PHILIPPINES | Seven Diocesan Priests Make Profession in the Dominican Fraternity
In a solemn celebration of the Holy Eucharist, seven priests from the Archdiocese of San Fernando Pampanga made profession in the Priestly Fraternities of St. Dominic at 10:00 in the morning of Wednesday, 18 September 2013, the Feast of our brother St. John Macias. The Mass was held at the Virgen de los Remedios Repository Chapel at San Jose, San Fernando City, Pampanga.
With the Archbishop Paciano B. Aniceto, D.D. presiding, the Mass was concelebrated by Fr. Quirico T. Pedregosa Jr., OP, Rector of the University of Santo Tomas Central Seminary, and Fr. Filemon I. de la Cruz Jr., OP, Provincial Promoter of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Dominic in the Philippines, who also presided over the rite of profession.
In his homily, Fr. Pedregosa clarified a commonly misconstrued impression that the diocesan priests are somehow taken away from the diocese by their profession in the Dominican Order, "We are not taking them away from you; we are not changing them; we are adding something to them." The Priestly Fraternity indeed respects the fundamental authority of the Local Ordinary over the clergy of the ecclesiastical territory. As the Rule of the Fraternity states, while the Order provides the priests with spiritual aids and directs them to their own sanctification, it leaves them free for the complete service of the local Church, under the jurisdiction of their own Bishop. Profession in the Order of St. Dominic not only helps them to become fully conscious of their hierarchical communion with the Bishop and the Pope (Art. 5 §3, Rule), but also allows them to recognize that they constitute a part of the Dominican Family and belong to a special brotherhood (Art. 9 §2, Rule).
The newly-professed members of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Dominic, namely, Fr. Rodolfo P. de Guzman, Fr. Manuel C. Sta. Maria, Fr. Francis Michael S. Mallari, Fr. Mario Sol M. Gabriel, Fr. Angel Amir R. Gamboa, Fr. Ramil S. Capulong, and Fr. Emmanuel S. Contreras, were welcomed into the Dominican Family with Fr. Pedregosa's challenge, that is, to manifest not only a life of preaching but a preaching life. With the priests' families, friends, and other members of the clergy witnessing, the occasion gave testimony to the richness of Dominican life as manifested and shared in the growing family of St. Dominic.