Archive for the ‘Jesuit’ Category
Fr. Robert Hogan, S.J. receives the Archbishop Thibault Award for the Daily Bread feeding program in Ateneo de Davao University
DAVAO CITY, March 28, 2009—
Fr. Robert Hogan S.J., an Irish-American missionary to the Philippines for over fifty years was chosen as an Archbishop Thibault Awardee for his commendable works in organizing the Daily Bread feeding program.
Full text at CBCP News
Hogan was born of Irish parentage on 16 February 1933 in New York City. He was educated at Catholic schools for grade school and high school. At the age of 18, he joined the Society of Jesus at St. Andrew-on-Hudson novitiate in August 1951. After his two-year novitiate and two-year juniorate studies, he was sent in 1955 as a missionary to the Philippines and did his philosophy studies at Berchmans College, Cebu City (AB, 1957 and MA Philosophy, 1958).
As a Jesuit regent he taught religion, English and physics at the Ateneo de Manila (1958-61). He was ordained to the priesthood in June 1964 after theological studies at Woodstock College, Woodstock, MD, and pursued studies in chemistry and physics at Fordham University, Seton Hall College and St. Louis University.
After tertianship at Auriesville, NY, he returned to the Philippines in 1967.
He was then assigned to teach theology, philosophy and physics and do campus ministry at Ateneo de Naga for fifteen years.
At Naga he was appointed as Ecclesiastical Assistant for the Christian Life Communities (CLC), formerly the Sodality of Our Lady.
The CLC is a worldwide association of people who commit themselves to the values and principles of Ignatian spirituality.
Hogan’s work at CLC continued in Davao where the CLC assisted the poor at the City dump at Smokey Mountain and at Tibungco after their relocation from Smokey Mountain.
When he was moved to Ateneo de Davao in 1982 to teach theology and do campus ministry.
Hogan was also the chairman of the Theology Division from 1999 to 2006. He also taught graduate Theology at the Ignatian Institute of Religious Education.
In 2008, for health reasons, Fr. Bob was assigned to retreat work at Sacred Heart Novitiate in Quezon City.
He has subsequently been moved to the Fr. Jesus Lucas Infirmary at Loyola House of Studies at the Ateneo de Manila University campus.
In close to sixty years of religious life, of which almost fifty have been spent as a Jesuit missionary in the Philippines, Hogan has been a teacher and religious formator, priest and spiritual director, friend and counselor, fund-raiser, beggar and provider for those in need.
Hogan is part of the Ateneo de Davao Jesuit community for twenty-six years. (Mark S. Ventura w/ PR)
Book Review: “The Life of Mary as Seen by the Mystics” by Raphael Brown with Foreword by Rev. Edward A. Ryan, S.J.
Raphael Brown, The Life of Mary as Seen by the Mystics: Compiled from Revelations of St. Elizabeth of Schoenau, St. Bridget of Sweden, Ven. Mother Mary of Agreda, Sister Anna Catherine Emmerich, with Foreword by Rev. Edward A. Ryan, S.J., Dr. En Sc. Hist. Professor of Church History, Woodstock College (Bruce, Milwaukee, 1951). 292 pages.
A friend gave me this book last week. I started reading it last 16 March and finished it last 19 March on the Feast of St. Joseph. This 292-page pocketbook is difficult to put down.
It is hard to imagine what daily life in a holy family is like, with Mary as Mother, Jesus as Son, and Joseph as Father. But the book describes these things in detail.
For Mary and Joseph, whenever Joseph pass by Mary, he would genuflect and he would not allow her to serve him, until he was told by his guardian angel to allow Mary to serve him, and interiorly treat her with highest reverence. Joseph and Mary worked not for gain but for charity or to supply a need: they left the payment to their employers and accepted it as a freely given alms rather than an earned reward. They divide their earnings into three parts: one part for the temple, one part for the poor, and one part for themselves.
For Jesus and Joseph, when Jesus was born, Joseph prostrated himself before Jesus. Then upon Mary’s bidding, Joseph “kissed the Babe’s feet, and held little Jesus in his arms, pressing Him to his heart, while tears of happiness moistened his cheeks.” In Jesus’s hidden life, he helped Joseph in his carpentry work. When Joseph says to Jesus “‘Do this” or “Do that”, Jesus did it at once out of obedience.
For Jesus and Mary, the relationship is more intimate, so close that Mary becomes a reflection of her Son. After Jesus’s birth, Jesus can already speak, but he speaks only at first to Mary and many years later to Joseph. Jesus continuously instructs Mary on His mission on earth and how Mary becomes part of that mission. Even during Jesus’s public ministry, Mary follows Jesus physically or through a vision. Jesus always introduce his new apostles and disciples to Mary, so that she also becomes their spiritual mother. What Christ suffered from his Agony in the Garden to his Crucifixion, Mary also suffered vicariously, even while only following the Stations of the Cross years after Jesus’s death. Mary gathered the apostles during Pentecost. When the Gospels were being written Mary requested the evangelists to write only as few as possible about her, so that the first Christians will not worship her as God.
