Thanksgiving Mass serves as Opening of School Year and Kick-off of 45th DWCU Foundation Anniversary

The New DWCU President

In spite of the overcast skies and ceaseless rains brought about by the typhoon Falcon, nothing could stop the celebration of the Divine Word College of Urdaneta community to install its new president, Fr. Gil T. Manalo, SVD,  albeit the suspension of classes declared by DepEd in some provinces including Pangasinan that prompted some of the students not to attend the occasion. The event took its full swing last Friday, June 24 at the St. Michael’s Gymnasium, starting with a Thanksgiving Mass to commemorate not only the installation of Fr. President but also to formally open school year 2011-2012 and kick-off  of the 45th DWCU Foundation Anniversary. This day is also offered as celebration for the birth of John the Baptist.

The Thanksgiving Mass presided by Fr. Jerome A. Adriatico, SVD, the Provincial Superior of the Northern Province, carried on regardless of the bad weather. Though classes were suspended, some students stayed to take part and have the opportunity to be part of the memorable event.

Fr. Cris Cancino, SVD, the Rector of the SVD Community in Urdaneta City, gave a brief introduction of the SVD confreres at the beginning of the mass and as observed the whole DWCU community took part in the said event from the preparatory up to the college level. Fr. Adriatico gave a lengthy homily discussing the importance of each part of the theme of this year’s Foundation Anniversary: “DWCU @ 45: Dreaming, Witnessing, Celebrating, and Upholding the SVD Core Values”. At the end of the mass comes the pinnacle of the given celebration, the installation of the new president of DWCU.

The rite of installation of the new president started with Fr. Provincial Superior addressing Fr. Gil T. Manalo, SVD and handing out the great responsibility that he may face as the president of DWCU. With the entrustment, Fr. Gil was also handed items each with its own symbol that will guide him in his leadership. The Bible as the source of inspiration and spiritual nourishment; the toga, hood, and robe, as a symbol of academic excellence and authority; the DWCU mace depicting the school motto and the DWCU flag with its colors of golden yellow and blue. After the ceremony, Fr. Gil gave his response and message to the community. He ended his message by saying ‘…continue to be an institution that will lead towards the kingdom of God.” The recital of the prayer of commitment of the administrators, faculty and personnel came next after the speech of the president.

Bishop Jacinto Jose, D.D. giving his inspirational message

After the opening mass and installation, a program took place at the same venue that began with the welcoming address of the newly-installed president. It was followed by the community singing headed by the Elementary Department and a special presentation of some selected students. For the introduction of the Guest Speaker, Mrs. Joelita M. Bernabe, Dean of the College Department, was given the task to present Most Rev. Jacinto A. Jose, Bishop of Urdaneta. In his message, the bishop emphasizes the importance of the meaning of this Foundation Anniversary’s theme. The administrators, faculty, and personnel have also taken the program as an opportunity to show their talents. The crowd went wild when some of the employees danced to the tune of VST and “Waka-Waka” by Shakira. Also, Mr. Marvin Estacio, in his number, serenaded the audience with his mellow voice  while some teachers of the high school department and Russell Allan Majarucon, a first year high school student, rocked the crowd with their performance of Rivermaya songs.

Fr. Edgar L. Calunod, the Administrative and Finance Officer, gave his words of thanks to all those who attended and partake that very memorable event even though the weather is not showing any signs of getting better. To end the program, Bishop Jose gave his final blessing to everyone.

 Mr. Romeo F. Laforteza served as the Master of Ceremonies of the Welcoming Program.

(l-r) Fr. Tanysun Sunico, SVD, Fr. Teodosio Saluba, SVD, Fr. Robert Ibay, SVD, Fr. Jerome Adriatico, SVD, Fr. Gil Manalo, SVD, Bishop Jacinto Jose, D.D., Fr. Servas Tethun, SVD, Fr. Edgar Calunod, SVD, and Fr. Elmer Loreto, SVD

Reported by Mr. Aldwin Sipin, The Vine publication Adviser.  Just click here for more pictures of the Opening Mass and Installation of Fr. Gil T. Manalo, SVD.

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