Dominicans open the 801st Year of the Order of Preachers at the Neo-Centennial Youth Retreat

Dominicans open the 801st Year of the Order of Preachers at the Neo-Centennial Youth Retreat

800 years ago, in 1216, St. Dominic de Guzman opened the door for the men of the cloth to preach. As the Jubilee Door closes, another one opens. Over 630 Dominican delegates gathered to celebrate the 801st year of the Order of Preachers at the Neo-Centennial Youth Retreat at the University of Santo Tomas Quadri-centennial Pavilion last 21–22 of January 2017.

The celebration was simultaneous with the International Congress for the Mission of the Order in Rome participated in by the International Dominican Youth Movement (IDYM). The closing of the Jubilee Doors was held at the Basilica of St. John Lateran in Rome where Pope Francis accepted the invitation from the Master of the Order of Dominicans, Master Bruno Cadore, OP, to celebrate Mass with the youth.

The Opening Mass for the Neo-Centennial Youth Retreat was presided by the Rector Magnificus of UST, Rev. Fr. Herminio V. Dagohoy, OP. According to Fr. Rector, Dominicans have been called “baliw” by other people because of their strong devotion to their faith. “Have we fallen badly in love with God?”, he asked. “Kapag ang pag-ibig ay pumasok sa isang tao, hahamakin ang lahat masunod ka lamang.”, he shared during his homily.

Dr. Clarence Batan, a Sociologist from the UST Faculty of Arts Letters, gave the first talk for the delegates about “Family in Mission: A Cause for Celebration”. According to Dr. Batan, there are transition challenges that the youth faces in this generation. Part of his discussion centered on the oneness of the Dominican family where he sees that the family is diverse but one. “We can be a network of people celebrating to one mission.”, mentioned Dr. Batan. Fr. Enrico Gonzales, OP, also gave a talk on “Preaching Joy to the World” and imparted that joy is the consequence of preaching. “There is love in forgiveness, and because there is love in forgiveness, there is also joy in forgiveness.”, he added.

Among the volunteers for the event was the Dominican Network Youth Group (DOMNET) – Philippines headed by Fr. Christopher Jeffrey L. Aytona, OP, also the Director of the Youth Retreat. The youth branch of the Dominican Network animated everyone with songs Kamusta Ka Na? and That We May Be One. Also present in the Retreat was The Feast Manila headed by Mr. JC Libiran who started with spoken word poetry on holding on to Jesus despite the struggles, followed by worship songs and praises.

Guests for the event also included Siena College of San Jose Cultural Dance Troupe and the UST Salinggawi Dance Troupe who showcased cultural dances and traditions from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. The first day of the Retreat ended with a solemn Taize session, Confession and Veneration of the Cross.

The second day of the event started with a comeback performance from INGGO 1587 composed of Fr. Filemon

dela Cruz Jr., OP, in percussions, Fr. Giuseppe Pietro Arsciwals, OP, in keyboard and lead vocal, Fr. Dennis Maquiraya, OP, in bass guitar, Fr. Jose Martin Sibug, OP, in rhythm guitar, and Fr. Oscar Novem Enjaynes, OP, in lead guitar.

The performance was followed by the Talk Show hosted by Mr. Carlo Lorenzo and guests included Sr. Maria Espana, OP, Fr. Mhandy Malijan, OP, Ms. Eileen Esteban, Mr. Paul Quiambao , Sr. Catherine Cruz, OP, and Fr. Jose Martin Sibug, OP. “Mahalin mo ang bokasyon mo at mahalin mo rin ang sarili mo kasi wala ng ibang magmamahal sayo kundi si Lord at ikaw.”, Sr. Espana mentioned during the exchange. The guests talked about their vocation and their joy in service. “If you do something, it must be something out of passion.”, added Fr. Sibug. One of the topics of the dialogue was the issues on gender roles. Sr. Cruz stated, “Every woman is also created in the image and likeness of God. We also deserve to be respected.”

The energetic Joyful Friars were also among the performers during the Retreat. The two-day Retreat ended with a Mass presided by Fr. Quirico Pedregosa Jr., OP, Vicar Provincial of the Dominican Province of the Philippines. As the celebration came to a close, Fr. Christopher Jeffrey L. Aytona, OP, left the Dominican delegates with two words – Congratulations and Salamat for being friends and family coming from different cultures but in one Order.

As the door closes, another one opens. The best way to welcome another year of mission and preaching is to celebrate it with the Family – the Dominican Family.

By Celina B. Castro

PhilDom January 2017


(10 February 2017)