The Ateneo Dollhouse: an enclave of homosexuals, lesbians, and straights in Ateneo de Manila University

Today I read a copy of the Guidon, the official student publication of the Ateneo de Manila University.  I found an article there entitled, “New Queen Mother aims for buzz, style, and substance.”  Here are some excerpts:

“ANG PAGGAWA ng eksena (creating a buzz)” is newly elected Queen Mother Patch Buenaventura’s goal for the Dollhouse.  Initially comprised of homosexuals, the Dollhouse has become a flamboyant mix of lesbians, homosexuals, and straight males and females.  Their popular hangout, which Buenaventura dubs the “Dollhouse Arena,” is the group of benches beside the Rizal Mini Theater, across Kostka Hall.  The Dollhouse held their annual Miting de Avance and elections on August 7….

This year, in line with the Barbie doll’s 50th anniversary, the Dolhouse celebrated with a Barbie theme.  Candidates and Dollhousers wore bright colors and a lot of hot pink.  They also portrayed different types of Barbie such as Office Rocker Barbie, Ballerina Barbie, and Industrial Barbie….

My main purpose is to make dollhouse more popular–na gumawa ng eksena (to create a buzz),” said Buenaventura.  “I [want] to use my being an attention whore to something more substantive, to the glory of the Dollhouse.” (Guidon Aug 2009, p. 3)….

For [FBuddy] Buenviaje, this “noise” creates awareness for the gay community.  “It’s a shout out that there are really gays in the world and close-minded people should get used to it.”….

Gays and lesbians, said Buenaventura, have always been subject to prejudice and discrimination.  “This way, when we send them out, they’re strong, they could speak up and defend themselves.”  He added that Dollhouse makes the memberes more assertive.  “They have an emotional investment here.”

I think Ateneo de Manila is trying to catch up with Georgetown University, another Jesuit University, who already has a Gay Campus Centre with a Homosexual Director.  The Dollhouse is not still an official center in the Ateneo, but they have claimed a patch of land in Ateneo to be their own and the Administration is not minding them.

But the Gay lobby in Ateneo is making its presence felt in the Ateneo.  You see this in the books published in the Ateneo de Manila University Press, such as Global Divas: Filipino Gay Men in Diaspora (Philippine Edition).  The English and Filipino classes are also permeated with gay and lesbian themes.  This is not surprising, since Danton Remoto, an English professor in Ateneo, is the chairman of Ladlad, the national organization of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Filipinos.  He is running for Senator of the Republic of the Philippines this 2010 elections.

The Dead Jesuits Society: Sodality, Rosary, and Angelus

The dead Jesuits must be turning in their graves–or rather, they look down from the heavens and gaze with sadness at what Ateneo de Manila had become.  Ateneo de Manila, the foremost Jesuit University in the Philippines, was once the bastion of Catholic Faith before the World War II.  It is said that at that time no one can run as the school’s student council president unless he is a member of the Sodality of Our Lady.  But the devotion to our Lady is dying at the Ateneo.  The rosary is now rarely said here: in all my years here in the Ateneo, I can count with my fingers the masses that I have seen that started with a rosary.

When was the last time that a Jesuit priest in Ateneo teaches what the Catechism teaches about homosexuality?

Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.”  they are contrary to the natural law.  They close the sexual act to the gift of life.  They do not prodceed from a genuine affective and sexual complemetarity.  Under no circumstances can they be approved.

The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible.  They do not choose their homosexual condition; for most of them it is a trial.  They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity.  Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided.  These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.

Homosexual persons are called to chastity.  By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinteresed friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, Art. 2357-2359)

I once brought up years ago in the School Forum the removal of the Angelus at 12 nn and 6 pm.  Fr. Danny Huang, S.J., who was the Jesuit provincial at that time, asked who removed it.  Someone said it was a Jesuit who asked it to be removed.  Now, I can hear the the bells of the Church of the Gesu for the Angelus.  But the bells are tiny: they sing beautiful music but they cannot command silence.  And if you are standing in the college area amidst the noise of the students, you won’t hear the bells.  Maybe it is time to ring the heritage bells from the Old Ateneo de Manila Campus in Padre Faura for the Angelus.  It is time to ring the bells.


Fr. Danny Huang, S.J. on the Death of Fr. Thomas H. Green, S.J. (1932-2009)

Remembering Tom Green
(March 19, 1932 – March 13, 2009)

When I woke up this morning, I was shocked to discover—from Facebook updates, of all things—that Fr. Tom Green had passed away. I had known, of course, that he was sick; but the suddenness of his passing away still came as a sad surprise.

Soon after I had texted my condolences, the present Rector of San Jose Seminary, Vic de Jesus, kindly called me up long distance to inform me of the details of Tom’s passing: how Tom had come home from the hospital last night; how one of the seminarians had peeked into his room this morning and found him sitting in his chair, with his pipe on his chest. He went very quickly, which is a real mercy.