- Private Revelations
- St. Elzabeth of Schoenau
- St. Bridget of Sweden
- Venerable Mother Mary of Jesus of Agreda
- Sister Anna Catherine Emmerich
- This Compilation
- St. Ann and St. Joachim
- The Nativity of Mary
- In the Temple
- The Espousals
- Preparation for the Annunciation
- The Annunciation
- The Visitation
- Mary and Joseph in Nazareth
- The Journey to Bethlehem
- The Nativity
- The Adoration of the Shepherds
- The Circumcision
- The Adoration of the Magi
- The Purification
- The Flight to Egypt
- The Holy Family in Egypt
- The Return to Nazareth
- The Boy Jesus in the Temple
- The Hidden Life in Nazareth
- The Death of St. Joseph
- Preparation for the Public Life
- The Wedding at Cana
- Mary During the Public Ministry
- Prelude to the Passion
- Holy Thursday
- The Passion
- The Crucifixion
- The Resurrection
- The Ascension
- Pentecost and the Early Church
- Mary’s Last Years
- The Dormition
- The Assumption and Crowning
In the view of Fr. Joseph A. Mulry (1889-1945), “the most pressing social problem in the Philippines at that time was the agrarian situation in central Luzon and in the province of Negros. In both regions, the ownership of land was limited to a comparatively few landowners, while the vast majority of the population were landless tenants or migrant workers. “
Fr. Mulry’s principles for agrarian reform:
- The person who tills the land should own the land he tills. But to achieve that goal, a gradual process of education is required, which is the dissemination and the inculcation of ideas. Land ownership requires maturity and skill, and both must be acquired gradually.
- Transfer of ownership of land should be effected not only gradually but also voluntarily. There should be no violence or coercion.
- Government must not intervene, for this would only bring in politics and corruption. The land problem must be solved by the private sector acting voluntarily.
Miguel A. Bernad, S.J. “Joseph A Mulry: Founder of Social Justice Movement” in Unusual and Ordinary: Biographical Sketches of Some Philippine Jesuits (Jesuit Communications Foundation, Quezon City, 2006), pp. 105-115. See p. 110.
- Jesuit Communications Foundation
Sonolux Building, Ateneo de Manila University
U.P.P.O. Box 245, 1101 Diliman
Quezon City, Philippines
Tel. No. (02) 426-5971
Fax No. (02) 426-5970
Bro. Francis Mary Kalvelage F. F. I., ed., You Will Make This Known to All My People: 19th Century Apparitions in France–Rue du Bac, La Salette, and Lourdes (Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, Our Lady’s Chapel, New Bedford, MA USA, 1998), 182 pages. Imprimatur by Most Rev. Sean P. O’Malley, OFM Cap., Bishop of Fall River, Mass., USA, 8 Dec 1998, Feast of Immaculate Conception. Preface by Fr. John Hardon S.J.
[Note: There is a new edition by Ignatius Press with an additional shrine of Pontmain (Our Lady of Hope). The new edition is entitled, Marian Shrines of France. This is available in the F.F.I. Immaculate Mediatrix Online bookstore. Price: $12.50. (PROD ID: SMS-MSF007, 198 pp, perfect bound, illustrated.)]
This book is a a collection of essays on the three 19th century apparitions in France: Rue du Bac, La Sallete, Lourdes. But why France?
In modern times, it seems, France has been more a prodigal daughter of the Church than her “Eldest Daughter.” The history of Catholicism in France has been a glorious and turbulent one: at times France has been a great defender of the Church and at other times, her greatest adversary.
Christianity arrived there in the middle of the Second Century in the area around what is now the city of Lyons, at that time a part of the Roman province of Gaul. Its first bishop, Hilary, was martyred but by the middle of the Third Century, there were over 30 bishoprics. Much of this expansion was due no doubt to the first Saint to be canonized other than a martyr, namely the popular St. Martin of Tours. When the Vandals and Franks overran the country, the brought with them the Arian heresy, which caused much confusion and falling away from the Faith. Following the conversion and baptism of King Clovis in 496, the Franks were converted. But it wasn’t until two centuries later that the Christianization of France was completed. From that time on virtually every development and important event revolved around the Catholic Church–through the periods of the Carolingians, feudalism, the Middle Ages and monarchies right up to the Eighteenth Century and the French revolution.
