The University of Santo Tomas formally opened the Academic Year 2022-2023 with the traditional Misa de Apertura led by Bishop of Pasig and Vice-President of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines Most Rev. Mylo Hubert Vergara, D.D. on August 4, 2022 at the Santísimo Rosario Parish.
‘The opening of the classes is a Pentecost for us’
In his homily, Bishop Vergara compared the resumption of classes in Academic Year 2022-2023 to the Pentecost scene where the Holy Spirit, in a form of a flame, descended upon the Apostles who sought refuge.
“Like the disciples of Christ, who came out of the upper room, we are challenged courageously to share each other the stories of the risen Christ, who has always given hope amidst the darkness of the pandemic, even when the usual modality of education was put to a two-year halt,” Bishop Vergara said.
Citing an instruction published by the Dicastery for Culture and Education, Bishop Vergara called for the renewal of one’s human and Catholic identity; he also underscored the crucial role and the strength of Catholic schools to provide integral formation in human and Christian values, aiming to embolden the community as they face different crises in life.
“In this light, a renewed spiritual formation of the human person of our young students, their parents and even our educators should be an urgent focus due to the negative psychological effects of the pandemic to the mental health of many of us,” he said.
Bishop Vergara also urged the Thomasian community to renew their faith in our Lord and to have a deeper introspection of the centrality of God in times of trouble. “By the renewal of our faith in Jesus Christ, we have the comfort and consolation we seek to gain healing and hopefully attain the peace of mind and heart that God is in charge, whatever crisis comes to our way.” he said.
The University’s initiative to resume limited in-person classes, after two years, is almost in its full swing. The academic units that received a green light from the University Crisis Management Committee to conduct limited face-to-face sessions for its selected programs are the Faculty of Arts and Letters, the College of Tourism and Hospitality Management, the Faculty of Pharmacy, the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, the College of Rehabilitation Sciences, the College of Nursing, and the College of Science.
The Misa de Apertura was immediately followed by the Discurso de Apertura, led by Prof. Clarita D.L. Carillo, PhD, the University’s Assistant to the Rector for Planning and Quality Management.
The traditional academic lecture is delivered before faculty members and students of the University. It was first delivered in 1866 and has since been delivered by Thomasian academic leaders in their areas of expertise.