Brother Florentino Bolo Jr., OP, son of the Province of the Philippines, is the new Socius for Apostolic Life, following his appointment on 22 November 2020 by the Master of the Order, Brother Gerard Francisco Timoner III, O.P.
Born on 16 November 1973 in Lipa City, Batangas, Bro. Florentino met the Dominicans while taking up BS Medical Technology at the University of Santo Tomas (UST) in Manila. Upon completion of the degree, he entered the Pre-Novitiate program of the Province, eventually making his profession in the Order on 6 May 1998. It was in the same university that he later on completed his Baccalaureate in Theology and Licentiate in Canon Law.
Following his priestly ordination on 30 April 2005, he was appointed as Assistant Master of Novices until he was brought back to the university to serve as Vice Rector of the UST Central Seminary. During this time he worked with Bro. Gerard, who was then the Rector of the seminary. It was also in the same period that Bro. Florentino assumed the offices of Secretary General of UST as well as Provincial Promoter of the Priestly Fraternities of St. Dominic.
Bro. Florentino’s apostolic engagement with the fraternities continued even as he proceeded to undertake further studies in Rome, where he was tasked by Bro. Bruno Cadoré, OP, to work as International Coordinator of the Priestly Fraternities of the Order in 2013. In his final year of completing his Doctorate in Canon Law at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum), he likewise served as Master of Students for the Roman Province of St. Catherine of Siena.
Upon the return of Bro. Florentino to the Philippines, his work in the Order continued when Bro. Bruno created the office of General Promoter of the Priestly Fraternities of St. Dominic in 2016 and appointed Bro. Florentino to the post. In his Province, he resumed formation work in the seminary and the priestly fraternities. He also taught at the UST Faculty of Canon Law while serving at the same time as Director of the UST Institute of Religion.He considers his participation in the 2019 General Chapter in Biên Hòa, Vietnam, as an important event in his work for the fraternities. The assembly became an occasion to invite all the Provinces represented therein to appreciate the place of diocesan priests in the structure of the Order of Preachers. To date, the diocesan priests in the Order have grown to a total of 425 priests in 32 groups existing in 21 provinces in 16 countries. This ongoing ministry with the secular clergy becomes all the more fortified as Bro. Florentino assumes a broader role as Socius for the Apostolic Life of the Order in the General Curia in Rome.