It was that revolution and the bloody persecution of the Church that caused a devastating break between church and state and the introduction of the strictly secular state. This break with the past Christian roots of France was symbolized and made visible in her national flag. For centuries the French flag had the fleurs-de-lis on a blue field. They every symbolized the Christian virtue of purity and the Immaculate Virgin in particular, thus uniting Mary and the Church with French patriotism. The present tricolor was introduced at the time of the French revolution when religion was being exiled from public life. But love and loyalty to the Church could never by taken away from the hearts of Frenchmen. Our Lady saw to that. (pp. 1-2 by the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate)
The book does not only tell the story of the apparitions, but also provides character sketches of seers, the meaning of the message, the subsequent developments, and the testimonials on the miracles. Like a diamond cut in a multitude of facets, this book is a gem.
by Fr. John Hardon, S.J.
Saints and Marian Shrines are gaining in popularity. Thus, the series of Marian Saints and Shrines, of which this book is the third, is well-timed. The present Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, has been criticized for the numerous men and women, clerical and lay, whom he has beatified and canonized in the last two decades, much more than any previous pontiff. Recently, he announced that there will be many more beatifications and canonizations in celebrating the second millennium of Christianity. All of this points to the fact that we are living in extraordinary times. As the saying goes “where evil abounds, good abounds that much more.” St. Louis de Montfort predicted in his great spiritual classic, True Devotion to Mary, “God will raise up great saints towards the end of time,” and these saints will be noted for their true devotion (total consecration) to the Blessed Mother.
In recent decades there has been a diminution of the cult of the saints. One has to but look at the number of lives of the saints, books that have been written in the last thirty years, compared to the previous thirty years. But one can say today that the trend is gradually changing. The series of books on Marian Saints and Shrines published by the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, is one indication to that fact. Ignatius Press, possibly the largest Catholic book distributor in the country, has carried in their catalogues the first two books in this series. The Guadalupe Handbook and St. Therese, Doctor of the Church. They have found that there is a growing market for books of this type.
. . .
Thus again, the vital importance of showing Mary’s presence in our times, in particular through her apparitions and her admonitions at Lourdes, La Salette and other Church-approved apparitions. It is a well-known fact, besides the physical cures at these shrines, there are countless spiritual lepers, or sinners, who have been cleansed and reconciled to God. So I welcome this latest and third in the series of Marian Saints and Shrines. May it increase the number of those who are sincerely striving to become Saints. As Mother Theresa used to say to priests, even at this time of shortage of vocations, “We do not need more priests but holy priests.” That can apply to all of us. For the Church, the Mystical Body of Christ is built up by “little people,” the saints, and will triumph ultimately united to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Part I. From a Historical Perspective
- The Eldest Daughter of the Church is Marian
- Mary, Mother of the Church
- The Ballad and the Message
Part II. Rue du Bac, Paris 1830–Mary’s First Message to the Modern World
- Revelation of the Medal called Miraculous
- The Triple Mission
- Rich Symbolism of the Miraculous
- The Conquest of a Rabid Anti-Catholic
- The “Bullets” Hit the Mark
- The Saint of Silence
Part III. La Sallete, 1846, The Madonna in Tears Appears as the Reconciler of Sinners
- A Mother Weeps for Her Children
- How She Touched the Most Hardened Sinners
- He Skied Into Mary’s Arms
- “. . . The Seventh I Kept for Myself”
- A Cautious “Mother” Investigates
- Why Believe in Private Revelations
- Faithful to Their Mission
- What about the Secret?
- The Lady Gives a Lesson in Theology
- The Ars Incident
Part IV. Lourdes, 1858, The Immaculate Virgin of the Grotto and Her Sainted Seer
- The Lady of the Grotto
- The Brave Little Heroine
- Lady Poverty Finds a Home
- School of Evangelical Penance
- The Penetrating Sweetness of that Smile
- Pope Pius XII Remembers Lourdes
- A Most Astounding Miracle
- “I Met a Miracle”
- Where the Miraculous Confronts the Science-Skeptics
- Interview of Doctor from the International Medical Committee
- Human Interest Side of Medical Bureau
- Two Novelists Went to Lourdes
- The Real Bernadette
- He Wrote About Lourdes and the Immaculate Conception
- The Two Things Go Together
- Guardian and Teacher of the Faith
- She Pushed Back the Germans
- Bernadette Speaks from the Heart
The following information is from the book’s last page (This was still in 1998; the website address is still valid):
Special bulk rates are available with 10% to 60% discount depending on the number of books, plus postage. For ordering books and further information:
Academy of the Immaculate, POB 667, Valatie NY 12184, phone/FAX (518) 758-1584. E-mail Mimike@pipeline.com.
Quotations on bulk rates shipped directly by the box from the printery, contact:
Friars of the Immaculate, P.O. Box 3003, New Bedford, MA 02740, (508) 984-1856, FAX (508) 996-8296, E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, http://www.marymediatrix.com.
The FFI website is Immaculate Mediatrix Online (same address as above). The book may be purchased in their bookstore here.
