[This Proposal of the Philippine Jesuits’ Commission on Ministries to the Jesuits of the Philippines entitled, “Philippine Province Roadmap to the Poor and the Periphery: Mindanao,” was presented and approved in principle at the “Extended Consult” of Philippine Provincial Superior Antonio Moreno in the Cardinal Sin Center, Loyola House of Studies, Q.C., on March 3, 2015. The Extended Consult included Jesuit Superiors and Directors of Work and lay collaborators of Jesuit works in the Philippines.]
It is in the wake of the overwhelming pastoral visit of Pope Francis that this proposal is made. But also in the aftermath of the disaster that is Mamasapano. Pope Francis’ message of mercy and compassion was received enthusiastically by Filipinos of different beliefs and religions. But after Mamasapano, we may realize how superficial that reception was.
Forty Jesuits of our Province were privileged to meet with Pope Francis. It would have been nice if all of our Jesuits and partners-in-mission could have been there, but we were limited to this number. The forty were there representing us all. It was an unforgettably warm experience of friendship in the Lord, fraternal banter, and profound challenge. When Fr. Provincial in our name asked Pope Francis what he wanted his Jesuit brothers in the Philippines to do, the Pope answered, “Go to the poor. Go to the peripheries.” It was a mandate that he did not hesitate to give, a mandate given in the consolation of his own personal lifetime of being with the poor in the peripheries. It moved us, reminding us of this call we have long heard in hearts, but have lacked the courage to fully accept. The encounter with Francis, Vicar of Christ on earth, ended with all of us – with the Jesuit Pope in our midst – singing, In omnibus amare, in omnibus servire, in omnibus amare et servire Dominum. In the consolation of those words, we were responding to the Pope’s command.
Since Pope Francis had by God’s grace assumed the papacy, we have been deeply moved by his simplicity, his unwavering centeredness on the person of Jesus, his infectious joy, his pastoral focus on the persons of others, his desire to share of the Gospel especially with those in the periphery, his insistence on the social dimension and structural implications of the Gospel, the need to pursue the common good, his courageous willingness to speak the prophetic word, yet his tenderness. We have been grateful for his introduction to us of Our Lady, Mother of the Living Gospel, Star of New Evangelization. Evangelii Gaudium has been like a personal letter to each of us, a basis for examination of life and conscience, a basis for challenge to ourselves and others to work in the light of its message and spirit.
It is under the leadership of Francis and in the spirit of Evangelii Gaudium, so steeped in the grace derived from the conversation of the exercitant with the Crucified Lord, that we believe the Philippine Province can find its renewal and its future.
In our Province Forum, we have seen the De Statu Report of our Provincial and his sober presentations of the Province demographics. These dour statistics, however, are ciphers of the complex lives, struggles and labors of Jesuits in the Philippine Province, now more than ever united with the lives, struggles and labors of lay-co-workers, of non-Jesuit co-workers, of Muslim and Lumad co-laborers and friends (whom we refer to here simply as co-Jesuits). There is much joy in this Province, even amidst sin, frustration, failure, sadness, ageing and death. There is joy in staying the course, in remaining reasonably loyal to the tasks at hand, managing the Mass and prayer of the day, in survival, in day by day ending the day with gratitude, and welcoming the dawn with hope. For most Jesuits on the ground, committed to doing their jobs defined by superiors and directors of work, it is “the long pull of fidelity” marked by religious life’s cycles of desolation and consolation.
But the visit of the Pope Francis in the year of the poor and in the year we are challenged to renewal of our consecrated life, our recent celebration of the restoration of the Society of Jesus and renewed appreciation of the original post-restoration mandate of Jesuits assigned to the Philippines to the apostolate in Mindanao, the season of extraordinary challenges for New Evangelization that come with preparations for the 500th anniversary of the Gospel in the Philippines among millions in Asia-Pacific who yet do not know Jesus, the apostolic vistas in our last Province Forum of enduring poverty, the endangered environment, and the national and Church efforts in Mindanao towards prosperity and peace in the Bangsamoro[i], the current Province Congregation in preparation for our General Congregation XXXVI, all may be providing the Philippine Province a new kairos moment where new dreams must replace old nightmares, new realities shatter old paradigms, fresh activities break old habits, and new wine be poured into new wineskins. Perhaps, it is in courageously formulating “a Philippine Province road map” in the joy of the Gospel and taking bold steps to execute it that the demographic depressions of our Compañia might be overcome.
