2020 Q4

President’s Message: God’s Grace and Love

Greetings and Felicitations to you, brothers, and your families in FILII SANCTI DOMINICI!

Our love and our faith in Him, held us closer and stronger during this challenging time of the pandemic. For many of us who have lost friends and relatives, no words can describe our sorrow and loss. Our fraternal sympathy. Many of us at the very least lost great deal of opportunities. Many of us lost jobs, businesses and careers. Locked down, quarantined, we felt and realized in real time what it is to be wanting and lacking of the most basic necessities in our lives, dire predicaments that were only seen in movies and read in books. No one has seen this coming.  Everything seemed to have stopped. No travel to places we wanted to go to, to bond with our families, relatives and friends. Wearing masks and face shields are the fashion of the day outside of our homes. Parental mentoring of our kids in an unfamiliar educational platform, and many other restrictive protocols we learned to adapt to that over time became the normal requisites in our daily lives.  

But we cannot allow the fear and angst of the pandemic to change and alter our lives. We must not allow covid19 to becloud doubts against our faith and cognition of God’s kindness and love. We refused to make ourselves coddle in a lonely corner and whimper at the onslaught of fear and helplessness.  We are better than this and have proven so with God’s grace.

Covid19 or any pandemic at all cannot change the spirit of Christmas. It cannot change the Christian spirit of welcoming the birth of Jesus, our God and Savior. While we can forego the usual festivities within our communities, we can still enjoy the company of our families in our own homes. While we cannot visit our relatives who live far away, we can still call them or see them virtually in our phones and laptops. While we may not be able to go shopping for gifts for our loved ones and god children as we would normally do traditionally, we can still greet them and give them simple and meaningful wishes and gifts. Covid19 has failed to destroy and dampen our Christian spirit. In fact it strengthened us and made us resilient in dealing with the threat of the pandemic.

Now we pray more than ever. We meditate deeper, longer, of God’s Divine Mercy.   Covid19 has made us closer to Him as we praise Him and ask for His protection and love. Our love for him won over our fear for our own mortality and drove us towards living the Christian virtues that traverse material boundary despite continued concern for the shrinkage provision of basic material necessities.  Our spirituality once more became the focus or our existence, not merely to live day by day but dwell in His immense greatness and love and in His guiding light.

My dear Filii brothers, Epistoliorum is a testimony of our determination and our Faith in Him. It gives expression to our ideas, our beliefs, and radicalize our thoughts. We bow our heads for the blessings of life to Jesus our Lord and Master as we celebrate His birth this season. We pray for the intersession of the Blessed Virgin Mary and of our Holy father St. Dominic de Guzman.

Merry Christmas brothers in St. Dominic!

Eugenio Michael Plana

"Fray Mike" upon graduating from Sacred Heart Academy, Zarraga, Iloilo, entered the Dominican Postulancy in Manaoag, Pangasinan in 1976. He then joined his batch at the Dominican Novitiate in Villa Lizares, Jaro, Iloilo City. Outside the seminary, he majored in A.B. Political Science at the University of San Agustin, Iloilo City. He worked as Special Assistant to the then Minister of Budget. Married to Jessica, they have four kids: Miguel Augusto, now a budding businessman, twin sons Michael Augustine and Michael Dominic, both university students at the Ateneo de Manila, and Regina Jessica, attending Miriam College Grade School. Mike’s special attachment to nature made him an agri-aqua farmer in Negros. He and his wife built a manufacturing business in natural care and cosmetics industry based in Quezon City. Fray Mike is also in pharmaceuticals and international trading, as well as in distribution of chemical ingredients which include partnerships with principals from Europe, Philippines and Asean markets. His family serve in the Lectors Ministry of Santa Maria Della Strada parish in Quezon City. Fray Mike is also the chair of the Parish Ubas (Anti Drug) Committee. With track record in agri-business, he is also active in supporting the farmers group and upholding their cause as NGO. In 2006, Mike co-founded FSDPI. To date, the Filii organization boasts over 300 members, with provincial chapters in Iloilo, Bicol, Davao, Cebu, and Northern Luzon in Philippines, and North America secretariats based in Houston, Texas and Toronto, Canada.

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