Cardinal Advincula leads mass in celebration of the 80th Anniversary of Canonical Establishment of the Parish

In celebration of the 80th Anniversary of the Canonical Establishment of the UST Santisimo Rosario Parish, Manila Archbishop Jose F. Cardinal Advincula, O.P., D.D. presided over the Eucharistic Celebration on March 21, 2022.

The Sycamore trees of the Parish

In his homily, Cardinal Advincula underscored the importance of having the deep desire to encounter Jesus, echoing the day’s Gospel where Zacchaeus climbed a Sycamore tree just to have a glimpse of the Lord. “The desire to encounter and to commute with the Lord must be our lasting desire, must be the motivation of every activity and program in this Parish,” Cardinal Advincula said.

According to the Manila Archbishop, climbing our version of Sycamore trees, which the Lord constantly brings us, can help us overcome the two blocks that hamper our desire to see the Lord: a crowded heart and the anxiety of feeling small. He likewise compared the Parish priests and the lay members present and past to Sycamore trees that contributed to the community’s thriving history and service to the Church since its establishment in 1942. “The beauty of the story of Zacchaeus is that the Lord sends us many Sycamore trees to help us see Jesus […] we remember the parish priests and lay leaders who contributed immensely to the growth of this Parish. We thank them for being our sycamore trees that helped us see Jesus clearly amidst the crowd of Parish life, amidst the limitations and difficulties along the journey,” Cardinal Advincula said.

In his message, Santisímo Rosario Parish Priest Rev. fr. Paul Reagan O. Talavera, O.P. expressed his gratitude to all his predecessors, as well as the late Assoc. Prof. Richard G. Pazcoguin, O.P., who wrote “Sa Lilim ng Iyong Pagkalinga”, the song he gifted to the Parish for its 80th anniversary celebration. “Your services built the Parish to how and what it is now,” fr. Talavera said.

Brief history of the Parish

During the turbulent months at the dawn of the Second World War, then-Archbishop of Manila, the Most Rev. Michael J. O’ Doherty, D.D. issued a decree on March 21, 1942, establishing the Santisímo Rosario Parish. One month later, on April 26, He presided over a Pontifical High Mass at the UST Chapel, which he canonically inaugurated the parish, with Fr. Emiliano Serrano, O.P. as its first pastor.

The UST Chapel, built in art deco style, was among the earliest edifices in the campus, and has since served as a venue of the official and religious functions of the University since 1932. It became the center of the liturgico-sacramental life of the parishioners.

On its high altar was the enshrined image of Our Lady of the Rosary, which was transferred from the old chapel of the University in Intramuros.

On September 28, 1942, the image of Our Lady of La Naval de Manila was transferred to the University of Santo Tomas and it was enshrined at the main altar of the UST Chapel. The image of Mary was spared from the destruction of the Old Santo Domingo Church in Intramuros; thus, the first fiesta celebration of the Santisimo Rosario Parish, set on October 7, the universal feast of the Holy Rosary, was graced by the presence of the historical image of the Blessed Mother. This event went on for several more years until in 1954 when the image of the La Naval was solemnly transferred to the Santo Domingo Church in Quezon City.

The original parish image was then restored to its former place at the high altar, until the implementation of the liturgical reforms of the Second Vatican Council.

Watch the celebration here.