Building on the work of the Province Forum
The proposed Roadmap builds on the three-year “Province Roadmap: Synthesis of Points from the Province Forum.” It had three central apostolic foci, Poverty and Inequality, Mindanao, and Environment. These three foci were surrounded by a support ring of various ministries or fields for ministry: Media and Communications, Education Ministry, Local Church, Lay Institutions, Ignatian Spirituality, Asia and Foreign Missions, Leadership in Execution, Jesuit Role and Identity. All were complemented by key ad intra activities: “Build Jesuit membership” and “Develop lay leadership.”
The chart synthesized contributions made through group brainstorming at the Province Forum (August 6-7, 2014). The contributions were taken at face value. But it was a product that could still be improved. In the central three foci, “Poverty and Inequality” and “the Environment” were targets for apostolic interventions, but “Mindanao” was a locus of many different apostolic interventions. The latter include poverty and the environment, but much more. What was substantially absent in these three main foci was evangelization, or better, new evangelization, in the sense of Evangelii Gaudium. From GC 34, the work against poverty and inequality, which is work in promotion of justice and social justice (including the environment), cannot be separated from the proclamation of the faith. Especially in Mindanao, this new evangelization must, as Mindanao Cardinal Orlando Quevedo established through the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conference, be a proclamation of the Faith through dialogue. We have since learned that this must be both inter- and intra-faith dialogue, even dialogue with the secular and non-believing worlds.
As a roadmap the chart illustrates priority works and support works, ad extram, and indicates essential works, ad intram.
The Proposed Philippine Province Roadmap
Our proposal is that the priority works ad extram be new evangelization, poverty and inequality, and environment.
These three activities would then be applied to a geographic area within a larger geographic area. Our proposal would be: Mindanao-in-Asia Pacific.
The impelling vision emerging from this kairos moment would be to respond with the whole province boldly and creatively to the immediate and pressing apostolic challenges of Mindanao, still as a whole on the Philippine periphery. This includes the ongoing resolution of the conflicts and wars in Mindanao due to injustice to Moro identity, Moro Political Sovereignty, and Moro Integral Development[ii] in the impending Bangsamoro, the exploitation and displacement of Indigenous Peoples for the political and economic interests of others,[iii] the pressing need for basic education especially of the Moro peoples within the Bangsamoro territories and indigenous peoples of Mindanao (Lumad), the need for religious education for the Christian populations in a plural society, the need for on-the-ground dialogue of life with communities of Muslims and Lumads, the need for inter-and intra-faith dialogue in Mindanao, the need for the use of business, information technology, engineering, science and technical-vocational faculties and facilities to create wealth through commerce, the use of commerce and business to strengthen inter-cultural dialogue and civil structures of dialogue and peace, for the promotion of an economy that does not exclude, for the promotion of a culture among cultures that respects and protects the environment, etc.
But before we go further, it would be helpful – so soon after our celebration of the 200th anniversary of the restoration of our Society of Jesus – to briefly recall where Jesuits on mission have been in Mindanao over the past two hundred years. For this, Fr. David John de los Reyes will briefly share with us the results of his recent study.
