Jose Rizal as a student in Ateneo de Manila and prefect of the Sodality of Our Lady

by Fr. Victor Badillo, S.J.

When the Jesuits returned to the Philippines in 1859, their mission was to work in Mindanao.  They were persuaded by the City of Manila to run the Escuela Municipal de Manila, a public primary school.  The school was renamed Ateneo when it began offering secondary education in 1865. Incidentally, they also started a second school, the Escuela Normal, to train teachers for the public schools.

In the beginning, the Ateneo accepted only Filipinos (Spaniards born in the Philippines).  Later they accepted also Indios.  One such was Jose Protacio Mercado.  But he enrolled under the name Jose Protacio Rizal, at the advice of his family.  He had to dissociate himself from his brother, Paciano Mercado, who had gained notoriety with the authorities with his links to priests who had been sentence to death as subversives.

1872, the year Jose Rizal enrolled when he was 11, was a fateful year.  That year Frs. Gomez, Burgos and Zamora were executed for complicity in the Cavite mutiny.  It so affected him that later he said, “I would have been a Jesuit today, if I had not vowed to continue the fight of those priests.”

He was quite affected that he, an Indio, 11 years old was addressed
Usted (thou), and not tu (you), by older Spanish Jesuits. He and his elders had always been addressed by the degrading tu, In Tagalog, Ikaw (you singular). Ustedwas equivalent to kayo (you plural) or even siya or sila (he or they).  No wonder he loved them. Today’s Filipino Jesuits do not know usted but they never time of praising Ateneans.  And the poor boys believe them!  Who can blame them?  A little girl carried by her mother, on hearing a visitor say, ”What a beautiful girl.” beamed, “More. More.”

At first, he boarded in the houses in Intramuros or with relatives on his
mother’s side.  He was free to do what he wanted, socializing etc.  But he
decided to enroll as a boarder, knowing what this meant.  A restricted life, regulated by bells, telling when to eat, when to rest, when to study.  In the study room, he could get free help and individual tutoring from Jesuits prefects.  He learned how to concentrate, to compete against himself.

Because knew how to utilize ad lib (free) time, he did not waste time.  By
being bound, he became free, free of laziness, of bad habits.  He became the Filipino he expected others to be before demanding independence. He lived it.  By this he became free to free others.  By living a disciplined life, he could do many things.  He enrolled in two schools, even three schools in Spain, at one time and excelled in them.

As a sodalist he was expected to do mental prayer at least fifteen minute each day.  Prayer was not just an exercise.  It meant contact with the divine.  It meant knowing Jesus and imitating him.  It meant being challenged to fight for the King and not to count the cost.  By his performance, he became a Prefect of the Sodality.

Jesuit pedagogy was pauca praecepta, multa exempla, plurima exercitation  (few rules, many examples, numberless exercise).  And cura personalis(individualized attention).

In liberal education, he met the best thinkers and was inspired to be like
them and even to be better them.  That is the purpose of the classics.  Not good speech and writing and oratory.  The curriculum was graduated, step by step, according to the ability of the student.  The Jesuits did not neglect competition, prizes and punishments (jug, the cane, etc).

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Jose Rizal’s statue of the Sacred Heart: Travel history and other notes

RIZAL’S TRAVELLING STATUETTE
by Fr. Victor Badillo, S.J.While a student at the Ateneo Municipal in Intramuros, Jose Rizal (14) made a small statue of the Sacred Heart, about nine inches in length.  He carved the statuette in baticuling wood with a penknife at the request of his professor Fr Jose Leonardo S.J.  Father intended to take it with him to Spain, but the domestic helper forgot to place it in his trunk.  It was left behind and was taken by Rizal’s fellow students.  It was placed on a shelf above the door of their study hall where it remained for twenty years.

