CADORE. Photo by Paul Allyson R. QuiambaoIT IS only once in a while that UST is visited by the Dominican Master General, and the highest official of the Order of Preachers was immensely pleased with what the University has become after 400 years of existence.

Very Rev. Fr. Bruno Cadore, O.P., who holds the highest position in the University as Chancellor, said he was “very impressed” by UST’s intellectual “diversity,” which reflects its Dominican heritage.

“The order is very interested, from the beginning, to promote [everyone’s] capacity to think and to think freely, because the human intelligence is really a great force for freedom in this world,” Cadore told the Varsitarian after a meeting with Filipino Lay Dominicans at the Angelicum College in Quezon City last February 5.

This kind of capability, he explained, entails the responsibility of promoting what is good because “to serve the human intelligence is to serve the human freedom.”

The Master General said that UST’s Quadricentennial goes beyond festivities, adding it was also UST’s responsibility “to promote the freedom of thinking” among other universities in the order by using what the institution has achieved in academic and research endeavors.

“When we celebrate the memory of [UST’s] foundation, [it] is the time to remember all that we received from [those who had formed its] history,” Cadore said.

In line with this responsibility, Thomasians should “serve the Church, serve the world, promote the family, and be confident in the capacity of humanity to create the world where everybody will be able to know that He is welcome in this world, the world of hospitality.”

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To the lay

During his meeting with the Dominican laity, the Master General asked the lay members of the Order to cooperate fully in the efforts of the Dominican clergy in the mission of preaching the Gospel.

“We need to be together—religious and lay,” he said.

To date, there are already two recognized chapters of lay Dominicans in UST—the Thomasian Professionals, which includes professors in the University and other Thomasian alumni, and the lay Dominicans of the Santisimo Rosario Parish.

Another branch, a “soon-to-be” chapter called Young Thomasian Professionals, was started three years ago by Belen Tangco, president of the Dominican Laity in the Province of the Philippines and former dean of the Faculty of Arts and Letters, to invite students of the University to go under Dominican formation at a younger age.

The Master General, who admitted that he was still discovering the Filipinos, said he believed the Dominican order in the country is “very important and very impressive.”

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