Online Class on Dominican Spirituality

Online Class on Dominican Spirituality

In the afternoon of April 13 2024, student brothers attended an online class conducted for the newly ordained deacons, priests and student brothers of the Province. The speaker was a well-known scholar, author and professor from Angelicum, Rome, Fr. Paul Murray, OP. His topic was ” Dominican Spirituality.” It was a fruitful and worthwhile learning class.

Lovers of God! Lovers of people? Lovers of cultures?

Lovers of God! Lovers of people? Lovers of cultures?

On October 5th, 2019, we had the opportunity to receive in our Priory of Saint Dominic Father Samuel Agcaracar SVD, who was in Macau as a Visiting Professor in the Faculty of Religious Studies of the University of Saint Joseph. Father Samuel came to our house to share the table and his knowledge with our community. On Saturdays, the Students at Saint Dominic Priory use to gather in the hall to continue learning different topics in order to complement our philosophical and theological formation and to nourish our lives as Dominican Friars.

This Saturday was the moment to learn about Missiology, one topic that will never exhausted because, as we have learnt, our Province is not a Province with missions, is indeed a Missionary Province, therefore we must keep updating our knowledge and experience on what is the main feature of our Province.

Father Samuel developed his lecture on two documents really important of the Church: “Maximun Illud” (Pope Benedict XV) and “Evangelii Gaudium” (Pope Francis I). After talking about highlighted aspects of both documents he finished his speech pointing out there elements that every single person that considers him or herself a missionary ought to take on account: (1) to be a lover of God, (2) to be a lover of people and (3) to be a lover of cultures.

The first element is the most important, the other two cannot exist without the first, but at the same time we show our love for God through our actions, namely, loving people and the diverse cultures throughout the world. How can we go out to preach the Word of God if we do not love the people to whom we are addressing? How can we address the people if first of all we do not know their culture and if we do not give the value that they deserve?

Father Samuel’s lecture was a wide-open invitation to embrace the world and to overflow it with the Word of God. This invitation, in my opinion, is extremely necessary in our continuous discernment within the Dominican life in the Province of Our Lady of the Rosary. To be a lover of God! Is an exclamation and it ought to be always our exclamation; but to love people and cultures, I dare to put it in question marks: each time that we think on our missionary vocation it is important to ask ourselves “do I love the people?” and “do I love the cultures?” When the answer to these questions be an unquestionable “yes” we can say “I am a missionary”. If the answer is in doubt, let us go back to the Source of all our actions, let us go back to Jesus – who sent us, and is sending us every day, to proclaim His message – and ask for strength and humility to embrace the world with all that it contains.

Thank you Father Samuel. You will be always welcome in our house.

Fray Reynaldo Chang, OP.



The University of

Saint Joseph (USJ), in Macau, previously known as Macau Inter-University
Institute, was founded in 1996. It was jointly organized by the Catholic
University of Portugal and the Diocese of Macau. It is also connected by
structural, academic, and social bonds to the Special Administrative Region of
Macau, to Portugal, and to mainland China.

The University has
three campuses: One is located in NAPE, where Masteral courses are offered and
laboratories are located; another is in the Seminary of St. Joseph, where our
Dominican brothers are taking their institutional studies at the Faculty of
Religious Studies; and the third one is the Ilha Verde campus, which is the
main, newly blessed campus of the USJ.

The main campus in
Ilha Verde had not yet been blessed until now in spite that it started
operating on 11th September 2017. This is why such a blessing took
place now, on the 4th of March 2019. The occasion was graced with
the presence of His Eminency Cardinal Fernando Filoni, the Prefect of the
Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, who had been invited by the
University to preside the ceremony, which consisted of a votive Mass in honor
of Saint Joseph and the blessing proper. On this day the morning classes and
activities were suspended by the Rector of the University in order to
facilitate the participation of the students, professors, staff and friends in
the ceremony.

Concelebrating with
Cardinal Filonni there were two bishops, namely, D. Stephen Lee, the bishop of
the Diocese of Macau, and D. Jose Lai, his predecessor. Joining them was
Archbishop-elect Msgr Ante Josic, the Delegate of the Holy See in Hong Kong for
the past ten years, who has recently been named Nuncio in Ivory Coast. Likewise,
Fr. Peter Stilwell, the Rector of the University, and a good number of
priests-professors and priests from different Congregations settled in Macau
diocese were also around the altar. At the very start of the Mass, the bishop
of Macau, D. Stephen Lee, had some welcome remarks and words of gratitude
towards those attending the blessing ceremony.

