5th Anniversary Celebration of the Diocese with School Administrators and Catechists
Immaculate Conception Cathedral, 39 Lantana Street, Cubao, Quezon City
August 27, 2008 6:00 pm
THE ROLE OF EDUCATORS IN BUILDING UP THE LOCAL CHURCH
There is a story about a woman traveled and witnessed poverty and cruelty at its worst in a particular place. She saw the tragic situation as a challenge and an opportunity for her to make a personal commitment. She said to herself: “Something’s got to be done.” The next day the woman went around the neighborhood and offered to teach the children. She used an old building as her schoolroom and she had no desks, no chairs, no table. Her chalkboard was the dirt flor. She rubbed it smooth with an old rag and wrote on it with a stick. That was the way the woman fought back against the poverty and cruelty around her. It was a pathetic response but it was the best she could do. Whatever happened to that woman and her undertaking? Today she has more than 100 fully equipped schools, 400 modern mobile dispensaries, 80 leprosy clinics, 40 homes for the dying, 35 homes of abandoned children and 45,000 volunteers, worldwide, helping her. The woman of course is Blessed Mother Teresa. Her story reminds us what commitment and education can do, a very good model for educators and catechists.
We cannot underestimate the role of education and our catholic schools in bringing about the transformation of human persons. If we give what we have to Jesus, He can multiply it beyond our greatest expectations. Education is life for it deals with the integral development of the human person. It is continuous process of development so that man may become more and more human.
PCP II challenges us to create a Catholic environment where members help each other develop into citizens who are “makaDiyos, makatao, makabayan, and makakalikasan and not makasarili”(PCP II, #636). Our Catholic schools and other educational institutions are effective channels to facilitate the educative process that lead to the integral development and formation of the human person – to become “makaDiyos, makatao, makabayan and makakalikasan.” As PCP II asserts that our Catholic schools are the most necessary and potent educational institutions for renewed evangelization (#623). They are the tools for the progress and development of the individual and the society as well.
The no. 2 item in our Five-Point Pastoral Agenda fir this coming three years 2009-2011 is “to have self-sufficient catechetical program in the light of its autonomy from the Archdiocese of Manila. The Catholic School is the catechetical arm of the church. Through catechesis in our schools, we evangelize not only the students out also their parents, which eventually lead them to serve and participate in the ministry of the church.
As educators and catechists, we have the role of enhancing the growth of our students not only in academics but also in their faith, not only in intellect but also in the spirit. Hence, they will not just be cradle Christians but renewed and committed servants of God. We are always proud to boast that 88 or 86% of the total population in the diocese of Cubao is Catholic. But among them how many are truly evangelized and committed to their faith? Many go to church because it has been part of their routine or that is the way they were brought up. But what we need today is renewed and evangelized Christians.
Pope Benedict XVI says in Spe Salvi that our encounter with God should change our lives because when God has shown us His face and opened His heart for us, it was not just “informative” but also “performative” – that is to say that it can change our lives, so that we know we are redeemed through the hope that it expresses. Christian message is not only informative but also performative. In communicating His Word, the hope of its fulfillment is taking place. God fulfills His Word, His promise and its final completion would be at the end time. St. Paul in his letter to the Romans said: “But how can they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how can they believe in him of who they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone to preach? And can people preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring the good news!” But not everyone has heeded the good news; for Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” Thus faith comes from what is heard and what is heard comes by the preaching of Christ (Rom 10:14-17).
“How beautiful are the feet of those who bring the good news!” Our task as educators and as catechists is to help our students hear about the Lord, so that they can believe in Him. We have to help our students become knowledgeable about the basic tenets of our faith and consequently, become fully aware of the gift of their Christian vocations.
In line with the thrust of the PCP II which was to transform the church in to a “Community of Disciples” our vision is that our diocese may become a community of Christ-like disciples. We are not far from achieving it if we all share in our mission of evangelization. The most beneficial place for evangelization where the seed of faith can grow is in our schools. It is a place by which our children will learn to become “makaDiyos, makatao, makabayan, and makakalikasan and not makasarili.
The school is the period of discipleship. Our hope and aspiration is that our students’ graduation may also become a “mission-sending” fro them when they now become the evangelized evangelizer.
As educators and catechists, our mission continues and our tasks seem to be endless. We still have many things to do, but with the help of the Holy Spirit we are close to achieving our goals. As we celebrate our 5th anniversary let us thank God for blessing the good work He has begun in us. Let us ask once again for His guidance that we may bring His work to completion. Through the intercession of our Mother Mary, may we continue to build our local church into a community of Christ-like disciples.
Again, thank you for all what you have done to live up to the motto of the Diocese of Cubao: “CIVITAS SUPRA MONTEM POSITA,” i.e. to be a visible sign of Christ’s presence in the world today.
MABUHAY PO TAYONG LAHAT!
MABUHAY PO ANG DIOCESE OF CUBAO!