DECEMBER 2009 / YEAR XI / 02
Philippines, perhaps the world) French priest and his zeal for educating the Filipino youth.
W W II N ND DH HO O VV EE RR THE
THE PHILIPPINE JESUIT MAGAZINE
The Sacrament of Waiting by Noel Bava, SJ 150 Years of Jesuit Presence in the Philippines 1859-2009 by Fr. Jose S. Arcilla, SJ 150 Years of Education, Spirituality and Nation-building by Jerry E. Esplanada Finding God in the Deep by Fr. James McKeough Chaos and Parallel Universes by Fr. Dan McNamara, SJ To Be Available is to Receive the Gift by Sch. Erik John Gerilla, SJ Is There a Philippine Jesuit Social Apostolate? by Fr. John J. Carroll, SJ A Politics of Patience... ...A Politics of Hope by Sch. Ishmael Jose Chan-Gonzaga, SJ My Fingerprint by Sch. Jomari Manzano, SJ Corazon Cojuangco Aquino 1933-2009 by Fr. Salvador Wee, SJ President Cory Aquino Funeral Mass Homily by Fr. Catalino G. Arevalo, SJ Experiencing Nico by Sch. Pat Nogoy, SJ Liyab + Silab + Alab: Basic Education People Hold ThreeDay Sesquicentennial Congress by Karol Yee In the Company of Friends by Sch. John Lester Tajon, SJ Let’s All Die Laughing by Fr. Renato L. Puentevella, SJ JCEAO Brothers’ Meeting in Jogjakarta by Br. Jeffrey U. Pioquinto, SJ The Rags2Riches Story by Fr. Javy Alpasa, SJ A College of Nursing Success Story... by Dr. Ramona Heidi C. Palad Ateneo De Zamboanga University School of Medicine by Sch. Neupito Saicon, SJ Jesuits on Facebook: Fad or Frontier? by Sch. Jordan J. Orbe, SJ
About the Cover Two-year old Shariq graces the cover of our Windhover December issue. The innocence of the child captures the essence of Advent and Christmas as sacrament of waiting and the gift of presence. The photo was generously shared by his uncle, Shahid Siddique, a Graphic Designer of Design Craft and a photographer based in Pakistan.
8 Strutting their stuff: These moms have a rags-to-riches story (pg. 42)
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The Ministry of Spiritual Accompaniment by Fr. Ramon Maria L. Bautista, SJ Reflections on a Jubilee by Fr. William M. Abbott, SJ Thank You for Carrying my Brothers by Fr. Arnel Aquino, SJ Homily for the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ by Fr. Jose Cecilio J. Magadia, SJ A Heart that Educates the Young by Sch. Anthony Coloma, SJ The Healing Work of the Sick and the Life-Giving Ministry of the Dying by Fr. Francis D. Alvarez, SJ Divine Comedian by Fr. Renato L. Puentevella, SJ JESCOM bags Best TV Special at the 31st CMMA by Mari Bianca Orenciana
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PROVINCIAL SUPERIOR: FR. JOSE CECILIO J. MAGADIA, SJ SOCIUS AND CONSULTOR: FR. WILLIAM M. ABBOTT, SJ TREASURER: FR. ROBERTO YAP, SJ CONSULTORS: FR. JOSE MARIO FRANCISCO, SJ FR. ANTONIO MORENO, SJ FR. PRIMITIVO E. VIRAY PROVINCE DEVELOPMENT OFFICE HEAD: FR. HERBERT SCHNEIDER, SJ EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: NOEL Y. BAVA SJ ASSOCIATE EDITOR: RICA BOLIPATA-SANTOS BUSINESS MANAGERS: BRO. NATHANIEL PAGALAN, SJ BRO. MARTIN LICUP, SJ CIRCULATIONS ASSISTANT: MARIA BIANCA ORENCIANA ART DIRECTOR: BUEN CALUBAYAN PHOTO ARCHIVIST: BR. JEFF PIOQUINTO, SJ
“The WINDHOVER” is taken from a poem by the 19th century English poet Gerard Manley Hopkins, SJ. Acknowledgment: Maria Bianca Orencia Rev. Tex Paurom, SJ Nilo Paurom Miguel Suarez (PDI, INS) Jen Chua Fr. Nono Alfonso, SJ
Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of the editors or official Province policies. Requests to reprint articles found in this magazine may be addressed to: The editor, THE WINDHOVER Jesuit Communications Foundation UP P.O. Box 245, Diliman, 1144 Quezon City, Philippines
The Sacrament of Waiting In an essay penned by the late Fr. James Donelan, SJ, the author defined waiting as a mystery. “It is a natural sacrament of life,” said he. “There is a meaning hidden in all the times we have to wait. It must be an important mystery because there is so much waiting in our lives.” I find these words of Fr. Donelan consoling and full of wisdom.
In the long and agonizing days of wait, frustration, anxiety and confusion are words that those who wait are all too familiar with. The same case may be said of the avid readers and loyal subscribers of The Windhover. With this Special Double issue of the Philippine Jesuit magazine we are ending your seemingly interminable waiting. In this special issue Fr. Arevalo, recently honored by the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conference (FABC) as “Father of Asian Theology” shares with us his personal reflection on the heroism of the late President Cory Aquino. His long friendship with Mrs. Aquino allows us a glimpse of a woman we all lovingly call President, hero, mother and yes, Tita. The demise of the Philippine icon of democracy is no more acutely felt than today when the country is heading towards what could be a most expensive, violent and oftentimes extremely frustrating national election come 2010. Scholastic and past director of Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan, Ismael Jose Chan-Gonzaga cautions us into taking an easy way out of our political and economic mess, i.e., by making hasty decisions or giving in to impatience that have caused disastrous consequences for our country. Two articles chronicling the colorful history of the Society of Jesus in the Philippines are presented in this issue. The
first one, written by Jesuit historian and archivist, Fr. Jose Arcilla tells of the humble beginnings of the order in the frontier regions of Mindanao while the second, written by Philippine Daily Inquirer correspondent, Mr. Gerry Esplanada remembers and celebrates the achievements of the sons of Ignatius in various fields of endeavor. On the other hand, the indefatigable Fr. Jack Carroll of the Institute on Church and Social Issues, sheds some light on the many apostolates that grew out of the need of the Philippine church and society. Each social apostolate under the Society of Jesus, Fr. Carroll explains, tries to bring about the Kingdom of God and His justice according to the Gospel. One particularly old yet still vibrant and growing apostolate, Fr. Pierre Tritz’s Educational Research and Development Assistance (ERDA) is a shining example of this commitment: the Faith that does Justice thrust of the Jesuits. Scholastic Regent Anthony Coloma shares his intimate knowledge of this 95-year old (the oldest active Jesuit in the
Newly-ordained and internationally-awarded presbyter, Fr. Xavier Alpasa of Rags2Riches savors the successes of his group in giving mothers in a depressed area in Metro Manila a fighting chance at eradicating poverty thereby contributing to the welfare of community and the larger society while reaping international recognition. This magazine issue also presents longtime resident and Rector of the East Asian Pastoral Institute (EAPI) who returned to the country as the new Superior General, the Very Reverend Adolfo Nicolas in a different light: the camera. Somebody once said that a picture paints a thousand words. The adoring fans of the amiable General thought that he was worth a thousand pictures, literally. Hence, the endless photo-ops that lasted until his energy allowed him to flash a smile. While the magazine loses its regular contributor, Fr. Thomas Green who has passed on and is now vacationing with the Lord in heaven, the section on Prayer and Ignatian Spirituality finds a new but familiar face in Fr. Ramon Bautista, the master of novices. Fr. Ning Puentevella continues to tickle our funny bones with his regular column Tongue-in-Cheek. Two mini-articles on Chaos and Parallel Universes and Finding God in the Deep appear as well in this issue. We also present heart-warming stories of our young missionaries, John Lester Tajon and Erik John Gerilla. We welcome our new Art Director, Mr. Buen Calubayan. Considered as one of the top ten exciting young visual artists in the Philippines today, Buen shares his skills in giving The Windhover a new look. The theme of waiting runs through almost all of the articles featured here: from the birth of stars in far, far away galaxy to the return of a beloved Jesuit leader, the anxious and painful wait for true progress in the country to the time-consuming joys brought about by Facebook. We sincerely hope that you find the articles we compiled for this delayed issue worth the time you have waited for it.
150 Years of
by Fr. Jose S. Arcilla, SJ
Jesuit Presence in the Philippines
1859 - 2009
Charles III of Spain (1759-1788), one of those crowned heads who prided themselves as enlightened, but despotic rulers, signed away the Jesuits from all his dominions in 1767, for “weighty reasons…he was locking away in his royal breast.” Six years later, political intrigue in Europe pressured the Pope to suppress the Society of Jesus an earlier pope had approved. The kings are no more, but the Society of Jesus, “the King’s good servants – but God’s first; God’s above all,” resurrected to life in 1815. Today the Society of Jesus, as elsewhere in the world, continues to serve God and teach His people “letras y doctrina cristiana.” In 1860, the interior of many islands were as primitive as when Magellan first reached Limasawa in 1521, and Spain felt its farthest colony needed, not costly military forces, but the Jesuits. The military could conquer, but only missionaries could win the people’s hearts. They were not disappointed.
150 Years of
Jesuit Presence in the Philippines
Manila had a primary school for Spanish residents, the Escuela pia, but lack of funds hampered its program. The Jesuits’ arrival brightened their day – and they pressured the city council to pressure the Governor to pressure the Jesuits and charge them with floundering school. Of course, the Jesuit Superior, Fr. Jose Fernandez Cuevas, demurred. He could not change their instructions to evangelize the unbaptized mountain tribes in Mindanao and the adjacent islands. Yet he also saw the need for a good school in Manila. He thought the young did not receive any religious instruction, one wrote hinting that the Jesuits should accept the school, and the Jesuits could provide education to those who aspired neither to the priesthood nor to a career in law. More than the Escuela, the Jesuits could provide an academic program that would include the theory and practice of the Christian religion, the rules of etiquette and good upbringing, emphasize Catholic doctrine and a style of life expected from a practicing Catholic. Unwittingly, perhaps, Fr. Cuevas left a door open by hinting that if the Governor General assumed all responsibility for the change, and put everything in writing, they might agree and take over the Escuela pia. The Governor grabbed the chance and accepted all responsibilities for all this actions. And on 10 December 1859, the school, renamed “Escuela municipal” since the city government subsidized it, opened with only 10 pupils. A month later, 120 boys reported for classes; the following March, 55 more, and; at the end of the first school year in August, 210 boys were divided into two elementary classes.
1859 - 2009
Just a week after the new school had opened, an editorial appeared in the Boletin Oficial de Filipinas. The Jesuit method of teaching could not be better, it read. It “combines clarity with depth of thought and … delightful explanations.” New to Manila, the Jesuits did not disappoint the people, whose hearts they had quickly won. The Spanish Crown wanted the Jesuits to win also the hearts of the tribes in Mindanao. And Fr. Fernandez soon sailed down to Mindanao to locate a site for a mission. He found none in the south of the island, but he thought northern Mindanao, where Islam had not penetrated, would be the best choice. Meantime, military operations against the Magindanao Muslims were coming to an end, and, before sailing away, the new commanding officer asked Jesuit missionaries to go with him, in order to consolidate the military victories. As in the case with the school, the government, not the Jesuits, decided what they should do. Not unusual actually, for St. Ignatius, their founder, never hesitated to send his followers wherever, whenever higher authorities saw they were needed.
“The Spanish Crown wanted the Jesuits to win also By Jose S. Arcilla, theSJhearts of the tribes in Mindanao... [S]t. Ignatius, their founder, never hesitated to send his followers wherever, whenever higher authorities saw they were needed.”
By 1877, the Jesuit missions dotted the entire island of Mindanao. Before they came, there was yet no study of the local fauna and flora, there were no grammars or dictionaries of the local idioms, hardly any decent overland roads linked the coastal trading centers. But, as accurately described by a Jesuit, the Mindanao missions “humanized in order to Christianize the people.” The people learned to live in permanent communities, practice sedentary agriculture, and, perhaps more importantly, they had accepted the principle of authority and duties and rights of life in society. As sociologists tell us, they learned to exchange mutual social services, without which community life would be impossible; a carpenter, for example, who builds a house receives food supplies in return, the soldier who fights for the community shares in the harvest of the farmer, etc. Then the Bonifacio uprising of 1896 and the arrivals of the Americans three years later cut everything short. To a man, the Jesuits wanted to stay at their missions, but political uncertainty forced the Jesuit Mission Superior to recall them to Manila, until things changed for the better. And in 1900, they were back at their former stations – not all, for some had
returned sick to Spain, a few had died, with no replacements to take over. This left the field open for the well-financed American Protestant proselytizers and the addicts of the schismatic Aglipay. But the Catholics remained loyal to Christ and His Church, and they waited for the return of the priests. The gobernadorcillo, for example of Veruela in upper Agusan wrote the Mission Superior the “people here sincerely desire that the same missionaries return, so that the people become law-abiding. They have agreed to contribute five pesos to purchase one priest (ug nagsabut na magaamot sila sa caliman piso, cay ipalit sa usa ca Padre).”
In 1900, the new American government refused to continue the subsidy for the “Ateneo Municipal De Manila,” so called when it became a secondary school. The Jesuits refused to give up and continued with private funds, and remained the school “Ateneo de Manila,” the name it has carried since then.
Not only Rizal, but all who had the privilege of spending their youth at the Ateneo. A list is easy to draw up – the leaders of the Philippine revolution (the Luna brothers), Gregorio del Pilar, etc., for which reason the Jesuits were once tagged as the brains of the anti-Spanish upheaval); the Ateneo cadets, who refused to obey President Quezon, who disbanded all ROTC units when the Japanese bombs fell in 1941, but stayed together, fought the Japanese as a unit in Bataan, and impressed everyone when at sundown they came together to recite the Rosary to the Blessed Virgin; Manuel Colayco, a fighter through ideas that found form in the pre-war Catholic Commonwealth, and which proved to be the flesh and blood of the Philippine Church subtly persecuted by its many secret enemies (Freemasonry, for example); the pioneers of the Philippine film industry, sports, and other forms of recreation; and the uncounted leaders of
Rizal best describes the education it offered him. He had begun schooling still a young child, still stammering in Castilian, his mind “partly developed and almost without any refinement” in his feelings. But constant discipline, a thousand corrections from a dedicated teacher, self-analysis, and cultivating poetry and rhetoric “had elevated my feelings, and the [classical] authors showed me a new path I could take.”
industry, economics, politics, law, etc., all of them on their own, striving to do everything until there is nothing left to give, and be “men and women for others.” In 150 years of Jesuit presence, there have been a number of heroes who transformed Philippines society. We know only the few, who outshine the lesser lights left in the wake of great comets of history, not originators, but capable of finishing what others have started. None is unimportant. They are all stars that beautify with their multiple brilliance the comet’s tail. There is much to thank God for. In St. Ignatius’ words, we thank the Lord who has given us the chance to be able to offer Him greater love, service and glory. W
The gobernadorcillo wrote to the Mission Superior: “people here sincerely desire that the same missionaries return... They have agreed to contribute five pesos to purchase one priest.”
150 Years of
Education, Spirituality and Nation-building
by Jerry E. Esplanada On June 14, 1859, 10 Jesuits from Spain’s Aragon province arrived in Manila aboard the frigate Luisita. For the priests, it was the end of a long journey but for what was to become the Ateneo de Manila University (AdMU), it was the beginning of a journey that continues today.” On June 14, Ateneo launched its sesquicentennial, 150th anniversary, with a Mass at the Manila Cathedral in Intramuros and other activities that traced the school’s history through six campuses and four Metro Manila cities. The celebration will culminate on Dec. 10, the day the Spanish Jesuits established the Escuela Municipal de Manila, a public primary school in Intramuros, Manila. Preparation for the milestone, with the theme “Celebrating Excellence, Deepening Spirituality, and Nationbuilding,” actually began on August 5, 2007, with simple rites at the university’s Loyola Heights campus in Quezon City.
“[A] group of Manila residents petitioned the Spanish authorities to allow the Jesuits to put up a school because of the Order’s reputation for excellence in education.”
