Sunday, February 28, 2010

History of the Dominican Secular Institute in the Philippines

The Dominican Secular Institute of the Queen of the Most Holy Rosary was instigated by the late Fr. Pablo V. Fernandez, OP in 1984. For three years he officially gave an Initiation to thirty-six lay men and women as Extern members of the Secular Institute in August 8, 1986. The sole purpose and objective of this quasi-religious community is for personal or self-sanctification and sanctification of others. The community was urged to say the Liturgy of the Hours, recitation of the Holy Rosary, monthly confession, recollection/retreat, daily Mass and regular Spiritual conferences.

In 1986 there were thirty-six members who worked in the parish especially every Sunday. The late Fr. Pablo Fernandez trained the group to observe rigid penance by fasting, abstinence and mortification. They also celebrate three great feasts in the Order of Preachers, namely, Solemnity of the Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, our Holy Father St. Dominic and St. Vincent Ferrer. They also recite the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Officio Parvo) and other special devotions to St. Joseph and the Poor Souls in Purgatory. They also observe maximum silence after the recitation of Compline and especially during Advent and Lent. The females are wearing veils during Eucharistic celebration and highly recommended to wear modest attire and with the males they are admonished to observe chastity through constant reception of the sacraments especially Confession and Communion, to avoid idleness and occasions of sin and total consecration to Mary. For several years the members are formed in accordance with the Rule of the Secular Institute especially having the charism of contemplating and sharing the fruits of contemplation to others. Fr. Pablo also encouraged the members to read spiritual books (Lectio Divina) especially the Devout Life, The Way of Perfection, Interior Castle and the Admonitions and Exhortations of Saint Vincent Ferrer.

In 1990, the group was divided into two for male and female. Mo. Rosario Villanueva, OP the spiritual daughter of Fr. Pablo was assigned as co-formator. Fr. Pablo initiated a special devotion in honor of Our Lady which is the recitation of the fifteen decades of the Holy Rosary daily with meditation and urged to recite the Office of Our Lady’s Saturday weekly.

In 1991, Fr. Pablo introduced Prayer-partner among the members with the Dominican Saints as Companion Partners. He permitted the members to use names in religion.

In 1992, Mo. Rosario discussed a bit of Summa Theologica and religiously explained the lives of Dominican saints. Fr. Pablo also emphasized the significance of tongue communion and avoidance of Charismatic style in prayer inside the Church especially before the exposed or reposed Blessed Sacrament.

In 1993, Fr. Pablo became sickly and permitted Mo. Rosario to act as Spiritual Directress of the Secular Institute. She continued the goals and ideals of Fr. Pablo in retaining the Dominican traditions and focusing on Jesus through Mary. Mo. Rosario started monthly conferences about interior life and the Dominican Nine ways of Prayer.

In 1994 Fr. Pablo was confined at UST Hospital for several months. In spite of his weak condition he continued to administer monthly Confession to the members.

On May 1994, his condition deteriorated and was unconscious. The members were assigned to take care of him by shifting.

In June 7, 1994 Fr. Pablo entered the heavenly Kingdom. The members returned to their respective Dominican Laity Chapters. After long years, the attempts to revive the Secular Institute were planned, but none of them succeeded because of the unavailability of some Dominican priests to act as confessors and consultants.

It was in June 2008 when the plans for the Secular Institute materialized with Mo. Rosario as one of the consultants. Her transfer from Tarlac to Manila paved the way to revive the dream of Fr. Pablo once more.

The said Secular Institute is now known as The Company Saint Dominic, and by the grace of God, is granted permission as a consecrated secular community in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Manila by His Eminence Gaudencio Cardinal B. Rosales, DD, Archbishop of Manila last August 6, 2009. The CSD is given authentic Dominican spiritual formation by the Congregation of the Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine of Siena - Philippines.

No comments:

Post a Comment