The Ateneo Student Exposure Program (ASEP) of the Arrupe Office of Social Formation (formerly the Social Involvement Coordinating Office [SICO]) begins today, 25th March and ends on 7th April 2013. A total of thirteen (13) student volunteers and leaders have made the final cut of those who will be participating in this summer program, kicking off today with a pre-exposure orientation seminar/workshop at C-203 and C-204. After the three-day orientation, the participants will be fielded in four (4) different communities and institutions in the Municipality of Baganga in Davao Oriental for a period of nine (9) days. After the actual exposure, another three (3) days will be devoted to reflection, post-ASEP processing and commissioning.
The participants will be clustered into four (4) groups upon deployment and will be accompanied by four (4) faculty companions who are also expected to join the actual exposure/immersion. The areas identified as the locus of the exposure/immersion are the following: Sitio Upper Mikit (poblacion area), Brgy. Campawan (in the sitio of Marquez), the tent community of Balay Mindanaw in Brgy. Ban-ao, and the Sacred Heart Parish of Lambajon. As in all of Baganga, or Davao Oriental for that matter, these areas suffered massive devastation caused by Typhoon Pablo. These partner communities/institutions signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the Ateneo de Davao University (ADDU) with regard to the conduct of the exposure/immersion.
Using the lens of social apostolate of which the Arrupe Office of Social Formation (formerly the Social Involvement Coordinating Office [SICO]) was established thirty one (31) years ago, the election of Jorge Maria Cardinal Bergoglio to the papacy is indeed seen as one gigantic affirmative stance of which the Universal Church could draw its inspiration from―especially in promoting a lived faith that values a radical option to be in real solidarity with God’s poor.
The elevation of Pope Francis―son of Ignatius and shepherd of one of the most vibrant churches in a sub-continent, a church that thrives in the midst of dire poverty, injustice, and institutional corruption which create un-peace―is welcomed by the Arrupe Office as a singular and yet powerful symbol of hope. The Arrupe’s germinal beginning three decades ago can be traced back to the birth of social action being slowly mainstreamed into the Jesuit’s education apostolate. It is, therefore, mandated to promote social formation in the university that significantly finds expression in the formation of a well-formed social conscience (individually and collectively) among the various stakeholders. Indeed, it finds no loftier and more edifying an inspiration than the election of a Jesuit pope whose pastoral ministry incarnates a deep social theology that is redolent of generous service in the classic Jesuit tradition. And from among those who find meaning in affirming their commitment toward the promotion of a vibrant social involvement, Pope Francis is a breath of fresh air. In simple terms, this Jesuit servant who lives the Franciscan spirituality of ministering to the poor―given his rich pastoral experience in his journey of faith―is a living symbol of our most cherished gospel values!
And so, in solidarity with the Universal Church, in concert with all the faithful who rejoice in the eternal Easter message of hope, life-giving charity, a radical love of the many voiceless and powerless members of society who find their true calling in becoming genuine witnesses to the faith―and guided by the spirit of truth, personal inner freedom and liberation, transformative social action, and active commitment in the work for social justice―the Arrupe Office joins the Society of Jesus (both in the social and educational apostolate) in thanking God for the gift of this new shepherd at this particular juncture in our history of faith. He who is from “the far ends of the earth,” and yet is providentially called to lead the church in these most trying of times, is seen as an instrument to effect much needed healing in the church. He who is from the bosom of St. Ignatius, and yet calls himself after one of the church’s most inspiring of saints who radically embraced poverty as an evangelical counsel, is being called upon to renew our faith in humanity so that we may truly find the face of God from among those who are joyfully seeking Him in the complex reality of the 21st century.
Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam!
By the Arrupe Office of Social Formation, Communications and Advocacy
The school year (SY) 2012-2013 has been such a blessing for the National Service Training Program-Civic Welfare Training Service (NSTP/CWTS) because it unfolded more formative opportunities for the administration, faculty and students to concretize its goals and objectives in line with the vision and mission of the university. The program upholds the general framework of active and engaged citizenship for nation-building as encompassed in the various sub-themes in its curriculum mandated by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) such as drug education, disaster risk reduction and management awareness, environmental protection, values development, leadership training, community exposure, needs assessment, service, and program evaluation, among others. This is further enhanced by thematic modules which embodied the social thrust of the Society of Jesuit as articulated in several Jesuit documents, the strategic directions of the Society of Jesus Social Apostolate (SJSA) and the compendium of the Catholic social teaching. As part of the formation cluster, it is anchored under the Arrupe Office of Social Formation, which ultimately falls under the governance of the Ignatian Spirituality and Formation Office (ISFO). As a program which just celebrated its 11th year this school year, these are some of the highlights:
Entering its second decade of program implementation, the National Service Training Program-Civic Welfare Training Service (NSTP-CWTS) of Ateneo de Davao University (ADDU) held its Graduation/Commissioning Rites on Saturday, 9th March 2013 at the Philippine Women’s College Auditorium in Davao City. The ceremony was a fitting culmination of NSTP-CWTS’ academic year 2012-2013, graced by around 1,689 students, forty-six (46) faculty/formators, forty-eight (48) student volunteers and over 180 representatives of NSTP’s partner communities/institutions in Davao City.
Fr. Daniel J. McNamara, SJ, the Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences (SAS) presided the Eucharistic Celebration which preceded the graduation ceremony. The mass also served as the commissioning rite, part of the thanksgiving celebration for the end of the academic year as well as a special ritual to bless and empower students to continue living out the core values of what they have learned in the course of the whole program.