Latest News List Rowing into the Deep: The AdZU ISEW 2018


  “This is a shared mission…the work that we do here in the Ateneo.”

-Fr Karel San Juan SJ, 2018 Ignatian Spirituality in Education Workshop

The two days designated for the 2018 Ignatian Spirituality in Education Workshop (ISEW) last August gave the participants an opportune time to dive deeper into their spirituality and to renew their purpose and mission in the Ateneo.

It was inevitable too, that no less than the Jesuit community, led by Father President Karel San Juan SJ would lead the workshop into the process of discernment—of recognizing and appreciating one’s role in the organization and continually serving in the mission of education in an institution fueled by Ignatian Identity and Tradition.

On Journeying with AdZU: Amare et Servire

The workshop initiated with individual reflections and group conversations followed by a session on one’s journey with AdZU facilitated by Jesuit Scholastics Bro Jeffrey Pocong SJ and Bro Erwin Arandia SJ. They talked about Spirituality as a way of living and loving and guided the participants in how the Mind, Heart, and Hands are intertwined in guiding us to find God in all things.

Vice President (VP) for Formation  Fr Wilfredo Samson SJ, VP  for Higher Education Fr Marcos Louis Catalan SJ, VP for Basic Ed Fr Stephen Abuan SJ, and SHS Chaplain Fr Francisco Parilla SJ, followed suit to take on the other discussions for the two-day event.

All good decisions lead to Human Flourishing

On Day 1, Fr Wilfredo Samson SJ handled the session on discernment. In his talk, he emphasized how Good and Evil is in constant battle for one’s attention and how their influence in one’s decisions could either bring consolation or desolation. He introduced the participants to the Examen, a devotional exercise involving reflection on and moral evaluation of one's thoughts, conduct, and experiences of the day and guided them on how best to do the exercise.

The Carlos Dominguez Conference Hall, the place for this year’s ISEW, stood witness to employees’ stories--testimonies of how working in the Ateneo has helped them develop a stronger relationship with God. That through the work that they do and with the help of careful discernment, they have found their mission in the Ateneo. Among the sharers were College of Nursing Dean Maria Lorna Paber, Junior High School Admissions and Scholarship Coordinator Santiago Araneta, Office of Student Affairs Director Christine Calunod, Senior High School Assistant Principal for Administration Lucia Macrohon, Assistant Principal for Grade School Nimfa Mabalot, School of Liberal Arts Faculty Hezekiah Concepcion, Assistant to the President for Social Development John Mayo Enriquez, and Maintenance Staff Victoria Resureccion. This pool of sharers also proved that whatever work one does in the Ateneo has the potential to inspire others which could translate into a deeper spirituality.

“Life in the Ateneo is not just a profession…it is a vocation, a calling of not just doing the right thing but doing the right thing in the best way possible.” –Mr Santy P Araneta, on Witnessing for the 2018 ISEW

To love and to serve: Apostolate and Mission

Day 2 of ISEW began, albeit on a serious note, with Fr Karel giving a history on the formation of the Society of Jesus and the different characteristics of Ignatian Spirituality, to surrender one’s self in the fulfillment of a greater purpose and how spirituality takes on a different meaning and purpose per person. He also explained how prayers like Take and Receive and the Prayer for Generosity are actual acts of ultimate faith and surrender to God. In his talk, he urged the participants to offer their skills and abilities to God so these can be put to good use and help others. “Gamitin mo ang pagka-cute ko, para makatulong sa mga tao!,” he said, causing laughter among the participants thereby lightening up the mood and lessening the seriousness of the discussion.

The workshop had a number of breakout sessions allowing the participants to share personal experiences and stories of their high and low moments in the Ateneo. Questions like “What is the most significant trace of God in your life at present?”, “How has God’s love made a difference in my life?”, and “How can I use [my] experience as an avenue for growth?” guided the group sharing and added genuineness to the stories.

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