During the June 14 Mass at the cathedral, with Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales as main celebrant, Fr. Jose Cecilio Magadia, provincial superior of the Society of Jesus and a member of the AdMU Board of Trustees, recalled
First published by Philippine Daily Inquirer on 22 June 2009. Reprinted with permission. 8
the university’s history in a two-part homily. Reputation as educators Under a decree by Spain’s Queen Isabella, the Jesuits were mandated to conduct missionary work in Mindanao. But a group of Manila residents petitioned the Spanish authorities to allow the Jesuits to put up a school because of the Order’s reputation for excellence in education. At first the Jesuits turned down the request but a decree was issued on Oct, 1, 1859, transferring the administration of the Escuela Pia, then the only primary school in the city, to them. The School was named Escuela Municipal. When the new school opened on Dec. 10, 1859, it had an enrollment of 23 boys. By March 1860, Students had increased to 170. Magadia said students chanted
the Latin declensions, prayed the rosary and studied reading, writing, arithmetic, history, astronomy and religion. In 1865, the Escuela Municipal became the Ateneo Municipal de Manila and began offering baccalaureate degrees, as well as technical courses. Ateneo had its first graduates, 13 students, in 1870. The Philippine national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal, graduated in 1877. Magadia said, “By 1909, when the school was renamed Ateneo de Manila, it had well-established primary, secondary and tertiary levels.” Other Ateneos had since WINDHOVER
opened in Zamboanga, Cagayan de Oro, Naga and Davao, “along with other schools driven by the same Jesuits ideals of excellence and the need to do more for love of God, neighbor and country,” Magadia said. Over the years, he said Ateneo had become a much respected institution, its students bringing the Ateneo spirit beyond their campus, and offering their lives for causes beyond themselves. New missionaries needed The Jesuit provincial told the Ateneo community that the current situation called for Missionaries, besides those wearing priestly robes. He said the country was moving towards a “frightening future,” as it continued to be “pained by poverty, inequality and injustice, where Filipinos are left with little choice but to leave the country for a lack of a more stable future at home, where we remained bothered by a politics that is so mired in and stained by corruption, where the challenges of a new secularism and materialism, new philosophies that reject or undermine the transcendent, for whom God has disappeared into the mists. The new missionaries, he said,
should be people “who can play with the images of modern media, who can sing the music of our young, who can speak the language of government and politics, who can tap comfortably on keyboards, who can remain unfazed by new technologies. And new ideas and new trends. Magadia said the new missionaries could be Ateneo alumni and friends who would share their spirituality through their businesses, family, life and parishes, and non-government organizations. From the cathedral, faithful Blue Eagles led by Fr. Bienvenido Nebres, AdMU president, and businessman Manuel Pangilinan, chair of the Board of Trustees, proceed to the nearby ruins of the San Ignacio Church, built in 1889 in honor of St. Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus. There, Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim and Intramuros Administration head Bambi Harper led the ground-breaking rites for an ecclesiastical museum project. After breakfast of “old boys’ school” staples of pan de sal, peaches and hot chocolate, alumni and guests went on a motorcade that took them to the six current and former Ateneo campuses in Intramuros and Padre Faura (Manila, now part of the Robinsons Ermita mall), Ateneo Professional Schools in Salcedo
Village and Rockwell (Makati), Ateneo School of Medicine and Public Health in Pasig City and The main Loyola Heights (Quezon City) campus. Program of activities Ateneo kicked-off its 150th celebration three years ago with a 148th anniversary Mass on Dec. 10, 2007. The following year, on June 27, 2008, the sesquicentennial seal was unveiled. In November, the Lights for Hope Outreach Christmas Party was held followed by the 149th Anniversary Mass on December 10, 2008. On July 12-14, the Jesuit Basic Education Congress will be held then the Ateneo Professional Schools will hold the Congress on Capacity-building on Oct. 9. The 15-day countdown to the 150th begins on Nov. 25 highlighted by another Lights for Hope Outreach Christmas Party on Nov. 28, the 14th English in Southeast Asia Conference on Nov. 30-Dec 2, and the Second Ateneo Music Festival on Dec. 6. Capping the activities is the 150th anniversary Mass on Dec. 10 followed by One Big Night Concert on Dec. 12 then the Sesquicentennial Simbang Gabi Dec. 15-23. W 10
“Over the years, the Ateneo had become a much respected institution, its students bringing the Ateneo spirit beyond their campus, and offering their lives for causes beyond themselves.” WINDHOVER
“Before we can find our Creator in the depths of the sea, we have to first find Him in the depths of our hearts.”
Finding God in the Deep
When Ignatius of Loyola looked up to the heavens at night, he found God the Creator in the full moon and the Milky Way of countless stars. He found God in all things. “Reflect how God dwells in creation: in the elements giving them existence, in plants giving them life, in the animals conferring upon them sensation, in man bestowing understanding (SPEX 235).” If SCUBA (Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus) diving equipment had been invented in the 16th century, perhaps one of the Jesuit Scholastics, teaching Biology at our first school in Messina, Sicily, may have plunged into the Mediterranean Sea wearing a face mask, oxygen tank, and flippers to observe for the first time colorful reef fish, brown pillow corals, shelled mussels and the ancient hawksbill turtles. In his annual letter to Ignatius, who lived in Rome, the Rector of our school in Messina may have cited these observations made by one of his Scholastic Biologists at Messina. Of course this is fantasy. But the point is that God dwells in all creatures on the face of the earth, even those in the depths of the sea, as unappealing and bizarre these deep-sea creatures are, But, God is giving them existence, life, sensation and conserving them for mankind. In his book The Divine Milieu, Teilhard de Chardin states that each of us is privileged to participate in forming the divine milieu, the environment of the spirit in the world, by immersing ourselves in the activities of the world and excelling in them. Like the marine biologists of Xavier University who have courageously stepped out from the ivory walls of the university and conquered the frontiers in the coast in Mindanao, helping fishing communities manage their environment, advocating ingenuous techniques educating the public on conserving the resources in the sea, applying science for policy formulation and other worthy endeavors. We are empowered by the Creator of the Universe to share in “creating” the noosphere that is in the process of becoming. We who live by the spirit should
by Fr. James McKeough
Ateneo de Cagayan, Xavier University, Cagayan de Oro City
strive for achievement, to be action-oriented in our passion for progress. “Teilhard, as a Jesuit-geologist, recognized the several spheres that form the outer shell of the earth. The lithosphere, made of rock, supports the hydrosphere, made of water – oceans, lakes, rivers. These two in turn are intimately associated with the biosphere and the atmosphere- Teilhard, as a Christian also recognized another, a spiritual sphere. It consists of products of mind and heart. He called it noosphere, from the Greek word, nous, meaning “mind”. Each of us contributes to the formation of this evolving noosphere every time we use mind and heart to develop the earth by our work. In part, the noosphere consists of tangible things – books, computers, laboratories, boats, nets; a part also consists of intangibles – our thoughts, our vision, our goal, even our disappointments, pain and suffering, especially as we deal with those who are not as committed to the stewardship given by God to his Creation. Each one of us can say with firm faith that God dwells in me and gives me existence, life, sensation, intelligence, gifts of mind and heart, since I am created in His likeness or image. Before we can find our Creator in the depths of the sea, we have to first find Him in the depths of our hearts. Then we can cooperate and labor with our Creator, with His divine Son as our companion in a true and just development concerned with a passionate care of our earth and our environment. W
This article is a shortened form of a talk given to Loyola House of Studies students some two years ago. I will present three themes in this article as the Title indicates. Chaos as it is understood in modern science, the theory of Parallel Universes and finally some thoughts about theological possibilites for these ideas. Chaos is a familiar enough term in modern life. The obvious meaning is that chaos is the same as disorder or randomness. But in modern science this meaning has a particular nuance. Modern science takes its origin from the Laws of Mechanics of Isaac Newton formulated in the 17th century. They state that nature follows certain laws that are able to be understood by the use of mathematics. Thus we are used to think of the regular motion of the earth around the sun and the moon around the earth as explained by these laws of Newton. There came a time however when the awe at the power of the mind and its mathematical reasoning began to be questioned. It was the beginning of the era of the digital computer-the 1960’s in the US. A meteorologist by the name of Professor Lorentz was trying to use the laws of physics to predict the weather. He had simplified these laws to the point where he could submit them to one of the first primitive models of a digital computer. He left the machine running as he went home from his office for the night. The next morning imagine his surprise and chagrin when instead of a solution to the equations he had placed in the machine he got sheer nonsense. Thinking that he had made a mistake or that his primitive machine had made a mistake he retyped the symbols into the
machine and again went home to supper.The next morning upon seeing the same result he realized there was no mistake. The equations were perfectly alright but they became so involuted-nonlinear is the technical term- that they had no straight forward unique solution but only a choice of possibilities. These ‘choices’ in turn depended critically on how connected they all were to each other. The famous shibboleth for this: a hurricane is spawned in the Gulf of Mexico by the flapping of the wings of a butterfly in Brazil!
Chaos and Parallel Universes by Fr. Dan McNamara, S.J
Chaos and “Parallel Universes Is heaven a ‘parallel’ universe? Is chaos so intrinsic to our world that even God cannot know the outcome of history? “
The second surprise to our way of thinking involves the world of quantum physics. Here there is also a master equation and so the expectation that a fixed answer will emerge if we solve the equation in a given problem. However the theory of quantum physics says there is no unique solution but only probabilities of any one solution. To make sense of this there is a whole school of physicists who today say that indeed all the solutions do exist but in Parallel Universes. These other universes do not-cannot -communicate with our world and so are “parallel” to ours.Yet they all exist and have in them a “parallel” you and me. For those studying theology these ideas could help formulate new ways to language our faith. Is heaven a “parallel” universe? Is chaos so intrinsic to our world that even God cannot know the outcome of history? Food for thought.
“I s h e ave n a ‘par allel’ un i ve r s e ? I s chaos so in t r i n s i c t o our wor ld that eve n G o d c annot know the ou t c o m e o f hi stor y?” 14
To Be Available is to Receive the Gift
wide range of students, from the bright ones to the very slow learners. Given that mix, I have to tailor my lesson so as not to leave behind the slower ones and not too easy as to bore the gifted. Carefully preparing lessons can be very tedious. Every week, I need to see to it the students have reasonably met the standards and figure out whether we’re ready to move forward. With a large number of students, I find it hard to strike a balance and reach out to everyone though majority of them will probably advance faster with personal or small group tutorial.
by Sch. Erik John Gerilla, SJ
apostolic life. Here availability is constantly tested and becomes a form of witnessing.
To become a missionary in a foreign land was far distant from what I thought possible for me. I rather saw myself a laid-back and quiet scholastic and not the type who can just go for the unknown and live up with uncertainties. But our formation has taught me that availability is so desirable for a Jesuit, and so I volunteered my service for East Timor not knowing what exactly awaits. Now, I just turned one year here, I am just amazed at the surprising turn of things. It’s humbling to be disillusioned that I don’t have all the cards. As days are running, this availability which I thought I completely understood, strikes me right through my guts. It’s quite difficult, honestly, but this is how I am initiated to the
East Timor, a small country with just barely 1 million people, has a complicated history. It was colonized by the Portuguese and almost annexed to Indonesia after years of military occupation where so much blood has flowed; destruction was massive; hundreds of thousands were traumatized. Shortly after independence, the country was plagued by internal political and military crisis. But with UN intervention, things are now starting to settle and the nation looks like it’s heading towards a promising future. I came here in that state. The people are trying to be optimistic picking up pieces from the remnants of their past. But challenges remain massive in scale. I might have missed the ‘action’ and sleeping over gunshots but cleaning up the mess is more
Aside from the scarcity of resources for teaching, classes are also challenged with the problem of hunger and malnutrition amongst the students. Although we are working to fix the curriculum and methods of teaching, all these efforts are barely halfway the battle, given many students with grumbling stomachs while on class, many of whom remain unheard. Part of my work is to assist the prefect of discipline in granting permissions for students who are sick to go home. I have had many who complained about stomach pain. At first I couldn’t believe why there are many every day. Later I found out they have serious ulcers and
complex perhaps. When adrenalin rush is over, the impact of exhaustion, despair and fatigue can be very daunting. Most of my time here is spent on teaching. I teach English to our Novices and the students in our Jesuit senior high school, Colégio de São José. My mission is to teach this foreign tongue to students many of whom are starting from very basic despite previous instruction in junior high school. But I’m no different. I started from scratch as well in my study of the native tongue Tetum. I had to learn Tetum not just to simply get by but more importantly to aid my teaching. Learning a new language wasn’t smooth-sailing for me. But learning was so rewarding because it empowered me to connect to people and to serve.
debilitating hunger. Some were too weak to bear the empty stomach and just faint at the middle of the class. But just as pains of hard work are always part of this life, certainly there are rewards and joys as a teacher. When looking on a student’s face you just can tell, he or she has got it. There were several moments in fact when I have asked students to construct sentences in recitations. Even the answers came in slow and staggering responses. But what’s important is that they made it through. Some of those students are my most memorable. Glimpses of small victories like these have opened my eyes to appreciate teaching because I can see that learning English gives them opportunity to open themselves to horizons beyond the limits of their own language – their own world. Besides, English is very empowering for many. Those who have good command in English get chosen for scholarships abroad and hopefully contribute to the country’s development in the future. There are so many other works to do here. There are just countless ways to be of service to the Timorese people. There are problems in the curriculum of the country’s educational system, our own school has systems in place that need constant review to better the service we give to the students, and there is a great need for fund raising to improve our school facilities especially in the light of the move to transfer our campus
“God has desired for my company and has chosen me for this mission although I’m fallible and weak.”
Teaching in the context of East Timor requires hard work. In school we got a 16
Is There A Philippine Jesuit Social Apostolate? by Fr. John J. Carroll, SJ
to a new site. There are problems like poverty, poor health care, cultural problems like smoking and drinking, to name a few. One contribution I can see that Jesuits do for the society here is to raise the consciousness of the people and the public servant regarding these problems. I can attest to this persuasive power of Jesuits here to move government officials into thinking and action. There are actually many gaps to fill in the school, in the community and in the church but as Jesuits our availability also calls for focus. Personally, there are limits to how far I can pull the string of hope closer to reality. If I spread myself too thinly, I think I’m not an effective Jesuit. Jesuit life is supposed to be vibrant that I should live it out and not mix it up with pettiness of overloading. Besides, if availability calls for magis, I think I have seen Jesuits plenty enough and learn from them that magis comes alive in a lover and not in a performer. “Being completely united with Christ and completely inserted into the world.” (GC 35, Decree 2, #9) My students also remind me of that. Once, a student approached me if I can spare some time for him for tutorial. Incidentally, I was bugged down with many school works and assistant house minister tasks. I just
can’t spare enough if I have to fulfill all my duties. But what is the worth of an hour in the school and the kitchen if I turned down this young mind that remains wanting. Although hard work needs some further stretching because evidently the harvest is great but the laborers are few, but my stay here for two years is meant to be a faithful companion for my students in their learning and self-development. They have stories to tell, so I need to be there to listen. They have dreams that hold them standing still despite all the problems they meet. They need people who can dream with them and inflame inspirations to pursue these dreams. God has desired for my company and has chosen me for this mission although I’m fallible and weak. I am not worthy nor the most suitable at all but here I am and that’s what matters. Most, if not all, of my students can’t speak straight sentence in English until now, but I told myself why should I wallow in frustration and disappointments if what matters is that I am present to them and that God is here. Mission is a gift, I can’t choose how it is wrapped, besides, that is not what it’s all about. Though God hasn’t promised starry nights after everyday exhaustion and doubts whether I did my best as a Jesuit each day that counts but looking up the night sky I’m always mesmerized at the same sight which the Jesuit missionaries long before me had seen. God is such an abiding presence. He wants me to touch the lives of the people here in East Timor with that fidelity which I alone cannot sustain. Neither Jesuits on their own. But that makes this Society of Jesus tick and its mission a gift. W
To my mind, there is no “Philippine Jesuit Social Apostolate.” There are in fact many Philippine Jesuit social apostolates, in the plural. Each of them is doing what it can, with a particular sector of society, to bring about the Kingdom of God and His justice according to the Gospel. As I go through papers and documents of meetings, colloquia of the “Social Apostolate” and Province assemblies going back many years, I find a recurring lament that it lacks unity and a common program and therefore has no national impact. The annual colloquia – and I may hold the record for attendance at these over the years – typically vowed renewed efforts to develop a common program, vows which were quickly put on the back burner as the delegates “came down from the mountain” to face the insistent issues and demands of their own shops.
“Mission is a gift, I can’t choose how it is wrapped... but looking up the night sky I’m always mesmerized at the same sight which the Jesuit missionaries long before me had seen.”
The issues faced by the many (25 or so and counting) Jesuit social institutes and individual Jesuit social apostolates, while similar in some respects, take on different colors as it were from region to region, from Zamboanga for example to Bukidnon to Naga. Other factors reinforce this diversity. Most of the social institutes are attached to Jesuit universities and must balance commitments made at the annual colloquia of the Society of Jesus Social Apostolate (SJSA) with the expectations and instructions of their mother institutions. Funding too plays a part here; most or all of the institutes depend for at least part of their funding on donor agencies which have their own agenda and may not be interested in supporting those programs which the SJSA considers important. Finally, many of the institutes have learned that to achieve significant results they cannot go it alone, they need to link up with other groups, but that their most appropriate partner-institutes may not be those of the SJSA. They must network with groups having concrete concerns similar to their own and establish linkages with individuals and groups which are or can be key players in the game of building the Kingdom, whether they see it in those terms or not. These may be in the business world and the government bureaucracy for example, as well as the
Church and the media Networking is in fact today the name of the game.
