04 June 2012, 3:30 p.m. - FR. HERMINIO Dagohoy, O.P. took over as UST’s 96th Rector Monday, pledging to build on the achievements of the past and paying tribute to the stability of the University throughout the centuries.
The strength of the University lies in its sense of continuity, which is essential to moving forward and carrying out institutional transformation, Dagohoy said following his installation this morning at the Santisimo Rosario Parish Church.
"We do not immediately change structures laid down before us. We have to understand that they are there out of good intentions," said Dagohoy, the former director for finance and administration of UST Hospital. "We should build what is set before us."
He added that the installation ceremonies should not center on the person assuming the post but on the institution.
"The title of being the 96th Rector is not a mere numeric predicate that indicates quantity. The installation of the Rector symbolizes a new chapter in the life of the University, a witness to its uninterrupted history," he said, noting that he will continue existing programs like the Simbahayan.
The installation rites followed the Misa de Apertura or the Mass for the opening of the new academic year, which was led by the apostolic nuncio to the Philippines, Archbishop Giuseppe Pinto.
After reading the appointment decree from the Vatican's Sacred Congregation for Catholic Education and Seminaries, Secretary General Fr. Florentino Bolo, Jr., O.P. administered the solemn oath of office on Dagohoy. Commissioner Nona Ricafort of the Commission on Higher Education and Vice Chancellor Fr. Gerard Francisco Timoner III, O.P. assisted Dagohoy in wearing the Rector's collar. Vice Rector Fr. Pablo Tiong, O.P. and Vice Rector for Academic Affairs and Research Prof. Clarita Carillo then handed over to Dagohoy two ceremonial maces symbolizing the Rector’s spiritual and academic powers.
The ceremony was attended by Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim, presidents of different universities and colleges, members of the diplomatic community, administrative officials, faculty members, support staff, alumni, and students.
Meanwhile, Pinto, who concelebrated the Mass with some 50 Dominican priests, reminded the Thomasian community of the importance of Catholic education in Pope Benedict XVI’s call for a "new evangelization."
In his homily, Pinto said UST and other Catholic colleges in the country must reaffirm their distinctive Catholic identity and fidelity, which are necessary in participating in the Church's mission of spreading the word of God.
He also urged Catholic schools to challenge their students to explore their faith more deeply, and seek reason to profess that faith with renewed conviction.
Pinto said the Holy Spirit, together with its gifts, is an essential source of "interior and progressive knowledge," an "internal master that confirms the teaching of Jesus and above all the teaching that is Jesus. Yuji Vincent B. Gonzales and Bernadette D. Nicolas with reports from Nikka Lavinia G. Valenzuela and Cez Mariela Teresa G. Verzosa
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