Fr IJ Chan Gonzaga Quoteqqq

When I first read the 1939 Request Letter of CDO Archbishop Hayes to Fr John Hurley SJ, then Superior of the Jesuit Philippine Mission, asking the Jesuits to receive and take full control of then Ateneo de Cagayan Diocesan High School, I couldn’t help but feel so undeserving yet privileged of the great trust he had for (and in) the Philippine Jesuits. I imagine him writing, with full trust in the Society, turning over not just a physical, tangible object … but a DREAM. He was turning over a mission, a dream that would become Xavier University - Ateneo de Cagayan. This humble and holy Archbishop was offering a DREAM far beyond the tangible. He was entrusting us with the mission to build that dream for and with the generations that would come to our gates. He believed that we would keep the dream alive, fully trusting in the Society’s care and fidelity to that mission.

We remain faithful and we will fight to keep that DREAM alive. Not only for the past but more so for the future, so fluid, so unimaginable. And as we, the younger generations (Jesuits and lay partners) are now called to step up, we will not allow interests to clip the wings of the many possibilities to further this DREAM that is Xavier Ateneo. Archbp Hayes knew that when he gave the mission to the Society, his dream would not just be confined to a limited few but for XU to live on in every Xavier-Atenean’s heart and life legacy.

We are tasked to make sure that legacy stays on — forming hearts that are compassionate, loving, and just; not judgmental, entitled hearts that fail to see beyond self-interests. We are doing this today — making sure Xavier Ateneo survives the changes of the future and be competitive (or more) still to continue keeping that DREAM alive! For Archbp Hayes and most especially for the people of Cagayan de Oro, of Misamis Oriental, of Mindanao. +AMDG

Fr Ismael Jose Chan-Gonzaga, SJ
Rector, Loyola House Jesuit Community
Director, Campus Ministries Office
Xavier University - Ateneo de Cagayan