An account and analysis of the process of coalition-building and networking, with grassroots groups and other NGOs, the business world, media, Cardinal Sin and through him the Speaker of the House, in the process of passing the Urban Development and Housing Act of 1992, has been presented in a monograph by the Institute on Church and Social Issues. A more recent account of the long and painful process of organizing and lobbying, of fasts and marches and defeats and deaths which eventually bought victory in the struggle for the reformed Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law of 2009 has been documented in part by the film of Edita “Ditsi” Carolino, “Lupang Hinarang.” A more detailed written account, e.g. by Simbang Lingkod ng Bayan together with Saligan would be extremely useful. Neither these nor similar success stories have inspired newspaper headlines trumpeting the role of the Jesuit institutes involved; nevertheless the fact is that these institutes together with their coalition-partners and especially the poor people themselves have played key roles in bringing about nationallevel results. Currently the national attention focuses on the 2010 election, on whether it will actually take place, if so what form it will take, and who will be the candidates. To my mind, there lurks a danger here, in focusing attention almost exclusively on presidential candidates, looking for a Messiah who will eliminate corruption, bring about equitable development with food, housing, education and health-care for all, and solve the rest of the nation’s problems. As I pointed out years ago in an article entitled “President or Barrio Fiesta Queen?” even a good and well-intentioned President who lacks a strong political party with a concrete program and the willingness to impose party discipline in support of the program, will find himself or herself blocked and frustrated at every turn. With the budget in the power of the House of Representatives, and cabinet officials subject to approval by the Commission on Appointments, the President may well find himself or herself obliged to “buy” support
for even the best of appointments and legislative measures by means of pork barrel and patronage, to the detriment of his or her credibility and of the programs themselves. Nevertheless, the SJSA, in its colloquium for 2009 has chosen to focus on the upcoming election, working in a non-partisan way for the integrity of the process – and this itself is a tall order – while leaving to the individual institutes and members to support particular candidates. Here I would make some modest suggestions. 1. Select among the presidential hopefuls one who, even if he or she may not be able to solve all problems, will at least do no harm. We have seen that a good president without strong party support can do little, but also that a bad president can do much harm. 2. Look to the long run, to the building of a strong and principled party, perhaps among idealistic groups such as Kapatiran. 3. Select your senatorial candidates carefully; we have seen how important the Senate is, even when it includes some less than admirable characters. 4. Consider making a “hit list” of Congresspersons up for reelection, or their anointed successors, according to their stand on agrarian reform and other key issues. If farmers’ groups and their supporters around the country could mobilize resources to defeat ten or twenty of their leading adversaries, it would convey a strong message. 5. Focus hard on the local scene and local candidates. This is where the action is and it is here that accountability is most easily exacted. 6. And above all, count on the support of the Lord, the Master of History, who calmed the wind and the waves and admonished His disciples “Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?”
Anna Marie A. Karaos, Marlene V. Gatpatan, and Robert V. Hotz, S.J., “Making a Difference: “NGO and PO Policy Influence in Urban Land Reform advocacy,” Pulso 15, January 1995. Intersect, 6 (1), (January, 2001), pp. 3-5. Mk. 4:40.
They say our people are sometimes too patient to a fault. History would even remind us of a few examples. For one, it took us centuries before we were able to unite as a band of countrymen against Colonialist Spain. Then more recently, it took us another twenty years before we rose up against a dictator of a president. And yet it can also be attributed to these long years of oppression that saw a nation rise from the ashes of despair and self-absorption. In truth, I believe that it is precisely because we have become too impatient that we have committed the mistakes that have shackled our nation today. Many times, we have become too impatient that we rush into decisions that we regret along the way. We become too impatient and so we short change everything in our journey as a people. Ironically, we have become impatient during the times we needed to be patient, and became too complacent during the times we needed to make a stand.
A POLITICS OF PATIENCE... ...A POLITICS OF HOPE A
by Sch. Ishmael Jose Chan-Gonzaga, SJ
“The call to active, patient and responsible citizenship rings clear throughout the land. Now, more than ever, the invitation for every Filipino to respond grows louder”
Once more we are at the dawn of a new era of leadership in our land. And I fear that our impatience as a people may force us to resign our country’s fate to leaders who have become too contemptuously comfortable in the exercise of power. Our impatience might become our undoing yet again. Certain actions already remind us of a few examples. A group of goodintentioned and pure hearted 20
individuals are rushing into fielding a line up with no major leadership experience, relying solely on character, without even looking at capability and machinery. Another group is trying hard to consolidate forces even if it means compromising basic principles and fundamental beliefs. Too impatient to wait and too desperate to simply get rid of the kind of administration we have now, we have blinded ourselves to the real purpose of our democratic exercise. Sometimes, like horses with blinders, our impatience takes our sight away from the bigger picture of a mature and well-thought of plan of action and simply focused on the quick gap solutions of panacea and ill-advised decisions. I hope that we are able to awaken our people as early as now from this state of impatient self-absorption and remind them of examples of other nations that also battled the very long road to be a people. It took China 5000 years before it finally settled into one of the most remarkable of civilizations. It took Europe centuries before it finally rose to what it is today. We are a very young nation. We are still struggling to understand ourselves and
in the process, of embracing our own unique identity. What we need is a politics of patience where we break the repeated cycle of panacea in our selection process and instead be ready to commit, day by day, to the tedious yet necessary process of responsible engagement. And we see groups who share this dream slowly rising amongst our people. We are seeing concerned and hopeful individuals and organizations reaching out to the various communities, inviting different groups throughout the country, slowly building up a mass base in real civil democratic engagement in a mission to field a line up for the 2010 elections borne out of a patient search and hope-filled consultation. I feel a certain flicker of hope burning within me once again. Finally, CHANGE is just around the corner.
I believe that 2010 will usher in a new hope, a new dynamism. Today, the call to active, patient and responsible citizenship rings clear throughout the land. Now, more than ever, the invitation for every Filipino to respond grows louder. Yes, in time, this phoenix of a nation shall rise from the ashes of its own mistakes of impatience and despair and blaze the sky with the vision and direction of its new and hopeful champions. W
My Fingerprint (A good citizen’s prayer and reflection for the May 10, 2010 National Elections)
by Sch. Jomari Manzano, SJ Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan
A simple reminder to me about WHO I AM. It tells me that I am precious and unique. No one else in the world has a fingerprint exactly similar to mine. If only for a day between now and the day of the elections on May 10, 2010, I will use my fingerprint remembering who I am – precious, unique, priceless, nobody can buy. I need to be valued as such. M Y
F I N G E R P R I N T
A simple reminder to me about WHO MY NEIGHBORS ARE. It tells me that they too are precious and they ought to be respected and involved. They have the same rights as I have. If only for a day between now and the day of the elections on May 10, 2010, I will use my fingerprint remembering who my neighbors are-friends, brothers and sisters, and I need to respect and protect them. M Y
F I N G E R P R I N T
A simple reminder to me about WHAT KIND OF WORLD I LIVE IN. It tells me that I live in a meaningful and beautiful world of values and principles. What can give true sense to my life is not money or material things but true values of love, justice and peace. If only for a day between now and the day of the elections on May 10, 2010, I will use my fingerprint remembering the world I live in-meaningful and beautiful world which is the only one I’ve got. I need to look after this world with love and care. M Y
F I N G E R P R I N T
A simple reminder to me about GOD WHO DESIGNED EVERYTHING. It tells me that God designed my unique fingerprint for a good purpose. God gifted me with an indelible mark for the purpose of setting me apart as God’s beloved. If only for a day between now and the day of the elections on May 10, 2010, I will use my fingerprint remembering God’s permanent mark in me-the mark of love nobody can take away from me. I am called to use my fingerprint always for a purpose, always for God’s divine purpose. Amen. W
funeral. In 1983 the mood was one of protest and anger. In 2009 it was an outpouring of love and farewell. In 1983 we saw the biggest funeral in Philippine history. 26 years later Philippine history repeated itself during Cory’s funeral. They say that lightning never strikes twice. This is not true in the case of Mr. and Mrs. Benigno Aquino II. Just like her husband’s death, Tita Cory’s own death united all of us as a nation – the rich and the poor, the empowered and the powerless. In 2001, years after her presidency, she was one of those who led the call for Joseph Estrada to step down as president. During her dying days, Erap visited her without attracting attention. Kris Aquino expressed her respect for Erap for quietly showing his support and sending food regularly, despite their political differences. Imee and Bongbong Marcos came to show their respect at the wake of Cory. Kris also expressed her thanks to the Marcoses for their sincerity in praying for her mother. Indeed, what manner of woman is this, she who even in death, can inspire people to transcend their animosity and be united, even if fleetingly? To paraphrase scripture, there is more than meets the eye here. We see the spark of the divine in the shared grief of the opposing families. She had the “right stuff ” like the Apollo astronauts, in contrast to all the others with the wrong stuff. Truly, God’s ways are not our ways.
Corazon Cojuangco Aquino 1933-2009
A cursor is a pointer. John the Baptist was the pre-cursor paving the way to Jesus, and Jesus pointed us to God, who is present in our daily life, in the way we treat others with respect, care and concern. Future generations of Filipinos will look back at our time and may probably say that Ninoy was actually the precursor to Cory’s presidency. Only time will tell us if Cory has pointed us in the right direction of true nationhood.
by Fr. Salvador Wee, S.J.
For each of us, what lessons can we learn from Cory’s life and death? What values and priorities are operative in our lives? What do we see happening around us? Do we see unity, or division among ourselves? Do we see selflessness, or do we see self-aggrandizement? Do we see ourselves humbly serving others, or do we always see one-upmanship or pataasan ng ihi? What is real to us – pakitang-Diyos, or pakitang-tao? Once again, our ways are not God’s ways.
We have much to learn from the life and death of Corazon Cojuangco Aquino, President of the Philippines from 1986-1992. After her husband Ninoy Aquino’s assassination in 1983, she became our beacon of democracy and led the world-famous 1986 People Power uprising that drove away the Marcos dictatorship. EDSA 1 inspired later peaceful revolutions in other parts of the world. Cory Aquino has been compared to Mahatma Gandhi of India and Nelson Mandela of South Africa.
“What manner of woman is this, she who even in death, can inspire people to transcend their animosity and be united, even if fleetingly?”
Those who never knew Cory can listen to all the accolades expressed at her funeral – courageous, honorable, truthful, humble, caring, selfless, a woman of deep faith and integrity, etc. She was the exact opposite of those who deceive us at every turn and who would, by hook or by crook, cling tenaciously to power. She never wanted to be president. She was a grieving widow forced by circumstances into public life. Critics later say she was not an effective president, but she certainly was a brave and honorable president. The nation knew this and spontaneously came out during her funeral to express their respect and love for her. More than a state funeral organized by the government, what we witnessed at the Manila Cathedral and the streets of Manila on August 5, 2009 was truly a People’s Funeral for Cory. There were no organized hakot crowds, just thousands and thousands of grieving crowds saying good-bye and thank you to our beloved icon of democracy. To the young who do not know what People Power is, this is what it is.
Observers noted the difference between the crowds at Ninoy’s funeral and the crowds at Cory’s
A pervasive kanya-kanya (to each his own) syndrome exists, where the highest government official down to the lowliest wage earner all compete in makasariling sikap. Instead of a homeland we are proud of, where there is a shared dream of providing a better future for all, our country has become a land of hopeful expatriates seeking greener pastures elsewhere. The biblical exodus or escape from Egypt is a reality today in the Philippines. The papers report that the Filipino dream today is to go abroad. Sad indeed, but understandable, is the reality of this self-survival mode. Can we not learn from the example of Cory’s selfless life? The names of Ninoy and Cory Aquino are now part of Philippine history. Some have started calling her a saint, others want her proclaimed a hero. Even if the official titles are not yet there, we know that deep in our hearts, the spirit of Ninoy and Cory will always be there to remind us what it is to love our country and serve others.
Cory’s dying message was, “Take care of each other…” It was not only for her children. It was for all of us, as a nation. Let us listen to her, and let us truly care for each other. Like her, let us truly be Pro Deo et Patria – for God and country. W 24
President Cory Aquino Funeral Mass Homily by Fr. Catalino G. Arevalo, SJ INTRODUCTION If I may first ask pardon for what might be an unseemly introduction. In the last days of President Cory’s illness, when it seemed inevitable that the end would come, the assignment to give this homily was given to me. By Ms Kris Aquino, in fact. She reminded me that many times and publicly, her mother had said she was asking me to preach at her funeral Mass. Always I told her I was years older, and would go ahead of her, but she would just smile at this. Those who knew Tita Cory knew that when she had made up her mind, she had made up her mind. What then is my task this morning? I know for certain that if liturgical rules were not what they are, she would have asked Congressman Ted Locsin to be here in my place. No one has it in him to speak as fittingly of Cory Aquino in the manner and measure of tribute she uniquely deserves, no one else as he. Asked in an interview she said that the address before the two Houses of Congress at Washington she considered perhaps the supreme shining moment of her life. We know who helped her with those words with which she conquered America. These last few days, too, every gifted writer in the press and other media has written on her person and political history, analyzed almost every side of her life and achievement as our own “icon of democracy”. More powerfully even, images of her and of EDSA UNO have filled hour after hour of TV time. Really, what else is left to be said? CORY AQUINO FUNERAL HOMILY So, Tita Cory, you’ll forgive me if I don’t even try to give a shadow of the great oration that should be delivered here this morning. Let me instead try to say some things the people who persevered for hours on end in the serried lines at Ortigas or here in Intramuros can (I hope) more easily follow. This is a lowly tribute at one with “the old sneakers and clothes made tighter by age, soaked by water and much worse for wear” of the men, women and children who braved the rain and the sun because they wanted to tell you, even for a brief and hurried moment, how much they love you. You truly ”now belong among the immortals”. But these words are for those mortals who with bruised hearts have lost “the mother of a people”. Maybe less elegantly than the seminarian said to me Monday, they would like to say also:
Kris and Noynoy are the public figures; they can speak for themselves. I hope they will forgive me that I did not ask.
“She was the only true queen our people have ever had, and she was queen because we knew she truly held our hearts in the greatness and the gentleness of her own.”
First, then, her generous selflessness. For us this morning what is surely most to the point is her love of country. When her final illness was upon her already, she said, -- most recently at the Greenmeadows chapel (her last public words, I think) --that she was offering her suffering, first to God, then for our people. I heard that grandson Jiggy asked her why first for country and people, and she said that always the priority line-up was -- God, our country and our people, and then family. On radio, the other night, the commentator asked an old woman in line why she stood hours in the rain to get into La Salle. “Ito lang ang maibibigay ko po sa kanya, bilang pasasalamat.” “Bakit, ano ba ang ibinigay ni Cory sa inyo?” “Di po ba ang buhay nya? Ang buong sarili nya? At di po ba ang pagasa? Kaya mahal na mahal po namin siya.” Early on, on TV, they ran many times the clip from a last interview. She says, “I thank God, and then all of you, for making me a Filipino, for making me one of you. I cherish this as one of the truly great gifts I have received.” A few weeks from her death, she could say that; without put-on or the least insincerity. “I thank you, for making me one of you..” Her selflessness, her self-gift. Pope Benedict likes to say that the God whom Jesus Christ revealed to us, is Father. A Father who is wholly self-gift; the God “whose nature is to give Himself ” – to give Himself to us, in His Son. And, the Pope says, that is what is the meaning of Jesus and the life of Jesus, and, by discipleship, what the Christian’s life is meant to be. We Christians too, we must give ourselves away in the self-giving of love. “Ang buhay po nya at sarili. Kaya po mahal na mahal namin sya.” In the last days, when finally and reluctantly still she admitted she had much pain, I kept thinking that only a couple of weeks before, for the first time publicly, she said that she was offering it up first of all for us.”
One of my teachers used to tell us that if we really wanted to know and understand a position held, we would have to learn it from someone fully committed to it. Just as only one who genuinely loves a person, really knows him or her also. So to begin with, I turned to three real “experts on Cory”; to ask them where for them the true greatness of Cory Aquino lay. My first source thought it was in her selflessness, seen above all in her love of country - surely above self; yes, even above family. Her self-giving, then, for us; what she had received, all became gift for us. The second, thought it was in her faith her greatness lay, in her total trust in God which was also her greatest strength. And the third said it was in her courage and the unshakable loyalty that went with it. It was a strength others could lean on; it never wavered; it never broke. . . . . . Cory’s selflessness and self-giving; her faith (the Holy Father just called it “unwavering”); her courage, her strength. -May I use this short list to frame what I will say? O, let me name my experts now, if I may. They were three, all of them women close to her: Maria Elena Aquino Cruz, whom we know as Ballsy, Maria Aurora Aquino Abellada, Pinky to her friends; and Victoria Elisa Aquino Dee, Viel to the family.
“This is a lowly tribute at one with... the men and women who braved the rain and the sun because they wanted to tell you, even for a brief moment, how much they love you. You truly ‘now belong among the immortals’.”
