Filipinos join Vatican grassroots summit; UST mourns death at 90 of Dutch diplomat Fr. Frederick Fermin, OP, 2nd Filipino rector | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

Pope Francis organized through the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace a World Summit of Popular/Grassroots Leaders held in the Vatican last Oct. 27-29.

Representing the Philippines were three faculty members of the Asian Social Institute of Manila: Rafael Olivera, one of the drafters of the Fisheries Code; Christopher Funes, a young artist-organizer who is into environmental education; and Joemedes Arienda, a young farmer leader who promotes Diversified Integrated Farming System.

The three have been trained by the Asian Social Institute as volunteers in development work. ASI president Mina Martinez is a member of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences.

New parish in Pangasinan

Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish is a new Catholic church in Urbiztondo, Pangasinan, under the Archdiocese of Lingayen and Dagupan. From a chapel, it was elevated to a parish on Nov. 2, 2011.

The parish consists of 11 territorial barangays—Pasibi East, Pasibe West, Duplac, Balangay, Malaca, Batancaoa North and South, Bituag in Urbiztondo, and Bayoyong, Mapolopolo in Basista and Batancaoa and Maigpa in Bayambang.

The parish is well-known because of the unique structure of its church (construction is ongoing), and in the beauty of its sacraments and sacramental celebrations.

The parish has also seen close collaboration between its parishioners and their versatile, hardworking, competent and loving parish priest, Fr. Moses Angelo S. Namalata, SRC, from the monastic community of the Servants of the Risen Christ (SRC) in San Jose, Tarlac.

Pre-Advent seminar

To spiritually prepare the laity for the coming Advent season, a Marian Encounter seminar will be held on Nov. 16 at the University of Santo Tomas Tan Yan Kee Student Center, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Theme: “Walking with Mary in the Advent Season.”

Topics include: “Magnificat of Mary”;  “Mary, the Star that Leads Us to Jesus (Birth of Jesus, Second Coming of Jesus, Jesus in the Eucharist)”; and “Nativity of Jesus in Our Time.”

Resource persons are Fr. Chito Dimaranan, SDB, rector of Don Bosco Technical College, Mandaluyong City; Fr. Antonio Aureada, OP, regent of UST Graduate School; and Fr. Aloy Alino, parish priest of the Santo Niño Shrine in Bago Bantay, Quezon City. Fr. Louie Niez, AM, will preside over the Mass.

The seminar is a project of the Missionaries Mary in partnership with Radio Veritas (846 AM). Seminar fee of P150 includes lunch and snacks.

Missionaries of Mary, tel. 7438729.
San Martin de Porres

When I started vomiting in October 1981 due to achalasia, I would visit the San Martin de Porres chapel on Galvan Street and Leon Guinto in Malate. The saint eventually helped me when I found the doctor to operate on me.

San Martin de Porres, pray for us.

San Lorenzo Ruiz in Nairobi

Consul General Donna Gatmaytan in Nairobi, Kenya, wrote: “I am attaching a copy of a photograph taken during the thanksgiving Mass in honor of the feast day of St. Lorenzo Ruiz last Sept. 28. We prayed to San Lorenzo for peace in the world and the safety and protection of all Filipinos all over the world.

“Please convey our best wishes and thanks again to the San Lorenzo Ruiz Global Ministry for the gift of his statue to Filipinos in Kenya that reminds us of St. Lorenzo and the virtues he practiced during his life, as well as his love for God. May San Lorenzo continue to pray for all Filipinos, especially the migrants.”

Father Fermin remembered

Although he retired at the St. Thomas Aquinas retreat house of the University of Santo Tomas in Baguio City, Fr. Frederick Fermin, OP, would often be visited by students and professors of UST Manila where he was rector at the turn of the 1980s.

When professors from UST (Cristina Pantoja Hidalgo, Ferdinand Lopez, Eloisa Parco de Castro, Alfredo Co and Lito Zulueta) visited him last summer, they found him behind a table surrounded by theology books and the International New York Times and other newspapers. Although a bit hard of hearing, he pontificated on the territorial dispute between China and the Philippines, the democratic crisis as a result of the Supreme Court being bullied by the two political branches of government, and even the canonization of Popes John XXIII and John Paul II. (Fermin was rector of UST when the school beatified Lorenzo Ruiz de Manila and Companion Martyrs, many of them composed of Dominicans and UST alumni, in Luneta, the first beatification outside of Rome in history.)

Father Fermin’s expertise in international issues wasn’t surprising since he was a member of the Dutch diplomatic service when he heeded religious calling and joined the Dominicans of Nijmegen in the Netherlands.

It was also perhaps the global outlook fostered by his diplomatic background that made him join the Philippine Dominican Province. He was naturalized as a Filipino and succeeded Archbishop Leonardo Legaspi, OP, the first Filipino rector.

Tall, handsome and with an impressive demeanor, Father Fermin drew everyone to himself. When he became rector of the UST Central Seminary, he contributed to the formation of future bishops and clergy of the Philippine Church. In the civil institutes of UST, his students included Jose Lina, Margarita Cojuangco and Vic Agustin.

Early evening last Monday, Father Fermin passed away at age 90. As he had willed in his last testament, his remains were cremated within 24 hours and brought down to the Santissimo Rosario Church of UST. His ashes were interred Wednesday afternoon at the Santo Domingo Church in Quezon City.

“We thank God for giving us Father Frederick,” said Fr. Gerard Timoner, prior provincial of the Philippine Dominicans.

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