Two Thomasians spend quiet time at the UST field. (Photo by Nadine Anne M. Deang/ The Varsitarian)

THE COUNTRY may be under quarantine and everyone is encouraged to stay at home, but this lockdown period should be used to recognize what one has, not what had been lost, Thomasians were told during this year’s University-wide recollection.

Fr. Enrico Gonzales, O.P., former dean of the Faculty of Philosophy, said people should not lament things of the past amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Ngayong pandemic, ‘wag niyong hanapin ang wala. Tignan niyo kung ano ang nariyan at magpasalamat tayo sa mga ito,” Gonzales said.

“Don’t be a prisoner of the past na makikita mo lang ang kaligayahan sa mga dating alaala. Ang pagasa ay pagharap sa kinabukasan. Move on!” he added.

People should also strive to find hope amid the pandemic by being contented with what they have.

“Kahit na tayo ay nasa pandemya, mayroong liwanag sapagkat tayo’y may mga bagong mata para tignan ang mga pamilyar na dati-dati ay isinasawalang bahala natin,” Gonzales said.

“We can still find solitude amid this lockdown. It would be pessimistic to say that this lockdown is merely a punishment,” he added.

This year’s holiday season will also be an opportunity to steer clear of secularized Christmas celebrations, he said.

“Lockdown is an opportunity for solitude para maramdaman ang diwa ng Pasko… May Pasko ba sa pandemya? Mayroon!” Gonzales said.

This year’s recollection was themed “Tidings of Hope for the Christian Family.” It was the first University-wide online recollection organized by the Office of Vice Rector for Religious Affairs and UST Center for Campus Ministry.

Like the Blessed Mother, be ‘faith-filled amid pandemic

Fr. Rodel Aligan, O.P., head of the Priory of St. Thomas Aquinas in UST and regent of the Faculty of Arts and Letters, called on the faithful to emulate the Blessed Mother’s “faith-filled” response to the uncertainties and unwelcome changes brought about by Covid-19 during the Eucharistic celebration for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception.

“It’s difficult for us to accept God’s plan that comes through unexpected circumstances like this Covid-19 pandemic [so] we need the faith and trust of Mary to surrender our ways to God and to remember that God’s ways are not our ways,” Aligan said during his homily at the Santisimo Rosario Parish Church on Dec. 7.

“Whether she be the Mother of Perpetual Help, our Lady of La Naval… or any other titles approved by the Church, [she] is the same Virgin Mary who was singled out from eternity by God to be the mother of the Son started with the Immaculate Conception,” he said.

The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception is a holy day of obligation which commemorates the conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary without original sin.

The feast of Immaculate Conception coincides with the founding anniversary of the Dominican Province of the Philippines, which administers UST. M.A.O. Castillo and S.T. Sadang


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