PHILIPPINES | Conventual Feast welcomes new priests in the Fraternity
As the friars of the Convent of St. John Lateran in Intramuros, Manila, commemorated the feast of its patron St. John the Baptist, they welcomed five new priests in the Fraternities of St. Dominic: Fr. Rufo Ramil H. Cruz (Diocese of San Jose, Nueva Ecija); Fr. Remigio Mariano Jr. and Fr. Albert Villamor Miranda Jr. (Diocese of Tucson, Arizona); Fr. Alain Nocete (Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro); and Fr. Rufino Coronel Sescon Jr. (Archdiocese of Manila).
Joining the friars of the convent, headed by its prior, fr. Victor Calvo, OP, were other members of the priestly fraternity, foremost of whom was the Archbishop of Lingayen-Dagupan, Most Rev. Socrates Villegas, who started his journey in the fraternity in 2015. With the event coinciding with the 5th anniversary of the foundation of the chapter of Lay Fraternities of St. Dominic based in the convent, the ceremony likewise became an occasion for members of the Dominican laity to come together and take part in the joyous gathering.
There were also guests coming from the USA on account of two of the admitted candidates, who were both Filipino priests incardinated in the Diocese of Tucson in Arizona. Among them were Most Rev. Gerald Kicanas and Fr. Frank Cady, Bishop Emeritus and priest of the same diocese, respectively. Also with them was Sr. Lois Paha, OP, of the Adrian Dominican Sisters, and some lay faithful from Tucson.
With the Prior Provincial, fr. Napoleon Sipalay Jr., OP, as presider, the rite of admission of the priests was held within the conventual celebration of the evening prayers following a communal praying of the holy rosary. It was held in the chapel of Colegio de San Juan de Letran, Manila, whose newly installed Rector, fr. Clarence Victor Marquez, OP, was likewise in attendance. It is interesting to note that the same school stands as the alma mater of two of the admitted candidates, namely, Fr. Mariano and Fr. Sescon, and also of Abp. Villegas.
In his allocution, the Prior Provincial highlighted the role of conversation in nourishing the spirituality of the Order. He likewise exhorted the priests to live their priestly ministry with particular dedication to serving the Word by sharing His Word to the suffering, the poor and the marginalized. Upon the conclusion of the rite, everyone partook of the generous supper served by the friar’s community at the convent refectory.