Last August 2, 2016 (Tuesday), Academic Year 2016-2017 was officially opened with the traditional Misa de Apertura (Opening Mass), presided over by the Vicar Provincial of the Dominican Province of the Philippines, Rev. Fr. Filemon I. dela Cruz, Jr., O.P.
Mission of Prophesying
In his homily, Fr. delaCruz said that the Opening Mass puts everything the University does in the perspective of faith, heeding the call of the Gospel toward renewal. Fr. dela Cruz said that one does not need to teach theology in order to prophesy. He likewise asked the community to be the hope that other people lack and in so doing be instruments of God’s compassion and mercy, especially in these trying times. “We are called to speak to one another, to speak words that give life and blessing, and yet this is often taken for granted. Words are properly human but also sacramental.”
Installed to his second term as the 96th Rector was the Very Rev. Fr. Herminio V. Dagohoy, O.P.,PhD. After making the profession of faith and taking his oath, Fr. Dagohoy was given the Rector’s Collar by Fr. dela Cruz and Vice-Rector for Academic Affairs Clarita D. Carillo, PhD and the Rector’s Maces by Vice-Rector Fr. Richard G. Ang, O.P., PhD and Vice-Rector for Research and Innovation Maribel G. Nonato, PhD.
The Rector’s Collar symbolizes the supreme teaching authority of the Rector and the dignity of the office, while the maces represent the temporal academic and spiritual order given to the Rector.
In his acceptance speech, Fr. Dagohoy said that he “asked God to bless me not only with courage and wisdom but most of all, love. That kind of love which according to Mother Teresa, never knows how to get tired, the love that is faithful in doing small things, the love likened to a stone cast into the water that creates many ripples.”
Knowing that he enters his second term in the midst of all the transitions—most notably the full implementation of the K-12 program—the Rector called on the community for their “generosity as these challenges require sacrifices as well as forgoing of things we value and hold so dear albeit temporally. I hope that we will be able to transcend the limits of our personal or sectorial interests and seek the good of all.”
In all humility, Fr. Dagohoy stressed that UST’s vision cannot be achieved by just one man. “It is a shared goal that all sectors of the academic community should contribute for its accomplishment. We do not need to stress the fact that in an institution where personal relationship is nourished and valued, people outgrow the need for functional importance. Seen this way, Catholic schools, and universities can be regarded as a unique educational ecosystem where every species are allowed to flourish and thrive and contribute to its growth. At the heart of this institution is Jesus who gathered us together so that we may have life and live it to the fullest.”
Fr. Dagohoy will serve from 2016 – 2020, on the eve of the 500th year of Christianization of the Philippines.