Dominican Republic: Peace Blessing Festival
by Cesar Regalado, UPF Dominican Republic
In spite of a strong and unusual rainstorm in Puerto Plata City, which caused several flooded homes and ruined people’s life and business the day before, Satan could not stop the people to come and show their respect to True Parent and the Blessing Peace Festival, which was hold on March 17, 2018, with the presence of 200 participants including 38 couples, in UTESA University, Puerto Plata.
Following the instructions of our special envoy, Rev. Dae Hee Hong, we are conducting a Blessing Peace Festival every two months in main provinces of our nation. In that sense, last Saturday March 17th 2018 we celebrated our third National Interreligious Festival of Peace for the Re-dedication and Blessing of Families in Puerto Plata city.
Puerto Plata is located in the north coast of the country, at 280 km from Santo Domingo, the capital city that is in the opposite south coast.
The venue for this Festival was the auditorium of UTESA University with a capacity of 204 seats, from 2:30 to 5:30 pm. which was filled with a nice harmonized atmosphere between participants. VIPs who participated valued the event as the first of its kind. The University President, Dr. Sol Graveley, expressed the great honor for the university to be the host this first event for protect families, and talked about looking for the model of couples for peace.
This event was organized by the local committee of ambassadors for peace, headed by Dr. Carlos Martinez & Wife. They got the place and mobilized the 70% of participants.
Among the attending VIPs were:
- The Delegate of the Governor of the Province, Mr. Juan Ventura (Assistant Governor)
- The Vice Mayor of the city, Mrs. Marisol Almonte
- UTESA University President, Mrs. Sol Graveley and her husband
- City Council Mrs. Rosa Duncan, who was also one of the organizing committee in Puerto Plata, also an Evangelical Church leader.
- Pastor Jose Perez Reyes & Wife, others pastors from local area and several professors from the local university
- Takashi Kono, representative of True Parent
- Pasquale Lai & Yoko Lai, officiators of the blessing Ceremony
- City Council Doctor Carlos Martinez, President of the organizing committee, former Congressman during two periods and actual Public Hospital Director. He is the first Ambassador for Peace of the city and he was the main organizer of the event.
Among participants, 35 couples received the Blessing. 80 persons were registered as single people. Members and guests came from the nearby cities of Santiago and Moca; also from farther cities of Santo Domingo, La Romana and Azua. The auditorium was full and all the people stayed until the very end.
The ceremony began with the “Interreligious Mixing Water for Harmony and Peace” done by three Ministers from different religious background, followed by the lecture “Panoramic View of the Divine Principle, Restoration and Meaning of Blessing” done by Mr. Cesar Regalado, secretary general of UPF. In between of each conference, a nice song was sang by W-CARP group.
The blessing ceremony flowed very smoothly and people were very happy at the end participating in the indemnity stick ceremony.
Mr. Juan Ventura, Representative of Governor: “I am very excited to be here in this event and I have to tell you why, because it is the first time in my life to hear some institution organizing something in favor of family and couple. Nobody talk about the main problem of society: “the breakdown of Family”
Dr. Sol Graveley, President of the UTESA University: “It is a great honor for me that you have chosen this university to hold such nice and meaningful event about the family. I do not regret to offer you this place any time to teach such family values beyond religious boundaries, races and academic backgrounds. It is our main task to find righteous people who can bring this type of content to our precious citizens.”
Mrs. Marisol Almonte, Vice mayor of the province: “To talk about rededication of marriage it is very new for me, so now I realized it is one of the most important topic we should talk about to be able to inherit marriage’s values to our children. Better families will bring better society and we are committed to contribute to have a better country, raising better citizens. I feel committed to support this kind of event and to promote it in our areas.”
Professor Luisa Sandoval, Director of Administration Faculty in UTESA: This event is really, what we need in my town Altamira, so we most do it there, we rent a very big a nice place and invite organizer to our town, it would be great. Let us do it ASAP for our people. This kind of lecture and ceremony will be welcome for any person in any place.