Sunday, August 28, 2011

Thesis on Prophetic Dialogue defended

Fr. Abs Borja reading his thesis abstract

Divine Word Seminary, Tagaytay City, Philippines, August 26, 2011---Fr. Abraham Borja, SVD (DWST alumnus 2011) successfully defended his M.A thesis entitled: "An Asian Perspective of the Prophetic Dialogue of the Society of the Divine Word." He earned the mark, Magna cum Laude.  The thesis committee was headed by Dr. Crescencia Gabihan, PhD; Fr. Alexander Muana, SVD (STL Gregorian University and the Dean of Studies); and Fr. Samuel Agcaracar, SVD (STL Gregorian University) served as members of the examination panel; thesis moderator  Fr. Edgar Javier, SVD (STD Gregorian University).  Borja will leave the country at the end of this month for his work as SVD missionary inTaiwan.

Toast to a successful thesis defense!
From right: Tess (CTS alumna), Fr. Alex (Dean), Fr. Abs
Fr. Sam, Dr. Gabijan, Fr. Lex. Fr. Raul, Fr. Randy, and Bing (CTS coordinator)

Students' Day celebrated

The invincible palosebo
 at the DWSTSA games
Divine Word Seminary, Tagaytay City, Philippines-- "Cross-Fire: Flaming Mission, Crossing Boundaries," this was the theme of the this year's students' day (see the explanation of the theme below). On August 18-19 the Divine Word School of Theology Students Association (DWSTSA) closed  their theology books for the time being and went down to the gym in colorful outfits to play in the different sports games--tennis, basketball, volleyball, badminton, sepka takraw, and more including indigenous games (palosebo, greased bamboo climbing) and intellectual games like debates and essay writing contest. Mens sana in corpore sano (a healthy mind in a healthy body).  See below for the result of the games.

News report from Mark Ramos, SVD:
Theology II students (Hasidim class)  headed by their class senior, Roxie Roflo, CRSP landed as the general champion for this year’s DWSTSA days held last August 18-19 at Divine Word School of Theology with the theme: “Cross-Fire: Flaming Mission, Crossing Boundaries.”

DWSTSA days is an avenue for us students of DWST to rest for a while in theological studies and celebrate friendship and solidarity in the spirit of sports. The first day begins with the enthronement of the Word of God. Rev. Fr. Alex Muana, SVD, the Dean of Studies formally opened this year’s DWSTSA days followed by the presentation of class mascot and cheers which portrays the class identity. The first day highlights the different native sports such as “batohang bola, basagang palayok, patintero and a group palosebo.” The native sports was followed by the elimination game for basketball, volleyball, lawn tennis, badminton, sepak takraw and table tennis. The day ended with the first DWST Video Fest held at Aula Magna.

The second day of the celebration started with the solemn celebration of the Eucharist with Fr Ricardo Germanetto, CRS, rector of the Clerics Regular of Somasca as the main celebrant and homilist. After the Holy mass was the academic competition composed of essay writing, extemporaneous speech, debate, and quiz bee held at the Aula Magna. Simultaneously with the indoor games such as chess, dama, scrabble, word factory and game of the general was the championship game for basketball grabbed by the Pistoi class, volleyball, lawn tennis, badminton and sepak takraw all grabbed by the Hasidim class.

The culmination of the DWSTSA days highlights the agape – a physical manifestation of sharing and friendship among different houses of formation. Likewise, the night highlights Neo-ethic dance competition and the battle of the band grabbed by the Maskilim and Hasidim class respectively. The event was graced by the rectors of different congregations as well as a good number of priest and visitors. The Maskilim (T3) and Pistoi (T4) class landed as second place and  Sondergut class (T1) got the third place of this year’s DWSTSA days. This year’s DWSTSA days was made possible through the leadership of the DWSTSA president Dexter Priete, MSP together with his council.