In his homily,
Cardinal Filoni highlighted the importance of the University of Saint Joseph in
Macau. This institution, according to him, not only offers, like any other
university, a wide range of programs across different fields of knowledge; but,
as a Catholic University, is also called to be a leading center for the study of
Catholic Theology and related disciplines in East Asia, attuned with Macau
unique historical position in the Church in this part of the world. In
addition, Cardinal Filoni spoke beautifully of St Joseph as Jesus teacher by
word and by example. This same pattern he applied to the professors and the
students of this University named after him.

Our Dominican brothers
from St Dominic priory contributed with their voices to make this celebration
more solemn and prayerful, as they sung during the Mass.

Before the end of the
Mass, Cardinal Filoni, the bishop of Macau D. Stephen Lee and the Rector of the
University, Fr Peter Stilwell, proceeded with the blessing of the USJ Ilha
Verde campus. It took place through the prayer and the sprinkling of holy water
of a commemorative stone, a landmark of the University placed under the special
protection of Saint Joseph and of Our Lady of Fatima. All those attending the
ceremony were reminded that the blessing was not mainly for the stone for the
material structures, but rather for those who would study, teach and work at
the University. As a fitting end, there were some exchange of gifts: the
Cardinal gave the University a chasuble for its chapel and a silver medal
commemorative of His Holiness Pope Francis.

Finally, after the
ceremony, there was a meeting of the Rector, Deans, Faculty members and
representatives of the student Association of the University with the
Cardinal at Saint John Bosco auditorium

The Diaconate Ordination of Our Two Brothers

The Diaconate Ordination of Our Two Brothers

Our brothers Ignatius Ngo Van Thu Giang, OP and Francis Nge Nge, OP, have been ordained as deacons on November 1st. On the Solemnity of All Saints by His Excellency Monsignor Stephen Lee Bung-sang, Bishop of Macao at the St. Joseph’s Seminary and Church.  Tother with all the brothers in the  Province of Our Lady of the Rosary we give thanks to the Lord for the gift of the Holy Vocation to the Province. 



The University of Santo Tomas, Manila, recently held its Theology Week 2018 on Church and Communion. A good roster of speakers facilitated the different plenary sessions. One of our brothers from Saint Dominic Priory in Macau was among the distinguished speakers.

Brother Edmond Eh Kim Chew, OP, discussed the topic “Virtue Theory and Ecological Spirituality” within the general theme of the week Church and Communion: Theology & Expressions.

While other speakers discussed communion with God, communion with others, communion in the Church and the family, Brother Edmond reflected – within the theory of virtue – on our communion with nature, in particular with the animals. From the perspective of the Bible, theology and philosophy, our brother presented the example of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron of ecologists, and some insights of Pope Francis in his pace-setting Encyclical Letter Laudato Si’ (May 24, 2015). Indeed, the Sacred Scriptures speak often of animals, of concrete animals – sheep, serpent, dove, dog, etc. – as examples of virtues for human beings. The speaker focused on the virtues of wisdom (sophia), prudence or practical wisdom (phronesis) and simplicity, by developing in particular the well-known saying of Jesus: “Be wise as serpents and innocent as doves” (cf. Mt 3:6). Brother Edmond underlined wisdom and the basic explanations given by St. Paul, St. Augustine, St. Thomas, and Pope Francis. One concrete idea which aroused the interest of the audience was this: Christ outsmarted the Pharisees and others by his wisdom, prudence, and sincerity. Moreover, He outsmarted Satan, too, by his victorious death on the Cross (Fathers of the Church).

Theo Week 2018 was organized by the Faculty of Sacred Theology, the Center for Religious Studies and Ethics, and the Institute of Religion – three units of the Dominican University of Santo Tomas, the Catholic, Pontifical and Royal University of the Philippines, founded in 1611.

Theo Week 2018 was held at function rooms of BGPOP (Buenaventura Garcia de Paredes of the Order of Preachers) Building and the Faculty of Theology auditorium and classes, on February 26 – March 2. It consisted of twelve plenary sessions and paper presentations by professors of the Institute of Religion and candidates for licentiate and doctorate in theology from the Faculty of Sacred Theology. The roster of speakers included Cardinal Charles Maung Bo, from Myanmar, Bishop Joseph Chusac from Thailand, Archbishops Agustinus Agus from Indonesia, and Bishop Teodoro Bacani from the Philippines, plus a good number of distinguished Dominicans from the Philippines and other Asian countries. The Theo Week 2018 attracted many participants – in all about four hundred. A good number of them were theology students – the majority, Dominican brothers and sisters.

