[Address: ADDU Graduate and Law School Graduation. 4.27.19]
Last Easter Monday, all the Presidents of the Ateneos in the Philippines gathered on the 11th floor of our Community. Part of what they talked about was what it is that makes a Jesuit University Jesuit. Since you are graduating with the highest degrees of this Jesuit University, it is good at your graduation comes to a close to be reminded of that.
The Ateneo de Davao is Jesuit because of its Jesuit mission and its Jesuit values.
It appropriates the mission of the Society of Jesus. It commits itself to the service of the faith, the promotion of justice, sensitivity to cultures, inter-religious dialogue and the protection and promotion of the environment. It is hoped that through your stay at the ADDU you have appropriate something of this mission.
From this Jesuit mission, it celebrates and propagates Jesuit values. What are some of these? I will list 14 – very briefly.
First. Strong in the faith – Fortes in Fide, the motto of the Ateneo de Davao University.
Second. Love for God. And therefore: Ad majorem Dei Gloriam – all unto the greater glory of God. This is the Jesuit motto: Out of love for God, you do all unto the greater glory of God. And Primum Regnum Dei – First the Kingdom of God – the motto of the Ateneo de Naga.
Third, intimacy with the person of Jesus Christ. This is a great grace we pray for in Ignatian Spirituality: to know Jesus, the Lord, intimately, to know how he thinks and how he feels, and in life to be able to walk with him as a friend.
Fourth, Moved by the Spirit and therefore devoted to doing God’s will. This means, habitually discerning God’s will. Seeking God’s light: Lux in Domino – Light in the Lord. This is the motto of the Ateneo de Manila.
Fifth. Magis. “More!” This is not a quantitative “more”. But it is a commitment to ever more union with the will of God, even more, union with the Cross of Jesus Christ, in the Love of the Spirit.
Sixth. Devoted to the pursuit of and transmission of truth. Why? “Veritas liberavit vos” – “the Truth will make you free.” – this is the motto of Xavier University.
Seventh. Insight into and love for humanity. Convinced of the dignity of the human person. Therefore, given to the care for the individual, cura personalis. But convinced also of the dignity of humanity. Therefore, committed to care for the common good.
Eight. Therefore, being women and men for others.
Ninth. Therefore, committed to justice, esp. social justice.
Tenth. Therefore, committed to the protection and promotion of the environment.
Eleventh. Generosity. Gives in freedom and love. This comes from St. Ignatius’ Prayer for Generosity. And the offering at the highpoint of the Spiritual Exercises, Suscipe: Take and Receive…
Twelfth. Committed to the service of God and the Filipino People. “Pro Deo et Patria” – This is the motto of the Ateneo de Zamboanga.
Thirteenth. Therefore, eloquentia et sapientia.
Fourteenth. Excellence – amdg!
It is our hope that during your stay at the Ateneo you have imbibed some, if not all, of these values. They are values you are invited to cherish for the rest of your lives.
Once again, on your graduation, congratulations!