As a fitting move to fully embrace the process of integrating social engagement in its formation track, the First Year Development Program (FYDP), now aligned under the Arrupe Office of Social Formation, initiated two days of community exposure for its guides in the different areas in the city. This new development is part of the rethinking and restructuring on how best the FYDP as a program, under the Arrupe Office, could integrate social formation in its module, in accordance with the key result areas (KRAs) embraced by the entire formation cluster of the university, headed by the Ignatian Spirituality and Formation Office (ISFO). The two-day exposure covered several communities in Davao City. On 11th January 2014, the guides visited the community at the Correctional Facility for Women under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, as well as the Ray of Hope (a Gawad Kalinga [GK] community), all in barangay Ma-a. They also stopped by barangay Mintal inorder to meet with its local government officials, then proceeded to the Home for Persons with Disabilities, in the GK of Los Amigos in Tugbok District. The following Saturday, 18th January, the guides were engaged in the community at GK Pueblo Antonio in barangay Catigan in Toril District. Following this two-day community engagement period was a group processing activity held at La Storta Retreat House in Shrine Hills in Matina.
A little over a year ago, the Social Involvement Coordinating Office (SICO) boldly decided to change its name—and thus carried on the heavy burden of renaming itself the “Arrupe Office of Social Formation” in honour of the 28th Superior General of the Jesuits (1965-1983), considered by many as one of its most influential figures in the 20th century, hence, a leader being credited for transforming the corporate apostolate of the Society of Jesus around the world. The heavy burden of taking on this decision was considered as a crucial juncture for the office. The administration of the then SICO underwent a period of collective discernment in the process of reinventing itself, and reaffirmed its mandate by refocusing its overall direction in the work of social formation in view of the newly rearticulated vision-mission-goals (VMG) of the university. On 26th September 2012, the office then launched the new Arrupe name as it kicked off the celebration marking the office’s 30th year.
The decision to change its name was audacious, as much as it was a product of ingenuity and inspiration, for it responded positively to the emerging challenges brought about by the university’s new institutional leadership, with the installation of Fr. Joel E. Tabora, SJ as the new university president. And so taking on the name of Fr. Pedro Arrupe, SJ as the new name of SICO was as unanimous as much as it was a humbling assertion of paying tribute to one of the gigantic Jesuit historical figures in the last century. Arrupe is as Basque as the name suggests―it calls to mind the heritage of St. Ignatius’ Basque origin, and it bears the inspiration of generous service and selfless giving of oneself in love especially to the marginalized and those in dire need (reminiscent of Arrupe’s experience tending to the victims of the nuclear bombing in Hiroshima). For all intents and purposes, the Arrupe name mirrors the call to leadership and spirituality and the formation of social conscience.
Today, 5th February 2014, the 23rd death anniversary of Fr. Arrupe, the office celebrates the legacy of this iconic Jesuit who is fondly referred to as the second founder of the Society of Jesus. The office not only pays tribute to his very person, but also to the important transformation of the overall corporate apostolate of the Jesuits around the world, as it heeded to the important challenge of promoting a faith that does justice in all its apostolic missions. Last year, 2013, was another milestone year for the Jesuits, for it also marked the 40th year anniversary when Fr. Arrupe first reflected on how Jesuit institutions worldwide should take to heart their role as instruments in the formation of men and women who are called to greater service for others, especially the marginalized (“persons for others”).
As the university celebrates two centuries of the Jesuit’s restoration as a religious order in the Catholic Church (1814-2014), in concert with all the major celebrations in every Jesuit institution around the world, may it also call to mind the important contribution credited to the beloved Arrupe, especially in the second half of the 20th century—the impact of which is palpably felt today. Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam! (By M. Isabel S. Actub, Arrupe Communications & Advocacy)
The Arrupe Office of Social Formation, formerly the Social Involvement Coordinating Office (SICO), launches the “Atenista Ako, Maligdong!” today, celebrated for the whole of month of February. The celebration of the Maligdong Month is an annual campaign to promote the culture of integrity and good governance, a drive that specifically focuses on looking at the issue of corruption as a social malady that seriously demands a thorough understanding and analysis with the hope that, through the reorientation/transformation of value systems and the nurturance of greater sensitivity to it, it can generate social and cultural renewal. The ultimate end of the celebration of the Maligdong Month is to collectively promote and nurture the value of integrity as a way of life that is permeated by a strong desire to transform and regenerate culture that has become the means by which corruption perpetuates. The Arrupe Office aligns the celebration of the Maligdong Month as a way of promoting good governance and cultural regeneration, two of the strategic agenda of the Society of Jesus Social Apostolate (SJSA).
In the vernacular, “maligdong” connotes integrity, it signifies living a life that is in accord with the principles of honesty and uprightness, a life that is lived honourably (“buhay na marangal).” This annual celebration also promotes the search for the truth and fairness in one’s relationship with oneself, with others in a social group, with the structures and institutions where one is a part of, with the material universe and its available resources that provide the nurturance for such life, and ultimately with the living God who commands us to incarnate His love by living a life of honor and integrity. Continue reading