One anecdote from Cardinal Bo, who gave the keynote lecture, became like a mantra or motive of the whole series of lectures of Theo Week 18. It was repeated and re-adapted by many speakers and masters of ceremonies throughout the week. There was a bishop who had to cross the seashore to go to his ministry. One day he saw three fishermen who rushes to him, and told him proudly and joyfully: “Bishop, we are Catholics.” The Bishop asked them: “Do you pray?  “Yes, every day.” “How do you pray?” With raised hands up to heaven, we say: “You Three are there; we three are here, have mercy on us.” The good Bishop told them that they should learn the Our Father, and taught it to them very patiently. Two weeks later, the bishop passed by the seashore again. He asked the three fishermen: “Do you pray the Our Father?” “No, Bishop, we forgot it.” The Bishop told them: “Your prayer is fine; it is also my prayer.” The four raised up their hands to heaven and prayed: “You Three are there; we four are here, have mercy on us.”

The UST Theo Week was inaugurated in the academic year 1999-2000. It is currently celebrated every two years. It has become a significant theological event in Manila in which the Christian faith is explained from the present reality and the reading of “the signs of the times.” The participants are invited not only to know their faith better but “to walk the talk,” that is this time, to be in communion with God, with neighbor, in the Church – and with animals, creatures of the universe with us human beings. We hear the call: “Be wise like serpents and innocent like children” – and authentic like Jesus.                                                          

Fausto Gómez Berlana, O.P.

Family Feast Day of the Faculty of Religious Studies  University of Saint Joseph, Macau (RAEM)

Family Feast Day of the Faculty of Religious Studies  University of Saint Joseph, Macau (RAEM)

It has been a custom for the Faculty of Religious Studies (FRS) to commemorate the feast day of St. Francis Xavier as a thanksgiving day of the Faculty. It is also a Family Feast Day for the FRS, since St. Francis Xavier is considered the patron saint of the university students in Hong Kong, Macau and some provinces in China. This year, the FRS celebrated their thanksgiving Family Feast on the 1st of December instead of on the 3rd of December, because the feast of St. Francis Xavier happened on the first Sunday of Advent.

In previous years, the occasion begun with the Eucharistic celebration in the evening, then, followed by dinner and some indoor performances by the members of the Faculty. This year, the Family Feast was held in a different and well-organized way. Since the first week of November, all the members in the Faculty, including full time and visiting professors, and some benefactors of the Faculty, were grouped into families such as Matthean Family, Markan Family, Lukan Family and Johannine Family. Then, in the last week of November, before the day of the celebration, these families were asked to participate in some competitions such as singing, dancing, essay writing, spelling contest and Christmas postcard making. Singing and dancing were required to be done by groups in order that all the members of the different families would collaborate together and gain a sense of team spirit.

In the afternoon of the day of the celebration, the dean, Doctor Arnold Monera, together with the members of the Student Council of the Faculty, facilitated some light parlor games for all family members in Saint Joseph’s Seminary campus. All the family members cooperated enthusiastically in order to get high scores, because awards for overall scores of all competitions had been prepared beforehand. The parlor games were ended up with mini-football matches, played by female members of the Faculty. Every participant was happy and surprised when they saw that matches were fairly played and conducted in such a joyful and vigorous manner.

The Eucharistic celebration, presided by Fr. Javier González OP, began at 5:30 pm, at Saint Joseph’s Church. Fr. Peter Stilwell, rector of the university, some professor priests, all the members of the Faculty, some religious superiors and friends of the Faculty were present in the Mass. The holy Mass was accompanied by harmonious and beautiful songs interpreted by students of the Faculty. In his homily, Fr. Javier pointed out some important characteristics that St. Francis Xavier possessed, such as a zeal for mission and good attitudes to make known the Good News to all peoples in different walks of life.

A Family agape followed the Mass, and after that, a short indoor performance was opened for all the attendees in the auditorium of Saint Joseph’s seminary. Meanwhile, those who had won first and second prizes in singing and group dancing competitions, were asked to perform again in order to make alive a short entertainment. Afterward, those who won prizes in the contests received the awards by the dean of the Faculty. The Family Feast was concluded with a closing prayer by Fr. José Luis de Miguel OP and the singing of the Salve Regina by all those present.

FRS.Family Feast-5