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)

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Six Filipino Jesuits to be Ordained as Priests on 4 April 2009 at the Church of Gesu in Ateneo de Manila University

As a priest is ordained he is entrusted with a chalice and a paten–the vessels he will use in the celebration of the Eucharist.  “Accept from the holy people of God the gifts to be offered to Him.  Know what you are doing, and imitate the mystery you celebrate: model your life on the mystery of the Lord’s cross.”

The Society of Jesus invites you to the Ordination to the Priesthood of Xavier C. Alpasa, S.J., Francis D. Alvarez, S.J.,  Jason K. Dy, S.J., Oliver G. Dy, S.J., Frank Dennis B.  Savadera, S.J., and Antonio Roberto de G. Sian S.J., on 4 April 2009 at 8:30 a.m. at the Church of the Gesu, Ateneo de Manila University, Loyola Heights, Quezon City, with Most Rev. Luis Antonio G. Tagle, D.D., Bishop of Imus, as Ordaining Prelate.

At present there are 72 young jesuits who are preparing for ordination.  If you would like to help support their priestly formation, write to Mission de la Compania de Jesus.

source: http://www.jesuits.ph/priesthood/index.html

Thanks to Rev. Oliver Dy, S.J. for the invitation.  Ody and I were classmates in the B.S. in Physics program of the Ateneo de Manila University. When we were still in college working in the electronics laboratory, one person entered the lab and Ody said his most unforgettable line: “Welcome to Hell!”  Ody and I usually cross each other at the Ateneo and chat for a minute or two.  I attended his ordination as Deacon last year.  I am glad I can attend his ordination to the Priesthood this year.

I also know Rev. Francis Alvarez, S.J.  We were both members of the Ateneo Honor Guards.  Francis succeeded me as the Flight Leader of the Honor Guards Alpha.  Francis was also our Batch Valedictorian.  In his commencement speech, he talked about the “leap into the unknown” or in the Filipino translation of the venerable Padre Roque Ferriols, S.J., “Lundagin mo, baby!”  Into the unknown Fracis leaped and became a Jesuit.

Original Sin and Darwinian Evolution: Luis Gonzalez-Carvajal Santabarbara vs the Catechism of the Catholic Church

I was reading a book by Luis Gonzalez-Carvajal Santabarbara entitled This is Our Faith: Theology for College Students, translated from the 16th Spanish Edition by Jesus Vazquez (Claretian Publications, Quezon City, 2005).  The first chapter on Original Sin made me squirm on my seat.

I

Gonzalez denies the historicity of Adam and Eve and the transmission of Original Sin to their descendants:

In the first place, considering the modern sense of justice, it seems unacceptable that a sin committed at the dawn of humanind could be inherited by those born a million years later.  Divine justice would come off badly if, in effect, we had to share the responsibility for an action that we neither committed nor could have avoided…

Paleontology also poses very serious objections.  At which stage of evolution should we place the first couple…. As for their intelligence, why speak at all?  After Darwin, it seems impossible to assert that the first humans were more perfect than the present ones.

And the worst of it is that it is also difficult to speak of a “unique” first couple, because predictably the biological unity that evolved was not an individual, but a “community”.  Today the monogenetic hypothesishas lost ground to the polygenetic hypothesis.  And this poses new problems to the dogma of original sin.  If there were more than one original couple, which one had sinned?  If mind had, just my bad luck.  Otherwise, it’s another person’s….

In the light of new data offered by science, what we should then do is to try to reformulate the dogma of original sin, which has its place in a border zone between theology and human sciences. (pp 2-3)

Being born with “original sin” does not mean that the sin committed y Adam is imputed to us but that the consequences of his sin affect us.  We recall the personal guilt cannot be transmitted. (p. 11)

However if redemption could be spread to all without any single person descending physically from Christ the Redeemer, there is no reason to think that the propensity to evil could only be transmitted through physical generation. (p. 11)

As for physical death, we should assume that it would have existed just the same even if original sin had not taken place. Animals also die and they have not sinned. (p. 12)

The message of original sin can be summed up thus: in the world and in our heart a greater amount of evil resides than what we expect, taking into account the ill will of humankind. (p. 13)

II

Against the theological speculations of Gonzalez, the Catechism of the Catholic Church is clear that Adam and Eve are really our first parents and they committed the first sin:

