FORMER UST Rector Rev. Fr. Rolando de la Rosa, O.P. emphasized respect for individuality during the Mass commemorating the feast day of the University’s patron saint St. Thomas Aquinas last Jan. 27 at the UST Chapel.

According to Fr. de la Rosa, every person is created with uniqueness and individuality.

“The recent World Meeting of Families unites us under one family, with one God our Father, yet each of us is different from one another. God created us not as families, but as individuals,” he said.

Fr. de la Rosa also stressed love and respect as important virtues for a family to flourish.

“Love affirms similarity with one another while respect affirms our differences. Love unites and gives us eyes to see the other as one like us, but respect sets us apart because it permits the necessary distance to see the other as other, subject to rights and privileges,” he explained.

Fr. de la Rosa added that respect is necessary for a marriage, a family or an individual to survive.

Meanwhile, Fr. de la Rosa also drew an example from the life of St. Thomas Aquinas to teach respect.

He explained that St. Thomas fought for what he believed in so that he commanded the respect of his fellow Dominicans.

“St Thomas’ motto is to seek the truth wherever it maybe found. St. Thomas belonged to a family, an order, but among others, he was an individual and one of a kind,” Fr. de la Rosa said. Ma. Cristina S. Lavapie

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