Manila, the Philippines, 8 March 2019 –- The first year and two second year Postnovitiate brothers from Canlubang, together with Fr Ryan Oliver Bautista, SDB, participated in the first FPSF (Faculty of Philosophy Students’ Forum) on Medieval Philosophy. The conference was held at the Royal and Pontifical University of Santo Tomas (UST), the first Dominican-established university in Asia in 1611. The two-day conference was convened to celebrate the 745 Anniversary of the death of Saint Thomas Aquinas on 7 March, through an academic discourse with students and professors from various seminaries, formation houses, and educational institutions.
The main theme of the conference is “Rekindling the Light: Vivifying Medieval Treasures Towards a Truthful and Meaningful Dialogue in the 21st Century.” The young Salesians were able to get insights and lessons through the plenary and panel discussions on the relevance of medieval philosophy and Saint Thomas in addressing the social challenges faced by the present millennial and post-millennial generations. One of the remarkable plenary speakers in the conference was the Academic Dean of the Aquinas Institute of Theology (Missouri, USA) and the former Socius for the Intellectual Life of the Order of Preachers, Rev. Fr Michael A. Mascari, OP, PhD, JD. He shared his reflections regarding the intellectual patrimony of the Middle Ages. He also noted the shared endeavor of the middle ages and the present to search for meaning, purpose and truth.
The interaction with other students and professors of philosophy from the different formation centers and seminaries also provided a chance for mutual enrichment. The conference comes with the endorsement coming from Bishop Gerardo Alminaza, DD, Bishop of San Carlos and Chairman of the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Seminaries. In his letter, he quoted the Decree on the Reform of the Ecclesiastical Studies in Philosophy which states that “the research and teaching of philosophy in an Ecclesiastical Faculty of Philosophy must be rooted in the ‘philosophical patrimony which is perennially valid’, which has developed throughout the history, with special attention being given to the work of Saint Thomas Aquinas. At the same time, the philosophy taught in an Ecclesiastical Faculty must be open to the contributions that more recent research has provided and continues to offer. One must emphasize the sapiential and metaphysical dimensions of philosophy.” (art. 59) The brothers ended the conference with a visit to the UST Museum and Bookstore.