Here is a tabular list of bookstores for the book “Marian Shrines of France”:
|Immaculate Mediatrix Online
|The Catholic Company||$12.50||softcover||Yes||1-2 business days|
||£ 9.95 (UK)||paperback||Yes|
|All Catholic Books
|EWTN Religious Catalogue
||AUD 25.95||paperback||Yes||1-2 business days|
||£ 24.23 to £ 86.20||Used and new books||Yes|
|The Abbey Shop
Updated: 10 Feb 2009
Just before the mid-eighteenth century, several proposals were made for Philippine trade expansion and diversification and economic development. . . .
The next proposal came in 1753 from the Jesuit procurator Fr. Jose Calvo. He envisioned the formation of a company in Spain in order to exploit the agricultural and mineral possibilities of the Philippines and trade directly with the peninsula. He attributed the country’s underdeveloped state to the existing commercial system, illustrated by the fact that in the 188 years since its conquest not a single hereditary estate had been founded. A start would be made with gold and cinnamon, with additional items to be added by forcing tribute-paying natives to devote a part of their holdings to pepper, cloves, cocoa, and mulberry trees (for silkworm culture). Nutmeg was also mentioned. Silk and cotton weaving would be developed under master craftsmen brought over from China and the Malabar Coast. Aside from the trade and development aspects, the fiscal impact would reduce the need for the situado (subsidy) from Mexico. the route to be taken to Spain would be via Cape Horn. Again, nothing came of this proposal.
Benito J. Legarda, Jr., After the Galleons (Ateneo de Manila University Press, Quezon City, 1999), p. 53.
The Hitherto Unpublished Letters of Jose Rizal and Portions of Fr. Pablo Pastell’s Fourth Letter and Translation of the Correspondence, together with a Historical Background and Theological Critique (Ateneo de Manila University Press, Bellarmine Hall, Katipunan Avenue, Loyola Heights, Quezon City, P.O. Box 154, 1099 Manila, Philippines)
This book tells the story of two brilliant men.
The first is the Philippine National Hero, Dr. Jose Rizal. He was the distinguished poet in the Spanish tongue, the master of Philippine dialects and European languages, the humble devotee of the Virgin Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus, who later became a leader of the Propaganda Movement, the writer of the subversive novels Noli me Tangere and El Filibusterismo, and a member of Freemasonry in London. In short, Jose Rizal was the Spanish poet who became anti-Spain, the Catholic who became anti-Catholic, the student of the Jesuits who made a “shipwreck of Faith.” In 1896 in Bagumbayan in Manila, Jose Rizal was executed for treason against Spain by firing squad. He was thirty-five.
The second is Fr. Pablo Pastells, S.J. He was the student in the Jesuit-run Seminario Conciliar in Barcelona, a refugee in France after the fourth suppression of Jesuits in Spain in 1868, a man in lay clothes running from anticlerical elements after the defeat of Napoleon in the Franco-Prussian war, the priest who organized circulos or worker groups in Europe to the anger of Anarchists. Pastells arrived in the Philippines in 1875. In the middle of the following year he was sent to Ateneo de Manila and became the director of the Sodality of Our Lady. In this capacity and as a prefect of the boarders, he came to know the fourteen year old Rizal. He travelled as a missionary in the Visayan and Mindanao Islands to study the language of the natives. He was appointed Superior of the of the Philippine Mission in 1888, and it was at the end of his term of office that his correspondence with Rizal began. Pastells was sent back again to Spain in 1893 to write about the Spanish Jesuit’s overseas work, resulting to a three-volume history book (1916-1917), and another nine-volume work on the History of the Philippines (1925-1934). In 1932, he died at the age of eighty-six.
* * *
The book is divided into two parts. The first part is an Introduction by Fr. Raul J. Bonoan, S.J., which consists of a historical background and a theological critique.
The historical background is well written and researched, with long footnotes. When Rizal was exiled in Dapitan in Mindanao, Rizal told Fr. Sanchez who tried to bring him back to the Catholic Faith:
It is useless, Father, you do not convince me. I do not believe in the Eucharist or in the rites of the Catholic religion.
But to his mother Rizal wrote (which Fr. Sanchez confirmed):
We heard mass at midnight, for you ought to know that here I hear Mass every Sunday. (Underlining by Rizal.)
I expected these things. But for a physicist, here is a surprising trivia: From Rizal’s friend, Ferdinand Blumentritt, Fr. Federico Faura, S.J., the founder of the Manila Observatory, learned of Blumentritt’s fear that Rizal became a Mason. And Fr. Bonoan continues:
When Fr. Ramon, the rector, and Faura in conversation with their guest raised the question of his religious beliefs, Rizal made protestations of loyalty to Spain but said it was useless to discuss religious matters inasmuch as he had long lost the faith. Whereupon, Faura sternly warned him never again to step into the corridors of the Ateneo if he should persist in his erroneous beliefs, for the Jesuit fathers were breaking all contact with him, and advised him to leave the Philippines for good lest he end up on the scaffold. Rizal remained unmoved.
