Auxilliary Bishop Francisco de Leon celebrates with the Thomasians during the Misa de Apertura. Photo by Basilio H. Sepe

07 July 2014, 5:02 p.m. ANTIPOLO Auxiliary Bishop Francisco de Leon urged Thomasians to have a deep prayer life to become sensitive to the “whispers of the Holy Spirit” and resist the evils of the world, in his homily during this morning’s Mass marking the start of the new academic year.

De Leon, chairman of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) Episcopal Commission on Catechesis and Catholic Education, also encouraged Thomasians to develop a daily habit of reading the scriptures.

“If it becomes your habit, you become more sensitive to the whispers of the Holy Spirit, making it easier to avoid temptations from the devil,” he said in the Misa de Apertura or the traditional Opening Mass at the Santisimo Rosario Parish Church.

De Leon said the Holy Spirit should be treated as a “coach” in life.

“The Holy Spirit is there to guide us [to] the teachings of the Lord,” he said. “We need the Holy Spirit in our journey whether as a student or a teacher.”

At the end of the Eucharistic celebration, the chairman of the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Health Care (ECHC), Bishop Patricio A. Buzon, gave a plaque of recognition to the University, citing UST as one of the best providers of healthcare not only to Thomasians but also to those who are in need.

“UST has made a great impact in the life of the Catholic Church in the Philippines through its reforms in universal health coverage, service delivery, public policy, and leadership,” CBCP-ECHC Executive Secretary Fr. Rodolfo Vicente Cancino said.

The recognition was also given because of the various community development projects of Simbahayan that reach out to the poor and the sick, Cancino added.

“We are honored because [this] is a confirmation of our values as Thomasians,” Rector Fr. Herminio Dagohoy, O.P. said in an interview.

Dagohoy expressed his warm welcome to the freshmen, calling on them to take their studies seriously while enjoying their stay in the university.

The Mass was followed by the Discurso de Apertura or the Opening Lecture delivered by Engineering Dean Philipina Marcelo.

The Council of Regents, Academic Senate, Dominican friars, deans, administrators, faculty members, support staff, alumni, and students attended this year’s opening ceremonies.


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  1. Heyyyy… Discurso is one of the oldest traditions of the University and yet you give it a one liner (sige, 1 1/2 lines)? Sows. Nalintikan na tayo dyan. Give the summary or title at the very least.


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