THE UST Santisimo Rosario Parish marked the 80th anniversary of its canonical establishment with a Eucharistic celebration presided over by Cardinal Jose Advincula on Monday, March 21.

In his homily, Advincula honored the priests and lay leaders who “contributed immensely” to the growth of Santisimo Rosario.

“We thank them for being the sycamore trees that helped us see Jesus clearly amid the crowds of parish life, limitations and difficulties along the journey,” he said.

The Manila archbishop urged parishioners to strive to be missionaries and agents of “synodality” for a renewed Church.

“The Church is ever on the way, ever on pilgrimage, ever on a mission,” he said. “If we stop journeying on the way, we end up standing in the way and we become stumbling blocks to the faith progress of our co-pilgrims and fellow missionaries.”

“We are challenged to be missionaries in our ways, and I pray that each of you may courageously and faithfully take on this challenge to live out and witness to our Christian faith in whatever circumstances you find yourself in,” he added.

Advincula ended his homily by reciting Pope Francis’ prayer for the end of the war in Ukraine.

“We unite ourselves to our brothers and sisters who are experiencing the pains and violence and the cruelty of war,” he said. “Let us fervently offer our prayers for the violence to stop and for the voice of peace to be heard.”

The Mass was concelebrated by UST Vice Chancellor Fr. Filemon de la Cruz, Jr., O.P., prior provincial of the Dominican Province of the Philippines, and UST Parish Priest Fr. Paul Talavera, O.P.

In his message, Talavera said he was grateful that the parish was able to celebrate its 80th anniversary with on-site rites amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

He also thanked the late Archbishop Michael James O’Doherty and all the pastors who served the parish for paving the way to the “unforgettable milestone.”

On March 21, 1942, the Santisimo Rosario Church, the chapel of UST, was declared a parish church by O’Doherty, then Manila Archbishop.

A month after, O’Doherty canonically inaugurated the parish during a Pontifical High Mass at the chapel. Fr. Emiliano Serrano, O.P. became the first UST parish priest.

The UST chapel, which was completed on Nov. 13, 1932, is among the earliest edifices on the Sampaloc campus.

From 1942 to 1954, the parish housed the image of Our Lady of La Naval de Manila, which was saved from the bombings that destroyed the old chapel of the University in Intramuros.

The image of the Blessed Mother was transferred to its permanent home at Santo Domingo Church in Quezon City on Oct. 10, 1954.

Since then, the parish church has become the venue of the official and religious functions of the University, namely: the annual Misa de Apertura, Eucharistic celebrations in honor of St. Dominic de Guzman and St. Thomas Aquinas, and annual novena Masses and grand procession in honor of Nuestra Senora del Santisimo Rosario, the parish’s patroness.


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