The account of the fall in Genesis 3 uses figurative language, but affirms a primeval event, a deed that took place at the beginning of the history of man.  Revelation gives us the certainty of faith that the whole of human history is marked by the original fault freely committed by our first parents. (Art. 390)

What are the consequences of Adam’s Sin for humanity?  The Catechism continues:

Following St. Paul, the Church as always taught that the overwhelming misery which oppresses men and their inclination toward evil and death cannot be understood apart from their connection with Adam’s sin and the fact that he has transmitted to us a sin with which we are all born afflicted, a sin which is the “death of the soul.”  Because of this certainty of faith, the Church baptizes for the remission of sins even tiny infants who have not committed personal sin. (Art. 403)

How did the sin of Adam become the sin of all his descendants?  The whole human race is in Adam “as one body of one man.”  By this “unity of the human race” all men are implicated in Adam’s sin, as all are implicated in Christ’s justice.  Still, the transmission of original sin is a mystery that we cannot fully understand. But we do know by Revelation that Adam had received original holiness and justice not for himself alone, but for all human nature.  By yielding to the tempter, Adam and Eve commited a personal sin, but this sin affected the human nature that they would then transmit in a fallen state.  It is a sin which will be transmitted by propagation to all mankind, that is, by the transmission of a human nature deprived of original holiness and justice.  And that is why original sin is called “sin” only in an analogical sense: it is a sin “contracted” and not “committed”–a state and not an act. (Art. 404)

Although it is proper to each individual, original sin does not have the character of a personal faulty in any of Adam’s descendants.  It is a deprivation of original holiness and justice, but human nature has not been totally corrupted; it is wounded in the natural powers proper to it; subject to ignorance, suffering, and the dominion of death; and inclined to sin–an inclination to evil that is called “concupiscence.”  Baptism, by imparting the life of Christ’s grace, erases original sin and turns a man back toward God, but the consequences for nature, weakened and inclined to evil, persists in man and summon him to spiritual battle. (Art. 405)

Thus, Gonzalez’s theological treatment of Original Sin is not Catholic.

Mass with Morning Prayers with the Dominican Friars at the Santissimo Rosario Parish Church inside University of Santo Tomas

Last Saturday, my friend invited me to a 6:00 a.m. mass at the Santissimo Rosario Parish Church inside University of Santo Tomas.  It was convenient for her since she mostly lives near UST.  For me, since I live in Makati, it was an adventure.

I woke up at 4:30 a.m.   I took a bus along EDSA to Cubao.  At the end of the EDSA-Aurora intersection, I took an Espana jeep to UST for Php 13.  It is early morning.  There is no traffic.

The UST is a beautiful campus with grand colonial spanish buildings.  I entered the main gate and passed the Arch of the Centuries.  The road is flanked by many trees.  I see joggers everywehere.  I asked one of them where the church is.

“Straight ahead, then turn left,” she replied.

The church is raised a few steps above the ground.  The lighted cylindrical roof appears cloud-white, bright and luminous, and supported by columns topped with ornate leaves.  The style appears classical but subdued by the simplicity of geometrical forms of lines, triangles, and squares.  But on the altar, the roof is hemispherical or polyhedral.

What captured my attention is the larger-than-life statue in the altar wall:  the statue of a crucified Christ framed with a triangular arch.  On the left of the Altar is a statue of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary.  On the right is that of St. Thomas Aquinas.

I looked around.  There were about a hundred parishioners seated.  I saw my friend on the left side of the aisle.  She wore a white T-shirt and a black jogging pants.  I went to her and sat.

The Dominican friars are coming to the altar one by one, sitting at the back of the altar, while facing the people.  This is the first time that I saw these mendicant monks in their white habits.  They were unhooded and their fifteen-mystery rosary is tucked at their sides like swords dangling on their black chastity belts.  If you are a demon, these Dominicans are terrifying to behold.  St. Dominic once placed a rosary around a posessed heretic and he commanded the demons to testify to the power of the rosary and the power of Mary.  After their ordeal, the demons left the man in the form of red hot coals.  If these Dominicans would go out to the world in this war gear and preach the Catholic Faith once again, what a havoc they will wreak to Lucifer’s kingdom.  They have annihilated the Albigensian heresy in centuries past; they can surely annihilate all new heresies of the modern age.  With the rosary.  With Mary.

