On January 21, 2017, (4pm Rome / 11pm Manila time) Pope Francis will celebrate the closing Mass of the Dominican Jubilee Year at the Archbasilica of St. John Lateran in Rome. The Mass will be attended by members of the Dominican family from all over the world.
The Dominican Jubilee Year themed, "Sent to Preach the Gospel" celebrates the 800th anniversary of the approval of the Order of Preachers in 1216. The celebration began on November 7, 2016, Feast of All Saints of the Order. Pope Honorius III confirmed the foundation of St. Dominic's new Order in his bull, Religiosam Vitam, issued on December 22, 1216. The Jubilee Year will officially end on January 21, 2017, the same date in 1217 when the Pope promulgated a second bull, Gratiarum Omnium Largitori, which completed the confirmation of the Order and gave it its distinct name and character.
Towards the closing of the Jubilee, an international congress for the Mission of the Order will be held in Rome, to be attended by members and representatives of the Dominican family from different countries. The Congress will run from January 17 to 21, 2017 at the renowned Dominican-run Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas - Angelicum.
The Congress aims to:
- Promote awareness and understanding of the different areas and contexts of the mission of the Order today;
- Encourage and promote mutual cooperation between the regions and the entities of the Order;
- Promote the creation of collaborative networks in specific apostolic fields (which may occur );
- Identify presences and forms of apostolate of the Order that must be strengthened; and
- Propose common values and guidelines to the mission of the Order, in the aim to further deepen our specific contribution to the mission of evangelization of the Church.
Various fora and workshops will be held to tackle the different themes involving the Mission of the Order, such as migrants, indigenous peoples, interreligious dialogue and ecumenism, parish ministry, devotion to the Rosary, education and evangelization, schools of preaching, pastoral in prison, human rights, media, and others.
Neo-Centennial Retreat in the Philippines
To welcome the beginning of the Order's ninth century, the Dominican family in the Philippines will be holding a Neo-Centennial Retreat from 21-22 January 2017 at the Quadricentennial Pavilion of the Pontifical University of Santo Tomas in Manila. In his letter of invitation, Prior Provincial Fr. Napoleon Sipalay, Jr., OP urged the Dominican family to "see the culmination not as an end, but as an invitation to pursue more undertakings worthy of celebration." He also wishes "to invoke God’s gracious providence to give us that prospective gaze into the years of grace that are still ahead of us—a future that is in the hands of the youth today."
The event will be attended by members of the YTP Lay Dominican Fraternity.
YTP Lay Dominican Fraternity represented in Rome
In all the aforesaid activities, the Young Thomasian Professionals (YTP) Lay Dominican Fraternity is blessed to have itself represented by its president, Aldrin Michael Varsovia, O.P., who, as of posting time, is already in Rome. YTP formator, Dr. Belén L. Tangco, O.P., president of the Dominican Laity Provincial Council (Philippine Province) and Asia-Pacific Coordinator for the International Council of Lay Dominican Fraternities (ICLDF), will also be present.
From Manila, the YTP group sends its warmest felicitations to all our brothers and sisters from all over the world, together with our fervent prayer for a successful, meaningful, and empowering Congress. May the light and wisdom of the Holy Spirit, the same power which guided our holy father St. Dominic to set out on his mission 800 years ago, be with them.
- Programme of the International Congress for the Mission of the Order (copy provided by Aldrin Michael D. Varsovia, OP)
- The Closing Mass of the Jubilee - Preparations