Fr. Jett Villarin, SJ’s welcome message as the new President of Ateneo de Manila University
June 4, 2011 2 Comments
Below is my transcription of Fr. Jett’s welcome message as shown in this You Tube video.
Let me welcome everyone to this new school year. I am glad to be back. I came from Mindanao. But now that this is my new mission, I look forward to serving you, to serving this nation through the Ateneo. I’d like to welcome our new students, especially our freshmen. I go with you in needing to be familiarized again with the Ateneo.
What woulde excite me of course is this possibility that we will continue to rebuild this nation, our people. The Ateneo has always been instrumental in the life of this nation. And therefore, I will continue what Fr. Ben has started. This has been embodied those three themes of the sesquicentennial: celebrating excellence, deepening spirituality, and building the nation. I hope that we will put together…I am hopeful and that is not just a function of youth. I think this is an opportunity to make lasting change and we should not miss it. We should seize this opportunity. Many of our alumni are now in positions of power, of leadership. We can make a difference. I am sure that—I know that this will take several administrations, but change is on the way. And therefore let us be open to change as well. I hope that the Ateneo can truly make a difference in the lives of our people, especially our poor.
This is the place where I learned to dream, to dream of greater things, to do greater things. I honestly believe this is the place where heroes are made, where our heroic desires are nurtured. And so I plan to just build that environment and continue to nurture those great dreams for ourserlves, for our people, and as we say, for the greater glory of God. I also believe that this is not just ours. This is not mine. This is God’s. And so God himself has a stake in what happens to this great institution. So I’ll also pray that we will cooperate, we will be open to His action in us and in the world.
So my wish right now—well, what I’ll do is I’ll be listening and I will try to meet you as best as I can, as often as I can, to listen to you, to listen to your dreams and your desires as well [….] I hope to discern some patterns. And at some point we will initiate some change. And I hope you will be open to change, because this change is good and it would be for the better. As we say in magis, Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam, we’ll never settle for what is merely good, for what is merely mediocre. Tomorrow will always be better and we will give what is better.
So Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam. And welcome!