A Eucharistic celebration was held on Monday morning, February 10, to commence the weeklong celebration of the University’s 55th Founding Anniversary. Most Rev. Ricardo Lingan Baccay, the newly installed and fourth archbishop of the Archdiocese of Tuguegarao, presided over the Holy Mass.
In his homily, Archbishop Baccay said he had many things in his head when he decided to say “Yes” to the Holy Father to become the new archbishop of Tuguegarao.
“There are many things I have in my mind. Some reasons to be happy but there are many reasons to be anxious. But now, looking at you, my fear is lessened, my anxiety is assuaged because how can I be afraid if I have the Louisian community with me? Why should Ricardo be worried if there are Louisians?”
The 58-year-old archbishop recounted how the University has gone through in pushing its boundaries in education—in becoming more creative and more innovative in the pursuit for knowledge to serve the world better. Archbishop Baccay likewise thanked the Congregation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (CICM) for its influence towards forming young minds and young hearts to become disciples of Christ.
The archbishop urged the Louisian community to practice the culture of praying like what Mary did when Jesus visited her and Martha in Bethany.
“Sometimes, we tend to be attuned to working rather than praying. As a Catholic institution and based on today’s Gospel, we do not only work; we need to pray,” he added.
The archbishop, however, clarified in his homily that everyone needs Martha and Mary in his or her life. He emphasized that everyone must have them both: Martha who focuses on the skills and functions that everyone should do in his or her life as well as Mary who is gifted with serenity and ability to be present to God and to others.
“In this culture of hectic schedules and relentless pursuit of endless productivity—catching with so many projects, beating deadlines—we are exposed to a world that tempts us to see our worth in terms of what we have accomplished. We are tempted to see our value in terms of how we have done and how we met expectations of others,” Archbishop Baccay told the audience.
The archbishop emphasized that if someone does not have enough time to relax, pray and listen to God, he or she will end up anxious and troubled.
“We end up doing a life without meaning, devoid of love, and we feel there is no joy.”
Meanwhile, the installation of the ministers of communion, knights of the altar, and word ministry was also held during the opening Mass.
Rev. Fr. Renillo H. Sta. Ana, CICM, University president, expressed his gratitude to Archbishop Baccay and Rev. Fr. Dennis Jake Ordillos, chancellor of the Archdiocese of Tuguegarao, for presiding the Holy Mass.
At the event, the USL president promised that the University will always be at the service of the local church.
The theme of this year’s Founding Anniversary is “USL at 55: Trending in Mission and Excellence.”