Secondly, her faith. Pinky says, it was her mother’s greatest strength; it was what was deepest in her. Her faith was her bedrock, and it was, bedrock. Frederick Buechner the ordained minister and novelist likes to say that through his lifetime, even as a preacher, he’s had many doubts, even deep doubt, daily doubts. “But I have never really looked down into the deep abyss and seen only nothingness. Somehow I have known, that underneath all the shadows and the darkness, there are the everlasting arms.” I think Cory’s faith was like that, not in the multiplicity of doubts (even if, in a life so filled with trial, there surely were doubts too), but in the certainty of the everlasting arms. More than once she told me, “Every time life painted me into a corner, with seemingly no escape, I always turned to Him in trust. I knew He would never abandon us if we trusted in Him. And you know, somehow, each time He found a way out for us.” And so Pinky says, “Mom was always calm even in the most trying times. She trusted God would always be there for us, She was our source of strength. She made this world seem so much safer and less cruel for us. And now that our source of strength is gone, we have to make our faith something more like hers. But we know in our hearts that in every storm she will watch over us from heaven.” Within this faith was her devotion to Mary, the place Our Lady of Fatima and the rosary held in her life. All we can say on this, this morning is that Our Lady truly had a special, living presence in her life: Mary was, for Cory, true mother and incomparable friend; as we say in the hymn, - vita, dulcedo et spes, - life, sweetness and hope. No, Mary was not the center of her faith, but its air, its atmosphere; and the rosary, her lifeline through every trial and crisis. In the long harsh months of her illness, Sister Lucia’s beads almost never left her hands. She was holding them, as last Saturday was dawning and her years of exile were at last done, when we know her Lady “showed unto her, the blessed fruit of her womb.” Lastly. Her courage, her strength. Her children tell us that their father was only able to do what he wanted to do, because her loyalty and her support for his purposes was total, so she practically raised them up as a single parent. Ninoy himself wrote, again and again, that he endured imprisonment and persecution, leaning so much on her courage and love. And after his death, when she could have withdrawn in a way “safely”, to her own life with her children at last, she stayed on her feet and fought on in the years that
followed, through the snap elections and what went before and after them, through her presidency and the seven coup attempts which tried to bring her down. Even after she had given up her rule, could she not have said “enough”, and we would all have understood? But with not the least desire for position or power again, whenever she thought the spaces of freedom and the true good of our land were threatened, she went back to the streets of struggle again. Once again she led us out of the apathy we so readily fall into; once again she called us out of our comfort zones to the roads of sacrifice. Here, even hesitantly, may I add one trait, one virtue, -- to those her daughters have named? One day Cardinal Stephen Kim of South Korea asked if he might visit her. Through Ballsy, she said Yes. It was a day Malacanang was ‘closed’; they were making up the roster of members of the forthcoming Constitutional Convention. Someone from the palace staff ordered us turned away when we came; it was Ballsy who rescued us. Stephen Kim, hero and saint to his own people,-perhaps, along with Cardinal Sin, one the two greatest Asian Catholic prelates of our time,-- spent some 45 minutes talking with her. When we were on our way back, he said, “I know why the Lord has entrusted her with power, at this most difficult time. … It is because she is so truly pure of heart. She has no desire for power; even now it is with reluctance she takes it on. And she has done this only because she wants to do whatever she can for your people.” He said, “She moves me by the purity of her spirit. God has given a great gift to your people.” With this purity of heart, in the scheme of the Christian Gospel, there is joined another reality which really, only the saints understand. It is suffering. How often (it is really often; over and over through the years) she spoke of suffering as part of her life. Much contemporary spirituality speaks of suffering almost as the epitome of all evil. But in fact for all the saints, it is a mystery they themselves do not really understand nor really explain, Yet they accept it quietly, simply as part of their lives in Christ. There is only one painting she ever gave me. Kris said then, when her mom gave it to me, that it was her mom’s favorite. The painting carries 1998 as its date; Cory named it “Crosses and roses” There are seven crosses for the seven years, seven months and seven weeks of her beloved Ninoy’s imprisonment, and for the seven attempted coups during her presidency, and many roses, multi-colored roses all around them. At the back
since the university’s inception: the first time to an Asian, the first ever to a woman. She wanted, at the end of her lectio magistralis, to spell out, perhaps for the first time with some explicitness and completeness, her personal political creed. She listed seven basic beliefs which, regarding political life , she said she tried to live by. Then she spoke of one more, “one more I may not omit.” (Perhaps the paragraph which followed is worth citing here, even without comment, because it has something to say to our present hour.)
of the painting, in her own hand, she wrote a haiku of her own: “Crosses and roses/ make my life more meaningful./ I cannot complain.” Often she spoke of her “quota of suffering.” When she spoke of her last illness, she said: “I thought I had filled up my quota of suffering, but it seems there is no quota. I look at Jesus, who was wholly sinless: how much suffering he had to bear for our sakes.” And in her last public talk (it was at Greenmeadows chapel), the first time she spoke of her own pain: “I have not asked for it, but if it is meant to be part of my life still, so be it. I will not complain.” “I try to join it with Jesus’ pain and offering. For what it’s worth, I am offering it up for our people.” Friends here present, I tell you honestly I hesitated before going into this, this morning. But without it, part of the real Cory Aquino would be kept from view. Quite simply, this was integral to the love she bore for her people.
(We cite her words now.) I believe that the vocation of politics must be accepted by those who take up the service of leadership as a vocation in its noblest meaning: it demands all of life. For the life of one who would lead his or her people, -- in our time as never before, -- such a life must strive for coherence with the vision aspired to, or else that vision itself and its realization are already betrayed. That vision must itself be present, in some authentic way, in those who seek to realize it: present, in the witness of their example; present, in a purity of heart vis-à-vis the exercise and usages of power; present, in an ultimate fidelity to principle, in a dedication that is ready to count the cost in terms of “nothing less than everything.” It is Cardinal Newman, I believe, who said that in this world, we do good only in the measure that we pay for it in the currency of our own lives. For us Christians, there is always the image of Jesus, and the price his service demanded of him. And for me there has been, as a constant reminder, the sacrifice my husband offered, and the word that it has spoken, to me and my people.” (Cory Aquino, end of citation)
At this point, may I, following the lead Mr Rapa Lopa has given, just speak a word of thanks to President Cory’s children, who shared so much of her service and her sacrifice. They have almost never had their father and mother for themselves. For so many years, they have been asked to share Ninoy and Cory with all of us. And because of the blood and the spirit their parents have passed on to them, they too gave with generosity and grace the sacrifices we demanded of them. -– Ballsy and Pinky, Viel and Kris, your husbands and your children, and Senator Noynoy, may we thank you this morning from all our hearts, and may we offer also the gratitude of the hearts of a people now forever in your debt. In have used up all my time, some of you will say, and I have not even approached the essential: her political life, that she was our nation’s unique icon of democracy, that Cory Aquino who, throughout the world, was TIME magazine’s 1986’s woman of the year, she who led the ending of the dictatorship that had ruined our nation, the bearer of liberation, of freedom, and of hope for a prostrate people. So, by your leave, may I add one item, along this line at last. In October 1995, Milano’s Catholic University, conferred on her the doctorate honoris causa in the political sciences (incidentally, only her twenty-third honorary degree). This was only the fifth time this particular one had been given
Conclusion With all this said, I am done. Ma’am, tapos na po ang assignment na ibinigay nyo sa akin. It has been so hard to do what you asked. But I comfort myself that these so many words really do not matter. What counts in the end is really – what all this week has been; these past few days’ outpouring of our people’s gratitude and love; what will come after all this today; what we will do, in the times ahead, in fidelity to your gift. I received a text last night from a man of some age and with some history behind him. “She made me proud again, to be Filipino.” Maybe that says it all. Cardinal Sin used to put it somewhat differently. “What a gift God has given our people, in giving Cory Aquino to us.” The nobility and courage of your spirit, the generosity of your heart, the grace and graciousness that accompanied you always. They called it “Cory magic” – but it was the truth, and the purity and beauty, clear and radiant within you, that we saw. And the hope that arose from that. And when the crosses came to you and you did not refuse to bear them, more to be one with your Christ and one with your people and their pain. “Blessed are the pure of heart; for they shall see God.” Thank you Father in heaven, for your gift to us of Cory Aquino. Thank you that she passed once this way through our lives with the grace you gave her to share with us. If we give her back to you, we do it with grateful hearts, but now, oh, with breaking hearts also, because of the greatness and beauty of the gift which she was for us, the gift you have now taken back to yourself; a gift the like of which, perhaps, we shall not know again. Salamat po, Tita Cory, mahal na mahal po namin kayo.
When she spoke of her last illness, she said: “I thought I had filled up my quota of suffering, but it seems there is no quota. I look at Jesus, who was wholly sinless: how much suffering he had to bear for our sakes.” 28
by Sch. Pat Nogoy, SJ
Jesuits and their lay partners have been brimming in anticipation for the brief but momentous visit of the Very Reverend Fr. Adolfo Nicolas, SJ, the Superior General of the Society of Jesus. It will be remembered that seven months ago, the Jesuits gathered in the 35th General Congregation elected a 71 year-old Basque who was then the Head of the Jesuit East Asia and Oceania Assistancy to succeed Peter-Hans Kolvenbach. From then on, everything happened fast— audience with the Pope, selection of his assistants, drafting of letters, transferring of things, among others. He did return to the Philippines, albeit for a short period, just to get clear his space for his successor Mark Raper, SJ. But he promised to be back and stay longer. And the time to fulfill that promise has arrived.
Fr. Nico, as he is fondly called, had a busy schedule and most of it was spent on informal communication with people. He did give formal talks and speeches especially in the Jesuit Basic Education Conference, audience with Ateneo de Manila University Administrators and Faculty, and with Conference with Jesuit Lay Partners and Institutes. He even preached and presided over the St. Ignatius Mass that commemorated the 150 years of the return of the Jesuits. But he happily invested more of his energy on dinners, informal chats, catching up with people he worked with before both before and after formal gatherings. It was a heartwarming visit and he was relaxed, light, and sincere.
“Fr. Nico’s charm was not lost with the people he reconnected with... He easily draws people to him with his relaxed, free, but sincere demeanor. This disposition is clearly rooted in balance.”
His relaxing, light, and sincere disposition was evident in his meeting with the Jesuit scholastics of Loyola House and Arrupe International Residence. It was a simple, informal, yet enriching talk that featured three important inputs from him and the rest of the time was devoted to answering volunteer questions. He even made the meeting, superior-free; thus by not allowing superiors, scholastics would enjoy the freedom to ask any question.
offered by modern times. Fr. General summarized these points in a word: Balance.
Fr. General’s three points are actually the challenges that each Jesuit scholastic face now and in the future. These are the challenges of depth, creative imagination, and life in the spirit. Jesuits are facing an increasingly pluralistic society that thrives in fast pace changes and vanity. What Jesuits can offer is depth, not only in philosophical and theological studies, but in a thinking that spans all areas of life and mission. This is further complemented by creative imagination in dealing with complex and often times intercultural issues that challenge the boundaries of faith. Finally, depth and creative imagination should be anchored and nourished in and by the Spirit. A Jesuit is secure and consistent with his practice of faith but is flexible in dialogue and creative in responding to complexities
Answers to a variety of questions posed in the meeting ultimately find their roots in balance. Questions raised were touched upon the the need to change the scholastic’s academic formation plan, limits of questioning, scholastics having other responsibilities than studying, the issue of depth in educational institutions versus the competition of school rankings, the non-negotiables pursuit of continuing
dialogue with a pluralistic society, and inconsistency of Jesuit edification especially in community living. Fr. General calmly (and at times, with a dash of humor) responded with a clear emphasis on balance. He underscored the balance of openness to learn in the mission assignment and generosity with the current academic formation. He pointed out an acceptable level of competition but with the priority value of depth in the vision of the educational institution. He highlighted personal faith convictions and its consistent practice but warned about the danger of inflexibility for dialogue. He unearthed the formation value of having other responsibilities for a scholastic such as managing a small community but also noted the importance of being honest to superiors of one’s limits. He concluded that there must be time for prayer, for study, and even for sleep. The meeting ended with the traditional photo-op with Fr. General. The photoop was implemented using the country system so every country from which the Jesuit Scholastics came from has
a piece of tangible memory of Fr. General. This procedure mirrored the general sentiment of people wanting to have a piece of Fr. General since he touchdowned on Philippine soil. More than having a piece of memory to be immortalized in Facebook or Multiply accounts, is the reality of Fr. Adolfo Nicolas’ particular charm. This peculiar charm was not lost with the people he reconnected with, with the ties of Jesuits he renewed. He easily draws people to him with his relaxed, free, but sincere demeanor. This disposition is clearly rooted in balance. Though the demands are daunting and bleakness is sometimes more of a reality than hope, the balanced Fr. Nico is never overwhelmed, can see palpable hope, and is able to rally people and resources around such hope. Thus, it was not surprising, especially for those who elected him as Ignatius 30th successor, that he is the right Superior General to lead the Society of Jesus in these trying but immensely hopeful times.
with FR. GENERAL
Above clockwise: 1) Brotherly embrace with Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Rosales, D.D.; 2) Joke time with St. John Marie Vianney Theological Seminary Rector Fr. Rene Repole, SJ; 3) With bishops who concelebrated during the Mass of St. Ignatius and 4) Reminiscing the old times with a sister of the Religious of the Virgin Mary Opposite page clockwise: 1) Light moments with Fr. Danny Huang and Archbishop Rosales, D.D.; 2) Festive Mass of St. Ignatius with Fr. Manoling Francisco leading the choir; 3) With the mothers of Jesuit missionaries; 3) With the family of Jesuit missionary Fr. Gabby Lamug-Nanawa and Fr. Provincial Jojo Magadia and former Provincial, Fr. Danny Huang; 4) Incensing the statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary; 5) The jolly Fr. General himself and; 6) With the Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Edward Joseph Adams, D.D.
at the height of the A(H1N1)related class suspensions, the JBEC Congress finally took shape.
LIYAB + SILAB + ALAB:
The Congress began onthe morning of July 12 with All Roads Lead to San Ignacio: A Sesquicentennial Tour of Intramuros. Designed by Fr. Rene Javellana SJ, the tour brought our delegates around Ateneo Municipal, Manila Cathedral, Casa Manila, and Fort Santiago. It was made truly special by our enthusiastic Social Science teachers from Ateneo de Manila and Xavier School. That afternoon, the delegates joined the rousing Province celebration of the Feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola presided by Father General, the Very Reverend Adolfo Nicolas, SJ.
Basic Education People Hold Three-Day Sesquicentennial Congress
From July 13 to 14, almost 1,200 participants, comprised of our JBEC faculty and staff, friends from ERDA Tech, Academia de San Ignacio de Loyola, and the Ateneo Center for Educational Development (ACED) Principals participated in the specially designed Congress activities.
by Karol Yee
PHOTOS: BRO. ANTHONY COLOMA SJ, CINDY LAU, ZSAZSA YU
The only fair warning we got prior to this project was: “We need to organize this BIG basic education congress for the Sesquicentennial.” Of course our first reaction was: “Sweskee- what?”
On July 13, the Very Rev. Fr. Adolfo Nicolas, SJ, opened the Congress with a moving speech challenging our educators to go to the “frontiers of depth and universality,” thus setting the tone for the Congress. In the afternoon, the delegates attended two major conferences. The first concurrent conferences featured two diverse sessions: One on teaching with technology, and the other on school leadership. Apple Distinguished Educator, Principal Tyler Sherwood shared the experiences of Chatsworth International School in Singapore as they grappled with the challenges of educating future global citizens.
We had an ambitious goal: to gather school leaders and teachers from the nine Jesuit grade schools and high schools for an educational congress. The theme was inspired by the recent 35th General Congregation: Fire, Frontiers and Friendship—which later, thanks to Fr. Rene Javellana’s suggestion, evolved to“Liyab +Silab +Alab: The Jesuit Basic Education Sesquicentennial Congress.” After six months of intense preparation, ten (!) design revisions of the Congress program, and numerous meetings among Ateneo de Manila and Xavier School organizers even 34
In the other session, current Asian Institute of Management(AIM) President Dr. Edilberto de Jesus drew from his experience as an educational leader as DepEd Secretary. In the second concurrent conferences, Ms. Emily Abrera, Chairman Emeritus of the McCann Worldgroup, helped us better understand today’s Filipino Youth and Family, while Ms. Cheche Lazaro moderated a panel discussion of alumni on what they had not learned from our schools. After a hundred photos with Chris Tiu, the delegates capped their first day with Sinag ng Karunungan, a fitting tribute to the sixteen pillars of Jesuit Education in the country. It was both humbling and inspiring to see the elderly Jesuits and lay collaborators together again—all pioneering souls who lay the foundation for the schools we now sustain, getting the recognition they more than deserve. The second day began with an unforeseen event: the superb hosting of Fr. Manny Uy, SJ who roused and transformed our teachers into cheerleaders at 8 in the morning! It was the perfect introduction to Fr. Bienvenido Nebres SJ’s inspiring keynote on “The Role of Jesuit Basic Education in NationBuilding.” Fr. Nebres underscored how Jesuit schools cannot remain isolated centers of excellence. This was a wake-up call for most of us in the basic education and an invitation to take on the burden of modeling and inculcating love of country through involvement in our respective communities.
instructional (Cooperative Learning, Social Justice, Ignatian Leadership) to practical sessions (Imaging, Creativity in the Classroom, Cura Personalis) on passion (Fire), innovation (Frontiers) and collaboration (Friendship).Speakers included among others: Ms. Gilda Cordero-Fernando, Dr. Nilda Sunga, Fr. Manoling Francisco SJ, Dr. Grace Shangkuan Koo, and Hon. Risa Hontiveros-Baraquel, most of whom were perhaps quite smitten that they offered to share their time again for future JBEC activities. To end the Congress, the Holy Mass was celebrated by Fr. Johnny Go SJ, JBEC Chairman, and concelebrated by other Jesuit priests. Of course we could not appropriately end the Congress without a party—one that saw the likes of Fathers Salty dela Rama, Kit Bautista and Manny Uy dancing the night away to the music of True Faith! Needless to say, they were joined by the JBEC delegates who showed everyone how to work hard and play hard. Asked about their Congress experience, many of the delegates noted the following: their sense of affirmation and encouragement, the fresh interpretations of familiar Jesuit ideals, particularly the “magis,” which Fr. Nicolas redefined as “depth,” and which Fr. Nebres connected to “nation-building.” Most of the delegates felt that the Congress was truly a graced experience of renewed inspiration, new challenges, and strengthened friendships—truly, a fitting celebration of 150 years of Jesuit education in the Philippines.