[Presentation of Fr. De los Reyes]
Some quick facts about Mindanao may help our reflection
[Slide Presentation: Facts on Mindanao on the Periphery}
While Mindanao would be the immediate area of apostolic activity of the Philippine Province, the remote areas would be the apostolic areas covered by the Asia Pacific region. Xavier University has a co-Jesuit working in the Campion Institute of Yangon, and ADDU has co-Jesuits giving regular educational modules to strengthen the faculty of the St. Aloysius Gonzaga Institute in Taunggyi, Myanmar. Other possible areas of intervention are now being considered in East Timor. That is the status quo. The Province has assigned men to East Timor and Cambodia. The motivation is, as Fr. Tony Moreno puts it, to pay a debt we owe to previous missionaries who had been very generous to the Philippines. Nevertheless, ideally, an apostolic synergy between Jesuit and co-Jesuit personnel in institutions in the Asian Pacific region and Filipino Jesuit apostolic activities in Mindanao should be created. This would be most desirable (a) in the areas of inter-religious and inter-cultural dialogue and (b) areas of commerce for peace. Where the Filipino Muslims we interact with wish to shield the Bangsamoro from a state-impelled or faction-promoted homogenization of Islam[iv], interaction with the receptions of Islam in Indonesia that are more open to a plural society and a secular state rather than with the Saudi Arabia-influenced professors of Islam in Mindanao State University (MSU) and Mindanao State University – Iligan Institute of Technology (MSU-IIT) would be helpful. This would benefit from shared planning on-the-ground for synergy between Mindanao and the Asia Pacific region, e.g. between the Mindanao Ateneos and Sanata Dharma University. This would be a vital complement to the top-heavy planning on the level of the Jesuit Conference of Asia Pacific.
The road map should take us from our De Statu today to where we want to go in ten to fifteen years. This is another desideratum lacking in the roadmap reproduced above. It does not tell us where we would want to go in obedience to the imperatives of new evangelization. It does not encourage our superiors to decide on the imperatives. The following is an attempt at articulating that vision:
The vision of the Philippine Province in Mindanao-Asia Pacific in 10-15 years.
The mission of the Society of Jesus (service of the faith, promotion of justice, cultural sensitivity, inter-religious dialogue, protection of the environment) is re- appropriated with three foci of a tri-mission – new evangelization as dialogue, living and working with the poor towards liberation from poverty, and environmental protection and preservation, all applied to Mindanao-in-Asia Pacific. A practical apostolic synergy has been achieved between the apostolate in Mindanao and mission bases in Asia Pacific.
In the tri-mission the interconnectivity of faith, justice, cultures, inter-religious dialogue articulated in GC 32-35 are preserved: there is no new evangelization through dialogue (faith, contextualized theology, proclamation through dialogue, religious education for dialogue, inter-faith and intra-faith dialogue, inter-cultural dialogue) without living and working with the poor in Mindanao towards liberation from poverty (faith, commutative, distributive and social justice, cultures, human rights, human development towards the fullness of life) and without the preservation and protection of the environment for the human family (creation spirituality, social justice, cultural transformation, clear interventions towards the mitigation of climate change, pronounced readiness for disaster risk reduction.)
Philippine Jesuits have shifted the apostolic center of gravity from Luzon to Mindanao. The Provincial has transferred residence to Mindanao.
Key portions of Jesuit formation are now in Mindanao. Jesuits learn of Mindanao history, cultures, values, languages and struggles, but also more about the Asia Pacific region. Novitiate experiments and the novices’ Spiritual Exercises are in Mindanao. Regency is in Mindanao. Half of theological formation focused on Proclamation as Dialogue is in Mindanao. The Philippine tertianship is re-established in Mindanao.
Philippine Jesuits are now collaborating fruitfully with many others within the Church and beyond. In Mindanao, they are collaborating more with the local churches, with other religious congregations, with non-Catholic Christians and with Muslim communities on the ground.
There is vibrant apostolic synergy between the Jesuit universities in Mindanao and apostolic stations on the ground where Jesuits and co-Jesuits are working among the poor “in the peripheries”: (a) in Bangsamoro Areas, (b) in Lumad areas and (c) in areas affected by man-made environmental destruction.
The Jesuits and co-Jesuits are working for the full (and not just superficial) realization of the autonomous region of Muslim Mindanao mandated by the 1987 Constitution and implemented legally through the Bangsamoro Basic Law or its equivalent. They are promoting inter-faith understanding, peace and integral human development through a theology of dialogue.
