Filipino Optimism in Faith in the Celebration of Our Departed Love Ones

In the Philippines the Feast of All Saints, the Feast of the Community of all the baptized and saved in our Lord, and the Memorial Day of All Souls, when we pray for the souls of all our beloved departed in purgatory, are merged wonderfully in one celebration of our beloved departed. On the day that we are supposed to remember the “Unknown Saint” in our Church, we go to the cemeteries and celebrate the memory of our beloved departed. On the day that we are to pray for their release from purgatory, we have already celebrated their redemption in the Father’s salvific mercy in Christ. The great Jesuit missionary to the Philippines, Fr. Art Shea, S.J., used to say that this merging was a manifestation of the great optimism of Filipino believers – that their beloved departed are celebrated already as among the saints! Our Filipino faith celebrates the full redemption of our loved ones, even as we do not fail to pray for their purification from their sins. We ask our relatives and friends to join us in praying for our beloved departed.

It is in this context that the Jesuits in the Philippines invite all to include the names of their departed loved ones and friends in the list of those for whom we pray on all Jesuit altars in the month of November through the Philippine Jesuit Aid Association (PJAA) November Drive. Here, I include especially my mother, Elisa, but also other relatives and friends, like Armando, Germinia, Manuel, Rufina, Victoria, Inang, Tito, Panky, Eduardo, and Jun. We remember also Frs. Guido, Rudy, Frank, and Paul. Also, very specially, Fr. Pops.

In this context, kindly consider the words of Fr. Rene Ocampo, S.J., our University Chaplain and Alumni Director:

“Greetings from the Ateneo de Davao!

“With the fiesta of Todos Los Santos and the month when Catholics specially remember their departed relatives and friends only five days away, allow me to remind the Catholics among our alumni and friends about our traditional practice in our University, and in other Jesuit Institutions in the Philippines, of daily including our dear departed in our University Masses and other prayers.

“It is in the spirit of this long tradition made popular by the Philippine Jesuit Aid Association many, many years ago, that I extend this yearly invitation to the Catholics among our alumni and friends, to send to the Ateneo de Davao Alumni Office or to the Office of the Philippine Jesuit Aid Association (PJAA) in Loyola Heights, Quezon City the names of their departed relatives and friends and classmates so they can be included in the Masses and prayers of Jesuits in the Philippines during the whole month of November. Non-Catholics are welcome to send the names of their departed relatives and friends, if they wish to do so.

“If you reside in Davao City, you may use the PJAA forms found in the ADDU University Chapel on our Jacinto campus, and in the Matina Campus. These are also available in other Jesuit Communities and Institutions in Metro Manila, Cebu, Iloilo, Cagayan de Oro, Zamboanga and Malaybalay. You may also use email to send us your list of departed relatives, friends and batchmates at, or to my assistant, Mrs. Melfa Tizon, at

“The Jesuits in the Philippines will be grateful if you take this occasion to become our partner in supporting the health care of our sick Jesuits, some of whom you know, and in the long formation of our young Jesuit scholastics and brothers for the missions and apostolates of the Philippine Jesuit Province. Please visit for additional information on the PJAA. As you will notice in the new form, Fr. Herbert Schneider, S.J. has succeeded Fr. Cesar Marin, S.J. as the Executive Director of the Philippine Jesuit Aid Association.
If you use the postal service, please use a check or a money order addressed to the PHILIPPINE JESUIT AID ASSOCIATION, 3rd Floor, CLC Center, Seminary Drive, Ateneo de Manila University campus, Loyola Heights, Quezon City 1108. Telephone numbers of the PJAA are (63 2) 926-5974 and (63 2) 926-9831. Its email address is

“Davao residents who enclose a cash amount with their list of the names of their dear departed may safely deposit their form in the locked repository in the Jacinto Campus Chapel.

“Thank you very much.

“God bless you and your loved ones.”


About Joel Tabora, S.J.

Jesuit. Educator
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