Dominican Novitiate of Annunciation
Situated in the southeastern corner of the compound of the Minor Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary of Manaoag is the Dominican Novitiate of Annunciation. This is where young men come and stay for a year to pray and discern whether or not what they perceive is truly a call from God. Appropriately, as the Angel Gabriel announced to Mary her call to be the Mother of God, the novices likewise reflect on the call that they feel they have received.
It couldn’t have been more opportune then that the cornerstone of the D.N.A. building was laid on September 8,
1989, the feast day of the Birth of Mary, the Mother of God. Just as timely was its inauguration on March 25, 1990, the Feast of the Annunciation, when Gabriel paid Mary that momentous visit.
Since then, the Dominican Novitiate of the Annunciation has been a home every year to young men who, aside from discerning their Dominican vocation, are also initiate into the Dominican way of life, the life which they would eventually embrace. Throughout their year in the novitiate, the novices spend a lot of time in prayer, both communal and personal.
They, in fact, are the ones who pray for the intentions of pilgrims and prayer requests that come to the Basilica online. The novices also spend a big chunk of their day in assiduous study and apostolate, serving the Church and the faithful in ways they can. They primarily serve at the conventual mass at 6:00 am from Monday to Saturday and at 9:00 on Sundays, by proclaiming the Word of God, serving at the altar, distributing Holy Communion and assisting the priest in blessing the congregation with holy water.
Tucked away in a corner of the Minor Basilica compound, the Dominican Novitiate preserves its cloister or exclusively private character to help the novices in forming a contemplative spirit, which is a big part of Dominican life. So, when they avoid too much socialization, it is not because they are rude or anti-social. They are merely trying to be true to who they are expected to be during this time of their formation.
As the novices pray for the intentions of the pilgrims to and natives of Manaoag, they also ask
for your prayers so that they may be able to discern their vocation more effectively, and in time, be able to serve the Church as priests and brothers of the Dominican Province of the Philippines.