In August 1887, Rizal (26) returned to the Philippines and stayed till early 1888.   Now a liberal in matters political as well as religious, he visited his Jesuit friends at the Ateneo.  On his way out, the Jesuit porter showed him the statuette.  Rizal replied, “Other times, Brother, other times.  I no longer believe in such things.”*

In December 1896, after Rizal (35) was sentenced to death by the Military Tribunal which had tried him for treason, he asked for some Jesuit priests to visit him.  Fr Miguel Saderra Mata, S.J., Rector of the Ateneo Municipal, together with Fr. Luis Viza, S. J., went in haste to Fort Santiago to the cell where Rizal was imprisoned. They were greeted warmly by Rizal.

Rizal asked them if the statuette of the Sacred Heart which he had carved as a boy was still at the Ateneo.  Fr Viza, in reply, took the statuette out of the pocket of his soutane.  He had guessed rightly.  Rizal would remember it at the hour of his death.  Rizal took it and kissed it in his hands and placed it on the table where he would soon write the Ultimo Adios.

The statuette remained in the cell.  On the night before his execution, it was to Fr Jose Vilaclara, S.J., his former Physics teacher, that Rizal made his sacramental confession and be reconciled to the Church.

The following day, 30 December, before leaving his cell to go to Bagumbayan, Rizal held the statuette to his lips for the last time.  With two hands holding it close to his heart, he moved slowly to give it back to the Jesuits who were with him to the last day.

When the fire of 1932 engulfed the Ateneo, the principal concern of the Jesuits was the safety of the students.  No one got hurt.  Many valuable irreplaceable collections went up in smoke and presumably the statuette.  The Ateneo resumed operations in Padre Faura.  In 1945 the Ateneo was destroyed completely during the liberation of Manila.

Some time in 1952, when Ateneo was in the Loyola Campus, Q.C., the statue was returned, presumably by the student who saved it from the 1932 fire, and inadvertently from the 1945 fire as well.

Replicas made from ash from the bowels of the earth hurled into the sky by
Mt Pinatubo in 1991 were distributed to friends.

After some twenty three years in the Board of Trustees room, Fr. Bienvenido
Nebres, the President, turned it over to the Ateneo University Archives.  I
wish to thank Miss Carina Samaniego, Archivist, for sending me photos of the
statuette and of the plaques.

NotesRizal was condemned to death for the crime of treason.  He advocated not revolution but evolution.  He wished the Philippines to be independent when it was ready for it.  Up to the time of his death, he thought the time had not come.  For him, independence would happen like a fruit automatically falling from the tree when it was ripe.

He enrolled at the Ateneo in 1872, the year Fathers Gomez, Burgos and Zamora were garroted to death for treason.  They were innocent of this crime.  The event so moved Rizal that later he said, “I would have been a Jesuit, but I had vowed to do something about their death.”

Baticuling is a hard wood used in carving, which now is not easily available.  Without carving tools, Rizal carved an excellent statue using just a penknife.

When did Rizal carve this statue?  He enrolled at the Ateneo when he was eleven. He lived at the Ateneo as a boarder.  He got an AB degree at 16 in 1977.  That year, he enrolled at the Ateneo and UST, both in Intramuros and a few blocks from each other.  He left the Ateneo when he was 17, certified by the Ateneo as Agrimensor (Surveyor).  I guess he carved the image when he was about 14.  He still had to study anatomy.

Musings

Rizal carved the statue for Fr Leonardo.  Did Fr need one for himself, or did he want Rizal to develop his talent?  Why did he ask Rizal to carve an image of the Sacred Heart and not of someone else, like Our Lady?  Did he specify whose statue he wanted?  Rizal was the Prefect of the Sodality of Our Lady.

What thoughts passed through Rizal’s mind as he carved?  Did he have lectures of the Sacred Heart in mind? Did he research his subject? What did he know of the devotion to the Sacred Heart?  What did his devotion, if any, to the Sacred Heart consist of?  What does the actual statue say?  What was the state of the devotion at the Ateneo?  How did he think of carving a statue with a hole in the chest?

Fr Leonardo’s sorrow on failing to bring the statuette that he could not bring the statue with him resulted in the statuette staying in the Ateneo.

It was painful for the nameless Brother that Rizal refused to even look at his statue.  Would he have a statue if the houseboy had not forgotten? Would Rizal have thought of his statue in his cell if the Brother had not brought the statue as Rizal left?  Did the Brother on his own or had someone asked him to show it to Rizal?  How did Rizal feel when he gently rebuffed the gesture of the Brother?  Did he feel sad?  Was it like meeting a girl friend he had outgrown?