The Jesuits and co-Jesuits are working for the implementation of the Indigenous People’s Rights Act (IPRA). They stand with the IPs in the defense of their rights, and work with them toward culturally appropriate development in the contemporary world.
There is an active Peace-Salaam Movement composed of identified leaders in Mindanao coming from Christian, Muslim and Lumad communities, peoples’ organizations, youth organizations who are united in commitment to implementation of the tri-mission as inter-religious and inter-cultural dialogue towards the common good, wealth generation against poverty, and protection of the Mindanao environment for the good of its people.
There is an active ministry to the youth, in school and out-of-school, to form them in the culture of dialogue, inter-religious and inter-cultural understanding, and advocacy for justice and the common good.
The universities continue to appropriate the Jesuit mission in their reception of the Philippine Province tri-mission. They are engaged in Jesuit transformative education in Mindanao (education transformative of themselves and society in pursuit of the fullness of life). The tri-mission informs instruction, research and outreach.
Jesuits and co-Jesuits serve the mission through the intellectual apostolate, developed and continually regenerated in response to the demands of mission. Those who have been specially trained are now contributing to transformative education. The intellectual apostolate is exercised from the universities and from stand-alone centers of reflection and research.
All participate in the new evangelization of proclamation through dialogue: Joy in the daily encounter with the Lord being shared in encounter with others. This joy is not undermined by union with the suffering Christ on the cross in various modes of mission.
A Jesuit Mission Advocacy Center of the Province engages in structurally transformative advocacy work in furtherance of the Jesuit mission and in pursuit of the common good. Its main foci are: the alienated human society, oppression of the poor, injustice, the common good, destruction of the environment, appropriate response to climate change. It coordinates or coordinates with advocacy-oriented activities of Jesuit university outreach offices, law schools, Jesuit-related NGOs, and of allied social and advocacy networks.
The tri-mission is supported essentially by Jesuit Media and Communications (JMC) in Mindanao. JMC produces liturgical and spiritual music, but is the social- and public media spokesperson for the Jesuit mission. It is heavily present in the local Mindanao media and in social media and works for effective dissemination of news and advocacy positions.
The universities are active centers of dialogue and consensus building within the peoples and faiths of Mindanao, the national leadership, and the region. They are also centers of prophecy. They use their instruction, research and outreach to speak out against injustice and advocate human development for each person and for all.
The Jesuit universities have taken responsibility for creative programs of basic education in Bangamoro and Lumad areas. In these areas they are collaborating in basic education with schools of other religious congregations, diocesan parochial schools, public schools and with Islamic schools (madaris). They manage an aggressive volunteer program for basic education in these areas. They work with groups known for their commitment to the improvement of basic education like Synergeia.
The Jesuit universities are using information technology to disseminate programs of basic education to areas of the poor, including religious education and education in Islam.
The Jesuit universities are centers of wealth creation and inter-cultural understanding through programs of science, commerce, entrepreneurship, business management. They reach out to local business communities. Through these programs they militate against an economy that excludes and worships money, but provide important training for wealth generation and its equitable distribution. The Jesuit business brand is marked by creativity, business ethics, environmental responsibility, and commitment to the common good.
The Joint Ateneo Institute of Mindanao Economics, jointly owned by the Ateneos, provides reflection and research on Mindanao Economics according to a model inspired by Pope Francis in Evangelii Gaudium (53-60), which rejects exclusion, inequality and worship of money, has become an influential source of economic reflection in Mindanao.
Jesuit universities are centers of understanding of Islam, Islamic finance, and Islam on the ground in the Philippines. They provide space for the ongoing articulation, discovery and appreciation of the “Filipino Muslim.”
The Jesuit universities have been strengthened in Jesuit mission and are ready for leadership by co-Jesuits. The restriction of Jesuit university presidencies to Jesuits alone is abolished in favor of Jesuits or co-Jesuits.
