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AdZU Community Celebrates Christmas 2013

The Ateneo de Zamboanga University community, led by Fr President Karel S San Juan SJ, celebrated Christmas through an Institutional Recollection and a simple Christmas lunch on December 21, 2013.

The annual recollection was held at the University Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The speaker for this year’s recollection was Fr Arnel Aquino SJ of the Loyola School of Theology. In his message, Fr Arnel invited the AdZU community to meditate on Mary’s simplicity and obedience to God’s call to be Jesus’ mother. He also encouraged the members of the university’s faculty and staff to follow Mary’s example of looking for joy and gratitude in the midst of darkness. He emphasized that one of the most beautiful traits of Filipinos is being able to find blessings in the midst of darkness, using on the ground stories of crisis survivors as an inspiration showing the strength of the Filipino spirit. In addition, he challenged the Ateneans present to be a light to others who are suffering.

The recollection was followed by individual reflection and an institutional mass concelebrated by the Jesuit fathers.

After the mass, the community proceeded to the Multi-purpose Covered Courts for the simple lunch celebration. During his opening message, Fr Karel surprised the audience in a flash mob performed with members of the faculty and staff. The production number was directed by Kiko Miranda of the Communication Department. After the lunch, door prizes were given away to lucky raffle winners.

Ateneo’s simple celebration is in solidarity with those who have suffered much due to the crises and calamities this past year. As a community we look back at the trials of the year with a sense of gratitude for the lessons learned and much hope for a future filled with the spirit of companionship and “bayanihan”