Some members of the Fourth Year Theology class
Some members of the Second Year Theology Class
(this year's champion class)

At the of the opening of the games


Breaking the pot
Photo credits (facebook downloads):
Li Qi, SVD
R. Valmores
R. Roflo
THE THEME: “Cross-Fire: Flaming Mission, Crossing Boundaries.”

In a multi-cultural institution such as Divine Word School of Theology (DWST) “crossing boundaries” is the key to understanding other culture and people. It indicates an open rather than exclusivist stance other people who are different from us. It is an opening to share with that fire in our heart to proclaim the faith and intention to learn from one another and enriched by it. After all, as the psalmist writes, "Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; then it was said among the nations, "The LORD has done great things for them. The LORD has done great things for us, and we rejoiced.” (Ps 126:2-3)
The Psalm suggests the right attitude that every student of DWST should possess. It is our appreciation with the great things in us and in others that all will live in unity in the midst of diversity for “How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity!”(Ps 133:1) Crossing boundaries represents a mainly suitable means of supporting a better mutual understanding.

We are in an environment with diverse cultural orientation. Philippines alone is divided with so many a culture. Crossing over to these probes the richness and vitality of one’s own tradition. We try to see with their eyes and feel with their heart. For understanding is more than intellectual apprehension. It involves our sensitivity to the fears and hopes of the other. When one speaks of being sensitive and understanding others, it means that it is allowing the other to define themselves in their terms rather than ours, and certainly not in terms of our inherited stereotypes.

But crossing over does not only apply of being with the “other”, crossing over can also happened to ourselves in a manner of cross-examination of our fidelity to our vocation. With all the controversies that the church is facing at the moment, we are called now to likewise do mission to ourselves and to cross from the “other-centered” mindset, be back to ourselves and reflect in order to be in a better disposition to serve God and his people with a renewed burning zeal of service and mission. We are also called to be missionaries to our own selves so as be renewed with our commitment to follow radically Jesus the Christ, the Divine Word.

We do these by igniting the fire that is already in us. We remember that “Christ sent the Holy Spirit from the Father to exercise inwardly His saving influence and to promote the spread of the Church” (AG No. 4). This is a call of awakening the spirit that Jesus once gave us, to strengthen and guide us in our missionary activities. It is a call to become passionate individual intensified with the ideals and sublime example of the first disciples as they walked along the Roman roads to spread the Gospel of Christ full with vigor and spirit. It is a call for missionary fever that we may be essentially bound up with the Creator Spiritus who continuously creating and recreating the Church. Lastly, it is a call for that full and active response to the Spirit’s initiative as Paul and Barnabas did when the Spirit told them to set apart for the work to which he have called them (Act. 13:2).

In this regards we have “CROSS FIRE” as a theme of our DWSTSA Days for this school year. To remind us that the mission today is identified with the burning spirit of crossing boundaries in order to understand deeper the love of God manifested to others who are different from us; that we may experience the God in them with the God in us; and that we may learn from Jesus. We see that when Jesus crossed over the boundary of what was conventional in his own time, he was lifted up on the cross. His cross is of influential significance not because it shaped our salvation but because it was the fulfillment of his life’s mission. From north to south and from east to west a perfect crossing was made – a trail, where everybody from all the corners of the world can walk towards the center, Christ—that from him everyone is equipped to walk and proclaim the same Jesus throughout the world.

Friday, August 05, 2011

RIP Fr. Redentor Corpuz (1946-2011)

DWST mourns the death of Fr. Redentor Corpuz of the Diocese of Imus. Fr. Corpuz, 65, suffered a cardiac yesterday and passed away at 2:00 this morning, Friday, Aug 5, 2011. At the time of his death, Fr. Corpuz was the Superintendent and Director of Catholic Schools in Cavite.

In memoriam. Please listen here to Kahanga-Hanga (How Wonderful [is your name]). Lyrics was written by Fr. Corpuz (music by Fr. Hontiveros, SJ).
Wake is at the Bishop's House, Casas Hall, Imus, Cavite.