My very dear Graduates,
In his 2nd Sunday of Lent reflection on Jesus Christ’s Transfiguration, Fr. Sal Putzu, SDB wrote the following: The world is like an immense “learning center” in which most of the teaching is done in an informal manner. All of us are “learners” because all of us have plenty to learn. On the other hand, all of us are also teachers, even if we may not climb the rostrum of a lecture hall and do not follow detailed syllabi and lesson plans. With so many “teachers”, and surrounded by divergent opinions and schools of thought, many may feel confused. It need not be so for us, for in making our profession of faith, we acknowledge JESUS CHRIST as our best and most trusted TEACHER. He is the only one who deserves that title. He is the teacher given to us by the Father to teach the truths that really matter in life.
My very dear Graduating Grade 10 students of this revered Alma Mater – Sacred Heart College, the afore-cited reflection puts forth the idea that only Jesus’ teaching makes sense for Christians or Catholics. You may have gone through ten or eleven years of schooling, besides pre-elementary studies, but all the subjects and learning shall be put to naught if you have not imbibed Christian Values that will see you through in life. If you have not drunk from the well from whence you were formed to be another Christ, His alter Christus. Besides this, Br. Armin Luistro FSC, current Secretary of Education, espouses a basic education that will readily equip the young with life-long learning tools for gainful employment even after High School and beyond schooling. Hopefully, your Christian and Vincentian Education and Formation at Sacred Heart College provided you with the basic tools to navigate the future in your quest for fullness of life as promised by Jesus to all who believe in Him.
Just a few reminders:
1. Please focus on Character over Giftedness. Giftedness is what you had been naturally endowed with by God; it is part of your nature. These are ” talents and strengths, IQ, athletic ability, charm, business savvy, leadership skills, charisma, good looks, popularity, artistry. Since they are-God-given, be grateful for these gifts”
2. On the other hand, Character, besides being a potent gift given by God as your human nature ordains, is what you make out of your life in coordination, collaboration and partnership with God, your creator. “Character determines our capacity to be with God, to experience God, and to know God. It determines our ability to love and relate to other people. When we are called to imitate Jesus, we are not being called to have his giftedness or his role”
(Ortberg 2008). Rather, we are challenged to strive for his character…to be witnesses and exemplars of Jesus in our earthly life.
3. If you have to remember anything from what I delivered this afternoon, may this be Character over and above Giftedness. The great divide and difference between them are what differentiates the authentic Christians from the pseudo-nominal Christians in our midst today…in the current controversies in society, among races, in religion, from the rampant cheating and vote-buying that occur in the election and selection of government officials, in the impeachment trial of the Chief Justice, in the way people relate in public and private…in their thirst and hunger for power, wealth, position and prestige, even in the Academe…even in the analysis we conduct on the precipitous causes and effects of various calamities that befall our nation and the world.
From now on, you will carry the name of Sacred Heart College wherever you go. May you be men and women of CHARACTER, not just of Giftedness, which is the desire and obsession of many.
I hope and wish that as Cordians, HS alumni of SHC, you will be witnesses to Jesus’ Sacred Heart wherever you go. May His Love shine through you in the many challenges and trials you shall face in life. May you be teachers to all you meet wherever Providence leads. May you bring to life and fruition the Core Values inculcated in you by your Alma Mater. May you not compromise your Christian-Vincentian Education-Formation. And may you grow and glow whenever and wherever you opt for Christ in the many decisions you shall make hereon. These are my parting words to all of you that belong to SHC’s HS Batch 2012.
As Christ sent His disciples to the four corners of the world, we now send you to witness, to preach and to teach in Christ from here…As you leave the portals of your Alma Mater, go in peace. The Sacred Heart of Jesus and His Blessed Mother – Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal – love you very dearly. Cheers…Congratulations!
Very sincerely in St. Vincent and St. Louise,
Sr. Ma. Corazon P. Manalo
Daughter of Charity