In the afternoon, concurrent workshops were held. Participants were able to choose from WINDHOVER
As assistant to Sr. Ath, my job includes the following: preparation of various reports and documentations, assist in organizing the different programs of the Center, preparation and distribution of medicines, home visitations of HIVAIDS patients, follow-up of education of Children of HIV-AIDS patients, visitation of patients in the hospital or in the village, etc.
by Sch. John Lester Tajon, SJ
Of all my tasks, I particularly like visiting patients in the different villages in the districts of Aik Phnom and Battambang, although it meant hours of motorcycle ride under the scorching sun or heavy rain. One such memorable occasion happened on the morning of 6 June 2008. Together with Makara, the Secretary of the Welcome Center for the Sick, I visited a very poor family in Bak’Roteh Village, Aik Phnom District, where 3 months earlier was born twin baby girls. I have always thought babies were cute and adorable but not when I met Chin
Chomrom and Chin Chomran. The twins were in their birthday dress and looked like they hadn’t bathed for a long time. They looked pale even with their dark complexion. Their lean physique contrasted their big rounded belly. One of the twins was soggyeyed: so generous with tears even at the slightest provocation. Both had slight abrasions around the neck caused by a necklace—a sort of amulet to protect them from bad spirits, so the old folks say. Chomrom and Chomran exuded no oomph that I usually see in babies. At that moment, awkwardly, I just watched them from a distance.
is unable to breastfeed the twins.” The memory echoed in my ears as I recall Makara’s words whilst a chill came into me and felt a pang of guilt within. Just yesterday, I had qualms about visiting the family of Chomrom and Chomran. I was occupied with office works—my accounting report was due the following day, not to mention an hour of difficult motorcycle trip, as has always been during rainy season. I decided to wait for the next morning. Little did I know that my reservation would mean another night of empty stomach for the unfortunate twins. Nevertheless, I was glad I came.
Then I saw Khaeng Phiap, the mother of the twins, took one ripe banana, squeezed it, and carefully placed it on the mouth of one of the twins. As soon as it touched its lips, the baby hungrily sucked the fruit of its juice. I was tongue-tied, not knowing how to react even as my eyes were stuck with the unfamiliar sight. “Khaeng Phiap gave birth without milk . . . She
Apart from my work in the Welcome Center for the Sick, I also help Fr. Totet in the parish activities in Battambang. Now and then, I likewise spend some time with our staff, patients, students, and other Church workers, for a simple conversation, to listen to their life stories and problems or just be there for them. In the evenings or weekends when I am free, some students or
“Bongbong, during this Regency do not worry about production … Focus on entering into the culture and into people’s lives. The rest is bonus.” Those were Fr. Totet’s words to me when I began my regency assignment in Battambang, Cambodia. I was assistant to Sr. Ath Long, Provident Sisters Congregation, Director of the “Welcome Center for the Sick (Pet Yiey Chi)” located inside the Catholic Church Compound in Battambang. The Welcome Center for the Sick caters to the medical needs of the poor patients—regardless of religious denomination—in the Prefecture of Battambang through its six main apostolate: Welcome Center for the Sick Walk-in Patients, HIV-AIDS Patients Program, Battambang Provincial Jail Apostolate, Village Medical Service, Hearing Aid Program, and Hospital Assistance Program. 36
Let’s All Die
by Fr. Renato L. Puentevella, SJ Years ago a book by a Jes uit, called I’ll Die Laughing came out. It was a collection of anecdotes about Jesuits. During this recession th e Philippine Province could certainl y use a dose of humor, hoist themselve s on their own petard, jocularly speakin g. In our community life or in the course of our ministry we all ce rtainly have come across situations where the Jesuits were the butts of the joke. For example, when I was a regent in what was then Ateneo de Ca gayan, Fr. Austin Dowd’s room was next Fr. Andrew Cervini’s. Fr. Dowd lov ed to talk. He had a huge drawing of an ear tacked to the wall. At night wh en he felt like talking, he would talk lou d to the ear, until Fr. Cervini, from the other room, would bang the wall an d shout, “Austin, for God’s sake, shut up !”
Church staff comes to me for English lessons. Weekends are usually “football day” with the young boys and girls of the Catholic Football Team and Bro. Tanto, another Jesuit Scholastic from Indonesia. Occasionally, I would also go with our priests to celebrate Mass in remote villages. Other times, Fr. Totet or some of the staff at the Center would bring me to places unknown to me and introduce me to people. At the heart of my daily experiences was the unremitting struggle with the language—three months of Khmer language studies, obviously, was not enough. I had to spend hours of self-study just to improve my reading, writing and speaking skills. Occasionally, I would ask other people for help or I would watch Khmer karaoke to practice
“At the heart of my daily experiences was the unremitting struggle with the language... I have promised myself that I will learn the language and love it because I wanted to be able to reach out to the Khmer people.”
reading and pronouncing Khmer words. Everywhere I go, I always bring with me a small Khmer-English dictionary to help me with unfamiliar words. Ever since I began my Regency in Cambodia, I have promised myself that “I will learn the language and love it” because I wanted to be able to reach out to the Khmer people. In that way, I hope to show the Cambodians that I meet everyday that I care for them and love them in Christ.
o, S agtot
ody M Sch. J
Once in Davao I was being driven to Matina to say an early morning Mass. In the car with me was Fr. Paul Finster, a lanky American in the mold of Gary Cooper and with that actor’s laconic speech style. He was getting off at the Cathedral before me. As he stepped out of the car he hummed a tune. I thought it was “O Salutaris!”, “Pange Lingua” or some such devotional hymn to prepare one’s soul for the Eucharistic Sacrifice. Suddenly, like a mystic possessed, he burst out into song, “Give my regards to Broadway! Remember me to Herald Square. Tell the boys of 42nd Street that I will soon be there!” George M. Cohan, are you listening? Fr. Forbes Monahan, our History of Philosophy teacher in Berchmans, College, Cebu told us the following story:
During the war some Jesuit scholastics inside the Internment Camp in Los Banos went out of the compound – with their Japanese guards—to gather wood. They managed to get some planks. These they used to make a porch around their shabby hut. And they were rather proud of it. At about that time the Jesuits had some cans of beans which must have been several years old, because after 24 hours of boiling they were still hard. Firewood was running low. A consultation was held. Either the newly-constructed porch must go. Or the beans. The scholastics had to give up their porch. One of them remarked: “So now—we have PORCH and BEANS!” A favorite story about Fr. Walter Hyland that gets retold whenever that worthy’s name is mentioned in conversation was his apocryphal remark when he was assigned to Ateneo de Naga: “When I go to Naga I will bring there only a tenth of my brains”, or words to that effect.
I am sure there are anecdotes galore about Jesuits past and present, just itching to be told and which might be well-worth preser ving for the sake of the sanity of future generations of Jesuits. May I ask the members of the Province to e-mail them to me at email@example.com? I will edit them and, eventually, have them published so that we can all die laughing.
Time came and went, people and places became part of my recent past with all the memories that came with each encounter. In the end, after everything has been said and done, I pray that it is enough to say that in Cambodia, “I have made many friends, without my knowing it.” The rest, indeed, is bonus. 38
JCEAO Brothers’ Meeting in Jogjakarta by Br. Jeffrey U. Pioquinto, SJ
and identity of the Jesuit Brothers. The Indonesian Jesuits treated us to a sumptuous dinner overlooking the ancient Hindu temples in Prambanan then we watched an astonishing Javanese Ballet of the great epic of Ramayana.
Twenty-three Jesuit Brothers from East Asia and Ocenia attended the meeting in Yogjakarta, Indonesia from July 15-22, 2009. A city with outstanding historical and cultural heritage as evident in their numerous thousand-year-old temples as inheritances of the great ancient kingdoms, such as Borobudur temple established in the 19th century by the dynasty of Syailendra. The typical Javanese and Jesuit hospitalities were praiseworthy and made the city conducive for our gathering.
The following day, Br. Jim Boynten from Detroit gave a talk on “The Identity and Mission of the Jesuit Brothers in the light of GC 35.” Then on the third day, we went to Panti Semedi Retreat House to have a dinner and meeting with Fr. General.
Two Filipino brothers represented the Philippine Province in the said meeting: Br. Raymund Belleza, SJ who is presently the university treasurer of Ateneo de Zamboanga University and Br. Jeffrey U.Pioquinto, SJ who is on his 2nd year of Theology in Loyola House of Studies. The meeting started with a presentation of the different reports by the different provinces in the assistancy on the following topics: vocation promotions, formation
The fourth day was an exciting day for us for we went to Kraton to see the magnificent temple of Borobudur. But what is most striking for us was when Fr. Danny Huang, SJ gave
a remarkable talk on Jesuit Brothers’ Identity and Formation which moved the paticipants to reflect and share their experiences and insights, even those people who remained silent for the past 4 days due to language difficulties. He started his talk by sharing his funny and edifying experiences with the Jesuit Brothers in the Philippines. Then he reminded us on what Fr. Arrupe had said that “We value the brothers in the Society for their person and for their labor.” He stressed that brothers are gifts to the Society for their person and for the vocation, works are rather secondary. He continued by saying that now Jesuit Brothers have new image and are open to many opportunities to serve in the different apostolates of the Society. We shifted from old to new image of the Jesuit Brothers and we try to form brothers who are professionals and equipped with philosophical and theological foundations but we must always remember that we also need to to form brothers with some values of the old... the values of humility, simplicity and service. These are the very values that attracted me to the vocation of Brotherhoood in the Society.
“Fr. Arrupe stressed that Jesuit brothers are gifts to the Society for their person and their vocation, their works are rather secondary.” 40
The chronicle of astonishing rags2riches stories is nothing short of a miracle. Consider the signs: •
RAGS2RICHES by Fr. Javy Alpasa, SJ
Watch out: These women mean business
Young Designers Guild President’s articulated a dream over wine and cheese only to be murdered the following day; Atenean Jeremy Kho donated his entire cash graduation gift as seed capital moved by Theology of Liberation class for TH141; Shangri-la Ballroom accidentally served as venue for product launch with no single centavo being spent because a couple had no choice but postpone a wedding to another month and reservation was nonrefundable. “Gratis” YESes by prominent Designers/Artists like Rajo Laurel (received People of the Year award for his R2R stint), Amina Aranaz (generously replied to a cold letter inquiry), Bencab (auctioned bag fetched P360,000 for a piece), Anita Magsaysay-Ho, Raymund Isaac, Tessa Prieto-Valdez, Jenni Epperson, Jake Versoza, Fashion Design Council, Philippines’ Next Top Models etc. Series of local and international awards both for the entire enterprise and the amazing volunteers behind the movement. Most memorable acknowledgment of the enterprise is a standing ovation by 400 international delegates/CEOs/Multi-millionaire Philanthropists when R2R bested 8,000 entries from all over the world. Convergences of the extremes: wealthiest and poorest connecting, marginalized and the celebrities coming together, bitter rivals Ateneo and La Salle working as one and for profit and non-profit blending into one social enterprise.
Several screeners, media personalities, management gurus and curious investigators have dissected the enterprise forwarding various success factors including the noble desires, 42
“This is one of those elusive intersections of some of the deepest desires and the greatest needs of the world.”
prominent management team, extraordinary products, Payatas per se, tri-media hype, the posh Rajo brand and host of other conclusions. Our guess is that this is one of those elusive intersections of some of the deepest desires and the greatest needs of the world. This can be what inventor Buckminster Fuller refers to as “Pattern Integrity” or the “Presence” that Senge, Scharmer, Jaworski and Flowers were articulating in the book of the same title or the dynamic manifestation of physicist
Henri Bortoft belief that “everything is in everything.” Jesuit Friends approach the team and say this might be one rejoinder to the GC 35 exhortation for “Frontiers” especially because Father Provincial and Jesuit literatures explain that it is not limited to geographical explorations. Talks before various national conferences of Deans, NGOs, Corporate Executives and several other sectors have stimulated the rumination that social enterprise may just be the formula for development we have all
been yearning for. Some added it is also in harmony with the Jesuits’ call to become “Fire that Kindles other Fires” as the movement has grown from 3 Payatas women with 3 volunteers to hundreds. The story has enthused others to create their own social enterprises for imprisoned women, indigenous peoples and other marginalized sectors. Corporations are beginning to go beyond usual Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs. Young people are considering alternative careers. Entrepreneurial seminars are exponentially growing. WINDHOVER
And yes, social entrepreneurs are multiplying. Some of these consoling developments directly or indirectly, largely or somehow, publicly or privately attribute the inspiration to rags2riches. All these are part of the 4Ps that R2R is passionate about: People, Planet, Profit and Positive influence. The team believes that everyone who gets involved ought to grow even beyond the financials. Planet refers to the upcycling (not just recycling) process consistent with the cradle to cradle principle.
For Profit, R2R does not see anything off beam with the profit motive. The more imperative question is the “how” - how one earns such and how it will be distributed. Finally, Positive Influence is the bigger advocacy to move other people to help other people especially through the realm of business.
Facts and Figures From 3 to 300 women From 10,000 donation to Millions of Pesos in Revenues From 3 volunteers to 7 full time staff and hundreds of volunteers From 1 to 7 chapels From Payatas employees to Payatas owners as Cooperative Board/Members From 1 Designer to the Fashion Design Council From Payatas to other parts of the country From several kilos to more than 200 tons of upcycled materials From 1 peso a piece rug to P12,000/month pay
The next phase is the international arena. After being the official Mastercard give-away in Singapore, an export to Japan, earning the University of San Francisco Social Enterprise Award, winning the Business in Development (BiD) Challenge in Netherlands and receiving the Body Shop Regional Grant Competition, the latest addition is the TED Global Fellow 2009 in Oxford. This will mean an opportunity to speak before a select audience of 600 which in the past included Bill Gates, Al Gore, Google inventors Larry Page and Sergey Brin and other global personalities.
From national stigma to national pride From scraps to jobs From poverty to strategy From rags2riches Literally. Metaphorically. Passionately.
And the miracles continue. In the meantime, the team enjoys the “Friendship” of animated fashionistas living a culture of passion and compassion following the Church’s teaching of Renewed Integral Evangelization and the Jesuit maxim of Faith that does Justice.
Photos: Jake Versoza through Jing Ludovice Community Relations Officer, Rags2Riches
Now that’s fashionable!
Ateneo De Zamboanga University School of Medicine
A College of Nursing Success Story . . . by Dr. Ramona Heidi C. Palad
It all started with a VISION to become a leading institution in the field of nursing education which shall provide society with nurses who will provide excellent health care, who will recognize the needs and demands of the local and global markets. To realize our VISION, the College is committed and determined to provide an excellent education that is Christian in orientation, holistic in approach, Filipino in character, global in perspective and geared toward the development of the total person. It is also committed to provide an environment conducive to academic, moral and spiritual growth of students, faculty and staff. It has the capability to use sound pedagogical approaches in teaching and learning activities to cultivate the heart of critical thinking and scientific approach in problem-solving and decision making. There is a balance in the program’s theory and practice according to the program’s requirements.
The college utilizes a System’s Model as its framework in implementing the BSN Program.Throughput (transformation) – Output, Feedback Mechanism model. Input consists of the resources we bring into the College like students who go through admission, selection, retention and promotion processes. Faculty who meet the curriculum requirements and qualification based on requirements of the institution and regulatory bodies. A strong and supportive parent, teacher and student councils to implement our program. Evidence Based Researches in Nursing Education and Nursing Practice which enable the college to improve its teaching – learning strategies or moderates implementing the program. The Throughput in the transformation process of the system’s model is VITAL. This is where a lot of processing activities take place. We look at the BSN Curriculum specifically the necessary components such as the Vision / Mission, Philosophy of Education, Goals and Thrusts. A RELEVANT Curriculum is a major consideration we equip our faculty with the skills through trainings graduate studies as well as with continuity education to keep them abreast with the trends and patterns needed to be competitive in the global market. We help them develop the hallmarks of an effective mentor imbued with CORE VALUES as they freely affect directly and indirectly the kind of graduates we produce. The Output is the PRODUCT – the nurse graduate who possesses CARING behavior compassionate, competent and committed and with conscience who practices legal, ethico-moral responsibilities, one who demonstrates skills, knowledge, and IGNATIAN ATTITUDE in the promotion of health, prevention of illness, restoration of health, alleviation of suffering, assisting clients to face death with dignity and peace. Furthermore, the College looks into the FEEDBACK of stakeholders about the graduates in the workplace in various settings. Question like are they the kind of human resources who are relevant? Do they transfer the knowledge, skills and the attitude of an ATENEAN nurse in the workplace
by Sch. Neupito Saicon, SJ
or in the community? Do they really make a DIFFERENCE? The feedback from the stakeholders and our graduates serve as eye openers as well as guideposts for us in the college to better and stronger in our quest for EXCELLENCE. Except from testimonials made from our recent board topnotchers somehow validate our success story and why we want to share this experience with everyone.
