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UST-Legazpi blazes the trail during DomNet TEC '18

Ignited by the excitement for their first Dominican Network Teens Encounter Christ (DOMNET TEC), the 702 participants, mostly first-year college students with some from senior high school, packed the University of Santo Tomas-Legazpi (UST-Legazpi) Dome on August 17-18, 2018. The overnight activity, which aims to instil Dominican identity among the students and to create an avenue for them to experience a personal encounter with God, is an annual event spearheaded by the Center for Campus Ministry (CCM) through the active involvement and facilitation of the Dominican Youth Group (UST-Legazpi Chapter) and the Knights of Columbus College Council 9620. This year’s gathering is inspired by the Dominican zeal for missionary activity. Hence, the theme is “Blaze the Trail: Following Jesus, the Dominican Way”.

The activity commenced at 6:00 PM with the celebration of the Holy Mass presided by the Vice-President for Religious Affairs Rev. Fr. Felix C. Legaspi III, OP. Fr. Legaspi formally welcomed the participants and encouraged them to enjoy the presence of each other. The momentum continued as the participants interacted with their group mates during the dynamic getting-to-know activity. The conversations were interrupted when Mr. Charles Bautista, one of the pioneer DomNet kids, was introduced. Mr. Bautista shared the brief yet informative history of DomNet with some inspiring and funny stories of those who initiated the genesis of the youth group. After so much giddying and laughing caused by Mr. Bautista’s stories, dinner was orderly served to each group through the representatives who were happy to serve their group mates. The conversations among the participants continued as they were enjoying their dinner.

After responding to their physiological needs, the participants were fed by the engaging and thought-provoking talk of Rev. Fr. Roman “Don” L. Santos, OP. “Are you now ready to become Dominicans?” was the question asked by Fr. Don to the participants to which they answered with a resounding yes. However, he clarified first what it means to follow Jesus via the Dominican way. He expounded the primacy of truth in the lives of the Dominicans, and in which everything in life must be anchored on. It is the same truth that animated St. Dominic and his followers to dispel the darkness of ignorance and falsehood especially during the spread of Albigensian heresy. Today, as Fr. Don was contextualizing the situation of the participants, every Dominican student is being formed in and by that same truth so that each of them may be empowered to stand for that truth – Jesus, the Way, the Truth and the Life (Jn 14:6). Towards the end, he mentioned that living by the truth means being honest and truthful in words and deeds. And if we preach that truth in the way we live, then we are truly Dominicans.

Deepening and processing through the group sharing followed the talk of Fr. Don. The participants shared with their respective group their simple ways on how they can become bearers of truth as Dominicans. Then, the big number of participants was assisted to form a three-layer oval for the ritual of light as a general processing of the group activity. Mr. Joseph Anthony E. Endraca, the Assistant Campus Minister together with the music ministry, led the participants to a short reflection and prayer. In the ritual of light, the young Dominicans were led to reflective glimpse at the salvation history starting from the Father, the creator, and source of all light, to Jesus Christ, the light of the world; and to St. Dominic de Guzman, one of the countless saints who set the world on fire – a burning zeal for the love of God and the salvation of souls. Towards the end, the participants were challenged to make their lights shine to the world that is being darkened by the clouds of sin.

The rest of the night was spent for the “jamming kantahan”, dancing, and uplifting praise and worship. The participants stayed joined the praising, singing, and dancing for Jesus led by the Music Ministry. The next day, after the Farewell Ritual, the participants happily went home filled with new Dominican experiences and new Dominican friends.

Posted on: 08.20.2018

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