Fr Roberto C Yap SJ, would have wanted to celebrate with the artistry of the many talents of the Xavier Ateneo community in full display, with lots of fanfare and laughter and with unrestricted selfie sessions with the students, faculty and employees, to bid Xavier Ateneo farewell. But with the pandemic, those plans had to be replaced with simple send-offs with the constant facemasks and physical distancing.
It was perfect though that his last day in the campus was when he co-celebrated the Eucharistic celebration of the Feast of St Ignatius of Loyola last June 30, making the it even more meaningful. Because indeed, Fr Bobby in his 9 years of extraordinary leadership as President, has appropriated Jesuit mission enthused by the three distinguishing values of Ignatian spirituality: magis, cura personalis and finding God in all things.
He was the President who had to go through several extra-ordinary challenges like Sendong, Marawi Siege and now the COVID-19 pandemic. But despite these and the demands of an expeditiously changing world of education, Fr Bobby served Xavier Ateneo and the community outside, with his clear vision and undaunted conviction, for what he called the “wonderful mission that is Xavier Ateneo”.
As he takes on a greater mission as President of Ateneo de Manila University beginning today, Xavier Ateneo, once again, says “Thank you Fr Bobby”.