The Dominican Network Youth Group celebrated their Neo-centennial Youth Retreat: Sent to Preach the Gospel last January 21-22, 2017 at the Quadricentennial Pavilion to cap the Jubilee year of the Order.

UST Rector Very Rev. Fr. Herminio V. Dagohoy, O.P., celebrated the opening mass. Fr. Dagohoy said in his Homily that people should be madly in love with God, encouraging everyone to take the necessary risks while yearning to be with Him while fulfilling their journey. “The man who is madly in love with God that puts his trust to him and his plans will always succeed,” Fr. Dagohoy said.

After a brief presentation of the history of the Order, a tete-a-tete with Associate Professor Clarence Batan, PhD, shed insights on how change should start with the family, especially the youth, and also how to deal with tribulations in this time of transition, which should be celebrated instead and not to be feared, with a touch of sociological standpoint.

“If we want to be a family with others we must understand the mission of crafting good lives among us… everyone needs to feel they belong so that they can consider one a family,” Dr. Batan said.

Beating the energy gap for Jesus, Bro. JC Libiran, author of Byahe ni Juan, and Feast Manila Band led the praise and worship with music.

Afterward, Fr. Enrico Gonzales, OP, discussed the importance of forgiveness, such that there is bliss underlying beneath. “Every person is a vocation to love and an invitation to love.” Fr. Gonzales said.

UST Salinggawi Dance Troupe and Sienna College of San Jose performed for the Cultural Presentation, boasting the Filipino identity in their presentation. Confession rites capped the first day.

Day two started with Bro. Carlo Lorenzo and resource speakers Ms. Eilleen Esteban, Sr. Maria Espana OP, and Fr. Mandy Malijan OP, to discuss their vocation and presenting the challenges in preaching and how one can be an effective bearer of the gospel and God’s blessing. Bro. Carlo Lorenzo.

“There is this voice inside me that keeps on calling to me. I answered it, and now I’m here serving him as a nun,” Sr. Espana said. “Always love what you do, love your mission.” Fr. Malijan said.

In line with the current events and how the Internet can be a space for people’s insights, Esteban said “Social media is not pure evil but just like others that are abused must be moderated.”

In the second praise and worship session, the Dominican friars, notably the Joyful Friars and the Inggo 1857 bands, also performed to energize the retreatants.

Fr. Christopher Jeffrey Aytona, OP, gave his remarks to cap this two-day spiritual gathering during the Eucharistic Celebration. Retreatants include youths from Siena College, Colegio de San Juan de Letran, Dominican School, and Angelicum College; as well as fellow Dominican Sisters and Brothers.

The Dominican family is preparing for the 801th anniversary of the confirmation of the Order of Preachers in 2017.