Association of Catholic Universities of the Philippines

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Annual Report Contributed by Judith V. Alderete

Date: June 4, 2017Posted by: Marionette Martinez

The Association of Catholic Universities of the Philippines is divided into four clusters:

CLUSTER A (Northern and Central Luzon)
1. St. Louis University, Baguio City
2. St. Mary’s University, Bayombong, N.V.
3. St. Paul University Philippines, Tuguegarao
4. University of La Salette, Cagayan
5. University of St. Louis, Tuguegarao
6. Angeles University Foundation
7. Holy Angels University
8. La Consolacion University, Malolos, Bulacan
9. University of the Assumption, San Fernando, Pampanga

CLUSTER B (NCR and Southern Luzon)
1. Adamson University, Manila
2. Ateneo de Manila University
3. De La Salle University
4. St. Paul University Manila
5. St. Paul University Quezon City
6. University of Santo Tomas
7. Ateneo de Naga University, Naga
8. Aquinas University, Legaspi City
9. Universidad de Sta. Isabel, Naga City

CLUSTER C (Visayas)
1. De La Salle University, Ozamis
2. Holy Name University
3. Holy Trinity University
4. St. Paul University, Dumaguete
5. University of Negros Occidental – Recoletos
6. University of San Agustin
7. University of San Carlos
8. University of San Jose Recoletos
9. University of St. La Salle, Bacolod

CLUSTER D (Mindanao)
1. Ateneo de Davao University
2. Ateneo de Zamboanga University
3. Father Saturnino Urios University
4. Notre Dame of Dadiangas University
5. Notre Dame of Marbel University, Koronadal South Cotabato
6. Notre Dame University, Cotabato City
7. University of the Immaculate Conception, Davao City
8. Xavier University, Cagayan de Oro

Each of these member-universities has its Liaison Officer, who attends ACUP meetings on behalf of the University President. On 22 July 2016, the Liaison Officers met in the Rector’s Hall of the University of Santo Tomas for the annual gathering, deepening of reflections on the previous conferences, and initial planning of the 2017 National Conference.

The Liaison Officers of Cluster B, to which St. Paul University Manila belongs, met again on 5 October 2016 in the Board Room of Adamson University in preparation for the final gathering in Davao. On 11-12 November 2016, the Liaison Officers of all the clusters gathered in the University of the Immaculate Conception, Fr. Selga St., Davao City. The objective of this gathering was to finalize the 2017 ACUP National Conference. In order to have more enlightened activities, Rev. Fr. Roy M. Bellen, General Manager, TV Maria and Radio Veritas, gave a talk on “The Catholic Identity and the New Evangelization” as inspired by Inter Mirifica (on the Means of Social Communication, a decree made by the Council at Vatican II and promulgated on 4 December 1963 by Pope Paul VI).

Some highlights on Fr. Roy’s talk: Identity, Catholic, and New Evangelization

1. Identity:
From the early Christians to the present, the Church’s identity has been “evangelization” through writing (Bible), use of icons, stained glass renditions, and paintings; in the present Church, the “evangelization” is done through modern technology. But modern technology can either be a blessing or a curse. So, we need to teach especially the young how to use technology for evangelization.

2. Catholic:
As Church, we are so organized. This is a kind of power. But how do we use this “power”? Look at what we post on social media. We can post anything. It is a power. But, remember “whatever we post reflects the reputation of our institution, our family, ourselves.” So, if we happen to be Catholics, our posts reflect the entire Church. This is what we ought to realize and what we ought to teach our young people. Hence, the youths, our students, need moderation, formation, and training.

3. New Evangelization:
New evangelization means to put in a “package” the message that we want to preach. We must be like Jesus. He used parables for instance, images to explain faith and love for God. We must follow in the same manner. We do not change the message but re-package it in a way that we can capture our audience and teach them what is good.

In his concluding message, Fr. Roy urged the participants to share good stories. He said that we do not just remain quiet for the good works we and others do for as long as it is not ourselves we glorify but God. For example, if we have good stories of our school we can send it to TV Maria or Radio Veritas.  

(ACUP National Conference 2017, 19-21 January 2017, Daragang Mayon Hall, Aquinas University, Legazpi City. Theme, “Catholic Universities and the Government: Toward Mutual Collaboration for Social Transformation.”

In the letter of Fr. Marcelo V. Manimtim, C.M. addressed to all University Presidents, he stated, “The theme is framed in the context of the recent developments in our country. The government under President Rodrigo Duterte has promised programs that would give better life to our people. The Catholic universities as an institutional presence of the Church consider as one of their goals, the betterment of the life of our people. One of the goals of ACUP seeks ‘to contribute to social transformation by helping to seek and discover the root cause of contemporary problems having to do with the dignity of human life, the promotion of justice for all and a more just sharing of world resources…’.” ACUP however, wishes to follow a path of conversation and cooperation. Hence, some of the VIP Guest Speakers were Hon. Leoncio Evasco, Cabinet Secretary, who spoke on “Catholic Universities and the Government: Partners in National Development,” and Hon. Vice President Leni Robredo.

Participants to the Conference were Presidents of Catholic universities, top administrative and academic officials, professors of Education, Theology/Religious Education, Social Sciences, directors of Campus Ministry, Office for Student Affairs, and Office for Community Development of various Catholic universities all over the country. Student leaders were also invited to attend. For St. Paul University Manila, the delegates were the ACUP liaison officer, Judith V. Alderete and an alumna, Anna Cosio. Here’s what Anna Cosio has to say about the Conference:

“I think the theme was very timely po, very relevant to the current situation of our country. Many of us want to do something about all the injustices—specifically human rights violations—that have been happening around, but we want to do something concrete, and hopefully something that would really make an impact. And I agree with what's stated in the theme that there should be a mutual collaboration between Catholic Universities and the Government for social transformation to happen. It was good to hear from some of our country's leaders, to know where they were coming from and their perspective. I think we all learned there the kind of approach that would work in order to get our message across to the President or his administration. So apparently, he really tends to think that any form of disagreement or criticism is an attempt to destabilize the Government. So, it seems a dialogue with him is really the way to go. I can only hope, though, that he would also change the way he sees disagreement and constructive criticism. I also liked the outcome of our discussions in our small groups. I think most—if not all—groups agreed that all our social problems right now, as well as the kind of leadership or the kind of principles our leaders have, all have something to do with the level of morality our country has. And of course these moral values are learned primarily at home and then in school. I think we all saw the need to rekindle these moral values and Catholic Christian principles in the students, because they will be the future leaders of our country. A lot of our leaders right now are products of Catholic schools, so it was really nice to reflect on what we could have done better in the past/what we could do better in the future. And there were concrete plans of action, too. So, all in all, I think it had been a truly meaningful, productive, and fun event.”