The University of Santo Tomas Hospital (USTH) partially opened the St. John Paul II Building (SJPII) on the Lacson Avenue side of the Sampaloc campus on April 30, 2022. The ceremonies were conducted through hybrid modality, with a limited in-person program and a Eucharistic Celebration live streamed on the University of Santo Tomas and UST Hospital Facebook page.
The eleven-storey SJPII Building is the third building of USTH. It houses the latest facilities and technologies of the hospital, including the following ancillary and medical services that will now be operational: Dermatology Center, Center for Respiratory Medicine, Blood Bank, Anatomic and Clinical Pathology, and San Jose Ward. It is named after St. John Paul II, who visited the University as Pope in 1981 and 1995, and whose miracles of healing led to his quick beatification and canonization.
In his message, USTH Chief Executive Officer Rev. Fr. Julius Paul Factora, O.P., detailed the 11-year journey to open SJPII, which started construction in 2011, in UST’s 411th year, saying “God’s timing is always perfect.”
“We are not only opening another building in the UST Hospital Complex, but we are opening another era in the hospital’s history, and we are blessed to be at this threshold, standing between the hospital’s great achievements of the recent past, and the hospital’s further glorious contribution to the healthcare community into the immediate future,” said Fr. Factora.
The Eucharistic Celebration was presided over by the Master of the Order of Preachers and UST Chancellor Very Rev. Fr. Gerard Francisco Timoner, III, O.P. In his homily, he shared, “Our dear doctors and nurses, you touch the wounds of Christ in your patients. The hospital is also an institution for evangelization. The Church is on a synodal path, and synodal means walking together, and I hope, in our own institutions too, we will be able to communicate that same spirit of synodality. We must be capable of listening to one another, of listening to points of views other than our own, but in the end, the decision must always be for the common good. I hope that you will also take this path, because that is the surest way to make this hospital truly successful and faithful to the work of the Gospel.”
In his inspirational message, UST Rector Very Rev. Fr. Richard G. Ang, O.P., Ph.D., thanked the previous and present USTH administrators, who led the hospital to this moment. In Filipino, he expressed, “I believe that we all want USTH to be a peaceful home, where expert doctors and nurses can serve, and where patients can seek healing from illnesses of the body and soul. USTH is a family, and families always help each other, showing concern and care for each other, needing a synergy of minds and spirit. As St. John Paul II said, ‘To maintain a joyful family requires much. Each member must become the servant of others.’”
To conclude the partial opening ceremonies, UST Vice-Chancellor and Prior Provincial of the Dominican Province of the Philippines Very Rev. Fr. Filemon I. dela Cruz, Jr., O.P., underscored the importance of “never forgetting that [the USTH] is an instrument of service and healing.”
Fr. dela Cruz also reminded the community, “Let us continue to think of what else we can give to the people.”
The administrative, finance, and executive offices will also be transferred to the SJPII Building, with walkways connecting to the St. John Macias, O.P. Building and St. Vincent Ferrer, O.P. Building.
With new services available to more people, USTH continues to deliver multidisciplinary Healthcare service that is Exemplary, Appropriate, Responsive, and Thomasian (HEART).