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By: Fray Julius Tinapao.
June 1, 2018 marked another milestone in the annals of the Recoletos School of Theology as thirteen of her students underwent the Solemn Investiture. The parish of Our Lady of Consolation, Mira-Nila Homes, Quezon City was the venue of this momentous celebration which lasted throughout the morning of the said day. The graduating class with their relations, the members of the School Chapter, the RST faculty and staff members, the RST students with their Superiors and community members, a number of Augustinian Recollect priests, and several distinguished guests graced the occasion.
The Baccalaureate Mass at seven thirty marked the beginning of the day’s activity. Rev. Fr. Dionisio Q. Selma, OAR, the Prior Provincial of the Order of Augustinian Recollects, Province of St. Ezekiel Moreno, presided over the Eucharistic Sacrifice. At nine o’clock the graduation rite commenced. Rev. Fr. Ian Anthony Espartero, OAR, SThL, the school’s Registrar, opened the ceremony. Fr. Leander Barrot, OAR, SSL, the school’s Vice-Rector and Research Director, gave the welcome address. Fr. Rodel Aligan, OP, SThD, the Dean of the Faculty of Sacred Theology of the Royal and Pontifical University of Santo Tomas, Manila conferred the degree and title of Bachelor in Sacred Theology to the graduates and delivered the keynote address. Meanwhile, Fr. Lauro Larlar, OAR, PhD, the school Rector, conferred the degree and title of Master of Arts in Theology. After the awards and recognitions had been presented Fray John Louis Ricamora, OSA, conveyed the address of thanks in behalf of the graduates. Towards the end, Fr. Emilio Edgardo Quilatan, OAR, HED, the Dean of Studies, delivered the dean’s address.
Furthermore, this year’s Solemn Investiture had a special highlight – the recognition of RST Professors who served the school for a lengthy time and contributed a significant role to the students’ development and the school’s welfare as a whole. Those who were given the recognition were Msgr. Sabino Vengco, Jr., HP, SThD and Fr. Hubert Dunstan Decena, OAR, SSL. Posthumous Recognition was also given to the distinguished RST professors. Those who were given acknowledgement were Fr. Nicasio Cruz, SJ who was represented by his confrere, Fr. Reginaldo Mananzan, SJ, JCD, Dr. Florentina Gorospe, Dr. Julieta Savellano, and Dr. Caroline De Leon, who were represented by their respective family members. Each of them was given a special gift and a certificate of appreciation.
This year’s ceremony of the Recoletos School of Theology produced thirteen graduates: nine of them were conferred the Master of Arts in Theology – six major in Systematic Theology, one major in Church History, and two non-thesis program. Four of them received their Bachelor’s Degree in Sacred Theology. These thirteen students are now set to traverse their vocation in life for the praise and glory of God.