Ateneo de Manila University Sesquicentennial: Deepening Spirituality or Deepening Catholic Identity?
September 14, 2009 Leave a comment
This year, 2009, the Ateneo de Manila University is celebrating its sesquicentennial or 150th founding anniversary. The Ateneo de Manila University began in the year 1859, when Spanish Jesuits established the Escuela Municipal de Manila, a public primary school established in Intramuros for the city of Manila (ateneo150.multiply.com/journal). The count-down to the sesquicentennial began three years ago with the following themes:
- CELEBRATING EXCELLENCE
Commemorating a passion for excellence and challenging students to develop their gifts and to be the best that they can be.
- DEEPENING SPIRITUALITY
Nurturing Ignatian spirituality: Discovering and responding to Christ’s call and finding God in all things.
- BUILDING THE NATION
To be men and women and professionals for others in the building up of our nation
I have some reservations about the second theme: Deepening Spirituality. Without the description “Nurturing Ignatian spirituality: Discovering and responding to Christ’s call and finding God in all things,” I could never understand what the phrase Deepening Spirituality is. There are many spiritualities: Buddhist, Muslim, New Age, Pagan, Christian. There are many Christian spiritualities: Protestant, Orthodox, Catholic. There are many Catholic spiritualities: Benedictine, Dominican, Salesian, Lasallian, Ignatian.
Because of this vagueness of the word Spirituality, it is better to replace it by a more precise word. Catholicity would be better. Or Catholic Identity. Since Ateneo is a Jesuit university, it immediately follows that the way to strengthening Catholic Identity is the Ignatian way. And I would like to define this way as what Ignatius himself defines it in his Rules for Thinking, Judging, and Feeling with the Church.