Honoring the Virgin Mary on her birthday, NDMU celebrated Notre Dame Day 2019 on September 9, 2019, at South Cotabato Gymnasium and Cultural Center.
The students and the Marist mission partners gathered to praise the life and legacy of Mother Mary, starting with praying the holy rosary, followed by the Holy Eucharist presided by Fr. Salvador Leyso and co-celebrated by Fr. Ariel Destora.
Fr. Leyso, in his homily, encouraged the community to ask the Virgin Mary to intercede for their prayers, like what a child does to his/her mother.
One significant example is the devotion to Mary of St. Marcellin Champagnat, the founder of the Marist Brothers of the Schools and the inspiration of the university.
Fr. Leyso emphasized the vital duty of NDMU of educating young people especially those who are experiencing difficulties, as the event’s theme was, “Mary: Journeying with the young people living in the margins of life.”
Since September 2019 is the Catholic Church’s celebration of the Season of Creation, he challenged the community to take care of the environment.
With the pressing global issue on climate change, he also reminded NDMU to prove its name as the Green University by implementing stricter environmental policies on the campus. In this way, the university can be a model institution of assuring the integrity of creation, not only within the region but also in the country.
The Mass ended with the singing of Notre Dame, Our Mother.
After the Mass, Notre Dame Day kicked off with a variety of presentations from students and personnel to offer their talents to Mother Mary.
The Ihip Marista, IBED Tinig Marista, IBED Marist Movers, Tambuli Singers, and other students took the stage for the song and dance presentations.
Meanwhile, IBED Senior High School and College faculty members drew the crowd into cheers through their dance numbers, proving that their skills were not confined to educating alone.
President Bro. Wilfredo Lubrico, FMS thanked the student leaders and facilitators of the event who persisted even with their busy schedule from the University Week.
Bro. Lubrico stressed NDMU as a Marist institution, and thus the students and personnel must make sense of the symbol and live with it.
He announced the university’s Skill Fest Caravan for the out-of-school youth in solidarity with the Year of the Youth and prompted the students to play an active role in the initiative.
Notre Dame Day closed with a community song and dance in the tune of ‘Tatak Marista,’ and the closing remarks of Mr. Mark Dennis Rioja, the Elementary and Junior High School Activity Coordinator.
After the program, the personnel gathered at the Bro. Renato Cruz Lobby and shared at the table simple snacks of kakanin to celebrate Mother Mary’s birthday.