It is the custom for Dominicans to say the breviary as a community; the Jesuits, being the Catholic Church’s rapid deployment missionary force, are dispensed from this rule.  So after the Angelus was said by a lady, two  Dominican friars went to the lecterns on each side of the altar.  They represent the left and right choirs.  In centuries past, I can imagine these two choirs seated facing each other with no microphones, their voices echoing in the church walls, piercing the very dome of the heavens, shaking the foundations of the world.

It appears that past animosities between Dominicans and Jesuits are gone.  Decades ago, the Dominicans proposed that Our Lady of the Holy Rosary of La Naval be the Patron of the Philippine Islands, in commemoration to the victory of the Spanish-Filipino naval forces over Dutch forces.  The Jesuits were in uproar: Our Lady of the Immaculate Concepcion, the Patron of Ateneo de Manila University, was already the patron of the Philippine Islands, because the United States of America is under Mary’s patronage under this title, and Philippines was at that time a colony of the United States.  Until today, the Jesuits in Ateneo still continue the hallowed tradition of giving out Miraculous Medals with blue ribbons every October.  The Miraculous Medal contains the image of the Immaculate Concepcion.

Risk Compensation or Behavioral Disinhibition: Why Condom Use Increases Chances of AIDS Infection in Africa–Dr. Edward Green of Harvard University

Senior Harvard Research Scientist for AIDS Prevention, Dr. Edward Green, who is the author of five books, including “Rethinking AIDS Prevention: Learning from Successes in Developing Countries” discussed his support for Pope Benedict XVI’s comments with CNA.

According to Dr. Green, science is finding that the media is actually on the wrong side of the issue. In fact, Green says that not only do condoms not work, but that they may be “exacerbating the problem” in Africa.

“Theoretically, condoms ought to work,” he explained to CNA, “and theoretically, some condom use ought to be better than no condom use, but that’s theoretically.”

Condom proponents often cite the lack of condom education as the main culprit for higher AIDS rates in Africa but Green disagrees.

After spending 25 years promoting condoms for family planning purposes in Africa, he insists that he’s quite familiar with condom promotion. Yet, he claims that “anyone who worked in family planning knew that if you needed to prevent a pregnancy, say the woman will die, you don’t recommend a condom.”

Green recalls that when the AIDS epidemic hit Africa, the “Industry” began using AIDS as a “dual purpose” marketing strategy to get more funding for condom distribution. This, he claims, effectively took “something that was a 2nd or 3rd grade device for avoiding unwanted pregnancies” and turned it into the “best weapon we [had] against AIDS.”

The accepted wisdom in the scientific community, explained Green, is that condoms lower the HIV infection rate, but after numerous studies, researchers have found the opposite to be true. “We just cannot find an association between more condom use and lower HIV reduction rates” in Africa.

Dr. Green found that part of the elusive reason is a phenomenon known as risk compensation or behavioral disinhibition.

“[Risk compensation] is the idea that if somebody is using a certain technology to reduce risk, a phenomenon actually occurs where people are willing to take on greater risk.” The idea can be related to someone that puts on sun block and is willing to stay out in the sun longer because they have added protection. In this case, however, the greater risk is sexual. Because people are willing take on more risk, they may “disproportionally erase” the benefits of condom use, Green said.

Full Article Here:
Harvard Researcher agrees with Pope on condoms in Africa” (Catholic News Agency, Cambridge, Mass., 21 March 2009)

A hobbit thanks to Fr. Z of What does the prayer really say?

Philippine Knights of Columbus Organized Nationwide Rallies Against the Reproductive Health Bill

by Roy Lagarde

MANILA, March 21, 2009—As the battle over a ground-breaking reproductive health (RH) bill is heating up, thousands of people across the county protested its passage in simultaneous rallies held Saturday.

“No to abortion!” chanted some participants of “Walk for Life” in Tacloban City, some carrying placards. “We value life,” others answered.

“Reject RH bill!”

“Now!”

In Manila, opponents of the pending bill strongly disagreed on what its proponents will bring to the country. Church and lay leaders told the hundreds who attended the rally that lawmakers backing the proposed measure support a “culture of death.” Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) president Archbishop Angel Lagdameo called on the faithful not to waver in their faith, prayers and activities to block the passage of the bill.

“We should advocate responsible and ethical population management and family planning,” Lagdameo said in his statement read by Cubao Bishop Honesto Ongtioco.  “We oppose and shall oppose together with our people any law of the state that violate the conscience of the people and the supreme law of God about life and morality,” he said.