On leaving his death cell, Rizal held to his heart, the statue of Jesus holding his heart against his heart.

*When Rizal received the statuette, he kissed it and placed it on the table
where he would soon write the Ultimo Adios.  Sentiments expressed in the
poem are inspired by the love of the Heart of Jesus.  Would that I had more
blood to shed, more lives to die.*

Beloved Filipinas.
Gladly now I give to thee this failed life’s best,
And were it brighter, fresher, or more blood,
Still would I give it, nor count the cost.
There was no rancor or anger.  Only the peace and joy of one who “had run
the course, fought the good fight and had kept the faith”

For I go where no slave before the oppressor bends,
Where faith can never kill, and God reigns o’er on high!  *
(From translation by Charles Derbyshire.)

At the incarnation, God emptied himself.  On the cross he emptied his body
of blood.  In the Heart of Jesus, he emptied his body of his heart.  In the
field of Bagong Bayan, Rizal emptied himself to enrich Filipinas.

On leaving his death cell, Rizal pressed the heart of the statuette against
his heart.  By this he expressed his acceptance of the heart of Jesus
graciously offered.  Would it be too much if the Fathers saw that the heart
in the statuette returned to them was gone?

But now, Rizal had no need for an image.  For he had with him the Risen
Jesus, walking with him and at the supreme moment carrying him over the
threshold into life.  Jesus would not desert one who so perfectly made dumb
wood proclaim eloquently the totality of his love by imaging him with an
Emptied Body.

Rizal’s request to be shot facing the firing squad was refused. But with a heroic effort, he turned his body after he was shot and he fell face forward.  To kiss Filipinas, his heart against the land.


Man hears our words.
God hears our thoughts.  Augustine
God bless you.  Victor

blog:  pedrocalungsod.blogspot.com
God bless you and all your efforts.  Victor Badillo SJ

Ateneo Latin Mass Society: Mission and Vision

ATENEO LATIN MASS SOCIETY

Mission and Vision

Ateneo Latin Mass Society (ALMS) is an association in Ateneo de Manila University which seeks to give greater glory to God by making the most beautiful celebration of the Roman Rite in Latin in both ordinary and extraordinary forms available to all.

To accomplish this, the ALMS shall do the following:

  1. Foster the use of Latin in the Roman Rite as mandated by Vatican II’s Sacrosanctum Concilium

  2. Promote both the ordinary and extraordinary forms of the Roman Rite, but with a preferential option for the extraordinary form in the Ignatian tradition of magis and excellence

  3. Train choir groups who can perfectly sing all the chants in Liber Usualis, in obedience to the mandate of Vatican II’s Constitution of the Sacred Liturgy that the Gregorian Chant should be given pride of place in the Roman Liturgy

  4. Train sacristan groups who knows by heart the responses and rubrics of both the ordinary and extraordinary masses in all seasons of the year.

  5. Train Jesuit seminarians, deacons, and priests in the words, rubrics, and chants in the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite

  6. Teach the congregation how to pray the rosary in Latin and how to chant the responses in missa cantata

  7. Provide the most exquisite vessels and vestments for any Jesuit priest who wishes to say the Latin Mass

  8. Promote Jesuit vocations, novenas to Jesuit saints, and prayers for the souls of living and dead Jesuits.

  9. Establish the Institute for Latin Studies for the study of the classical, medieval, and ecclessiastical Latin literature, especially those written by Jesuit saints and scholars.

  10. Promote the use of Gothic and Romanesque church architecture for the Roman Rite.

  11. Promote the Spirtual Exercises of St. Ignatius

  12. Promote St. Ignatius’s Rules for Thinking, Judging, and Feeling with the Church.

  13. Establish Latin Mass Societies in all Ateneo schools and form a worldwide Latin Mass Society of Jesuit Schools

  14. Coordinate with the Jesuit hierarchy and Church hierarchy in promoting the use of the Latin and Gregorian chant in all Jesuit schools and in all parishes.