Jesuits and co-Jesuits are on two-year inter-cultural immersion missions in Bangsamoro communities, learning first hand about Islamic or IP cultures and teaching basic education in madaris or local schools. This is integrated in the basic formation of Jesuits, and strongly recommended for co-Jesuits.
The Center for Ignatian Spirituality is operating from Mindanao. It has trained over two hundred co-Jesuits for the SpEx and related spirituality programs. It supports Jesuits and co-Jesuits in areas of Jesuit mission through the spiritual exercises, training in guidance for the spiritual exercises, spiritual direction, open retreats, recollections, lectures and inspirational activities. There is a vibrant culture of Ignatian spirituality among Jesuits and co-Jesuits.
Family ministry (Cefam/Ugat) is operating from Mindanao in support of Catholic, Christian and Bangsamoro families, esp. in the context of families challenged by migration, evacuations, and war. They have successfully enabled families of one faith to be inspired by families of other faiths in their life with one another, their cultures of prayer and worship, their struggles to be good families in the family-disruptive environment.
The Philippine Province has accepted its responsibility in new evangelization towards cultures of Asia Pacific that do not yet know Jesus Christ. There are Philippine Jesuits and Co-Jesuits actively working in Myanmar and Cambodia and Indonesia. They bring basic education, promote trade and commerce for peace, promote international cooperation in mitigating climate change, and witness to the joy of the Gospel.
Philippine Jesuits study Islam in Indonesia. Islamic scholars work in Jesuit universities in Mindanao.
The Road that Leads to Mindanao-Asia Pacific, 2025.
The following are milestones that must be passed in order to arrive where we wish to go. Except for the first, they are not necessarily chronological. The first is absolutely essential.
- While maintaining the apostolic status quo, a year of communal prayer and discernment. Through Evangelii Gaudium a return to the encounter with Jesus Christ who looks on us individually and corporately with love. A year of renewal in response to that love. A year of spiritual exercises, including 30-day retreats. A desire to hear and understand his will for us in the Philippine Province. Prayer for apostolic freedom and liberation from attachments which may prevent us from hearing his word. A year of recovering deep apostolic desires and of apostolic dreaming. Among Jesuits of various grades and apostolic engagements, conversations about where the Lord is leading us. Conversion experiences. Conversion from sin and alienation to Jesus’ forgiveness. Conversion from a tired “long pull of fidelity” to the challenging kairos moment of today. Experiences of gratitude and joy. A consideration of the proposed Province Roadmap over the year as indicative of the Kingdom of God, and its eventual modification. At the end of the year, adoption of the roadmap in the light and freedom of shared consolation. The Provincial missions the Province to this roadmap with the express endorsement of Fr. General.
- Imagine Mindanao-Asia Pacific, 2025, with Jesuits serving “at the periphery.” Discern what it will demand and work towards it.
Recruitment of Jesuits and co-Jesuits for this tri-mission. Formation and strengthening of the co-Jesuit. Differentiation of co-Jesuits by the apostolic quality and intensity of their relation to the Jesuit mission: by accidental association, by employment, by levels of formation for mission, by employment in mission, by free private association in mission, by outstanding involvement in mission, by free and public commitment to mission, etc.
- Exploration of possible new apostolic relations, alliances, and insertions especially in Bangsamoro and Lumad communities. First, by informing ourselves theoretically and personally of the works others are doing; by allowing ourselves to be astonished and edified by this. Conversations with bishops, Bangsamoro leaders, IP leaders, involved religious congregations, pastoral workers, related NGOs. Understanding how we might be helped by these groups. Listing of possibilities for communal discernment and apostolic decision.
- Planning for and with Jesuits and co-Jesuits. Identify the co-Jesuits we rely on. Provide the Commission on Ministries with an Extension to include key co-Jesuits and professional consultants.
