Despedida de Soltero is the Dominican Studentate’s tradition of celebrating a student-brother’s departure from his institutional formation as he is bound for ordination to the Priesthood for his eventual assignation to another community of the Province. Although the Spanish term is a misnomer to the clerical life, and to the religious life for that matter, since he who is to be ordained remains single even after his ordination, the party still serves as a momentous occasion when the Studentate community gives tribute and bids farewell to a student-brother who is soon-to-be-priest.

Last June 27, 2017, the Dominican Studentate celebrated the Despedida de Soltero (or de losSolteros) for Rev. Rommel Olivar, OP, Rev. Felix De Los Reyes, OP and Rev. Art Vincent Pangan, OP. The despedida, which was organized by Batch 2009, started with the Evening Prayer, and followed by a simple dinner. Hosted by Br. JaymarGodalle, OP, the event included songs, video presentations, interviews, and “fast talks” regarding some memorable experiences during the formative years of the three deacons. The parents of the three deacons also gave their heartfelt messages to their sons via phone call. In addition, the Master of Students and his assistant also gave their fraternal pieces of advice to the honourees.

The despedida concluded with a procession to the Our Lady of the Rosary of La Naval de Manila. With the singing of the Dominican Blessing, the entire Dominican Studentate, with arms outstretched, gave their blessing to the three deacons.

By Br. Arden Xerxes DrizDacuma, OP

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