In what can be considered as a shining legacy of St. Dominic de Guzman, the Dominicans—friars, nuns, laity, seminarians, and collaborators—of Asia-Pacific gathered at the University of Santo Tomas’ Quadricentennial Pavilion for the three-day Dominican Family Retreat, held from October 12-14, 2015 (Monday-Wednesday).
The Joy of Preaching
The retreat, which exhorted the participants to continue preaching the Gospel and bring the light to the world, had Fr. Timothy Radcliffe, O.P., former Master General of the Order of Preachers, as its main conference speaker. Fr. Radcliffe called on the Dominicans to, among others, exhibit true joy in their preaching, relying on the Lord for this source of great joy.
The Value of Humility
The most Reverend Archbishop Socrates B. Villegas, D.D., one of the newest members of the Dominican Clerical Fraternity, celebrated the Opening Mass and reminded that only by “kneeling,” by being humble, can preachers be effective in their ministry.
Witnessing
In between the conferences and Eucharistic celebrations, opportunities to share in small groups were provided for participants, who reflected on the points given by the hosts, Frs. Carlo del Rosario and Jek Arada. On the third day of the retreat, a panel discussion involving Fr. Timothy Radcliffe and other Dominican representatives was moderated by Fr. Edmund Nantes, O.P. and Dr. Cristina C. Cabral.
Bearers of Light
The closing Mass, celebrated by Fr. Vivian Boland, O.P., the Vicar of Master General Fr. Bruno Cadore, O.P., was a chance for the Dominicans to renew their commitment to spreading the light and preaching the Gospel. A bound copy of the Gospel of Matthew was distributed and blessed, for this was the Gospel where the call to preaching was most explicit.
A candle lighting ceremony punctuated the Mass, beginning with the candlelight brought by Dominican brothers from the altar. These served to light the candles carried by each participant, ending in a sea of candlelight puncturing the dimness of the arena.
Tell The World
The retreat ended with the community’s rendition of “Tell The World of His Love,” an apropos song about the value of preaching about the Lord.