I first met Tom Green thirty years ago. In my senior year at the Ateneo, school year 1979-80, I was in Fr. Green’s philosophy of language class. It was a wonderful course, and thirty years later, the fact that I can still remember so much—of the logical positivists, of Wittgenstein, that language is inescapably metaphorical, that some concepts are essentially contested—is surely testimony to the outstanding clarity and excellence of Fr. Green’s teaching.

My second encounter with Fr. Green was through his books. Opening to God, which I read twice—once as a college student, and more seriously, as a novice in the Society—was a deeply influential book in my life. I don’t think it is an exaggeration to say that it taught me how to pray. I read all his other books too, but my personal favorite, the book which I think is his best and wisest, is When the Wells Run Dry.

Two key insights from that book have remained with me through the decades. The first insight: that darkness happens, not just in prayer, but in life, to move us, in his words, from “loving to truly loving.” I still recall, more or less accurately, a sentence from the book, in which he reflects on a married couple’s promise to love each other “for better or worse”: “The better, the good times are there to teach us the joy of loving; the worse happens to teach us to love truly.”

The second insight: at the end of the book, Fr. Green uses the image of floating (as contrasted with swimming) as a metaphor for the mature life of faith. You give up control over your life (“swimming”); you remain active (otherwise you would sink), but you allow yourself to be led; you let go and entrust yourself to the unpredictable flow of the sea of love that surrounds you, and you let it take you where it wills.

My third and most lasting encounter with Tom Green happened in the eight years, from 1996 to 2004, when we lived together in the same community and worked on the same formation team in San Jose Seminary. At that time, we were also co-faculty members of Loyola School of Theology. From 2000 to 2004, the years I served as Rector of San Jose, Fr. Green was my Vice-Rector. He had the room right above mine in those years.

For eight years, we shared meals and attended many staff meetings together. With the rest of the Jesuit team, we processed hundreds of applications to the Seminary; sat through hours of semestral and yearly evaluations of seminarians; discussed and occasionally argued over Seminary policies. Almost every Monday evening, for eight years, we had common prayer together in the BVM chapel on the third floor of San Jose, and after prayer, shared a special meal in the Jesuit community recreation room.

When you live that long with another Jesuit, you get to know him quite well. I got to know about Tom Green’s legendary regularity of life. He followed the same schedule or cycles almost every day, every week, every year. If it was 130 PM, he could invariably be found in his rocking chair on the fifth floor reading the papers. If it was the third (I forget which, actually) Sunday of the month, he would have Mass in Balara or for the L’Arche community. If it was summer vacation, then he would be giving a retreat somewhere in the United States. And woe to you, if you moved that rocking chair, as one unwitting minister did!

I remember pleasant and witty Jesuit banter from those rec-room meals involving Tom Green. Once, Roque Ferriols was talking about Jesuit Bishop Honesto “Onie” Pacana, but kept on referring to him as “Honey Pacana.” The rest of us—Art Borja was there, I remember—corrected Fr. Roque and told him that the bishop’s nickname was pronounced “Onie” not “Honey.” When Roque said that he had always thought the bishop’s nickname was “Honey,” Tom Green quipped in a deadpan way: “Oh, I thought you were just close.” That brought the house down.

Tom was not perfect, I discovered. (His devoted lay friends, “the Golden Girls,” who took such good care of him, also knew that.) He tended to want things his way. He got cross and cranky when things did not go the way he wanted them to. He could express his opinions a bit too dogmatically. He did not admit his mistakes easily.

And yet, I appreciated his presence in the community and on the Seminary formation team. He was a very generous (he had so many directees!) and wise spiritual director. He was a man of very good and balanced judgment where persons were concerned, and I always valued his perceptions of applicants or seminarians. When I consulted him as Vice-Rector on issues of the Seminary, I usually received very sensible counsel.

By the time I got to San Jose, Tom was a grandfather figure to the seminarians, and his cheerful and easy manner of dealing with them, and the personal witness he gave of a man who had grown old—and happily so—in the priesthood was something, I think, of inestimable value for San Jose. Having been part of San Jose for over three decades, he had become for generations of Josefinos, an icon, a living link between the past and the present, a symbol of their happy years in the Seminary. With Tom’s passing away, an era in the history of San Jose comes to an end, a presence that cannot be replaced has been lost forever…

In all my years as Rector and as Provincial, Tom always told me that he hoped he could die in San Jose. He got his wish. I am glad for him. Now, I trust that he is in the presence of the One whom he wrote about, spoke about and served so faithfully and generously for so many years. Now, I trust the darkness has become light for him, and, with a joy no words can describe, he can let go and, at last, float.

FR. THOMAS H. GREEN, S. J. died on Friday morning, March 13, at San Jose Seminary. Fr. Tom would have been 77 on Thursday. He entered the Society on 7 September 1949 and was ordained a priest on 19 June 1963. Requiescat in pace.

