Thomasian priests return to UST for 83rd reunion, called to live simple, prayerful lives

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TWO THOMASIAN bishops and 31 jubilarians were recognized on Tuesday for their priestly service in the 83rd UST Alumni Priests’ Association Homecoming at the Buenaventura G. Paredes, O.P (BGPOP) Building.

The alumni association honored two of their own who were raised to the episcopate: Batanes Bishop Danilo Ulep and Bishop Mel Rey Uy of the Diocese of Lucena.

Also among awardees were golden jubilarians Fr. Jose Cariño, Fr. Rodolfo Sicio and Monsignors Heraclio Fleta and Boanerges Lechuga.

Thirteen “Benjamins,” or newly ordained priests, were inducted into the association in the annual gathering.

Thomasian alumni priests were called to strengthen their vocation by dedicating a time and place for prayer.

Cebu Auxiliary Bishop Dennis Villarojo, a silver jubilarian, said it was in the UST seminary where they received intellectual, human, spiritual and pastoral formation.

In his homily during the Eucharistic celebration for the annual homecoming, Archbishop Gabrielle Giordano Caccia, apostolic nuncio to the Philippines, said prayer is the essential issue of a priest’s life and should be given ample time, as it is the key to God’s transforming presence.

“If we want to be his disciples, we have to have a time and place for prayer, even if our life is very demanding. But in the presence of God, everything changes. Let us rediscover the beauty of our vocation, which is prayer. [Be] better disciples and listen to Him, follow Him and find joy and peace with Him,” he said.

Caccia commended Thomasian priests for living up to their mission as disciples of Jesus as they preach the Gospel throughout the country.

“[And now you will say], ‘Oh how beautiful [it is] to be a missionary of Jesus.’ We share in the joy of the disciple. The most important thing [is] our names are written in heaven. It is the joy to know that we are not far from God. We have revived the grace of God in our life,” he said.

Reflecting on the theme “Thomasian Priests: Renewed Servant-Leaders for the New Evangelization,” UST Rector Fr. Herminio Dagohoy, O.P. said the simple gathering was a reminder of the virtue of simplicity that should emanate from every Thomasian.

The 1993 Class of Sacred Theology, which was Dagohoy’s batch, hosted the reunion. With reports from Lady Cherbette N. Agot

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