- Clarify the Province’s decision making process for journeying towards Mindanao-Asia Pacific, role of the Commission on Ministries vs. the Provincial and the Directors of Work. Decision making must include Jesuits and willing co-Jesuits
- Imagine Mindanao-Asia Pacific, 2025, with Jesuits at the periphery. Discern what it will demand and work towards it. The Provincial makes decisions to arrive at that point. Designate “champions” of execution fully supported by the Provincial with the following mandates. Appreciate that we are not starting from scratch:
- Form leaders for Mindanao and the common good.
- Promote Jesuit institutions as Convenors and Consensus builders.
- Work for peace through inter- and intra-faith dialogue.
- Foster inclusive growth and equitable economy.
- Appropriate and integrate Ignatian spirituality for social transformation
- Support social movements and advocacies for the common good.
- Advocate cultural regeneration and transformation
- Strengthen IP Leadership.
- Fight corruption (Ehem!)
- Combat human trafficking and trafficking in human parts.
- Protect the environment.
- Continue the work of identifying and forming Mindanao leaders.
- Work towards the formation and animation of the Peace-Salaam Movement as described above.
- Organize like-minded Christian, Muslim and Lumad intellectuals
- Continue to organize Christian and Muslim groups through youth camps, teach-ins, sports, shared projects, shared advocacies
- Organize peoples’ organizations
- Jesuit Universities and schools re-examine their vision and/or mission for alignment with the tri-mission of the Province. Appropriation of the tri-mission must be palpable in the instruction, research and outreach of the university or school. The tri-mission drives their transformative education.
- The university or school need not be geographically located within Mindanao to appropriate the tri-mission of the Province in Mindanao-Asia Pacific. Instruction, research and outreach can be rich in activities relevant to Mindanao-Asia Pacific, e.g. mediating consciousness and conscience concerning injustice in Mindanao nationwide, applying digital animation to the tri-Mission in Mindanao, advocating just and necessary laws for Mindanao, providing impetus for wealth-creating interventions in Mindanao, creating modules for teacher training of Myanmar.
- A Ministry for the Youth is established that focuses on the mindset, culture and needs of the youth, in school and out of school, from functional or dysfunctional families, especially of youth in Mindanao as they confront their future in a context of diversity.
- All directors of works lead their Jesuit and co-Jesuits in evaluating their ministries and re-aligning them towards the Province tri-mission in Mindanao and Asia Pacific.
- Mission or engage Jesuits and co-Jesuits to preparation for the intellectual apostolate of the future. These could be drawn from our universities and schools. In the future they would work from universities or other appropriate intellectual/research/media centers. Find the resources to support this preparation. These would include:
New evangelization – for Mindanao
- Formation of theologians and religious education specialists.
- Formation of formators in spirituality
- Formation of experts in Islam
- Formation of experts in social justice, legal justice
- Social teachings of the church
- Common good
- Formation of experts in Economics
- Staffing the Ateneo Inst. for Mindanao Economics
- Formation of experts in anthropology
- Formation of experts in dialogue
- Formation of local artists, writers, historians
Poverty alleviation/wealth generation – for Mindanao
- Formation of experts for science, engineering and technology towards poverty alleviation/wealth generation for Mindanao
- Formation for instructors in business courses redirected to producing wealth for the common good.
- Formation for business as arena for inter-cultural dialogue, peace, poverty alleviation
- Formation of experts in entrepreneurship
- Formation of experts in agriculture for Mindanao
- Formation of environmental scientists
- Formation of green engineers and architects
- Formation of biologists, chemists
- Formation of urban planners
- Strengthen universities and schools so that they can be led not only by Jesuits but by co-Jesuits on this roadmap. Determine criteria of readiness for co-Jesuit leadership, e.g. Excellence as a University. Excellence as a Jesuit university: Appropriation by the school community of the Jesuit mission. Wide acceptance and practice of Ignatian Spirituality among Jesuits and co-Jesuits of the community. Identification of upper level university leaders, spiritually formed and academically prepared for top leadership.
