Walking Together in the Footsteps of St. Dominic

By: Vicente Ignatius Mate IV, Augusto Urbano II
August 11, 2023

Image of St. Dominic displayed at the Sto. Domingo Church, Quezon City. Photo courtesy of Augusto Urbano II of The LANCE.

Devotees and members of the Dominican Order gather at the Sto. Domingo Church as they celebrated the Feast of St. Dominic de Guzman, on August 8, 2023.

Life of Dominic

Born on August 8 the year 1170, Dominic was raised into holiness as his uncle was an Archbishop. A famous story about Dominic’s birth says that when his mother was still pregnant, she had a vision of a dog leaping from her womb holding a torch in its mouth and setting fire to the fields. Hence, came the word-play for his name “Domini canis” or God’s Dog. Sure enough, he became one of the most influential figures in the Catholic Church as he founded the Order of Preachers in the year 1215. 

When the Dominican missionaries arrived in the Philippine islands in 1587, the churches they established were often named after their founder, St. Dominic. Because of this, Filipinos started to know the saint and became acquainted with him.  

The Sto. Domingo Church, which was first erected inside Intramuros in 1588, was relocated to Quezon City after the original church building was destroyed by the second world war. Today, the Sto. Domingo Church promotes devotion to St. Dominic through weekly novenas and Masses.

Mass of St. Dominic

During the homily of the mass, Rev. Fr. Lino Redoblado shared that the church has entered the year of synodality, which means “to follow the path of God”. He explains synodality as a new way of being a church, a new forum or style of operating the church. However, he disagrees with calling synodality a new path of operating the church because there are documents stating otherwise. 

Fr. Redoblado also left three important points of reflection. Firstly, he mentioned the importance of living in communion. Second is equality as an important trait of the Dominican tradition. Lastly, he shared that people need to have the zeal to be missionaries during these trying times. 

“In the heart of the church, a missionary fire must always burn. We are invited to walk together in his footsteps towards a Dominican life,” said the priest. 

In an interview with the LANCE, Rev. Mervin Lomague OP, a Dominican friar and a deacon, stated what it meant to live a Dominican life. “Dominic valued study so much that he sent friars to the best universities during his time, he wanted the friars not just to pray or labor in the monastery, but he wanted them to study assiduously.” 

When asked about how students can embody the example of St. Dominic, he replied, “If there is something that we should learn from Dominic and emulate, that is his love for study.” 

The friar ended with a reminder, “We shouldn't just study for our own sake, we should study to develop in us an intellect attuned only to the truth. And this disposition we should embody whenever we express our opinions, conduct ourselves in public, and live our lives.”