Nearly one-third of the Philippines’ 80 million people live in Mindanao Island. Zamboanga City is the hub for services in Western Mindanao and Sulu Archipelago, one of the most under served areas of the Southern Pacific. Seventy percent of the people live in densely populated rural shorelines of the islands. Travel is predominantly by boat, access to inland areas is mostly by foot. Neonatal tetanus, measles, typhoid, cholera, dengue fever, tuberculosis, malaria, diarrhea and respiratory infections are major problems. The fertility rate is about 5 and infant mortality is more than 75 per 1000 births. Safe water, balanced nutrition, prenatal care and full immunization remain long term health goals. There are 28 medical schools in the Philippines but none in this region and few physicians are willing to move to this under resourced area. In 1990, Fr. William H. Kreutz SJ, then Ateneo de Zamboanga President, conducted a series of consultations that led to the creation of the Zamboanga Medical School Foundation (ZMSF). Fr. Kreutz chaired the ZMSF Board of Trustees. ZMSF in partnership with the Ateneo de Zamboanga (later acquired a university
“Xavier University and its system of education which caters to holistic well being of a person have prepared us well mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually . . . I know the next step in life would be very challenging after passing the board with flying colors, but thanks to Xavier University, I will face the future well prepared”. – Rosario Lei M. Pasimio, 5th placer November 2008 Nurse Licensure Examination. “In a School where Excellence, Service and Commitment are the driving forces where students are taught ‘to live’ these virtues, wouldn’t sound so impossible to achieve such feat as being the number one school in the country, I think not. It is our clinical instructors’ selfless desires to impart their knowledge and skills; our Dean’s unwavering belief that despite our number we can pull off a 100% performance. Our parent’s and the Xavier University’s unending support and our experience and dedication to MAGIS led us here. Without all these, their moment would not have been possible. No, there is no such thing as unlikely anymore, not in Xavier University”. – Crystal Mae A Sabela 9th placer November 2008 Nursing Licensure Examination. This is our success story which keeps us inspired even more to be brighter, stronger and look farther beyond the portals of Xavier University and Northern Mindanao.
status in 2001) gave birth to the School of Medicine (SOM) in 1994 under the leadership of its Dean Dr Fortunato L. Cristobal. To achieve a meaningful impact on the health sector of Western Mindanao, SOM started pathbreaking innovations in medical pedagogy and practice. The graduates were to be proficient in advanced technologies for maintaining health and managing disease, but also to have the competencies required to improve the health of the population in the rural community setting where there was great need. Ten years after the creation of SOM, the ZMSF Board turned over SOM to the Ateneo de Zamboanga University (ADZU). More than 90% of ADZU’s graduates are now serving as community or municipal health officers in Zamboanga peninsula and the nearby island provinces of Basilan, Sulu and TawiTawi. These health officers exercise tremendous influence in medical and health policy and practice in these communities or municipalities. Immersion for these students is not a one-shot deal but is the order of the day. Almost 50% of the curriculum is spent in the community. Thus, classrooms extend to the community health centers or even to small sari-
sari stores. Some of these areas were once doctor-less and can be reached by walking for days in tropical jungles with the threat of being kidnapped by terrorist groups. Nevertheless, these medical students and staff physicians traverse these areas to deliver medical treatment to isolated residents. PROBLEM-BASED LEARNING AND LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT The Ateneo de Zamboanga UniversitySchool of Medicine (ADZU-SOM) uses the Problem-Based Learning (PBL) as distinct from the lecture method of teaching. PBL requires a class size of 8 to 10 students to allow a more focused and in-depth understanding of their communities’ health concerns. It is interactive in its pedagogical strategy using case-method of learning where medical problems are addressed. Basic science and clinical learning are integrated into the problembased approach; clinical experience is community based, and evaluations focus on assessment of competency. Students are not only trained as medical doctors, but also as leaders given charge to alleviate the health condition of the community. Many of ADZUWINDHOVER
SOM’s graduates are envisioned to be community health practitioners and policy makers. After four years of medical studies, the students take up Masters in Public Health (MPH) to equip them with managerial and leadership competencies. In contrast to other MPH programs offered in other Universities of the Philippines, the MPH, is an applied program designed to prepare graduate students to help solve the burgeoning health problems in Region 9, Mindanao and beyond. The MPH program nests the traditional MPH topics within critical social, political, economic, and cultural perspectives. It focuses not on disease and its biological bases but on health and its social, economic and political determinants. Students are exposed to critical analyses of the process involved in the social production of health. The MPH program combines modular course work and a thesis to produce graduates who understand the dependency of community health status on social, economic, cultural and political process and who are equipped to work with communities towards enhancing their health development status. Some of the modular courses offered likewise concentrate in the training of health professionals with leadership skills in public health, development and promotion of health, and prevention of diseases. The content prepares graduates for positions in diverse public health and non-profit setting including government, voluntary health organization (VHO) and community based primary health care. Student population composes of fifty percent Muslims and the other half are Christians, not a typical average of division of religious affiliation in Zamboanga City. Muslim graduates are able to serve in Muslim communities where health conditions are often in worse off condition than in Christian communities.
INTERNATIONAL RECOGNITION Various international institutions have partnership with ADZU-SOM like the University of Calgary, Humanitarian Emergency and Logistic Preparedness [HELP] Inc. The ADZU-SOM also shares its practice with some medical institutions and organizations in Laos, Cambodia and Nepal, with the help of the University of Calgary. International groups, such as the Canadian Rural Physicians Association, European Commission, have taken an interest in the school’s innovative and socially-responsive medical practice. They come and visit despite negative travel advisories. ADZU President Fr. Antonio Moreno, SJ asked one official representative of the European Commission who visited a year ago, how many medical schools he has visited in the Philippines, he said “only one” – and that’s ADZU-SOM. “Last December in Havana, Cuba,” Moreno continues, “our SOM was one of the 8 medical schools around the globe to found a network of medical schools with strong social accountability. In that gathering, SOM Dean Fortunato Cristobal presented a paper entitled “Medical Education for Health Equity: The Philippine Experience (A Community forming Students, A Student Transforming Community Model). In his paper,
Dr. Cristobal talked about how the conventional medical educational system in the Philippines was unable to address the needs of the greater population, thus prompting the ADZUSOM to innovate its curriculum. His talk delved on the experience
Jesuits on acebook: Fad or Frontier?
of the ADZU-SOM when PBL and Community Based Medical Education were introduced by the school. He further expounded on how the students were molded into responsible doctors with a love for service while they were exposed in the community and how these same communities were transformed by the students. His report of a graduate retention of 92% serving in rural communities after graduation coupled with an dramatic decrease in the Infant Mortality Rate drew an appreciative applause from the audience.” This conference was initiated by the Ministry of Public Health of Cuba and Pan American Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) to help achieve health care that responds to the needs and hopes of people around the world, especially those of marginalized and discriminated populations. Last year, ADZU-SOM was a recipient of HELP, Inc., receiving over a quarter million dollars in medical supplies and equipment to rural clinics for the island of Western Mindanao. The road to a better health system in Western Mindanao and the Island Province of Basilan, Sulu and TawiTawi is long and winding. AdZU-SOM is a vehicle to the transformation of the health condition in this part of the country. In partnership with other institutions and organizations both here and abroad, it is hoped that the actors
Evangelizing the World of Online Social Networking by Sch. Jordan J. Orbe, SJ
hat’s the latest on your newsfeed? What did you write on your status update today? Have you tagged anyone lately? If you found these questions intelligible, then chances are you already have a Facebook account. If not, then a few facts and figures may help enlighten the uninitiated. Facebook, created in 2004 by then Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg, is one of the most widely used social networking websites on the internet today. It has around 200 million active users, 70% of which are outside the United States (other top social networking sites are MySpace and Twitter; for Filipinos, there’s Multiply and Friendster). If you don’t know what online social networking is because (gasp!) you don’t use the internet, just think of it as your friendly meet-andgreet club where people converse, share stuff and keep in touch… across different time zones. If you are thinking, “Oh no, I am too old to get into any of those things,” you may be surprised to know that the fastest growing segment of Facebook users are those 35-54 years old (276.4% growth, doubling every month!) followed by those over 55 years old (194.3% growth). In other words, your high school classmates and their mothers are already on Facebook. And of course, so are the Jesuits. A random search in the Facebook site reveals around 99 user groups that
of health reform can improve chances of making a difference in a deeply multicultural region but plagued with conflict and poverty.
are “Jesuit related,” which include the legitimate (Jesuits on Facebook, 617 members; Jesuits in Formation, 317 members, Pinoy Jesuits, 48 members), the droll (I Have Confidence in Jesuits, 1 member), the dubious (Former Jesuits and Those who Love Them, 16 members), and even the sinister (The Order of Jesuits and It’s [sic] Diabolical History, 7 members). Besides these, there is no telling exactly how many pages and members’ profiles belong to real-life Jesuits. When asked why they are Facebook users, some Filipino Jesuits say that it’s an easy and efficient way to keep in touch with friends, family and fellow Jesuits. Fr. Arnie Bugtas, who is currently doing pastoral counseling internship in Canada, appreciates how he feels part of important Jesuit events like ordinations and major feasts through Facebook. This is echoed by another Jesuit overseas, Scholastic Tony Basilio who considers being on Facebook a form of support while he finishes his postgraduate studies in Taiwan. For them and the Jesuits who use online networking sites, it is easy to send and receive greetings, share content like pictures, videos and articles as well as get the latest updates from different parts of the world. A moment’s glance at their daily newsfeed would tell them for instance that Fr. Danny Huang has uploaded new reflections on the day’s feast, Fr. Joe Quilongquilong was featured in a coffeetable book about Filipinos in Italy, and Fr. Dan McNamara is WINDHOVER
recommending an article from NASA. Or they can browse through and post comments on the latest pictures of the scholastics’ retreat in Bontoc, this year’s Entrance Day or Profession of Vows. Reading through the latest status updates, they would find out that regent Joel Liwanag was happy to have met his moderating class, Fr. Xavier Olin is welcoming twelve new prenovices and one Jesuit scholastic is enjoying his cup of coffee. These “newsfeed updates,” are themselves causing quite a stir among culture watchers. Experts are now trying to figure out how these “microblogs” have started to change the way people think and relate online. Whereas people used to write blog (or weblog) entries, usually written opinions and reflections, now they post microblogs on Facebook and other sites like Twitter or Plurk. These entries (a.k.a. tweets) which are short (140 characters or less), are usually mundane, stream-of-consciousness memos (“Just had breakfast, now off to theology class” or “Busy preparing prayer points for students”) to update others of your thoughts and activities. Social scientists have coined the term “ambient awareness” to describe these types of incessant online interaction. It’s something like being physically near someone and sensing this person’s disposition through the little things the person does or says. This idea of online ambient intimacy and the constant sharing of minute, often trivial descriptions may still sound strange for many people. But it sure is catching on; even the Pope has taken notice. In his statement for the 43rd World Day of Communications, Pope Benedict XVI recognized how “new digital technologies are bringing about fundamental shifts in patterns of communication and human relationships.” The letter’s generally positive tone delighted many. It articulated the pontiff ’s appreciation of how these technologies are “truly a gift to humanity” and he enjoined all to make sure that they are put at the service of all human individuals and communities, especially the most disadvantaged and vulnerable. But he
emphasized three things in the use of these technologies: the need to uphold respect for the dignity of the human person, the value of dialogue and exchange “grounded on a mutual search for truth,” and the beauty of authentic friendship and relationships not trivialized by virtual connectedness. And his call to Christians, with particular focus on the young, is clear: “to take on the responsibility for the evangelization of this ‘digital continent’. Making use of these new means of communication will surely aid the Church’s mission to remain relevant and speak to the new generation. A recent Time Magazine article describes how some innovative Christian pastors in Jackson, Michigan have started to incorporate interactive texting and microblogging during their services. While this idea may be still be alien to Filipino congregations, there are already efforts among our clergy to be more digital savvy. For many Jesuits, this challenge has particular resonance. After all, the 35th General Congregation rallying call of “fire, friendship and frontier” has very concrete cyberspace implications. There are Jesuits like Fr. Jboy Gonzales who consider the internet as a “virtual parish.” He “tweets” to share his thoughts, spiritual insights and everyday experiences; he even uses “tweets” to get people’s responses which he then incorporates in his talks. He uses the internet to maintain contact with a lot of people, especially the young, through his constant updates and uploads of videos, homilies and reflections. The unconvinced may find a lot to object to in these innovations. But like it or not, this is the world we live in today. And Jesuits, taking seriously the Christian call to dialogue, have always been at the forefront. Besides, the Jesuit spirit of union of minds and hearts has always placed a premium on communication. We all know how Ignatius spent his last days in Rome corresponding with his brethren. If he were alive today, chances are, he’d be on Facebook.
The Ministry of Spiritual Accompaniment (A Ministry of Consolation)
“If They were on
Facebook...” By Noel Bava, SJ (with contributions from Facebook-ing Jesuits)
by Fr. Ramon Maria L. Bautista, SJ
Have you ever wondered what Jesuits in times past would have written in their status had Facebook been around during their time? Ignatius de Loyola is taking a break and contemplating the stars; will resume writing his 5932nd letter to Jesuits in mission areas. Francis Xavier is baptizing his 20,017th convert this afternoon. Too tired to write 25 Random Notes about himself. Pierre Favre is giving a 30-day retreat to pious women in Rome. Will not be able to update until next month.
Spiritual Accompaniment Today
Jesuit historian John O’Malley writes that the first Jesuits “conceived of themselves as engaging in a ministry of consolation”.1 This simply means that St. Ignatius and his companions saw their various ministries as promoting, in one way or another, the experience of spiritual consolation in the hearts of people they served. Thus, whether they were teaching catechism to children, or administering the sacraments to the sick, or doing chaplaincy work among prisoners, these Jesuits regarded themselves as taking part in “consolation” ministries.
Today, this Jesuit ministry of spiritual accompaniment endures. Not unlike the experience of the first Jesuits, this work of companioning people on their journey to God continues to provide much consolation to both the Jesuit guide and the individual he companions. Indeed, whatever form spiritual accompaniment may take today, the fact remains – there is consolation in companioning people on their journey to God.
In the Spiritual Exercises, Ignatius defines “consolation” (SE no. 316). From his definition, we can see that consolation is much more than just a “good” feeling. Furthermore, as an “interior movement in the soul”, it can have varying connotations and nuances. For example, it can refer to a person’s “love of God”; or “sorrow for sins”; or “increase of faith, hope and love”; or “interior joy”. Whatever meaning(s) consolation may have for us given our different circumstances, what is clear is that it is always an interior motion that comes from God, and because it comes from God it cannot but draw people closer to him. It is in this sense that the ministries of the early Jesuits were seen by them as “consolation” ministries since often their works did much to help bring people closer to their God.
Francis Borgia just got back from the wake of the Queen of Spain and is asking life questions. Robert Bellarmine is meeting Galileo this afternoon, is excited about the guy’s theory that the earth revolves around the sun. Edmund Arrowsmith is being pursued by priest-hunters in England. Will remove his profile pic for security reasons. Stanislaus Kostka is hurting his feet having walked from Poland to Vienna to Rome. Will not be able to play Mafia Wars until he gets healed.
Not excluded in this list of “consolation” ministries was the ministry of spiritual accompaniment. For the first Jesuits, spiritual accompaniment took different forms. The most basic ones were: simple “spiritual conversations”; or the more formal spiritual direction; or the individually guided retreats, particularly by means of the Spiritual Exercises; or even formation work in general. However, for sure, spiritual accompaniment, in whatever form it took then, often was a genuine source of consolation for many, not only for those persons who received accompaniment, but also (and very much so) for those Jesuits who offered accompaniment.
Hopkins is wondering if Margaret is still grieving over goldengrove unleaving. John Berchmans is feeling sooo tired after studying hard for his comps and doing that public debate. Hope it’s nothing serious. Joseph Pignatelli is wondering how he’s going to feed a bunch of hungry Jesuits.
St. Ignatius and the First Jesuits
My Consolations as Spiritual Companion to Our Novices Companioning novices on their journey to God – this has been my main ministry for the past thirteen years now at Sacred Heart Novitiate. Certainly for me, it has been one spiritually consoling experience. As formator to our young Jesuits, many of my own consolation graces (especially the more profound ones) have in fact come from their own consolation graces. Truly, consolation begets consolation. In my case, this means that I have felt so humbled because of the humility of our young men. I have experienced profound joy and gratitude because of their patience. And I have learned to trust my God more because of their courage. Spiritual accompaniment in the novitiate can be a humbling experience. This is true both for the formand and formator. For the formand, it is not so easy to be radically transparent, and thus, be vulnerable to your formator, and share to him both your strengths and weaknesses, your virtues and faults, especially if you know that this same formator will actually be evaluating you in the end. Yet, precisely, I have found so much honesty among most of our novices when they share their interior life and personal stories. This manifestation of humility on the part of our novices has been a most humbling experience for me as their spiritual companion and guide.
demands patience and waiting. Without question, there is no such thing as “instant” formation. However, from experience I have learned that when our novices do invest themselves to the novitiate structures, and become persistent enough in their own formation process, then in God’s time and by his grace, significant changes do happen to them. They start to grow emotionally and spiritually. Slowly, they mature in their own faith and vocation. And when the fruits of formation start to show themselves bit by bit, as their formator, you feel much joy and gratitude, knowing that somehow you have been privileged to be part of this whole sacred work of forming “ours” for the Lord’s mission. Lastly, spiritual accompaniment in the novitiate requires courage. The aim of novitiate formation is not to make our novices persevere and stay on as Jesuits. Rather, the aim of novitiate formation is to assist them to know themselves, know the Society and know Christ so that after two years they can ascertain truthfully whether the Jesuit life is for them or not. Leaving everything to enter the novitiate and submitting oneself to such a rigid discernment process where one’s very life is at stake necessitates a brave heart. As their personal co-discerner, such display of courage from them elicits in me much trust in the Lord. In the end, you begin to realize all the more that it is the Lord who calls. It is he who sustains vocations; no one else. Consolation begets consolation – this has been my own experience at Sacred Heart Novitiate for some years now. As someone who has been engaged in this ministry of spiritual accompaniment, truly I can declare that as spiritual formator, I too have been formed; as spiritual guide, I too have been guided; and as promoter of consolation, I too have been consoled by my God of Consolation.