Culture of death

Saturday’s rally at the Bonifacio Shrine in Manila was the first of its kind held in the country organized by the Knights of Columbus (KC) Philippines, the largest fraternal organization of Catholic men. The rally was preceded by a mass held at the San Agustin Church presided by Bishop Ongtioco, who also served as KC’s Luzon State chaplain.

In his homily, the bishop said chided lawmakers pushing for RH bill which seeks to promote the use of contraceptives in family planning such as condoms and pills and to control the country’s population. He said that it’s evident that the main problem is not the population but the greed of the people which results to corruption and hoarding of supplies.

“The problem is not in population but wrong appropriation of budget and sharing of resources,” he said.

Ongtioco said that reproductive health and family planning must be founded from the perspective of values. But because of “selfishness,” he said, instead of promoting life, some people and groups promote the “culture of death—death of what true happiness, joy, peace and all the good things we ling to have.”

“As concerned citizens and responsible Christians we seek to promote the culture of life for it is important for the future of humanity,” the bishop said.

Mayor Lim joins protests

After the mass, KC members marched along M. Orosa-TM Kalaw-Taft Avenue route until they reached the Bonifacio Shrine near Manila City Hall. They were also joined by Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim. In his speech, Lim said he too is against the passage of the RH bill. He assured the crowd that the City of Manila is pro-life. And if in case the bill would become a law, he said that his administration will not follow its provision wherein the local government units will buy contraceptives using taxpayers’ money.

Surveys

One of the speakers, Msgr. Pedro Quitorio cautioned the rallyists to go easy with the surveys that always post the assumption that majority of Filipinos are for the passage of the Reproductive Health Bill which is anti-life.

“The empirical truth is that during the last elections, the most number of votes was garnered by the pro-life partylist “Buhay,” that took the highest number of seats in the House. On the other hand those that were openly anti-life, did not get peoples votes,” Quitorio said.

For her part, Human Life International-Asia Director Dr. Ligaya Acosta said that the Reproductive Health Bill is not about health. She encouraged Catholics to firmly make a stand against life.

“If we are Catholics we cannot be pro-choice,” she said.

Simultaneous

Protests have also been held in several Luzon areas, including San Pablo (Laguna), San Fernando (Pampanga), Cabatuan City, Isabela (Isabela), Tuguegarao City and Naga City. The rally in Cebu City was led by Cebu Archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal. Davao Archbishop Fernando Capalla also spearheaded the rally in Davao City attended by various KC Councils in Mindanao.

Natural birth control

Among the bill’s objectives is to provide government-funded family planning, contraceptives, and sex education for youth. Backers of the bill said it’s needed to prevent illegal abortions and help curb poverty by addressing overpopulation. But the church sees artificial birth control as immoral and has long foiled any efforts to provide government funding for such methods. The Catholic Church only supports “natural” birth control, such as the “rhythm method,” by which women avoid having sex on the most fertile days of their monthly cycle.

Source: Roy Lagarde, “RH bill rallies stretch across nation” in CBCP News (Manila, 21 March 2009)

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.

Book Review

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.

CONTENTS

Foreword

Introduction

  1. Private Revelations
  2. St. Elzabeth of Schoenau
  3. St. Bridget of Sweden
  4. Venerable Mother Mary of Jesus of Agreda
  5. Sister Anna Catherine Emmerich
  6. Summary
  7. This Compilation

Chapters

  1. St. Ann and St. Joachim
  2. The Nativity of Mary
  3. Infancy
  4. Presentation
  5. In the Temple
  6. The Espousals
  7. Preparation for the Annunciation
  8. The Annunciation
  9. The Visitation
  10. Trials
  11. Mary and Joseph in Nazareth
  12. The Journey to Bethlehem
  13. The Nativity
  14. The Adoration of the Shepherds
  15. The Circumcision
  16. The Adoration of the Magi
  17. The Purification
  18. The Flight to Egypt
  19. The Holy Family in Egypt
  20. The Return to Nazareth
  21. The Boy Jesus in the Temple
  22. The Hidden Life in Nazareth
  23. The Death of St. Joseph
  24. Preparation for the Public Life
  25. The Wedding at Cana
  26. Mary During the Public Ministry
  27. Judas
  28. Prelude to the Passion
  29. Holy Thursday
  30. The Passion
  31. The Crucifixion
  32. The Resurrection
  33. The Ascension
  34. Pentecost and the Early Church
  35. Mary’s Last Years
  36. The Dormition
  37. The Assumption and Crowning

Bibliography