Be the ‘voice of God’ for the marginalized, Filipino Dominicans told on their 47th anniversary

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FILIPINO Dominicans were urged to be the “voice of God” for the marginalized in their respective ministries during the celebration of the 47th anniversary of the Dominican Province in the Philippines (DPP) on Dec. 8.

Fr. Napoleon Sipalay, Jr., O.P., head of the Filipino Dominican province, emphasized the need to tackle difficult questions in society today.

“The saddest thing would be when people are silent. They don’t want to speak out because maybe it may put them in difficult situations. But we are Dominicans. We have to make difficult choices… [t]hat leads us to liberation and salvation,” he said during the thanksgiving Mass at the UST-Angelicum College in Quezon City.

Calling on Dominicans to “build bridges instead of walls,” he stressed that communities must promote reconciliation.

“When we see walls among us, probably our first reaction is to move away. But I think the challenge for us is always to build bridges; that our words, our deeds are hopefully consistent,” he said.

Sipalay also called on his fellow Dominicans to engage in conversations, which are vital for the growth of communities.

“As we involve more in our different ministries, [may] we always remember that this is our primary identity as preachers; as people who would be the voice of God in our time,” he said.

University Archivist Regalado Trota Jose recalled the Dominicans’ efforts to translate documents to evangelize Filipinos.

“The Dominicans, when they [went] to mission areas, they had to master the language. They provided grammars and dictionaries… [They] were interested in the manner and courteous life [of the natives],” he said in his talk titled “Introduction of the Forest of Dominican Roots that is the UST Archives.”

This year’s celebration, with the theme “Rediscovering our Roots,” is part of the three-year preparation for DPP’s golden jubilee in 2021.

The Dominican Province in the Philippines was established on Dec. 8, 1971, by the former master of the Order of Preachers, Fr. Aniceto Fernandez, O.P.

Today, Filipino Dominicans administer schools and universities in the country, including mission areas in Camiguin and Calayan in the Babuyanes Islands, as well as in Indonesia and Sri Lanka.

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