Fr. Faura correctly predicted the last storm: Rizal was executed, and his death ushered the Philippine Revolution.
Fr. Bonoan’s theological critique of Rizal and Fr. Pastells is also well-written. But reading through his critique, Fr. Bonoan showed more sympathy for Rizal than for Pastells: He upheld Rizal’s primacy of conscience and contrasted Pastell’s Vatican I mindset with the teachings of Vatican II. If you want to know the details, read the book.
But my sympathies are for Pastells. And to him we can quote Fr. Horacio de la Costa’s words:
But look at it another way. Look at it through the eyes of a Spanish friar who found himself a prisoner of the Army of the Revolution. He was the last of a long line of missionaries, stretching back to that great defender of Rights, Fray Domingo de Salazar. They had brought this whole people from primitive tribalism to civilization. They had raised from stones children of Abraham. And in the end, the children had turned on their fathers.
It was not only tragic; it was the very essence of tragedy
–Fr. Horacio de la Costa, “The Priest in the Philippine Life and Society: An Historical View,” in Church and Sacraments, ed. by Ma. Victoria B. Parco (Office of Research and Publications, Ateneo de Manila University, 1990), pp. 192-200.
References to the Correspondence
Part 1. Introduction
Two Separate Paths: Historical Background
- The Young Rizal and the Jesuits
- The European Experiment
- The Shipwreck of Faith
- Pastells and the Spanish Jesuits
- Arrest and Exile
The Clash of Cultures: Theological Critique
- The Enlightenment and the Catholic Response
- Private Judgment
- The Problem of God
Part 2. The Spanish Text of Rizal’s Letters and the Missing Portions of Pastell’s Fourth Letter
The First Letter of Rizal
The Second Letter of Rizal
The Third Letter of Rizal
The Fourth Letter of Rizal
The Fifth Letter of Rizal
Portions of the Pastell’s Fourth Letter Missing in the Epislorio Rizalino
Part 3. Translations of the Correspondence
The First Letter of Rizal
The First Letter of Pastells
The Second Letter of Rizal
The Second Letter of Pastells
The Third Letter of Rizal
The Third Letter of Pastells
The Fourth Letter of Rizal
The Fourth Letter of Pastells
The Fifth Letter of Rizal
In 1542, the first Christian missionaries arrived from Portugal in Japan. The only religious orders that were allowed were the Jesuits, primarily because of the esteem by the Japanese barons (daimyos) for St. Francis Xavier, who reached Japan in 1549. When the Franciscans came, 26 of them were executed in 1597 (Japan Guide). From 1603 to 1867, the Edo Era under the Tokugawa dynasty, the Christians were persecuted. One of these is our first Filipino saint, St. Lorenzo Ruiz, who died in 1637 by hanging in the pit (after his water-filled belly was rolled by a barrel and his fingernails were replaced with needles). His last words were: “Even if I have a thousand lives, I will give them all to God.” Because of failing economy due to protectionism, the Edo Era ended. In the succeeding Meiji Restoration (1868-1912), a constitutional government was made with the emperor as the head. One of the reforms in this restoration is the freedom of religion. At last, Christianity can once again be practiced without fear of persecution.
The Samurai X anime series is situated at the end of the Tokugawa Era and the beginning of the Meiji Restoration. Kenshin Himura, the Battousai or the Slasher, was once an assassin for hire. He mastered the sword style called Hiten Mitsurugi Ryu (Flying Heaven Honorable Sword Style) taught by his teacher, Seijuro. This technique is only handed down from one teacher to one student only, and the final test is for the student to defeat the master using the technique called Amakakeru Ryu no Hirameki. One student who failed in this test is Hyoue. He nearly died. But he lived and taught it to a child prodigy named Shogo Amakusa.
Shogo is a Christian and he saw how his parents died in Shimabara during the Tokugawa persecution. And as he sailed away to escape, looking at the rows of crucified men along the cliff, he vowed to return and defend Christianity. On his return to Shimabara at the age of 24, he styled himself as the “Son of God”, and coincided his coming with the eclipse of the sun. As his boat passed through the waters to Shimabara, the waters burst into flames, forming not the sign of the cross † but the sign of a C and its reflection connected by a horizontal bar: ⊃-⊂.
