Lessons from Pangasinan

AUDIO (RAW) TRANSLATION TO ENGLISH
 

 

Your excellency, Bishop Fidelis…Monsignor Manuel Bravo…Our  school directors… Brothers and sisters in Christ.

 

We are still in the pandemic. We are not able to bring in our pupils for our traditional mass of the Holy Spirit to open an academic year. So our mass of the Holy Spirit has been reduced to a gathering of teachers.

 

But recalling the words of Pope Paul VI, that the world does not need more teachers but witnesses, if this gathering would be a gathering of witnesses, we would we still have the same number.

 

Ang pagtitipon natin ngayong umaga ay pagtitipon ng mga guro. Salamat sa Diyos maraming guro ang Catholic Schools ng Lingayen Dagupan. Pero kung ang evaluation ay ang a-attend lamang sa mass of the Holy Spirit ay iyong mabuting halimbawa para sa mga bata, kasing-dami pa rin kaya ang makakadalo?

 

The catholic school needs teachers, yes. But more than teachers, the catholic school needs witnesses. And the witness is the life example…that even if we are not able to see them face to face…even if we are not able to speak to them personally…that our life example outside the classroom, in the faculty room, in the campus, as we wait for the jeepney or the tricycle, as we live at home with the family, are our lives example enough to convince our pupils that the catholic school produces other Christs. The world does not need more teachers. The world needs more witnesses. And I just hope that if this is a gathering of witnesses, we will have the same number. Can we have the same number?

 

What more do we need in the catholic schools during this time of pandemic in the year 2021? celebrating 500 years of Christianity in the Philippines?

 

If people need information, they don’t have to go to the teachers. They need just go to google.

 

If it is only information that we can offer, then we have very stiff competition because what the catholic school offers is not just information but formation.

 

Education is not just information giving. If it is only information, Wikipedia can do that. If it is only information, the internet can do that. If it is only information, google can do it better. But our children go to school not just for the information that they can get somewhere else. Our people, our children go to school because they need formation.

 

One word makes a difference. Formation is formation not just of the body…formation not just of the mind, but formation even more of conscience. Formation of conscience. And there must be conscience in the way we teach mathematics. There must be conscience in the way we teach the languages. There must be conscience in the way we teach them how to read, and to write, and to count. There must be conscience in science. There must be conscience in research because if there is none, the catholic school will be producing criminals, not good citizens. It is formation that we offer and you have heard me say this from the very beginning – the product of a good school is a good child but the product of a catholic school is another Christ.

 

First question – Are we witnesses more than teachers?

 

Second question – Are we offering formation more than information?

 

The Olympic champions in the recent weeks have also caught our fantasy, our fancy and our imagination. We want to produce champions.

 

But are champions the products of catholic schools?

No, my dear brothers and sisters, because in the catholic school we prefer to produce men and women for others, rather than champions. Men for others. Women for others. Boys and girls for others, living for others. They may not be champions. We may not win in the inter-school competitions. We may not qualify for the regional competitions but we should be satisfied if our pupils leave our schools becoming men and women boys and girls living for others. Because it is only in living for others that we can truly live for Christ.

 

Someday the Olympic medals will fade away…will gather dust… maybe even corrode…but men and women for others, beyond life here on earth, will live forever because it is only men and women for others, boys and girls for others, who will be able to enter heaven. And isn’t that our only goal? That our pupils go to heaven… that our pupils become saints…that our pupils become other Christs.

 

So, in this opening of another academic year, I ask you –

Are you witnesses more than teachers?

Is formation a priority more than information?

Is the formation of men and women for others our primary goal and not just to make them champions?

 

The champion of 2021 will no longer be champion in 2022.

Miss universe 2021 will not be miss universe 2022.

But the men and women for others now will be men and women for others on earth and in the next life, in life everlasting.

 

 

Your excellency, Bishop Fidelis…Monsignor Manuel Bravo…our school directors… Brothers and sisters in Christ.

 

We are still in the pandemic. We are not able to bring in our pupils for our traditional mass of the Holy Spirit to open an academic year. So, our mass of the Holy Spirit has been reduced to a gathering of teachers.

 

But recalling the words of Pope Paul VI, that the world does not need more teachers but witnesses, if this gathering would be a gathering of witnesses, we would we still have the same number.

 

Our gathering here this morning is a gathering of teachers. Thanks be to God for blessing us with so many teachers in the Catholic Schools of Lingayen Dagupan. But if there would be an evaluation for those attending today’s mass and allow only the ones who serve as good examples to the students, would we have the same number of attendees?

 

The catholic school needs teachers, yes. But more than teachers, the catholic school needs witnesses. And the witness is the life example…that even if we are not able to see them face to face…even if we are not able to speak to them personally…that our life example outside the classroom, in the faculty room, in the campus, as we wait for the jeepney or the tricycle, as we live at home with the family, are our lives example enough to convince our pupils that the catholic school produces other Christs. The world does not need more teachers. The world needs more witnesses. And I just hope that if this is a gathering of witnesses, we will have the same number. Can we have the same number?

 

What more do we need in the catholic schools during this time of pandemic in the year 2021? celebrating 500 years of Christianity in the Philippines?

 

If people need information, they don’t have to go to the teachers. They need just go to google.

 

If it is only information that we can offer, then we have very stiff competition because what the catholic school offers is not just information but formation.

 

Education is not just information giving. If it is only information, Wikipedia can do that. If it is only information, the internet can do that. If it is only information, google can do it better. But our children go to school not just for the information that they can get somewhere else. Our people, our children go to school because they need formation.

 

One word makes a difference. Formation is formation not just of the body…formation not just of the mind, but formation even more of conscience. Formation of conscience. And there must be conscience in the way we teach mathematics. There must be conscience in the way we teach the languages. There must be conscience in the way we teach them how to read, and to write, and to count. There must be conscience in science. There must be conscience in research because if there is none, the catholic school will be producing criminals, not good citizens. It is formation that we offer and you have heard me say this from the very beginning – the product of a good school is a good child but the product of a catholic school is another Christ.

 

First question – Are we witnesses more than teachers?

 

Second question – Are we offering formation more than information?

 

The Olympic champions in the recent weeks have also caught our fantasy, our fancy and our imagination. We want to produce champions.

 

But are champions the products of catholic schools?

No, my dear brothers and sisters, because in the catholic school we prefer to produce men and women for others, rather than champions. Men for others. Women for others. Boys and girls for others, living for others. They may not be champions. We may not win in the inter-school competitions. We may not qualify for the regional competitions but we should be satisfied if our pupils leave our schools becoming men and women boys and girls living for others. Because it is only in living for others that we can truly live for Christ.

 

Someday the Olympic medals will fade away…will gather dust… maybe even corrode…but men and women for others, beyond life here on earth, will live forever because it is only men and women for others, boys and girls for others, who will be able to enter heaven. And isn’t that our only goal? That our pupils go to heaven… that our pupils become saints…that our pupils become other Christs.

 

So, in this opening of another academic year, I ask you –

Are you witnesses more than teachers?

Is formation a priority more than information?

Is the formation of men and women for others our primary goal and not just to make them champions?

 

The champion of 2021 will no longer be champion in 2022.

Miss universe 2021 will not be miss universe 2022.

But the men and women for others now will be men and women for others on earth and in the next life, in life everlasting.

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