THE PAPAL envoy to the Philippines urged Catholic schools to reaffirm their Catholic identity and challenged students to explore their faith as part of the intellectual voyage of higher education.

In his homily during the traditional Misa de Apertura (Opening Mass) at the Santisimo Rosario Parish Church last June 4, Apostolic Nuncio Giuseppe Pinto reminded Thomasians to be loyal to the mission and ideals of the Church.

“The Catholic university participates in the mission of the Church and the Church is not an end in herself,” Pinto said. “She exists to show God to the world… in the same way the Catholic school exists for the entire world and is the artisan of a real communion.”

“The creation of this communion comes from the network of relations that brings a Catholic school to life—from the interaction of the educative community with the social and cultural reality outside, with the family, with the local, and universal Church,” he added.

Pinto lauded UST’s faithfulness to its founding ideals and principles, adding that such loyalty will lead Asia’s only Pontifical university to full participation in the mission of the Church to spread the Word of God.

“With its four centuries of life, this great and prestigious University of Santo Tomas in Manila reaffirms its Catholic identity in the knowledge that the Catholic college is an essential resource for the new evangelization,” Pinto said.

The papal nuncio conveyed Pope Benedict XVI’s affection and said the Pontiff keeps the Thomasian community and the Dominican Order in his prayers.

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“The Holy Father, Benedict XVI entrusts you to Mary, Seat of Wisdom… wishing that you may follow the inspirations of the Holy Spirit in order to profess the faith with renewed conviction, trust and hope,” he said.

Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim, presidents of different universities and colleges, members of the diplomatic community, administrative officials, faculty members, support staff, alumni, and students attended the Mass that formally opened the academic year.

After the mass, Fr. Herminio Dagohoy, O.P. was installed as the 96th rector of the University.

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