"Ateneo Will Take Care of You!"
I remember the surprise of Fr. Vitaliano R. Gorospe, SJ when I started working in the Ateneo. As he was a close family friend, naturally, someone in my family would have told him of my application but I asked them to keep quiet about it as I was unsure whether I would be able to get in or not. So when he learned that I was working here, he was very happy and proud! With eyes wide open, he said, “Wow, that’s very good! Ateneo will take care of you!” And every time we saw each other, he would repeat the same words.
His words left a mark in my mind. Back then, I was a young lady with no responsibilities. I felt safe and assured knowing I was in the Ateneo. But as I matured, Fr. Gorospe’s words “Ateneo will take care of you” started to sink in and made sense.
In the years that have passed, working in Ateneo has not only fulfilled me in terms of my career but also my spirituality. Annual retreats and prayer sessions continue to fuel my faith in the Lord. Activities and programs like sharing, outreach and helping the poor and victims of calamities have taught me the real significance of being a woman for others. Ateneo has not only taken care of me, but others as well. Maybe that is also one reason why I have stayed this long.
I was also moved by Fr. Gorospe’s devotion to Our Lady of Penafrancia or Ina as we call her in Bicol. He was so devoted to Ina that he was even inspired to write a book about her. He was not a Bicolano but his dedication to Our Lady of Penafrancia was very inspiring. Through him, my faith in Ina became even stronger. He also loved Mt. Banahaw that he used to encourage his students to go there to experience what was believed to be the holy mountain. Once, he showed me his scar from his heart operation, saying that the operation’s success was because of Ina and his devotion to the holy mountain.
In terms of career, Fr. Gorospe or Fr. Goro or Fr. George to his close friends, also advised me to be more computer literate and to learn anything I could about technology. He said that computers are the next important thing in the future; that everything we would do from then on would involve computers. True enough, most of our work depended on computers and I knew I would be lost had I not followed his advice. When I received my first staff excellence award, he came to congratulate me for a job well done and told me to keep soaring high.
I have no other significant memories with Fr. Gorospe but I know that he was a passionate professor and have written books about theology. And I am grateful that I had the chance to know him personally and I am thankful for the inspiration he gave me.
at Shangrila Mall during Christmas of 1994. (L-R: Aunt Fe of Ms. Moradoz, her cousin Allan,
Ms. Moradoz, Fr. Gorospe and Mrs. Chan (wife of Jose Mari). Photo courtesy of Ms. Moradoz