- Abrogation of all university by-laws which limit university leadership to Jesuits and opening of leadership to qualified co-leadership by 2017. Instruct Board search committees to include co-Jesuits in its recommendations for leadership.
- Support and enhance the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines – National Bangsamoro Education Inc. (CEAP-NABEi) Volunteer Teachers Program. This sends college-graduate volunteers to live in Bangsamoro communities and teach basic education in selected madaris. (It is inspired by the Jesuit Volunteers Philippines)
- Work out structure of fruitful governance/coordination of the social apostolate based on the Province’s tri-mission. Sort out relationships between the Province’s SJSA, the Provincial’s Mindanao Conversations, the Jesuit universities’ and schools’ outreach programs, the work of various NGOs. Work out the possibility of shared planning, positions and mobilization.
- Shifts in Jesuit formation to focus on preparation for Mindanao-AsiaPacific, 2025.
- Novitiate long retreat and experiments in Mindanao by 2017.
- Regency in Mindanao by 2016
- Half of theology formation in Mindanao 2018
- Transfer of Province Leadership to Mindanao by 2017.
- The Province Treasurer together with the treasurers of key apostolates create a budget to support this re-orientation of mission.
- The PJAA calling on the generosity of co-Jesuits fundraise to support the mission. The fundraising focus is on small amounts regularly given, especially by those whom we serve in poor areas, rather than big amounts given rarely.
- Province planning can further fill out this list and arrange them into a chronology of implementation. Many of these activities have already begun and are ongoing. Many have yet to be decided on and implemented. The Provincial, however, will be the key to implementation. He mandates all to journey together.
- The Provincial determines the role of each member of the Province in the implementation of the Province Roadmap. In the best of Jesuit tradition, the Provincial, supported by Fr General, heeding the will of Holy Father, the Vicar of Christ on Earth, that we to go to the poor, go to the peripheries, orders this. The Jesuits obey. The Jesuits of this Province are ready. There will be many co-Jesuits to suppor On this, the roadmap succeeds or fails. Without this, we will seem to drift, and “the long pull of fidelity” will seem like merely “a maintenance mode.” It is obedience that will unite us to the redemptive obedience of the Crucified Lord, who never ceases to uplift and surprise us in the twinkle in his eyes.
Mary, Mother of the Living Gospel, Star of the New Evangelization.
Pope Francis ends his Evangelii Gaudium by introducing us to Mary, Mother of the Living Gospel, Star of the New Evangelization. He said the Lord did not want us “to journey without a mother.” She is a mother who teaches us to say yes to the redemptive will and power of God who pulls down the mighty from their thrones and sends the rich away empty. She is a mother of revolutionary love and tenderness. It is through her that we learn of the compassion and mercy of her Son. It is with her that we journey on the road to our future, through whom the Lord must liberate us from the thrones of the rich and mighty to be one with the his poor at the peripheries. It can come to pass in the power of him who ”makes all things new” (Rev. 21:5), as we sing what we sang with Pope Francis in our midst, “…In omnibus amare et servire Dominum,” and pray, “Take, Lord, receive…”
[i] I am attaching a newly published volume, Draft Bangsamoro Basic Law: Reviews, Commentaries and Recommendations. (Davao: ADDU, 2015). This illustrates the challenge of working with the Muslims in Mindanao for the realization of the Bangsamoro. See particularly Fr. Patrick Riordan’s “The Bangsamoro Basic Law: Aristotle and the Common Good,” pp 35-56.
[ii] Orlando Cardinal Quevedo, “Injustice: the Root of Conflict in Mindanao” in Bangsamoro: Documents and Materials (Davao: ADDU, 1974) pp. viii ff.
[iii] Cf. Fr. Albert Alejo’s “IPRA in the BBL” in Draft Bangsamoro Basic Law: Reviews, Commentaries and Recommendations. (Davao: ADDU, 2015), pp. 65-70.
[iv] Please see Datu Mussolini Lidasan’s “Being Filipino and Bangsamoro: A Conversation on Identity Politics,” ibid, pp 25-34.