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Omnium Mater Scholarum

Homily delivered by Archbishop Socrates B. Villegas during the Closing Mass for the Quadricentennial Year of the University of Santo Tomas held last January 27, 2012 at 4:30pm.

The University of Santo Tomas is the alma mater of all Catholic schools in the Philippines. For four centuries, this mother has nurtured and cared for millions of children, cradling them in her arms, nursing them from her bosom. The University of Santo Tomas is the mother of all schools and colleges and universities in the Philippines. From her womb, our alma mater has given birth to countless other schools, colleges, universities and seminaries in our archipelago. It is easy to declare that in varying degrees, all schools in our country somehow carry a Thomasian influence, even the Jesuit schools even if they are too proud to admit that.

This mother has nurtured heroes and essays and assignments saints in her classrooms. Great men and women, brilliant statesmen and justices of the court, pious Cardinals and bishops, zealous pastors and missionaries—walked through her corridors and pathways and rendered the ground on which we now stand sacred and hallowed.

But this mother whom we call UST cradles in the memory of her heart not only her renowned and famous children. Our dear alma mater, like all mothers, holds dear to her heart many more Order VIAGRA, Cialis, LEVITRA NOW. Generic viagra professional , Online Pharmacy, Guaranteed Shipping. Official Drugstore. Secure Site 128 bit SSL. hidden, unrecognized and even forgotten sons and daughters buried in the tombs of anonymity by our unthankful society but certainly known by name by Jesus the Teacher of all.

After giving birth, the role of a mother is threefold—to feed, to clothe and to correct. A loving mother feeds her baby from her breast and from her kitchen. There is no milk better than a mother’s milk. A mother’s cooking is always special because it is prepared with love and tenderness. As cheap viagra brisbane xenical uk buy clomid 100mg au lexapro buy lexapro super cheap viagra buy Nexium taiwan buy phenergan 25mg viagra 50 mg 4xВ  she feeds, she also bathes and clothes. The baby’s first dress is her mother’s caress. The child’s first protection is her mother’s embrace. She clothes her child not just with linen and silk but with an ever ready protective embrace and an ever dependable security under her loving care. As she feeds and clothes, she also teaches and corrects. Indeed the best teacher is the mother and the best school is the home. A mother admonishes and guides, she instructs and she inspires.

As a mother’s duty is to feed and to clothe and to correct, so is the role of every alma mater school. UST feeds, clothes and corrects. She has been doing this for the past four hundred years, she will continue to feed and to clothe and to correct for the next four hundred more.

How has UST done this mission of feeding and clothing and correcting her children of four hundred years?

UST has nurtured scientists and economists, jurists and artists, engineers and educators, physicians and pastors. But what makes a Thomasian unique among the rest? The food that a Catholic alma mater feeds her children is Jesus, the Bread of Life, only Jesus, always Jesus. Jesus is the only food that every Catholic university must feed her children. The best lessons are not learned seated in the classroom but kneeling down by the feet of the Divine Wisdom Himself.

UST the caring mother clothes her sons and daughters not with prescribed school day uniforms. The official invisible clothing of every Thomasian is Christ himself. We must be clothed in Christ and with Christ. Jesus is our shield against evil and our protection from all harm. Unless we are all truly clothed in Jesus, we will all be embarrassingly naked and dangerously unprotected. As a mother’s caress is baby’s first dress, so is intimacy with Jesus the Thomasian’s first armor as they venture into life.

UST, mater et magistra, mother and teacher, corrects and admonishes; she teaches and instructs; she guides and shows the way. UST has produced champions in athletics and topnotchers in board and bar exams, she has nursed under her bosom luminaries in all facets of social life but the best teaching of this university is Jesus Himself. The other universities produce excellent men. The University of Santo Tomas produces other Christ’s. Our goal is Jesus. Our teacher is Jesus. Our lesson is Jesus.

UST our alma mater feeds us Jesus, clothes us with Jesus and teaches us Jesus.

Where are the children of UST? The successful and the famous alumni return with pride and gratitude. You are among that group. You have done well in society and brought pride to your alma mater. You are the honor of UST.

But out there in the dark alleys, inside jails and prisons, in cramped government hospital wards, in unnamed graves in public cemeteries, there are also sons and daughters of UST who did not succeed, dropped out of the way and have faded away in shame and guilt. They may be criminals waiting for conviction, ordained ministers who have abandoned their calling, corrupt public servants who have ignored the voice of conscience and many more wounded and broken and bruised Thomasian souls. This jubilee is for them too. In fact this jubilee is more for them than for the glorious and successful ones who are here. To these ignored and abandoned and convicted sons and daughters of our mother, we say: “Can a woman forget her nursing child and have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, but I will not forget you.” (Is.49:15) UST will never forget.

To you dear alumni out there in the fringes, ashamed and afraid to join this jubilee feast because in your judgment, you have brought stain to UST’s name; to you who have been ignored and rebuked, forgotten and ridiculed, suspected and convicted, despised and hated, the arms of the University of Santo Tomas reach out to you waiting to embrace you and bring you back close to her heart, back to the heart of God.

To you wounded and injured alumni, UST beckons “Come back to me with all your heart. Don’t let fear keep us apart. Long have I waited for your coming home to me and deeply our new life.”

We praise and exalt you alma mater UST!

Four centuries of motherhood, mother unto eternity!

You reared us in wisdom and clothed us in sanctity

In you we have a mother, in you is our identity!

Teach us to love the Church and to love Jesus Christ,

Guide us when we stumble and be our guiding light,

Set our hearts on fire; may our minds be pure and bright,

That the world may see in us the radiant face of God!

Embrace your grateful children who return with their laurels,

Caress too the weary children wounded and forgotten,

UST we are back, never to leave you again

We shall carry the Thomasian torch, unto the world without end.

UST Alma Mater, Viva!

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