San Jose Seminary Chapel
Ateneo de Manila University
Loyola Heights, Q.C.
Daily wake Masses will be celebrated at 8:00 p.m.

Funeral Mass:
Thursday, 19 March at 8:00 a.m.
University Church of the Gesù, Ateneo de Manila University

Sacred Heart Novitiate Cemetery
Novaliches, Quezon City
immediately after the Funeral Mass

Source: The Philippine Jesuits

Fr. Danny Huang, S.J. on the Death of Fr. Miguel Bernad, S.J. (1917-2009)

I woke up this morning to the sad news of yet another senior Jesuit of legendary stature passing away. Fr. Miguel Bernad died today in Cagayan de Oro at the age of 91.

I had the privilege of living with Fr. Mike when I was regent in Xavier University, from 1983 to 85. I know he had his flaws, as we all do; but he was always kind to me, and always, very thoughtfully, sent me his annual Christmas card and new issues of Kinaadman, the journal he had founded at Xavier U.

In his honor, I share this speech I gave in December 2007, at Xavier University, on the occasion of the conferment on Fr. Bernad of an honorary doctorate.

I hope you will not mind if I speak somewhat personally. I am proud to say that I was a student of Fr. Bernad. Twenty five years ago, when I was a Jesuit junior, I asked for and was granted permission to enroll in a Shakespeare course Fr. Bernad was teaching at the Ateneo de Manila. This was the first time I got to know Fr. Bernad “up close and personal,” as they say. He was a marvelous teacher, leading us to depth of insight, and helping us appreciate the greatness of Shakespeare’s poetry by his own dramatic readings of excerpts from the plays. Dr. Edna Manlapaz used to ask me, “How was last night’s performance?” –referring to those famous dramatic readings of Fr. Bernad! I also came to realize that Fr. Bernad is a man of excellent judgment, because, at the end of the semester, he gave me an “A”!

From that time on, Fr. Bernad has continued to influence me. Let me just mention three points of influence. First, as a scholastic, I tried to read any book of Fr. Bernad that I came across, first of all because of the beauty of his writing. Whether reading The Lights of Broadway and other Essays, or Tradition and Discontinuity, I found myself in constant admiration of what I can best describe as Fr. Bernad’s “chaste prose”. This was writing that was deceptively simple, even spare, without a single superfluous word, but utterly clear and always elegant, graceful, persuasive.

Second, in 1988, during my first year as a priest and on my first assignment as assistant parish priest in Ipil, Zamboanga del Sur, I read Fr. Bernad’s slim volume entited Rizal and Spain. That book’s discussion of Rizal’s life and activities in Dapitan during his time of exile there helped “save my life” that first difficult year of priesthood. I was a Manila boy, and had never been assigned to as rural, as lonely and culturally unfamiliar a place as Ipil. Reading Fr. Bernad’s descriptions of how Rizal redeemed his time of exile in Dapitan with many and varied projects in the service of the people of Mindanao inspired and challenged me to overcome my self-absorption and to aspire to imitate the spirit, if not the achievement, of Rizal.

Finally, in 2001, when I was Rector of San Jose Seminary as the seminary was preparing to celebrate its 400th year of existence, I invited Fr. Bernad to give a lecture on the history of San Jose. His lecture was a model of impeccable historical research. But in the space of an hour or so, Fr. Bernad also captured the color and drama of 400 years. He opened our imaginations, expanded our vision, helped us glimpse past identity and future possibility. For many of us, Fr. Bernad’s lecture was the highlight of our quadricentennial celebration.

I have taxed your patience with my personal testimony of Fr. Bernad’s influence in my life as a way of making more concrete my sense of the fittingness of this historic honor being bestowed on him. When Fr. Samson first broached the idea at the Board meeting of the Ateneo de Davao, and when his initial idea was enthusiastically received and amplified by the Presidents of the Ateneo de Zamboanga and Xavier University, I also gave my full support. At that time, it seemed to me a most appropriate way of honoring an eminent Jesuit scholar.

Fr. Miguel A. Bernad, S. J. died on15 March, around midday in Maria Reyna Hospital, Cagayan de Oro City. He started feeling unwell in late morning, and was brought to the hospital with low blood pressure. The heart was just too weak and he went home to the Lord at about 1:00 p.m. Fr. Bernad, 91, entered the Society 7 June 1932 and was ordained a priest 24 March 1946. Requiescat in pace.

Chapel of the Immaculate Conception, Xavier University
Cagayan de Oro City
Mass will be celebrated each evening at 8:00 p.m.

Funeral Mass:
Wednesday, 18 March at 9:00 a.m.
Chapel of the Immaculate Conception, Xavier University

Manresa Jesuit Cemetery
immediately after the Funeral Mass

Source: The Philippine Jesuits