Shogo and his followers have ceased to be Christians, but their practices have vestiges of Christianity. In the cave they prayed something similar to the Beatitudes: “Blessed are those who love God; He will lead them to God’s country.” This is similar to “Blessed are the meek; they shall inherit the earth.” They have a Mary figure, Shogo’s sister, the Lady Magdalia, the ever-virgin. They also have a church—probably underground—with a single circular stained glass window. The altar is attached to the wall with six candlesticks burning—perfect setting for the traditional latin mass. But they have no priests. This is the law of entropy and devolution: “Leave a village without a priest for fifty years and the people shall worship rocks and trees” (said by the Cure d’Ars, if I am not mistaken). This is what happenned to the Israelites when Moses went to Mt. Sinai to get the Ten Commandments: they made a golden calf and worshiped it as their god and savior. And this is what happened to villagers of Shimabara: they worshiped Shogo as god. (See the trailer here. Note the Christian elements.)
Shogo is an Anti-Christ. Shogo aims to establish a kingdom on earth; Jesus told Pilate that his kingdom does not belong in this world. Shogo blinds a man using his Rai-Ryu Sen; Jesus cures a man born blind. Shogo displays his divinity by his unbelievable swordsmanship; Jesus told Peter to put his sword back. And as a twist of fate, it was the Pagan Kenshin Himura who acted more Christ-like: he read Shogo’s heart and he refused to use his ultimate sword technique of Amakakeru Ryu no Hirameki to defend himself against Shogo, in order that by this deed Shogo will realize that “a sword is not for killing but for protecting people”—Kenshin’s motto (c.f. “to protect what is valuable” as Yeon Soha said in the Shadowless Sword). In his dismay and anger, Shogo punished Kenshin with “a punishment much worse than death: eternal darkness!” And the blinded Kenshin fell from the cliff into the sea. (See the battle between Kenshin and Shogo in here.)
Fr. Horacio de la Costa, S.J.: The Priests Who Brought Christianity to the Philippines Belonged to the Church of the Counter-Reformation
The lowland peoples of the Philippines were converted to Roman Catholic Christianity by priests and brothers of the missionary religious orders which had establishments in Spain in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. They were, in the order of their first arrival in the islands, the Augustinians (1565), the Franciscans (1578), the Jesuits (1581), the Dominicans (1587), and the Augustinian Recollects (1606).
Very few secular priests came to the Philippines during the period of Spanish rule. Those that did serve mostly as cathedral clergy in Manila and Cebu.
In the beginning, the Philippine missonaries were almost all Spaniards born in Spain itself (peninsulares). In the course o the Seventeenth Century they were joined by Spaniard[s] born in the colonies (criollos), andlater still by other Europeans, mostly from the Hapsburg dominions. However, penisular Spaniards constituted the preponderant majority of the Philippine clergy until the very end of Spanish rule.
Thus, the priest who brought Christianity to the Philippines were men who belonged, spiritually, to the church of the Counter-Reformation, intellectually, to the Age of the Baroque.
They were men of the Counter-Reformation Church, the Church that was closing ranks against the novatores, the innovating Protestants of the northern European countries who were challenging the traditional beliefs of Catholics. They were deeply concerned about preserving the ”purity of faith,” by which they meant scripture and tradition as interpreted by medieval scholastics, of whom Saint Thomas Aquinas was prince; the faith as most recently defined by the Council of Trent, and as authoritatively regulated and enforced by the Holy See and the Spanish Inquisition. This was the faith that they meant to preserve intact, and to transmit to those who did not yet have it.
This faith was not only the truth, but the whole truth regarding man’s condition and his ordination to God his Creator. All men are to be persuaded to accept this truth in its totality. If they cannot be persuaded, they they must be compelled—the ”compelle intrare” of the gospel—for otherwise they cannot be saved. Extra ecclesiam nulla salus—there is no salvation outside the church.
This may serve to explain the extreme caution—one might almost say the intransigence—with which the Spanish missionaries who founded our Philippine Christinaity regarded any departure from the religous practices they were used to. Nil innoventur nisi quod traditum est—let there be no innovations, except those handed down by tradition. We may consider this an impracticable, even an inconsisten principle. We must nevertheless try to understand, and to symphatize with it as a principle sincerely held.
The adaptation of Christianity to anon-European culture was not antecedently and entirely excluded. But it was a very limited form of adaptation, whose object seemed to be simply to make Christian belief and practice more palatable to the people being evangelized. There was no real attempt to learn from the alien culture; to seek elements in it which might possibly enrich Christian belief or make Christian worship more meaningful. This was not possible to men of the Counter-Reformation. How could it be? Their reaction to the Protestant revolt was to defend the Roman Catholic tradition in its entirety; to preserve it intact and to transmit it intact, because it was the whole truth about man and God. Any departure from it by a Christian was simply heresy, and whatever pagans believed in was simply error, the vain imaginings of people who ”sit in darkness and the shadow of death.”
Horacio de la Costa, “The priest in the Philippine life and society: an historical view,” in Church and Sacraments, ed. by Ma. Victoria B. Parco, (Department of Theology, Ateneo de Manila University), pp. 192-200. The posted excerpt is pp. 192-193. The original article is from Loyola Papers no. 12 (Manila: Ateneo, CBI, 1980), pp. 4-15.
