A LIGHT FOR PEACE. The Dominican family, along with the families of EJK victims, light their candles and say their prayers for justice and peace. PHOTO | Davy Chioa, OP
Letran Lay Dominicans and other members of the Dominican family kicked off the celebration of the Dominican Peace Month last December 2 at Dagat-dagatan in Navotas City.
The inauguration was held at the San Lorenzo Ruiz and Companion Martyrs Parish and was graced by the consul of the Embassy of Colombia.
The event followed a circular issued by the Dominican Family for Justice and Peace and Care for Creation (JPCC) Promoter last November 22, which encouraged everyone to actively participate in the month-long observance of the Dominican Peace Month.
The Peace Month is observed in solidarity with the families of victims affected by the spate of alleged extra-judicial killings in Dagat-dagatan. It is also intended for the Peace Workers of Colombia, whose untiring efforts had achieved the end of the 52-year conflict in their country with the signing of a peace treaty last November.
In his homily during the opening mass, Rev. Fr. Napoleon Sipalay, OP, the prior provincial, expounded on the message of the readings and gospel for Advent, the overall message being: be prepared for the coming of Christ.
The main celebrant was Rev. Fr. Butch Bombase, OP, the promoter for JPCC Asia-Pacific. He was joined by Sipalay; Rev. Fr. Victor Calvo, OP, the promoter of JPCC – DPP; Rev. Fr. Pablo Tiong, OP, the vice rector for Religious Affairs of the University of Santo Tomas; Rev. Fr. Bienvenido Trinilla, OP, the former promoter of JPCC; Rev. Fr. Ogie Ouirao, OP, the superior of St. Lorenzo Ruiz Dominican House; and Rev. Fr. Dolfo Canceran, OP.
After the mass, family members of the EJK victims shared their personal experiences in losing their loved ones: fathers, mothers, brothers, and sons who were unjustly killed in what was supposedly a crackdown on illegal drugs. In that activity moderated by Dr. Mark Abenir of UST Simbahayan, the most painful details were recounted – victims were apprehended by masked men, taken away, and mercilessly shot.
A candle lighting ceremony followed; the Prayer of Peace was led by Maria Luz Mision.
“Their courage is admirable, but they need our prayer and presence to stand with them and accompany them in their journey to healing,” said one lay Dominican.
The Dominican Peace Month will end on January 1, 2018.