PHILIPPINES | Profession of Ten Priests Leads to Erection of New Chapter
Amid the global pandemic, a new chapter of the Dominican Priestly Fraternities was erected in the Province of the Philippines on 4 September 2020. The Chapter of St. Martin de Porres is currently composed of sixteen priests from the dioceses of Malolos, Iba, Cabanatuan, and Balanga, ten of whom made their profession on 1 September 2020 at the chapel of the Dominican Nuns at the Queen of Angels Monastery in Bocaue, Bulacan.
With the Prior Provincial, fr. Napoleon Sipalay Jr., OP, as presider and celebrant, the rite was held within the Eucharistic celebration assisted by fr. Florentino Bolo Jr., OP, and fr. Arden Dacuma, OP, Promoter and Assistant Promoter, respectively. The ritual was also witnessed by Dominican Apostolic Sisters and members of the Dominican Laity, all of whom meticulously observed the government protocols on physical distancing and the wearing of face masks.
Three of the five priests in the Novitiate formation were not able to join the ritual due to restrictions coming from the community quarantine enforced by the regions covering their respective dioceses. Nevertheless, the newly professed members constituted the chapter, which then proceeded to elect its first prior, Fr. Edgardo Toribio Jr. (Diocese of Malolos), and the council members: Fr. Jose Dennis A. Espejo (Diocese of Malolos); Fr. Eric E. de la Cruz (Diocese of Iba); Fr. Francisco G. Carson (Diocese of Malolos); Fr. Carlo S. Mendoza (Diocese of Malolos); and Fr. Alvin P. Pila (Diocese of Malolos). All elected officers were subsequently confirmed by the Prior Provincial on 7 September 2020.
It can be recalled that the first nine chapters were erected in the Province on 23 September 2017 in the presence of the Master of the Order, fr. Bruno Cadoré, OP, who was then conducting a canonical visitation of the Province. With the creation of the Chapter of St. Martin de Porres, there are now a total of ten chapters of priests in the Province, and still with three more groups currently under formation and are expected to likewise be erected in the coming months.
fr. Florentino Bolo Jr., OP