About the Author:
Reverend Father Horacio de la Costa, S.J. (1916-1970) was the first Filipino Provincial General of the Society of Jesus in the Philippines, and a recognized authority in Philippine and Asian culture and history. (Wikipedia)
Fr. Daniel J. McNamara, S.J. was transferred to Ateneo de Davao University last summer 2008 after spending decades at the Ateneo de Manila University and the Manila Observatory. He celebrated his 50 years as Jesuit last 23 Nov 2007. A tribute was given to him in his 69th birthday last 23 June 2008 and an endowment fund was launched in his honor to fund the studies of a physics major from the province (see p. 14 of the Loyola Schools Bulletin 2008, June-July, vol. 4, no. 1).
To commemorate his departure, I wrote last 12 June 2008 the following piece:
I first met Fr. Dan during the summer of my senior year in physics. It was a cool afternoon but I am sweating. It was difficult to follow his footsteps because he walked in yardsteps. But I caught up with him, at last, in the corner corridor of third floor of Padre Faura Hall.
“Father,” I said, while trying to catch my breath. “I want to learn geometric algebra.”
Fr. Dan looked down at the wide-eyed hobbit awaiting his word. He took a doctor’s prescription paper from his pocket and began his lecture.
“The number i,” he said, “is both an imaginary number and a vector rotator.” He drew a cross, a direction, and an i. He then gave me the paper and left.
The next morning he gave me a book: “Multivectors to Clifford Algebra in Electrodynamics” by Jancewicz.
“This is a good introduction,” he said.
Indeed it is. It took me an hour to understand each equation, a day to read each page, and a month to finish Chapter 0. I skimmed through the other chapters: they are too advanced for me. So I closed the book. With my little background, I then began to read other books and articles on geometric algebra, reading only what I can understand—an equation here, a paragraph there. Tolle lege. Take up and read, as the little angel advised St. Augustine. I toiled. After a year, I finished my thesis on electromagnetic energy-momentum, written in courier font by hand and inserted in a maroon slide folder—there were no binding rules then. That was in 1997.
After college, I don’t know what to do. I was thinking of going to Los Banos to do research in Dr. Muriel’s Institute on Microphysical Fluid Dynamics. When I told Fr. Dan about my plan, he told me that I may learn many things there, but in two years I may not get a degree. He accompanied me to the third floor of Faura—the research office used to be there—and gave me application forms for the Philippine Council for Advanced Science and Technology Research and Development (PCASTRD) scholarship. I was accepted. In two years, I finished my thesis on polarized light—typewritten, double-spaced. But because I did not follow the graduate school style, my manuscript was returned. And from that time I learned how to turn on the computer. That was in 1999.
II. Cambridge Tales
In January of 2001, while I was still teaching at the University of St. La Salle in my hometown in Bacolod City, Fr. Dan emailed me that there is a geometric algebra conference in Cambridge University, England. I sent my manuscript on the Hestenes spacetime algebra for polarized light to the organizers in Cavendish Laboratory. It was accepted.
Fr. Dan sponsored my trip. It was my first international flight, my first international conference. I took a train from the London airport and passed by some square patches of green fields and yellow grain amidst rolling mounds and hills.
“Hobbiton Station,” the train announcer said.
I looked at the window, but I saw no hobbits.
“Maybe they are hiding in holes,” I thought.
I left the train at Cambridge Station and set my first foot on medieval soil. I saw distant castles enshrouded in mist. I passed by King’s College. I walked on Silver Street. I saw churches, lots of churches—strong as stone, tall as towers—glories of once Catholic England. I bumped into one of them, but the sign in the big black door reads: Anglican. I walked farther and found another one: it’s a pub. Across its large glass window stood a statue of an angel holding an empty font, while white men tasted spirits and drained draught. The last church I went to was old and weathered, yet stands still as a proud witness to the centuries past: the Church of St. Mary and the English Martyrs. (Is it the same as the Church of Our Lady and the English Martyrs?) I entered. It was dark and empty.
In the conference I met many creatures great and small. There was Hestenes himself, a large man with full gray beard.
“Are you the guy from the Philippines,” he asked in a deep, gruff voice.
“Yes,” I said. And I shook hands with the giant of geometric algebra.
He was glad that I came. I sent him my M.S. thesis before for his comment and he suggested that I attend this meeting.
There was Baylis of Canada, a thin old man, smaller than I.
“Are you Baylis of Pauli algebra and polarized light?,” I asked.
“O,” he gasped, and his surprised eyes sparkled. “That’s right. That’s right,” he said, and laughed like a little old elf.
And there was Sommen of Belgium, bearded and stocky—strong enough to wield an axe .
