Profession in the Priestly Fraternities of St. Dominic in the Philippines
On the Friday of the fifth week of Lent, 27 March 2015, Fr. Edgardo I. Toribio Jr., of the Diocese of Malolos, made profession in the Priestly Fraternities of St. Dominic. The Prior Provincial of the Dominican Province of the Philippines, Fr. Gerard Francisco Timoner III, OP, presided over the rite, which was held at the Parish of Santisima Trinidad in the City of Malolos, Bulacan, in the presence of the parishioners and some Dominican sisters, family members, and friends of Fr. Toribio.
Born on 8 September 1981, Fr. Garry was ordained as a priest of the Diocese of Malolos in the Province of Bulacan, Philippines, on 6 June 2009. He was received into the priestly fraternities on 17 March 2014. Below is a brief testimony from Fr. Garry:
Having been born on the feast of the Birth of Our Lady, I grew up in faith with filial devotion to her, something that was nourished all the more as I spent my elementary years at a school run by the Religious of the Virgin Mary. This is one of the influences to my young vocation that made me enter the minor seminary of our Diocese, which is also dedicated to Our Lady, in 1994.
My first contact with the Dominican family was through the Dominican Sisters of St. Joseph who exercise an apostolate in the minor seminary. They were our "mothers" in the seminary, and were usually those who took care of us when we got sick. It was from them that I learned about the Dominican Order and the religious life because, at that time, there were no male religious house or apostolate known to me in our province.
I decided to join the Order of Preachers by entering the pre-Novitiate formation program in 1998 at the St. Albert the Great Convent in Calamba, Laguna, where I appreciated more the very deep Marian devotion and tradition of the Order. Though I left during the Novitiate formation, I maintained personal contacts with members of the Dominican family: friars, nuns, sisters, laity, and even members of the priestly fraternity.
After finishing collegiate studies in 2003, I was invited by my former minor seminary rector to teach at my Alma Mater. After a year of teaching and much discernment, I decided to undergo theological formation in our diocesan seminary, until I was eventually ordained a priest on June 6, 2009, which is a first Saturday, a special day for Our Lady.
Having completed previous ministries in different parishes in the Diocese of Malolos, I am now working at the Immaculate Conception School of Malolos, and in the Santisima Trinidad Parish, while also studying Educational Management at a nearby university. In all of these apostolic undertakings, I bring with me the Dominican spirituality of "sharing the fruits of one's contemplation", especially in preaching in the liturgy, and in teaching the faith to our young students. I have always endeavored to teach my students the values of honesty and fidelity to the truth, exhorting them to put into practice "Veritas" in their lives.
I again consider it a blessing to be able to make my profession in the Priestly Fraternities of St. Dominic on the Friday of the fifth week of Lent, which is known in many places, especially here in the Philippines, as "Viernes Dolores", a day dedicated to Our Lady of Sorrows. I hope that my Marian devotion, and particularly my Dominican vocation, may be strengthened and may continue to be my guide as I continually serve the Church as a diocesan priest. I also wish that many other priests in the Philippines may find inspiration and spiritual help by joining the Dominican family through the fraternity.
(29 March 2015)