Spiritual accompaniment in the novitiate
The First Jesuits, pp. 19–20. WINDHOVER
Reflections on a Jubilee
“I realize that of all this fascinating world that God shares with us, I have personally been given the chance to taste and relish more than a fair share for one lifetime.”
by Fr. William M. Abbott, SJ
Every jubilee in one way or another begins or winds up in thanksgiving; it’s an invitation like in Ephesians 5 “to sing and celebrate the Lord in your heart, giving thanks to God the Father in the name of Christ Jesus, our Lord, always and for everything.” My own jubilee is no different in this respect. Looking back over a good chunk of living, I can only marvel at the way graces have unceasingly unfolded; gifts in no way deserved, but so lovingly shared far beyond what could have been anticipated. Seniors may have to get used to parting with many things that younger men take for granted. But, at the same time, seniors have it all over their younger brethren in
one irrevocable respect: they have been gradually gathering through the years a treasure chest of blessings, “packed together, shaken down, and overflowing,” as Luke would put it. Oh, I could mention so many more graces than this space allows. But three primary gifts stand out for which I am especially grateful. First, I realize that of all this fascinating world that God shares with us, I have personally been given the chance to taste and relish more than a fair share for one lifetime. To have been able to linger in and savor places, not simply passing through them like a tourist; to have encountered and lived among a wondrous diversity of
accompanying some pretty wonderful people: men with talents and ideals, and not a little goodness. Surely never perfect, and needing much to grow and become strong because daunting demands lie ahead. But I have never ceased to be edified by formands’ struggles, inspired by their zeal, humbled by their willingness to share with me their inner lives. And it has been no small consolation watching them reach ordination and assuming responsibilities for the care of God’s people—and seeing them so well handle the tasks assigned. Nor has Curia work eclipsed contact with formation. Outlets remain through the sacraments, spiritual direction and contact with our Regents. In fact, the work of Socius adds a further favor: it’s made the Province and all its men much more real to me. It is indeed a great blessing to feel that no PHI Jesuit, from Novitiate to the infirmary, is a stranger, and that I’m in a position to offer whatever pittance I have to support and serve these brethren, and through them the mission.
peoples—with their languages, customs, and distinctive ways of being human— is a prized gift. Even as a boy, I got to reside in three different states, and so had a taste of urban, rural and suburban America. And then the Society tossed in such a wide sweep of experiences. The woods, lakes and mountains of New York’s ‘north country,’ its beauty hallowed by the footsteps of Jogues and Goupil; the Alpine vistas and village charm of western Austria; Rome’s history, art and music, not to mention its culinary delights and access to Italy’s manifold other treasures. Of course, being missioned to the Philippines was especially transforming since it involved putting down roots in a way that reconfigured and expanded identity, and gave me a second place truly to call ‘home.’ Novaliches and Loyola Heights, Cagayan de Oro and, for three years, Jersey City—these are where people mean something to me because, like in those places mentioned earlier, I had enough time to be part of their lives and to allow them to become part of mine; to witness in my often too stolid way the “dearest freshness deep down things” that each setting embodied and contained.
Finally, I am full of thanks for a life able to draw strength and meaning from the spiritual legacy of Ignatius Loyola. His inspired capacity to see the interpenetration of the created world and the divine, giving a framework of meaning that celebrates incarnation and challenges the human without stifling its innate qualities, his enshrining of love and friendship at the heart of every encounter with God—these are solid rocks on which to ground oneself. To
Secondly, I feel profoundly privileged because most of my Jesuit life has been spent in formation. I was assigned to work with and for young men who would take on the Church’s future, either as diocesan priests or as Jesuits. Anyone allergic to seminaries or scholasticates might lament that fate. Not I. I can treasure years spent 52
have been able so many times to make and give the Spiritual Exercises, and to have them as a core around which to weave a way of proceeding have enhanced and empowered my own journey far beyond anything it would have been otherwise. I look back too in awe and gratitude at the various masters over the years who have articulated Ignatian spirituality and made it come alive for me, the likes of Howard Gray, Pedro Arrupe, Karl Rahner, Carlo Martini—and numerous other brilliant and genuine heralds of our values. More than that, I rejoice to have spent five decades in the company of confreres who in their lives and work spelled out very concretely what the Jesuit spirit is all about. What a privilege, truly an amazing grace! We joke about—and surely have felt—the travails and weaknesses of community life. But in the end, if we’re honest and willing to look beyond our own needs, there’s far more gold than sand to be found there.
to find new things to wonder at, and old things to review and relish with deeper appreciation. I don’t particularly fear or resent winding down. The secret of aging, I think, is worrying less about one’s own diminishment and finding fulfillment in watching a younger generation grow in wisdom, age and grace. The Baptist, after all, had it right: decreasing is not a problem if your eyes are on the light that is dawning. Barnabas, ever the ‘son of encouragement,’ is perhaps an apt model for senior—and even younger— Jesuits. May we encourage more than complain, build up rather than knock down. And gradually learn what Paul in 1 Thess 5 tells us is God’s will for us: “always be joyful, pray constantly, and give thanks whatever happens.” That’s a sure path for every pilgrim—and most especially for a jubilarian.
And glancing ahead, as the shadows form? I remain a pilgrim, still on the way. Much in me is unfinished, unmolded, unredeemed. Yet I guess there’s been movement, and I can’t admit to feeling stuck stagnant. On the contrary, the later years for me have been both enriching and happy. I continue WINDHOVER
Dear Friend of the Jesuits,
Thank You for Carrying My Brothers
The peace of Christ be with you! This year the Jesuits of the Philippine Province are looking back with gratitude to God for his constant faithful throughout 150 years of serving the Filipino people and the Church after nearly a century of exile during the suppression. This year has brought both joy and sadness. We grieve with the many people who lost all they had in the floods caused by Typhoons Ondoy and Peping and at the same time, we are proud of our people here and abroad who so generously came to the assistance of the flood victims through the Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan, our Jesuit-directed social outreach network which worked closely with the Ateneo de Manila University relief operations. Our own young Jesuit scholastics worked tirelessly side-by-side with the many volunteers to bring needed relief goods to those in need. Coming to the aid of people in need is only one of the ministries the Jesuits of the Philippine Province are engaged in. Its 324 men serve in five universities, numerous schools for basic education, two diocesan major seminaries, three urban and five rural parishes, four retreat houses, and a variety of centers for spirituality, social action, communication, and sociopastoral services. In addition, we have men serving in the foreign missions, in Cambodia, China, and East Timor. None of these ministries could continue without the generous help of benefactors like you. Your gifts truly keep us going. They free us to serve wherever the need is greatest, here or abroad; they support our ministries, enable us to educate new laborers and sustain care for those worn out in service. It is in this context that I make a special appeal for your help this Christmas. Even without the disastrous effects of the global financial crisis, Province Funds have been excessively strained. Jesuit formation, for example, is a long and expensive process. For 10 to 12 years tuition, room and board are provided so young Jesuits can be effectively prepared to serve where they can make the best contributions. The good news is that the Province is
blessed with 71 young men in initial formation, another 15 in specialized graduate studies. The bad news is that rising costs are depleting our Formation Fund’s capital. Its net assets decreased last year by 9%. Certain ministries—our diocesan seminaries, prison chaplaincy, rural parishes for indigenous peoples, social action and spirituality centers— need financial subsidies, as do many causes that cry out for “faith that does justice.” But the Apostolic Fund that supports such works is also fast depleting. Net assets last year went down by 29%.
by Fr. Arnel Aquino, SJ
Finally, the Province has 108 priests and brothers (34%) over 70 years of age. Having served long and hard, they now need assistance and medical attention at a time when health care costs have upped dramatically. As a result, expenses for the Aged and Infirm was P35M last year.
One day as our Lord was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law, who had come from every village of Galilee and from Judea and Jerusalem, were sitting there. And the power of the Lord was present for him to heal the sick. Some men came carrying a paralytic on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus. When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus. When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.”
Our financial resources are thus diminishing even as demands of service to the Church grow. For this reason, I am forced to turn again and beg from you who have so often been our partners in ministry. If you can, please make a tax-deductible contribution to support our efforts. Send a Philippine Peso check to Mision de la Compania de Jesus at De La Costa House 132 B. Gonzales Street Loyola Heights, Quezon City Philippines
To our dear, dear friends, (especially many of you here present,) from the bottom of my heart, thank you for being the very people who help carry the mats upon which my brothers lay. Because of you, they are assured that when their hands and feet and eyes and ears and minds no longer comply as their spirits bid them, your help and your prayers bring them to where there is comfort, where there is a little less pain, and a little less helplessness.
Indicate whether you would like your gift to go to the Formation Fund or to the Apostolic Fund or to the Aged & Infirm Fund. Your gift will be much appreciated and put to good use. Be assured, too, that you will be with us in our prayers, Masses and apostolic works, even as we also ask you to continue to pray for us. God has granted each of us many graces during this past year. My prayerful wish for you and your loved ones is that his blessings may be yours in abundance this Christmas and throughout 2010!
But just as precious is the years-long faith you have on my brothers, on us, despite our many failings; that years-long faith that makes you grab the corners of our mats, thread us through the crowd of ridiculous health care costs, and yes, with desperation even tear through the roofs of your own precious savings—so that we may be healed.
Sincerely yours in the Lord, JOSE C. J. MAGADIA, S.J. Provincial
And what do you ask for in return? What have I heard all of you, friends, ask us for, in return? Prayers. “Just pray for us, Father,” you often say, you always say. “Just prayers.”You simply ask that we pray for you and your loved ones. What confidence you have in us, what faith! That even in your asking of us, you give to us.
P.S. If you would like to make a US tax-deductible contribution, please send a US Dollar check to Philippine Jesuit Foundation1 at Philippine Jesuit Foundation 236 West 27th Street, Ninth Floor New York, NY 10001 USA
Fr. Bill Klintworth and his nurse enjoying the 80 Up: Fullness of Life fund raising concert by the Himig Heswita and friends
“Which is easier: to say,” Jesus said, “‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins....” He said to the paralyzed man, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” Immediately the man stood up in front of them, took what he had been lying on and went home praising God.
1 Philippine Jesuit Foundation (PJF) is a charitable organization under section 501(c)3 of the US Internal Revenue Code. Contributions are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. For additional information, call PJF at +1-212-627-2788.
Because of you, our dear friends, we can make our way home praising God. Thank you.
Homily for the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ by Fr. Jose Cecilio J. Magadia, SJ
This homily has two parts. The first part is historical, and reflects on the special celebration for which we are gathered this morning. The second part considers the Church feast that we commemorate this day. I. First, on the special celebration. Exactly 150 years ago, on June 14, 1859, a Tuesday morning, ten Jesuits of the Aragon Province disembarked from the frigate Luisita. After months of voyage from Spain, braving often rough seas and sailing through with the uncertainties of nineteenth century travel, the ten missionaries finally end their long journey, setting foot on their destination, led by their Superior, Father José Fernández Cuevas. They entered this walled city of Intramuros, where we are gathered today, were warmly welcomed by the Augustinian friars who were there to meet them, and take them into their villa house, where the Jesuits stayed for a month and a half, while the new mission house was still being built. This special friendship with the Augustinians carried through in those early days in Intramuros, as each year thereafter, a Jesuit would sing the Mass and preach in San Agustín Church on the Feast of St Augustine and an Augustinian would do the same in the San Ignacio Church on the Feast of St Ignatius.
But there was a not so minor matter that distracted them from Mindanao. In the 1850s, there was only one primary school in the city – the Escuela Pía on Calle Real, founded in 1800, but of far-from-ideal quality. On August 5, 1859, a group of Manila residents petitioned the Spanish Governor-General for the newlyarrived Jesuits to begin a school. The response from Father Cuevas was “no,” because the Jesuits mission was to be in Mindanao. But the petitioners did not allow themselves to be easily defeated by this refusal. They represented and insisted. So, Father Cuevas met with his men to discuss the matter. In the end, he told them that the answer was still “no,” unless the GovernorGeneral would issue an order in writing. On October 1, 1859, a decree was promulgated transferring the direction of the Escuela Pía to the Jesuits and renaming it the Escuela Municipal. Thus, on December 10, 1859, twenty-three boys came to class on the first day under the new management. By March of 1860, there were already 170 students.
On that very same day, June 14, the Jesuits promptly made the rounds of the city officials, going through the protocol, presenting themselves to the colonial authorities, and informing them of their very specific purpose, “for the missions of Mindanao and Joló.” And the Jesuits subsequently did just that. Beginning with Tamontaca in the delta of the Rio Grande de Mindanao, they set forth to Tetuan and Zamboanga, Manicaán and Davao, Dapitan, Surigao, and Jolo. They climbed mountains and explored rivers, on foot, on horseback, old and young. They set up missions and built up parishes. They opened up mission schools, and administered the sacraments, and taught children their catechism. They wrote the first grammars and compiled the first dictionaries, in Maguindanao, and Tiruray, and Bagobo. And by the end of the 19th century, the Society of Jesus had taken over all the mission posts of Mindanao and Sulu.
Thus re-commenced in this archipelago the great tradition of Jesuit education. Father Horacio de la Costa describes those early days well. “Classes were held from 8:00 to 11:00 o’clock in the morning and from 3:00 to 5:00 in the afternoon, except on Sundays and holy days. On Thursdays, the afternoon class was omitted.” There were no vacations, but during the months of April, May and June, there were no afternoon classes. There was life in that school, with voices chanting the Latin declensions or reciting the rosary or shouting at play. They studied reading, writing and ‘rithmetic; they read history and studied astronomy and discussed religion. They followed Cicero closely, “paraphrased him, imitated him, learnt him by heart, used his speech and idiom in the classroom, in ordinary
conversation….” By 1909, when that school was formally renamed the Ateneo de Manila, it had primary, secondary and tertiary levels well established. And since then, other Ateneos have been built in Zamboanga and Cagayan de Oro, in Naga and Davao, along with other schools from the former Chinese delegation, and likewise in many small parishes in Mindanao and Culion – schools driven by the same ideals of excellence, sapientia et eloquentia, of seeking to do more for love of God and neighbor and country. Today, the Ateneo de Manila University has indeed become a much respected institution, led by professors, both Jesuit and lay – made great by its students, the many men and women who have walked its corridors, who have sat in its classrooms, who have brought their Ateneo spirit to worlds beyond the walls of their alma mater, who have offered their lives for causes beyond themselves, who have battled on many a field with their “Halikinus” and their “one big fight” over and over again through the years. Yes, in all that has happened in the last 150 years, it is good to be grateful, since after all, gratitude is the most basic of prayers, because it is a recognition that all is from God, and that the opportunity to 56
take part in God’s work is a privilege not a right, a gift not an entitlement, that in the end it is the Lord that works through creation and gives it life anew. Today, as we remember 150 years of continued Jesuit presence in this country, we thank the Lord for the blessing of not a few good men – Jesuits from Cataluña and Valencia and Madrid, from New York and Buffalo and Syracuse, from Italy and Hungary through China, from Ilocos and Pampanga, Cebu and Misamis and Manila. They were scientists at Manila Observatory. They were pioneers and explorers in Mindanao. They were catechists and pastors. They were fantastic teachers and exacting administrators. They were social scientists like Father Frank Lynch, historians like Father de la Costa, martyrs like Father Manuel Peypoch and Father Godofredo Alingal. They were dedicated scholars and energetic preachers. They were in Bukidnon and Ipil, Cebu and Iloilo, Tuguegarao and Vigan. They gave retreats, ministered to prisoners, organized farmers and laborers, composed liturgical music, built churches, wrote poems, worked among lepers, ran seminaries, directed plays. They were priests and brothers, missionaries – gifted, not just with talent, but more so with a sense that the world had to be conquered for God, that there was no aspect of human life that cannot be touched by the healing presence of the Almighty. There was a sense that so much good had to be
done, and so little time to do it in. There was an urgency, a drive, a fire that could not be quenched. There was a sense that there was “no reality that was only profane,” that somehow, somewhere, the finger of God would always leave its print. This was the gift of the missionary, for which today, we give special thanks. II. Now, to the second part – we look to today’s feast. Today is the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ, a fitting feast for the 150th anniversary of the return of the Jesuits to the Philippines. For it is in the Eucharist that the Jesuits and the Ateneo truly find spirit, strength, drive. It is not a coincidence that when Jesuits pronounce their vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, it is done before the Body and Blood of the Lord. After the vows are pronounced, the bread is eaten and the blood is drank, and once again, a covenant is sealed, like the covenant of the First Reading. On the one side of the covenant is the human person who says he will follow God, who says he will obey all his commandments, who says he will sacrifice everything for the sake of his faith. But often, he fails, and he breaks his covenant. Such are the Jesuits, such are Ateneans, indeed, such are all human beings, sinful and unfaithful. Yet, the covenant remains sealed for on the other side is God, who
promise of the Lord. I will be with you always to the end of the world. I will linger, long after all are gone.
on his part, pledges his unconditional love, despite the weaknesses and imperfections and sinfulness of human beings.
And this is why the Body and Blood of the Lord are at the heart of any Christian work. When the Lord is received into our human bodies, we are healed, we are empowered, we are given new strength and new spirit. We are impelled by the Eucharist to partake in the work of salvation, and do whatever good is asked of us, even if its fruits are not seen. And as good is accomplished, and community is built, the Church is made stronger, as men and women who are filled with the Lord create a community of the good.
