VICE-RECTOR for Religious Affairs Fr. Gerard Francisco Timoner III, O.P. was installed as the 11th rector of the UST Central Seminary in solemn investiture rites led by Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Fernando Filoni last March 19 at the Central Seminary chapel.

Timoner, who replaced Fr. Ernesto M. Arceo, who had, in turn, been named UST Rector, described his appointment as a “blessing and a burden.”

“We assume office by professing the faith because the authority that is given and received is grounded on our faith,” Timoner said in a speech before the Dominican clergy headed by Fr. Edmund Nantes, O.P., prior provincial of the Dominican province of the Philippines.

“The ministry of leadership and service in the Church is about strengthening the faith of our brothers and sisters,” he said.

Emphasizing community discipleship as the fulfillment of God’s will among its His future shepherds, Timoner told seminarians that their studies is primarily aimed toward apostleship.

“Discipleship is oriented towards apostleship while Apostleship is grounded on discipleship,” he said. “A seminarian must be formed within this community of discipleship before he becomes ready to to preach the Gospel of Jesus to all nations.”

Timoner also reminded seminarians that seminary formation, as an intense period of discipleship, of learning from the heart of the Good Shepherd, involves a lot of dedication and self-discipline.

“Your bishops sent you (seminarians) here not just to gain ecclesiastical degrees but more specifically to become the untiring guardians of the body of Christ and His children,” Timoner said. A member of the Dominican Province’s third Electoral College, Timoner obtained his philosophy and theology degrees from the Dominican House of Studies in Quezon City and the UST Ecclesiastical Faculties before seeking higher studies at the Catholic University of Nijmegen in the Netherlands.

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