MANILA, September 16, 2014—The Company of Saint Dominic (CSD), a Catholic secular institute under the Archdiocese of Manila (RCAM), celebrated its fifth year with a holy mass at the Santa Catalina College chapel Sunday, September 14, coinciding with the “Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross”.
According to CSD formator Nestor Limqueco, Fr.Pablo Fernandez, a Dominican priest, founded the secular institute to enable its members to find a “new way of expressing consecrated life … living out their consecration to God in the world through the profession of evangelical counsels, perfect obedience, perpetual chastity, voluntary poverty, and total consecration to the Blessed Lady in the midst of temporal realities”.
With the help of the late Mo.Rosario Villanueva; Fr. James Ferry,MM, RCAM’s Vicar for Consecrated Life; Fr.Quirico Pedragoza, then Prior Provincial of the Order of Preachers (OP) in the Philippines; Mo.Teresa Examen, Prioress General OP-Siena; and Manila Archbishop Emeritus Gaudencio B. Cardinal Rosales, CSD was officially recognized as a consecrated secular community in 2009 according to the spirituality of St. Dominic de Guzman under RCAM.
Limqueco said CSD “wishes in this way to be [a] leaven of wisdom and a witness of grace within the cultural, economic and political life”.
Members of the CSD, he added, “are consecrated in [the] midst of a noisy, unruly, and Godless society. We strive to transform the world form within or concealment without wearing a habit or living in the communal life by the power of the Beatitudes.
Although Fernandez’s initial plan was to have an all-male community, CSD now has eight initiated members, all males, and nine aspirants, also males, aside from 12 female counterparts who serve as “prayer warriors”.
Limqueco shared that 97% of CSD members are professionals, while the remaining 3% are full-time students.
Aspirants to the secular institute undergo two years of discernment, and membership can take as many as seven years to be considered “final and definitive”, he explained.
CSD requires its aspirants and members to be “leaven in the world” through extensive and intensive formation, monthly recollection, and monthly classes in theology.
They are also enjoined to attend daily mass and confess regularly.
Being “in the world”, CSD members treat their regular jobs as their apostolate through which they seek to sanctify those around them.
Limqueco, however, clarified that CSD differs from a mandated organization and a Third Order.
“This is a way of life having and embracing vows same with the religious. The only difference is that ours is not public profession, but semi-public profession because the bishop of the diocese knows the community as conserated lay people,” he explained.
As a member of the Dominican family, CSD draws inspiration from the teachings of Sts. Dominic de Guzman, Catherine of Siena, Thomas Aquinas, and other Dominicans.
“Our priorities are [the] same with the Order of Preachers: ongoing formation through study and research, evangelization through various ways, especially through media, ecological awareness, prayer apostolates, and pro-life advocacies,” stressed Limqueco.
For inquiries, contact Prof. Nestor Limqueco, OP at +639273967776. (Raymond A. Sebastián)