“You know,” he said, as he brandished his mug over his protruding belly, “I love to give lectures that make my students sleep.”
In the last evening of the conference, I did not join the farewell party. I felt sleepy. Cambridge summer chilled my bones and British humors cracked my lips. I went to my room and covered myself with four furry blankets. My watch said it’s 8:00 p.m. but the sun refused to sleep. I longed for home.
III. Monk Hobbit
In Summer of 2002, I went back to Ateneo, upon Fr. Dan’s advice. A new Ph.D. in Physics program had just been opened. I entered the doctorate, thinking I will be headed for cloud studies. I worked as graduate assistant for two years, a faculty for three years, a graduate assistant again for another year, and a consultant for a summer to support myself. Under Fr. Dan’s supervision, I was able to write some conference papers, journal articles, and book chapters. But I am not still done with my dissertation. This is already my seventh year. It’s now 2008.
To help me finish fast, Fr. Dan directed me a month ago to my monastery: a bare brick building amidst a field of flowering grass, beside a forest of undying trees, under the loving gaze of heaven, in full view of the setting sun. It is the Manila Observatory’s Ionosphere building, the former office of Fr. Badillo, the little prince of Philippine physics with an asteroid named after him. I now sit on his swivel chair as I count sunrises and sunsets through a lone open window. Behind my desk are stacked some remnants of the bygone years: a large magnifying glass, an aircon turned icemaker, and a 386 computer with 5 ¼ inch floppy drive. A wooden crucifix hangs near the window, on top a dusty portrait of the Sacred Heart. When the window darkens, I know it is night. And I leave.
Fr. Dan is leaving. To where he is going I cannot follow. Hobbits have holes, birds have boughs, but the son of Ignatius has no place to call his home. Forever he is a pilgrim and a priest, in the Company of Jesus, in obedience to the Pope. His mission is universal as the Church is Universal: all peoples, all places, all times. How can the halls of Faura hold him? How can the grass of M. O. bind him? The rule of realms is not his, but worthy souls that are in peril as the world now stands, those are his care. And he shall not wholly fail in his task if anything passes through this night that can still grow fair and bear fruit and flower again in days to come. For he is a steward, too. He is Gandalf. He is Fr. Dan.
Farewell Fr. Dan. You will surely be missed.
Last New Year’s Eve, I was browsing some books at home in Bacolod and I stumbled on a black book with a white cross like the mantle of the Knights Hospitallers of St. John: “Purgatory: Explained by the Lives and Legends of the Saints” by Fr. F. X. Schouppe, S.J. The imprimatur was issued in 1893, so this must be a very old book, though the edition that I have was published by TAN in 1986.
The pocket book is divided into two parts. Part I is the Mystery of God’s Justice. Part II is the Mystery of God’s Mercy. The first part have 41 chapters; the second, 65. But do not let the number of chapters discourage you: each chapter do not exceed 5 pages. And the prints are large like that of Nancy Drew or Hardy Boys. So this 430-page treatise on purgatory is an easy read.
The book opens with fire: “Let him be anathema.” In pages vi to vii, Fr. Shouppe immediately lists down the pertinent Canons of the Council of Trent (1547-1551) regarding Purgatory. For those of us who still plan to set aside the doctrine of Purgatory, the threat of anathema (let him be handed over to Satan) is enough to make us think thrice. (Vatican II, in contrast, was a pastoral council and no anathemas were hurled.)
But despite the anathemas, the book’s writing style is simple, because it was meant to instruct the simple–the children and the child-like. Thus, we should not expect the rigor of proof like that of St. Thomas’s “Summa Theologiae”. Rather, we should read it as if we are reading St. Louis de Montfort’s masterpiece: “The Secret of the Rosary.”
The first sentences of each chapter of the book are usually the main point. The next paragraphs are doctrines, teachings, and stories illustrating such point. The dogmatic doctrines of the church regarding Purgatory must be believed by all Catholics. The teachings of doctors and theologians we may disagree, but it would be ” imprudent, and even rash, to reject them, and it is in the spirit of the church to follow the opinions commonly held by the doctors.” The revelations of saints we may also disbelieve, but since they are authenticated, “we cannot freely reject them without offending against reason; because sound reason demands that all men should give assent to truth when it is sufficiently demonstrated.” These distinctions Fr. Schouppe explained in his Preface.
Today, we have forgotten about sin and the effects of sin on the soul, which must be paid to the last penny either in this age or in the age to come. We have forgotten about our dead relatives who languished long in Purgatory with no one to pray for them. We have forgotten how our little works here on earth, such as as simply abstaining from water between meals, can assuage the suffering of our departed brethren. We have forgotten about the power of the rosary, the scapular, and the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. We have forgotten that we too shall die. And the cure for our forgetfulness? Fr. Schouppe’s “Purgatory.”
This book is a masterpiece.