Yesterday, Br. Ricardo Laguda, FSC, was installed as the 22nd President and 4th Chancellor of De La Salle University.
My favorite Catholic prelate and priest, Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle, led the celebration of the investiture mass. Wearing red vestments in honor of the Feast of the Cross, Archbishop Tagle first expounded on Jesus’ death on the cross: a death taken up in obedience to the Father out of love for the Father, and in solidarity with mankind out of love for mankind (I’m paraphrasing here). He then blessed Br. Ricky saying, “May you be crucified (eliciting chuckles from the audience)…, may you have the power and wisdom to love (God and the DLSU community)”. He ended by welcoming Br. Ricky “to calvary,” i.e., to a calvary of love.
In his speech, Br. Ricky talked about the accomplishments and challenges of DLSU. He then shared his dream not only of a leading research university that bridges faith and scholarship in service of society, especially the poor (i.e., the new DLSU vision), but of a community of learners and scholars striving to live the Lasallian values (of faith, zeal for service, and communion in mission). He ended by inviting everyone to the calvary that such a dream entails, thereby eliciting everyone’s laughter and approval.
Together with all who have associated themselves, formally or informally, with the De La Salle Brothers in their mission, I have been on the Lasallian road to calvary for some time now. And I look forward to continuing the journey, this time under the leadership of Br. Ricky Laguda, one of my favorite profs at DLSU. May his sanctity rub off on me! 🙂