  15. Promote Jesuit spirituality through the Sodality of our Lady and the Devotion to the Sacred Heart.

Conversations with Fr. Daniel J. McNamara, S.J.: Traditional Latin Mass, Religious Life, and Sodality of Our Lady

I.  Traditional Latin Mass

Yesterday, we had a supper with Fr. Daniel J. McNamara, S.J. ; he left for Davao City today.  With me are Genie and Dr. Celine Vicente from the Observatory.  There are three others more from the Companions on a Journey, a group who organizes retreats at the Ateneo.  Beside me is Fr. Dan.

“Father”, I said.  “Fr. Tim Ofrasio is having a check up this week for his allergies.  He asked me to contact him again next week, so that we can schedule a general assembly for the Ateneo Latin Mass Society.  We already have 24 members.”

“There are also other Jesuits getting sick.”  He mentioned two names.  They are not familiar to me.

“A general assembly?” Gwen asked.  “Why don’t you meet as a core group first?”

“A general assembly,” I said and nodded my head.  Many already sent me their schedules; I just need to find a common time when I get Fr. Tim’s schedule.

“You may find it hard to find a chapel that is suited for the Latin Mass,” Fr. Dan said.

I told him that MO chapel is fine, because the altar is movable to the wall.  There is an large old altar at the back of the chapel.  We can use that.

He agreed.

II.  Religious Life

Fr. Dan and Anna’s order came.  Fr. Dan has his favorite plate-size pancake and green mango shake.  They started to eat.

“So how is your friend in Cebu,” Fr. Dan asked me.

“Her mom texted me that she was able to call her at the convent.  She said Roxanne was happy and well there.”

“I am surprised he mom was permitted to call.”  Fr. Dan said.  “Normally they don’t allow communications for two years.”

“I am also more surprised that her mom sounds supportive of her.  Her mom was not really happy even the night before Roxanne entered.”

“That is really what mothers do when they see that their children are firm in their decision to enter.”

Our orders arrived.  Mine is pork tocino, rice, and egg fried sunny-side up.  I sliced the liquid yolk and mixed it with my rice.  This is the only thing I ordered whenever we come to this same restaurant for dinner with Fr. Dan.

“The Jesuits will now change the vocation promotions directors in schools  from Jesuit brothers to priests,”  Fr. Dan said.  “It is realized that a priest is a better judge of vocations.  He can also hear students’ confessions, which a Jesuit brother cannot do.”

“We also need priests in organizations, Father,” Gwen said.  “The ACIL (Ateneo Catechetical Instruction League) is still looking for a Jesuit priest moderator.  They were given a Korean and an Indian.  But they have language difficulties.”

III.  Sodality of Our Lady

Ma’m Celine’s and Gwen’s orders arrived.  I already finished my food.  And so is Fr. Dan and Anna.  Geniee is still eating her pancakes poured with honey.

Raqs arrived.  She is a member of the Companions.

Genie (or was it Gwen still) said: “The students in Ateneo do not anymore join the socially oriented orgs.  (Religious orgs are classified as socially oriented orgs in Ateneo).  They prefer to go to parties.  That is why many go to business and management orgs.”

I turned to Fr. Dan.  “Father,” I said.  “Maybe it is time to revive the Sodality of Our Lady.”

I saw a quizzical look on their faces.  So I said to them: “The Sodality used to be the largest organization in Ateneo.  You can never be a President of the Student Council if you are not a member of the Sodality of Our Lady.”

“That’s the Christian Life Community,” Raqs said.

But I told her that the Sodality and the CLC have different spiritualities: the CLC is more socially oriented; the Sodality has a stronger Marian character.

“Yes, that’s true,” Fr. Dan said.

Raqs said that she joined the CLC.  She is now an observer.  There are three levels: observer, then two more.  She was glad that I mentioned the Sodality.  She will ask about it.

When I finally get the Ateneo Latin Mass Society going smoothly, I shall work for the revival of the Sodality of Our Lady in Ateneo de Manila University.  As Fr. Z always say: “Brick by brick.”

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.