schoolscolleges2020 hed news

The July 29 University’s celebration of the Feast of St Ignatius of Loyola and the closing of the Ignatian year has opened the gates again to everyone from the Xavier Ateneo community. The solemn Eucharistic celebration brought many students, non-teaching personnel, members of the Jesuit community, and administrators to physically join the celebration that includes the symbolic wreath-laying ceremonies held at the Lucas Hall grounds. University President Fr Mars P Tan, SJ, with the Rector of the Loyola House Jesuit community Fr Ismael Jose Chan-Gonzaga III SJ, led the cluster vice presidents in offering the wreaths and basket of flowers at the statue of St Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuits.

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The short but meaningful wreath-laying ceremony was highlighted by Fr Mars placing the sword in the hands of St Ignatius of Loyola.

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This was followed right away by the Eucharistic celebration with Fr Mars as the main celebrant and Fr Ruben Orbeta, SJ, professor of St John Vianney Theological Seminary as the homilist. The Jesuits of the Loyola House, Fr IJ Chan -Gonzaga, SJ, Fr Frank Savadera, SJ, Xavier University Grade School Principal, Fr Gabriel Gonzalez, SJ, University Chaplain, and Fr Arman Samonte, SJ and Fr RB Hizon, SJ, chaplains of the Basic Education cluster concelebrated at the Mass. 


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In his homily, Fr Orbeta emphasized how we should see all things new in Christ and Christ only and not from any other perspective. “And that is what we celebrate in Ignatius’ conversion, to see all things new in Christ. And therefore, the readings of today’s liturgy chosen for this particular celebration speak to us about that conversion of seeing new things in Christ. No longer under our prisms, no longer our own perspectives but that of Christ. And therefore the second reading of today’s liturgy from Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, exhorts all of us “be imitators of me, as I imitate Christ.” And therefore one’s parameter, one’s qualificator, if you may, of how one lives his or her life is that of Christ. And that is the gift of Ignatius, his conversion graces us that it is no longer us that is important but Christ, the person who makes us important and significant not in the eyes of the world but in the eyes of this God who personally, intimately loves us”

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Last year, with the theme “Discerning your authentic self in the new normal,” Xavier Ateneo and the Loyola House Jesuit community collaborated to celebrate the Ignatian year with different programs and activities. The year-long celebration enabled some to appreciate better the grace of the Ignatian year with the invitation to find God profoundly and to see all things new in Christ. 

Vice President of the Mission and Ministry cluster and co-chair of the Ignatian Year Celebration Committee Ms. Irene Grace A Guitarte, expressed her gratitude to everyone. “As one Xavier community, we thank God for allowing us to find God in our students, colleagues, in our community, in our hearts. God is faithful and kind amidst all cannonball experience and gives us the grace of conversion, and be a better companion to others”.


The Eucharistic celebration ended with the Act of Consecration of the Society of Jesus to the Sacred Heart of Jesus led by Fr Mars. Jesuit Father General Sosa has asked all Jesuit communities to include this act of consecration to the Sacred Heart in their celebrations as they close the Ignatian Year on the Feast of St Ignatius. The Act of Consecration links Jesuits to their tradition, because on this day 50 years ago, Fr Arrupe made the same consecration, as did his predecessor, Fr Jan Beckx, 150 years ago. Today, July 31, Xavier Ateneo joins with almost 17,000 Jesuits and more than two thousand Jesuit schools in the world in celebrating the life and inspiration of the founder of Society Jesus, St Ignatius of Loyola. 


Happy Feast Day!


Please click on the link to watch the recorded Live Streaming:

Watch the Ignatian Year closing video by clicking on this link: