The University of Santo Tomas (UST) welcomed the arrival of the Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, His Eminence Cardinal Edwin Frederick O’Brien last September 16, 2016, as the American Cardinal visited the country to lead the investiture ceremonies of the Knights and Dames of the Equestrian Order.

Upon his arrival at the University, His Eminence Cardinal Edwin Frederick O’Brien graced the halls of the UST Main Building, where he was greeted by UST Secretary-General Fr. Winston F. Cabading, O.P., Vice-Rector Fr. Richard G. Ang, O.P., Vice-Rector for Academic Affairs Prof. Clarita D. Carillo, PhD, and student leaders, before proceeding to a courtesy call on UST Rector Rev. Fr. Herminio V. Dagohoy, O.P.

The courtesy call was followed by a welcome reception hosted by Fr. Dagohoy. It was attended by the Dominican Fathers, administrators, deans, and student leaders.

In his speech, Cardinal O’Brien enlightened the guests about the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem – an institution tasked to provide for the needs of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem and support Christians in the Holy Land. He also introduced former Ambassador to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Jesus Tambunting, who holds the rank of a lieutenant in the Order. The ambassador, who coordinated the Cardinal’s visit to UST, is a member of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, having been Knighted by the Vatican in 2004.

Meanwhile, the Grand Master also noted the Thomasian community’s resilience. “Through wars and revolutions and all kinds of internal and external threats to the faith and the University, you are staying strong, and that strength is all the more necessary today than ever before,” he said.

To cap the visit of Cardinal O’Brien, His Eminence was serenaded by the world-renowned UST Singers and was given a coffee table book on the visit of Pope Francis to UST and the Lumina Pandit as University tokens.

His Eminence also visited Guam and Taiwan before arriving in the country for the investiture ceremonies.