Letran celebrates feast of St. Dominic

By: John Ryan Padlan
September 04, 2017

DOMINICANS GATHER. Letranites attend the mass as they honor the solemnity of St. Dominic de Guzman, founder of the Dominican Order.

As a tribute to St. Dominic de Guzman, the founder of the Order of the Preachers, the Letran community gathered for an institutional mass at the Blessed Antonio Varona Gymnasium, August 7.

Led by Rev. Fr. Clarence Victor Marquez, O.P, rector and president, the mass was held in the afternoon in honor of the saint whose feast day is celebrated on August 8.

During the homily, Rev. Fr. Marquez said that the readings for the mass, as expected, all pertain to preaching.

"As stated in our new mission-vision statement, we are a Catholic school committed to Dominican Preaching through education," he said. "We are Letran. We are Dominicans. We are Preachers. This is our feast day."

Rev. Fr. Marquez emphasized, in the first reading, that as preachers, they walk their talk and what they say, they do.

"At dito sa Letran, ganoon ang dapat nating gawin," he said, urging the Letran community to raise awareness, efforts and standards in teaching, studying, researching and serving others.
As said in the second reading, preach the word. Rev. Fr. Marquez then reminded that the Colegio is only after truth.

"Darating ang panahon, hindi na kikiling ang mga tao sa doktrina, hindi na makikinig sa katotohan, ngunit babaling na sa mga pabula, pambobola, at mga pekeng balita," he said. "Pero walang paaralan ang magtuturo sa inyo ng kasinungalingan, hindi kayo pumasok ng Letran para matutunan ang mali at masama."

The rector also added that Letran, in its four hundred years, always puts God above everything. "Deus! Una ang Diyos palagi at sa kanya rin tayo uuwi pagkatapos," he said.

In the end, Rev. Fr. Marquez challenged the Letranites to preach the Word as Dominicans. "Hinihimok ko kayo, sa salita at sa gawa natin, sa buhay natin, go preach, humayo, magpahayag. Santo Domingo de Guzman, ipinalangin mo kami," he ended.

Saint Dominic de Guzman was born in 1170 in Calaruega, Spain. In his early years, he studied under the tutelage of his uncle, a parish priest, before enrolling in the School of Palencia at age fourteen.
In 1195, St. Dominic was ordained into priesthood and served in Osma.

On July 22, 1206, St. Dominic received a vision: a flaming ball descending from the sky and hovering above the small abandoned church of Prouille.

By the end of 1206, St. Dominic had already gathered women that had converted to the Catholic faith living in the Church of the Prouille. It would become the first foundation of the Order.

It was fully established in 1217, a few years before St. Dominic died on August 1221.

Founded by St Dominic, the Order of Friars Preachers, usually known as ‘The Dominicans’ is a Catholic Religious Order. Today it is present in over a hundred countries.

The Order’s preaching of the gospel has taken many forms: the frescoes of Fra Angelico in the fifteenth century, the concern of his contemporary, St Antoninus of Florence, with economic ethics; St Martin de Porres’ care for the poor in seventeenth century Lima, Peru.

Dominicans were involved from the beginning in the Church’s mission to the Americas and to Asia. Our tradition of preaching has always implied a profound relationship between the pastoral care of people and theological reflection, often in parish and university settings.

This vibrant symbiosis between pastoral outreach and academic study remains typical of the Order today.

In the twentieth century French Dominicans such as Marie-Dominique Chenu and Yves Congar were at the heart of the theological renewal that led to the Second Vatican Council.

They were in dialogue with other brethren who shared the lives of the poorest people and friars such as Louis-Joseph Lebret, whose concept of integral human development and the common good was fundamental in the evolution of Catholic Social teaching.

An exhibition of Dominican artists in Rome a few years ago shows that the Order remains committed to preaching the gospel through music, painting and poetry.