary where people, bruised and wounded by their fellowman are given comfort and restored back to their dignity trough the grace of the sacraments, human formation and the experience of self worthiness so as to be able to contribute to the building up of a larger community where the compassion of Christ is felt and leaved out day by day.

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(c) 2010 congregation of Daughters of Saint Augustine
4413 Philippines, Camarines Sur, Iriga City, San Agustin, Villa Felicima Coral st. "Fatima Center for Human Development"
Tel.: (0063 54) 299 22 89; (0063 54) 655 01 30 Fax: (0063 54) 655 0747
e-mail: center_fatima@yahoo.com
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