On the evening of January 20, 2017 (Friday), the celebration of the 800th Jubilee of the Order of Preachers was officially closed in the Philippine province, in a solemn Eucharistic Celebration presided over by Most Rev. Socrates B. Villegas, O.P., D.D., Archbishop of Lingayen-Dagupan and President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines.

The Mass, which began with the singing of the hymn of the jubilee, “Laudare, Benedicere, Praedicare,” composed by Rev. Fr. Guiseppe Arsciwals, O.P., was concelebrated by Dominican priests from the Philippine and Holy Rosary provinces, and was attended by priests, deacons, nuns, and laity.

The five wells
In his homily, Archbishop Villegas singled out the Dominican contribution to the Church by stating that while the world speaks both of the need for intelligence quotient and emotional quotient, the Order of Preachers has demonstrated the “Wonder Quotient,” as modeled by Saint Dominic.

“The wonder quotient is the ability to be in awe at the mystery of God and to have faith in Him,” the CBCP president, who is a member of the Dominican Clerical Fraternity of the Philippines, said.

Archbishop Villegas challenged his fellow Dominicans to welcome the Neo-Centennial by reflecting on what the Dominicans have been and what they will be in the next century.

With the aim of making sure that through the presence of Dominicans, Saint Dominic and Christ Himself can be seen by others, Archbishop Villegas enumerated five wells which Dominicans must remember:

1. Pray well
2. Study well
3. Play well
4. Eat well
5. Sleep well

These, he said, will ensure that Dominicans live a balanced ministry which others can emulate.

400 @ 800
In the same celebration, the much-awaited coffee table book on the 400th-year anniversary of the University of Santo Tomas, entitled “400@800: A Tribute to the 8th Centenary of the Dominican Order (1216-2016)”, was launched.

In his message, UST Publishing House Director John Jack G. Wigley, PhD said that this is UST’s tribute to the legacy of the Order of Preachers in the Far East, for through its confreres, one of the country’s leading universities was founded.

In his foreword, UST Rector Fr. Herminio V. Dagohoy, O.P., PhD hoped that the book “will provide us with the wonderful opportunity to engage in a nostalgic dialogue with our historic past and lead us to a dynamic and vibrant discussion about our singular accomplishments.”