December 2016 issue of alumni magazine Fabilioh out
We feature jubilees and jubilarians in this December 2016 Christmas issue. Jubilees confront us with past memories when we began to dream bigger than ourselves and took steps to make them a reality. We envisioned and used our creative imagination to make our dreams come true. We remember our past struggles and how we hurdled them through effort and Grace.
We learn from our failures and glory in our triumphs.
But jubilees are also about moving on. It was a courageous, committed, and discerned choice that we had done years ago, somewhat aligned with the “Will of God,” to make the world better for us and for our future children. It was a choice in communion with others who had the same ideals to love and serve God and others no matter what. The effects of our committed choices go even beyond our lifetime. No bleak future can impede us from more and more fulfilling our dreams.
National and international issues concern us today. From the pervasive drug problem in our country to extrajudicial killings to the scandal of burying the Dictator in the Libingan ng mga Bayani to the decrease of our peso value just to name a few. The problems of human trafficking, the refugee and migration problem, the extended war in the Middle East, terrorism, etc.—all man-made, not to mention climate change leading to record-breaking natural disasters.
But amidst all these, we cannot undervalue HOPE precisely because Hope thrives in an environment of uncertainty, chaos, and instability.
The Jesuit Volunteers of the Philippines (JVP) is celebrating its 37th year of service to various poor communities in the country. The program has changed many young lives to commit themselves to live for JUSTICE and PEACE. The Ateneo School of Medicine and Public Health (ASMPH) celebrates its 10th anniversary of training competent doctors and leaders in the public health sector. We also celebrate exemplary Jesuits who have made a mark in our hearts and minds—Fr. Catalino G. Arevalo, SJ; Fr. Jesus A. Diaz, SJ (+); and Fr. Roque J. Ferriols, SJ in their 75th year in the Society of Jesus.
This year’s Christmas theme at the Church of the Gesu is our “Return to Bethlehem.” It is a calm and solemn invitation to return to the roots of our spiritual birth—THE BIRTH OF NEW HOPE, FAITH, AND LOVE.
The Message of Christmas is predominantly a message of Divine Love—the Father sending His only Begotten Son into the world to save it, and the choice of the Son to be incarnated like all men. It is a Love that knows sacrifice. Here lies our Faith that gives us Hope amidst the sufferings of our present time.
This Christmas Season let us return to the Manger at Bethlehem and be inspired once again by the Love of the Father and the Son upon us—a Love that knows Sacrifice.
A Hope-Filled Christmas, Kapwa-Atenista!
Norberto Ma. L. Bautista, SJ
Director, Office of Alumni Relations