(Photo by Miah Terrenz Provido)

February 10, 2016, 2:27p.m. – IF NOT for God’s unending mercy, there might have been no Dominican Order.

Fr. Gerard Timoner, III, O.P., prior provincial of the Dominican Province of the Philippines, emphasized the role of God’s mercy on the foundation of the Order of Preachers in his talk at the Buenaventura G. Paredes Building Tuesday as part of Theology Week 2016.

“We [Dominicans] existed because of the mercy of God. This mercy should be passed to others,” Fr. Timoner said in his talk, “Dominicans and Evangelization.”

Mercy is the tool for understanding the world, he added, saying “mercy unites the heart and mind into one in order to bring out the possibility of encounter.”

“A culture of encounter brings the Church to wake the world. This brings the Church closer to the people,” Timoner said, echoing Pope Francis.

The first community of Dominicans formed a community to spread the word of God to the faithful, and their successors must live up to the motto “To Praise, To Bless, To Preach,” Timoner said.

“To live in a community is to preach and live harmoniously as one voice. To proclaim the good news and to preach the good news with strong conviction are the lessons of the old evangelization that must stay alive in the new evangelization,” Timoner said.


Devotion to the Blessed Mother

Fr. Roland Mactal, O.P., rector of Santo Domingo Church, said the Blessed Mother played a great role in the humble beginnings of the order. The Dominicans’ devotion to Our Lady of the Holy Rosary can be traced to the order’s foundation, he said.

“Dominic entrusted the care of the Order to Mary as its patron. Prayers offered to her were the most powerful weapons against the enemies of faith,” he said.

Fr. Mactal added that the order helped expand the Blessed Mother’s influence to the Filipino laity by building the shrines of Our Lady of La Naval de Manila in Quezon City and Our Lady of Manaoag in Pangasinan.

“The Blessed Mother inspires the Dominicans. She’s there as a mother who is always welcoming her sons and daughters. Through the inspiration of the Virgin Mary, we become like her. When the laity visit those places, they experience the teachings and presence of the Dominicans,” Mactal said.

This year’s Theology Week is being held from Feb. 9 to 11, with the theme “Building the Church the Dominican Way.” It is organized by the UST Center for Religious Studies and Ethics and the UST Faculty of Sacred Theology, in cooperation with the Office for Grants, Endowments and Partnerships in Higher Education and the UST Theological Soceity. Marie Danielle L. Macalino


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