On Friday and Saturday, 7th-8th June 2013, the Ignatian Spirituality and Formation Office (ISFO), through the Arrupe Office of Social Formation, brought together formators of the Ateneo de Davao University (ADDU) community for a two-day conversation on Ignatian discernment, facilitated by Fr. Victor R. Baltazar, SJ, Executive Director of the Center for Ignatian Spirituality (CIS), and Fr. Roberto E. N. Rivera, SJ, Assistant to the Provincial for Social Apostolate. Other faculty and university administrators from the grade school, high school and college units were also invited, including members of the Ateneo Center for Leadership.

The seminar workshop, held at F-511/F-512, presented a general framework on the norms, traditions and practices of Ignatian discernment which orient the university as a Jesuit institution that proceeds from the very heart of the church (ex corde ecclesiae). It also generated a common understanding of the university’s distinct way of proceeding in it attempts to respond more appropriately and more fittingly on the social realities of the day, as rearticulated and codified in its vision and mission statement.

Fr. Balthazar, as the main resource speaker, facilitated the workshop by drawing from the participants (totalling twenty-three [23]) individual responses regarding their own notions of Ignatian discernment and levelling these off with those of their colleagues in the university. They were also asked how such experiences of personal/collective discernment may be applied to university life, in general. The participants were then made to articulate where and how the university must act and lead in view of the evolving need posed by internal and external challenges, as defined by the socioeconomic, political, cultural and religious landscape of the day, so as to identify possible benefits thereof for members of the university community. Meanwhile, Fr. Rivera gave an input on the Catholic social teaching to better highlight the social dimension of Ignatian discernment.

The two-day conversation was capped by an anticipated mass on Saturday, 8th June, at C-301, presided by Fr. Balthazar. (By the Arrupe Communications & Advocacy)