Whenever we recount the history of the Society of Jesus in the Philippines, we usually go down a list of the many institutions built, the many works that have grown, the great successes and contributions made. But every now and then, it is good to also take note that in many places, we also came and went, and sometimes with a sense that the mission was not yet quite accomplished. In Mindanao, we gave up our missions in Surigao and Caraga and Ipil. We left Tuguegarao and San Pablo. We sent men to Indonesia and Korea and Thailand, and those experiences did not last too long. Ours is not just a history of building works, but also of moving on. Sometimes we leave when the mission is done, but other times, we leave for other reasons, and there is a feeling that many things are still left hanging. But when we go, we are also confident that something is left behind, something stays, the work is picked up again by others, many of whom are more gifted and bring what we began to far greater heights. And in the end, despite our shortcomings, the work of God gets done. This is because of a presence far stronger.
This, then, is what we can offer a broken world, we who continue to look to the Body and Blood of the Lord, and receive him into our hearts. As we move towards the frightening future, in a Philippines that continues to be pained by poverty and inequality and injustice, where Filipinos are left with little choice but to leave the country for lack of a more stable future at home, where we remain bothered by a politics that is so mired in and stained by corruption, where the challenges of a new secularism and materialism have led to new forms of atheism, new philosophies that reject or undermine the transcendent, for whom God has disappeared into the mists – to such a world, we should offer new missionaries, like the missionaries of old,
This is what Eucharist is, a distinct and special presence. It is the fulfillment of a
new bearers of the fire, new heralds of the good news, willing to win the weary world for the Kingdom of God, even if at times we seem to fail. Still, we carry on, fired by the Eucharist. We need new missionaries, who are no longer just blackrobed as the Jesuits of old. We need new missionaries who can play with the images of modern media, who can sing the music of our young, who can speak the language of government and politics, who can tap comfortably on keyboards, who can remain unfazed by new technologies and new ideas and new trends. The new missionaries are many of you, our alumni and friends, who share our spirituality, who go forth in businesses and family life and parishes and NGOs and movements, for it is there that you must call special attention to the subtle yet penetrating presence of God. Finally, we turn to Our Lady once more, our patroness, in her white and blue, she who was the very first to bear the living Eucharist in her body, when she carried the Lord in her womb, who knows what it
means to be filled with His Spirit and His love. We turn to Our Lady, and ask her to intercede for us, and to give us the gift of being called to be her son’s missionaries once more, to the world of the 21st century, and in this world to become true apostles, bringing hope and healing and peace.
Much of this forms part of the narrative given by Rev Fr Horacio de la Costa, SJ, in the opening chapters of Light Cavalry, printed first in 1942, and re-printed in 1997. Bernad, SJ, Rev Fr Miguel A., “The Jesuits in the Philippines: 1581-1981, A Capsule History of Four Hundred Years,” in The Windhover (Vol.2, n.3, 8 December 1999), 12-15. De la Costa, SJ, Rev Fr Horacio. Light Cavalry. 36-45. Ibid. General Congregation 35 of the Society of Jesus, Decree 2, n.10.
“[I]n all that has happened in the last 150 years, it is good to be grateful, since after all, gratitude is the most basic of prayers, because it is a recognition that all is from God, and 58
that the opportunity to take part in God’s work is a privilege not a right, a gift not an entitlement...” WINDHOVER
A Heart That Educates the Young by Sch. Anthony Coloma, SJ
His work in the Philippines began in 1950. He taught Theology and Psychology in Ateneo de Manila, at the Araneta University, in the University of the East and the Far Eastern University. After reading an article published by Mr. Tomas Garcia on the situation of Philippine education, he was alarmed by the disturbing dropout situation in the Philippines. To address this concern, Fr. Tritz and his first volunteer went to the Juan Luna Elementary School in Sampaloc, Manila to obtain a list of students who dropped out during the school year. Then, they convinced their parents to send them back to school by assuring them of support in their expenses. They were able to bring back six students to the classroom. This was 1974 – and the Educational Research and Development Assistance (ERDA) was born.
Former Philippine President Corazon Aquino calls Fr. Pierre Thimer Tritz as the country’s Mother Teresa. He has been at the frontier of our times championing the plight of the poor. His face is the face of hope for the child scavengers of Tondo, to the out-of-school youth lining up the streets of Metro Manila, for children of persons afflicted with leprosy in Northern Luzon, to juveniles detained in jails in Manila and Quezon City. He is, in the words of the French Camille Gubelmann, “a champion of poverty and we follow him because we love him. And we love him because his gesture alone is humane.” When asked about the work he has been doing, Fr. Tritz’s reply is crisp and earnest, “I will be 95 this year. I am the oldest working Jesuit here in the Philippines.” He adds wittingly, “But I do not expect to live forever,” while chortling at his own canniness. But when asked about the possibility of moving to the infirmary due to possible concerns brought about by age, his reply is sharp, “What will I do in the infirmary? I can not do anything there.” And he exclaims, “I will die on my feet!” A silence fills the air in his office and he rues, “There is so much that remains to be done.” And he quotes Victor Hugo, “to educate a child is to save a man.” And as if reciting a prayer, he quips, “To allow a child to go to school is to give him hope. There is just so much that remains to be done.” His words resound as if he has done little to a world marked by despair and hopelessness.
History witnessed the birthing of other institutions that acted as the vehicle for Fr. Tritz’s humanitarian work of helping the poor Filipino children to have access to a decent human life: the Foundation for Assistance to Hansenites, Inc. (1978); ERDA Tech Foundation, Inc. (1993); and the Albert Schweitzer Association Philippines, Inc. (1993).
Today, ERDA has over 30,000 scholars enrolled in different levels of education all over the country. Its programs enlist school dropouts, child scavengers, street children, out of school youth, child laborers, children in conflict with the law, children of persons afflicted by leprosy and children of indigenous people. ERDA’s scholarships are available from pre-school up to college. Since its inception, ERDA has come to the aid of over 300,000 indigent children.
“Fr. Tritz is a champion of poverty and we follow him because we love him. And we love him because his gesture alone is humane.” 60
The Healing Work of the Sick and the Life-Giving Ministry of the Dying by Fr. Francis D. Alvarez, SJ
When I turned six, I announced to everyone that I wanted to be a doctor. At age eight, I abandoned that dream because I gagged at the smell of hospitals, I cringed at the sight of blood, and I was deathly afraid of corpses. Two days before my thirty-fourth birthday, I found myself, a newly-ordained priest, in my first assignment as one of the chaplains of the Philippine General Hospital (PGH). Since then, not a few times have I put on a scrub suit and entered the operating room to anoint a patient still covered in blood. And many more times have I laid hands on those minutes away from death. One of the Jesuits I was ordained with was a doctor. He was the logical choice to be sent to do hospital ministry. But he was assigned to a parish, and I was the one missioned to PGH. This was not the end of God’s surprises. Fr. Luis del Rosario, SJ, a chaplain before the war came to Manila, described in 1938 what was expected of the Jesuits in PGH: The main work of the Fathers was to go to the Hospital with promptness at any hour of the day or night when they were called, to attend to the dying, to hear the confessions of persons who would undergo dangerous operations, or to baptize infants open to the danger of death. To these were added the regular visits to all the charity wards in the afternoons, and the distribution of Holy Communion in the mornings to those who requested it. Reading this, I braced myself for depressing work—what else could the ministry to the sick and dying be? My friends also warned me to watch my health and keep my resistance high—who knew what disease I could catch from the patients? But who could have foretold what God had up his sleeve? At first, I could
not believe it: It was not the patients’ sickness that was contagious; it was their hope. God is good… Fr. Maximo “Barbi” Barbero, SJ, our 77-year-old veteran chaplain, will never forget the prayer of a dying patient in one of the charity wards. She was dirt poor, and she was suffering greatly. As he concluded a simple rite of commendation, Fr. Barbi asked her to share out loud her personal intentions. “Lord, take away the pain,” “Lord, heal me and extend my life,” and “Lord, help my family get the money we need to pay our bills,” were the petitions Fr. Barbi expected. But instead, he heard only: “Thank you, Lord, for my life. Thank you for my family. Thank you for my doctors….” And Fr. Barbi thought her thank-yous would never end. The sweetest smile I have ever seen belonged not to a ravishing beauty in the pink of health but to a four-yearold boy, physically deformed because of a bone abnormality, unable to stand or even sit, dependent on a respirator to help him breathe. The first time I saw him smile, I wanted to cry.
“Somehow God must have been showing them his goodness in ways we do not ordinarily see. And I can only pray for the same trust that though times may seem bad, God is always good.”
How could he smile like that while tied down with all sorts of tubes and devices when boys his age were running around and playing? And yet he smiled. How could a dying lady say “Thank you” for a multitude of blessings when surely she had much less than most of us who still consider ourselves discontented—and maybe even shortchanged? And yet, to her last breath, she was full of gratitude. Somehow God must have been showing 62
The Divine Comedian by Fr. Renato L. Puentevella, SJ
The Divine Comedy tells of Dante’s journey through the three realms of the dead, the Roman poet Virgil guiding him through Hell and Purgatory; Beatrice, Dante’s ideal woman, guiding him through Heaven.
them his goodness in ways we do not ordinarily see. And I can only pray for the same trust that though times may seem bad, God is always good. People are good… I once was called to anoint an old woman who had a stroke. As I approached her bed, I saw an old man beside her, attending to her needs. And I immediately concluded that he was her husband. But he was not. She was his laundrywoman. She was also deaf and dumb, and that was one of the main reasons the old man took her in to wash his family’s clothes in the first place. Every morning, the old man would go to the hospital, bring her food, and, in a great reversal of roles, wash her clothes. At night, because of his age, he could not stay in the hospital and sleep under the patient’s bed like all the other bantays. But he paid someone else to watch her during the night and make sure she was comfortable. And all these, this real-life Good Samaritan did plainly, without much drama, without even thinking how generous a sacrifice this was on his part. I asked him why he was taking care of this woman. His answer was simple: She was his laundrywoman. And there is an even greater goodness that is waiting for us after all this…
As chaplains, the Jesuits in PGH have baptized babies, heard confessions, helped adults receive First Communion, and anointed the sick. Recently, Fr. Barbi also presided over an emergency wedding with Fr. Vidal Gornez, SJ, our head chaplain, and me as witnesses. The bride had Stage 4 cancer. She had a makeshift bouquet in her hands and a wig on her head. Instead of a white gown, she wore hospital green. The couple had already been living together for fifteen years. As they promised to be together “in sickness and in health,” I could only ask what marriage could add to their relationship. But as they exchanged their forevers, I saw in their eyes how they knew they would somehow meet again in heaven and, in ways only God knows, live out their vows as husband and wife. Heaven
Dante called the poem “Comedy” (the adjective “Divine” added later in the 14th century) because poems in the ancient world were classified as High (“Tragedy”) or Low (“Comedy”). Low poems had happy endings and were of everyday or vulgar subjects, while High poems were for more serious matters. Dante was one of the first in the Middle Ages to write of a serious subject, the Redemption of man, in the low and vulgar Italian language and not the Latin language as one might expect for such a serious topic.
When I was six, I would end all the paragraphs I wrote about going to the beach or to the park or to the carnival with a standard sentence: “We went home tired but happy.” At thirtyfour, I find myself returning from the hospital repeating to myself that same line. One night, after a long day’s work in the wards, Fr. Barbi shared with me what he said to God before going to sleep: “I have a simple prayer. I ask the Lord, ‘Bring me to heaven.’ And he brought me here to PGH.” He did not have to say anything else. Looking at how happy he was, I knew that for him, PGH was heaven.
Thus far, Wikipedia. Thus far, the poem. Now we turn to the Divine Comedian, the Celestial Clown, the Jesting Joker responsible for the comedy that is our life. God is the Divine Comedian because He turns our world and our values upside down. He proves Puck’s observation: “What fools these mortals be!” “Incongruity,” according to Webster and Fr. Joseph Landy, “is said to be the essential element of humor.” “We are amused,” explains Landy, “because we are aware that something is badly out of joint, something does not fit.” And God does this all the time. Landy gives the example of Mary and Nazareth. According to him, in choosing them, “God settled on a pair of colossal misfits. In one hilarious moment He punctured the bubble of human pretensions and displayed His truly cosmic sense of humor.”
Since the inauguration of PGH in 1910, the Society of Jesus has been serving the patients, doctors, and nurses of the country’s biggest hospital. Fr. Ricky Lalana, SJ, tracing the history of Jesuit involvement in PGH, writes that while it was perhaps accidental that the hospital had as its neighbor the community of Jesuit Fathers operating the Observatorio de Manila, it was certainly providential. Providential—not only for the patients and medical workers, but for the Jesuits as well. 64
If we contemplate the scene of the Annunciation with the eyes of faith, suggests Landy, none of us “will ever look at the world the same way again or register surprise to discover that God’s ways are not our ways.” No setting could have been plainer or less imposing than Mary’s home in Nazareth at that time. So remote and un-distinguished was it that it prompted Nathaniel’s sneering dismissal, wondering whether “anything good” could come from such a nondescript place. “Missing from the Annunciation scene were all the costly props and regal surroundings we would have deemed fitting for the mother-to-be of a ruler whose kingdom would have ‘no end’. Elegant house, comfortable furniture, refined neighborhood, glamour, cultural opportunities, wealth, prestige—none of these were in evidence when God’s messenger spoke to the maiden of Nazareth.” “In the eyes of her contemporaries,” notes Landy, “Mary was a nobody, and the town she lived in was nowhere.” And yet “most of humanity is made up of nobodies living in places nobody else has heard of ” , and in God’s cosmic sense of humor, it is the nobodies of the world who count the most. Indeed, God’s cosmic sense of humor is not ours, His ways, not our ways. Jesus spent his entire public life proving that and upsetting our notions about what is and what is not important. He chose for his apostles men with no character credential, no learning or social status, applicants who today would not have been accepted by any business corporation, academic institution,
diocesan seminary or religious novitiate. In the “Magnificat” Mary proclaimed that God has “dispersed the arrogant of mind” and ‘lifted the lowly”. Jesus himself in the Sermon on the Mount blessed the destitute, the hungry, the thirsty, the persecuted, the meek and the humble—the very people whom the secularist world of today would have considered underachievers, if not born losers. Jesus overturned the legalistic religion of the orthodox Jews, transforming it from a religion of laws and regulations to one of love, substituting for outward observance the interior law of charity. Glimpses of Our Lord’s playful humor flashed a number of times in his public life. He held tongue-in-cheek conversations with the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well and with Nicodemus in his home at nightfall. He said one thing but meant another, offering them spiritual truths neither had the imagination to understand. At journey’s end, when his “hour” was at hand, by an almost flippant remark over the stoning of the woman caught in adultery, he slipped through the horns of the Pharisees’ dilemma. But the coup de theatre, the dramatic overturn of events, the supreme moment when the Divine Comedian displayed his cosmic sense of humor shone transcendentally was on Easter Sunday morning when he rose from the dead and transformed Calvary’s cross of infamy and shame into an icon of victory!
JESCOM bags Best TV Special at the 31st CMMA by Mari Bianca Orenciana Once again, the Catholic Mass Media Awards paid tribute to different media practitioners and advertisers for promoting human development of Filipino audience through the use of various mass media techniques. The 31st CMMA was held last October 14, 2009 at the San Carlos Seminary in Makati City with the theme “Promoting a Culture of Respect, Dialogue and Friendship in the Digital Generation.” Jesuit Communications (JESCOM) not only took pride in carrying four nominations, but won the Best TV Special with “Kuwento ng mga Peregrino” (“Tales of Pilgrims”). Other JESCOM nominations were The Word Exposed with Bishop Chito Tagle for Best Public Service Program for Television, Huwag Mangamba for Best Drama Program for Radio, and The Windhover Magazine: The Philippine Jesuit Magazine for Best Local Community/Parish Newspaper. Kuwento ng mga Peregrino (Tales of Pilgrims) unfolds the voyage of six Filipino pilgrims to Holy Places around Europe – Assisi and Rome, Italy; Our Lady of Fatima in Portugal; Avila, Spain; and Our Lady of Lourdes in France. With the guidance of Bishop Chito Tagle and Fr. Nono Alfonso, SJ, each destination brings about revelations on their spiritual struggles and journeys as well as God’s love for them. This TV special was aired in ABS-CBN 2 this Lent. The Word Exposed is an hour-long program that comprises three main segments; each devoted to Sunday’s first reading, second reading and the gospel. After each reading, the host, Bishop
Luis Antonio Tagle provides viewers with an explanation of the readings, reflections and how we can live-out God’s word in our daily lives. The TV show ends with a segment where Bishop Tagle answers questions about faith that are sent by the viewers. The program airs every Sunday, 7:00-8:00 am in TV 5. Huwag Mangamba tells about how people are living their faith amidst the foibles and challenges faced in life; it brings enlightenment and inspiration to the audience through the characters portrayed in each story. This 30-minute radio drama airs Mondays to Fridays, 1:00-1:30 pm in Radio Veritas DZRV 846.
The Windhover is a magazine produced by the Jesuit Ministry in the Philippines for the purpose of sharing Ignatian Spirituality and its mission to others. Its name is taken from a poem written by the Jesuit English poet Gerard Manley Hopkins in the late 19th century. In the past eleven years, it has developed a growing following among its readers, consisting not only of benefactors and religious co-workers of Jesuits, but also of lay collaborators, vocation prospects and reader enthusiasts from other religious and lay communities.
Published on Nov 30, 2009