By Nichole Talatala
This year, the Society of Jesus celebrates the 500th anniversary of St. Ignatius’ conversion – how being struck by a cannonball transformed Ignatius from a worldly soldier to the pilgrim we know him as today. Not unlike the life of St. Ignatius, the past year has been filled with adversity and struggle – never before have we known a collective loss and grief of this magnitude.
As we journey towards recovery, as we begin to see hope brimming in the horizon, we must meditate on what this moment will bring to us, and how it must bring us closer to God.
The Xavier University Festival Days has always been a joyful celebration – not only of our individual and collective achievements, but also of the Atenean values we embody in our everyday lives. As we pivot towards the age of renewal, we must go back to our Atenean roots and embody Atenean core values as we strive to become men and women for others.
San Ignacio Care for the Poor was born out of this very principle. Originating from the resolve of a few, it has transformed into a living embodiment of everything Xavier University stands for. Its central goal is very simple – through generosity and organization, we can feed the hungry. Its impact, however, cannot be underestimated.
From coastal barangays to nearby villages, to the people right outside XU’s gates – the hungry will find solace in San Ignacio Care for the Poor program. Before the pandemic, eateries were rented out and the doors were opened to feed and welcome whoever is hungry. For the safety of both the organizers and beneficiaries, its operations have shifted to the giving of food packs which consist of products from farmers and fisherfolk, including produce, assorted vegetables, rice, and fish.
This year, through your donations, San Ignacio Cares aims to extend their mission to give out food packs to 500 beneficiaries, in honor of 500 years of St. Ignatius’ conversion towards Christ. Through your donations, whether big or small, 500 beneficiaries across different areas will be provided with nourishment and comfort. Through this program, whatever spare change you have will go a long way. The program is a collaborative effort between the Office of Social Development, Central Student Government, and the Office of Student Affairs.
It is their hope that in feeding the hungry, we are able to meet, relate, and move closer towards Jesus. As we progress towards a better normal, we must let our moments of adversity and struggle bring us closer to God, and closer to truly becoming Atenean men and women for others.