Be involved, fight against social injustice, Dominicans urged

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Australian nun Sr. Patricia Fox urges Dominicans to immerse with the poor during the Fr. Pedro Salgado, O.P. Conference held at the St. Thomas Hall of Colegio de San Juan de Letran in Intramuros, Manila. (Photo by Hazel Grace S. Posadas/The Varsitarian)

MEMBERS of the Order of Preachers were urged on Saturday to fight oppression, poverty and exploitation “the Dominican way” during the Fr. Pedro Salgado, O.P. Conference held at the St. Thomas Hall of Colegio de San Juan de Letran in Intramuros, Manila.

Australian nun Sr. Patricia Fox said fighting social injustice was rooted in the Church’s mission to be in solidarity with the poor.

“We will never know [the] hopes, dreams and anxieties [of the poor] if we don’t join them,” Fox said in Filipino.

Fox stressed that the primary role of the Church was to spread the Good News to people regardless of social status.

“The Good News for workers is to have a regular job. The Good News for farmers is to have their own land. The Good News for the urban poor is to have a decent house,” she said.

Fr. Napoleon Sipalay, Jr., O.P., head of the Filipino Dominicans, said working for justice and peace was vital to the Dominican Order.

Sipalay called on his fellow Dominicans to emulate the late Fr. Salgado’s example of immersing with the poor.

“[Some] say that Dominicans don’t get involved so much in peace and justice because of our philosophy. [F]r. Salgado shows us [that] our relevance in our study should be seen in the actions that we take into the pastoral ministry wherever we go,” he said.

Salgado’s life is a challenge for Dominicans to be involved instead of “just sitting down in the classroom,” Sipalay added.

Fr. Victor Calvo, O.P., promoter of the Commission on Justice, Peace and Care for Creation of the Filipino Dominicans, described Salgado’s work as “a Dominican brand of doing justice and peace.”

Calvo said members of the Dominican Family should incorporate justice in their respective ministries.

“There’s no single way of doing justice and peace. Whatever your passion is, ‘add’ justice and peace,” he said in Filipino.

Organized by the Commission on Justice, Peace and Care for Creation of the Dominican Province in the Philippines, the annual conference was named after the late Fr. Salgado, O.P. who was a social ethicist. E. D. Aboy, O.P.

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