Domus Dei: The face of God

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By Luci Lizares


Thursday, August 21, 2014

EVERY August 15, the Assumption Alumnae of Bacolod come together in fellowship to honor Our Lady and our alma mater.

This year’s celebration was different. It was spent at the Domus Dei Complex in Silay. Within the complex are the St. John Marie Vianney Shrine and the Columbary, a project of the Diocese of Bacolod City. We offered Mass together and shared an afternoon of agape and some songs with the retired, old and sick priests of the Diocese.

It was good seeing these priests once again who were my neighbors when their retirement home was still in the Sacred Heart Shrine. Now they have a hospice to take better care of them.


Rev. Fr. Roy Gesulgon, now Dean of Studies in the Sacred Heart Shrine, explained that Domus Dei means the “Face of God.” And where can be best see the face of God than in the very priests who have spent their extended lifetimes in the service of Our Lord Jesus?

In the face of these priests, who were celebrating the Eucharist with him, we see what blessedness is all about. Old, retired and sick, they leave a legacy of goodness and kindness.

When we leave this earth, what remains of us? Definitely, unto ash we are and to ashes we will return whether cremated or buried. However, what is forever etched in people’s minds are not the physicality of our beings, which withers likewise in time, but the goodness and kindness we have given. How succinct is the saying “Only goodness and kindness will follow me and the days of my life” be it here on earth or in heaven.

When we talk about people who have now exited from this earth, don’t we usually talk about the goodness and kindness they have done? That’s the reason why eulogies are given during wakes and burials. When our hearts are full of the goodness and kindness of our departed love ones, our mouths will speak.

August 15 is the feast of Our Lady of the Assumption. We are given not only a glimpse but the story of goodness and kindness personified in Our Lady. Her walk, her talk, was always in sync with service for her God and her Son and because of her life of blessedness, it is believed that Mary did not even die. When it was her time, she went into deep slumber and was assumed into heaven body and soul.

Humans dream of immortalizing themselves in many earthly forms. A monument here, a donated building there, a generous donation here and there, but the best way to immortality is following Mary’s lead and that is doing goodness and kindness all the days of our lives. It is not really a difficult formula.

Rev. Fr. Filomeno Duaban, the director of the Domus Dei, introduced the resident priests of the hospice and was grateful for the apostolate that the Assumption alumnae has extended these last 17 years to the seminarians.

The afternoon was spent with agape, some singing and even the planting of trees in the perimeter. Simple joys but truly a manifestation of the goodness and kindness we must extend to each other.*

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on August 21, 2014.


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