22 July 2016
MEMO TO : THE UNIVERSITY COMMUNITY
RE : PARTICIPATION IN ADZU INSTITUTIONAL MASSES
I would like to issue the following statement on the participation of all students, faculty, and staff in University institutional masses, namely: Mass of the Holy Spirit, Feast of St Ignatius of Loyola, Feast of the Immaculate Conception, and Baccalaureate Masses. I thank Fr Buddy Wee, SJ for helping formulate this statement, which expresses our unity in faith and celebration as one Ateneo community.
The institutional identity of the Ateneo de Zamboanga University is Filipino, Catholic and Jesuit. It is Filipino in our love and service of country and in appreciation of our multi-cultural heritage. It is Catholic not only in an outwardly religious way, but catholic, universal and inclusive of other faiths and cultures through openness, friendship and inter-religious dialogue. It is Jesuit because it is based on the spirituality of St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus.
We consider everyone in the Ateneo, no matter what faith they profess or practice, part of one Ateneo family. A family’s way of life includes certain expressions of unity with each other. The celebration of the Mass as a sign of faith and solidarity is part of Ateneo life and Jesuit spirituality.
We have never imposed this tradition on non-Catholic Ateneans in the past, but we feel that all Ateneans, no matter what faith or belief they profess, should participate fully in all aspects of life in the Ateneo. As such, we welcome, invite and expect one and all to join us in key celebrations of Ateneo life like the Mass of the Holy Spirit at the beginning of the school year, the Feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola at the end of July, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception honoring Mary on December 8, and the Baccalaureate Mass on graduation day.
This should not be seen as an imposition of faith but as a desire to express our respect and appreciation of each other’s multi-cultural backgrounds. We are not truly one family if we stay away from each other’s traditions. We are sure the Catholics will also be happy to be invited to the major celebrations of the non-Catholic groups on campus. The Ateneo legacy is incomplete without participating in these important expressions of unity and solidarity with one another.
We do not wish those of other faiths to stay as minority groups on the fringes or laylayan of Ateneo life. We do not want anyone to experience only 75% or 90% of life in the Ateneo. We want to integrate everyone 100% into our Ateneo life. We want everyone to be fully incorporated into the mainstream of our Ateneo family, united in love of country and love of God, pro Deo et patria – Ateneans one and all.
FR KAREL S SAN JUAN SJ