Villegas closes PH celebration of Dominican Jubilee

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THE HEAD of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Conference (CBCP) closed the Philippine celebrations of the 800th anniversary of the Dominican Order last Jan. 20, as he called on Filipinos to pray to God for change rather than rally to the streets.

Prayer, said Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villagas, was the “best contribution to social transformation.”

“It is men [and] women who pray on their knees who are able to engage [and] change the world so that it may follow Christ,” the CBCP president said in his homily during the closing ceremony of the Dominican Jubilee celebrations at the Santo Domingo Church in Quezon City.

Villegas cited St. Dominic for his prayerful life and fervent devotion to God.”Pray well. You know those familiar lines to describe St. Dominic. If he was not talking to God, he was talking about God,” he said.

Villegas lamented that the loss of a “sense of mystery” had caused a decrease in faith among Catholics.

“When the sense of mystery is lost, faith is diminished. And when faith is diminished, hope is dampened and when we live in discouragement and despair, then we also start to run out of love. The well becomes dry and we have no more fire,” he said.

The Holy Mass was concelebrated by Fr. Quirico Pedregosa, O.P, and Fr. Jesus Prol, O.P., rector of UST Central Seminary and vicar provincial of the Holy Rosary Province of the Spanish Dominicans, respectively.

Dominican, Thomasian history

The commemorative book titled “400@800: A tribute on the 8th Centenary of the Dominican Order (1216-2016),” was launched following the Eucharistic celebration.

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“UST Publishing House believes the Dominican Jubilee’s [significance] is expected to linger, as much as the congregation’s influence and legacy for 8 centuries,” Publishing House Director John Jack Wigley said.

“[We believe the book] is a fitting tribute of the University of Santo Tomas to the Order of Preachers on its 800th foundation anniversary,” he added.

The local Jubilee celebrations began on Nov. 7, 2015 with Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle presiding over the opening of the Holy Door at Santo Domingo Church.

Pope Francis will officially close the Dominican Jubilee Year at the Basilica of St. John Lateran in Rome, Italy on Jan. 21.

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