Sguardo sapiente

P1050820La foto scattata alla strada di Bagong Kahayag per Lakewood potrebbe benissimo essere una immagine da inserire nella meditazione odierna: il palo lasciato dai costruttori in mezzo alla strada evidentemente porta luce ma si fa anche vedere. Così Gesù quando incrocia il suo sguardo con coloro che incontra porta inaspettate chiarezze.

Don Matteo in mattinata ci propone subito di meditare sull’incontro di due cortei in strada: il corteo di Gesù che all’entrata di Naim incrocia quello funebre di un morto figlio unico di madre vedova. La donna è senza futuro e Gesù mosso dalla compassione agisce. Elimina il funesto, dal lutto alla gioia. Il risultato è sorprendente perché i due cortei diventano uno solo: un profeta è in mezzo a noi!

I brani del pomeriggio, invece, sul gesto del samaritano e Gesù ospite (in realtà ospita, cioè che ci vuole portare dentro la sua casa) di Marta e Maria, ci illuminano sulla Sua sapienza. Sul piano orizzontale della strada avere compassione del prossimo e aiutarlo è un atto di culto a Dio. Ma possiamo essere noi il malcapitato, messi male, a rischio. Allora siamo noi che abbiamo bisogno che qualcuno ci veda, ci aiuti. Con Marta e Maria lo sguardo è verticale. Marta si pone sopra, guarda dall’alto Gesù e non comprende che nel servizio è meglio mettersi ai piedi di Gesù: essere serviti prima dal Signore, è lui che ci salva. Solo dopo l’ascolto della parola si è liberi, liberi per servire.

Insomma, come il Signore, non si guardano le persone solo dal di fuori, ma bisogna cercare di guardarci dentro: per loro, per noi. E il palo in mezzo alla strada? Se lo vediamo solo in mezzo al parabrezza privilegiamo la macchina piuttosto che il palo.

Annuncio ritrovato

iconaDon Matteo ci propone di meditare su una icona dipinta da una suora brasiliana di Bahia, Brasile. Rappresenta una donna, una ‘Maria’, in ascolto fecondo che poi si risveglia alla vita. Nel capitolo primo di Luca, Maria accoglie dall’angelo, non senza un disorientamento positivo, il suo nuovo nome ‘Piena-di-Grazia’. Crede poi alle sue parole mostrando di voler-sapere-di-più in un ‘sì’ finale di non-ostentata-rassegnazione e infine ri-annuncia a Elisabetta lo stesso annuncio. Un annuncio è sempre plurimo. Acquista piena realtà solo se condiviso con altre e altri che, senza sospetto alcuno, ascoltano e reagiscono. L’amicizia che emerge da questo tipo di condivisone elargisce autonomia e allontana l’obbedienza puramente ideologica, politica e religiosa.

La scelta libera ha così la forma di una condivisione gratuita da conquistare con la propria libertà, così come Gesù nel tempio a 12 anni tra i sapienti che indagano sulla identità e volontà di Dio. Essere nella casa del Padre dialogando è ritrovarsi figli di Dio ‘fin che si può’. Divinità da scoprire anche nell’uomo che fuori casa si crea un mondo artefatto, un tempio artificiale, da sostituire con quello reale offertogli sin da quando è venuto al mondo.

Da un tempio all’altro

P1050770Siamo in ritiro, spirituale. Camminare tra il primo e ultimo capitolo, dal primo all’ultimo tempio, ci dice don Matteo introducendoci al vangelo di Luca. Cammino come ‘mettere ordine alla propria vita’. Ascolto. Più tardi mi aggiro per la stanza in disordine.  Ricordo Payao. Dopo un paio di anni, avevo stravolto l’ordine interno della nuova casa costruita da altri secondo una mia idea di servizio geometricamente giusto. Ma era sempre uno stravolgere un ordine originale. Un disordinare. Raggiunti altri luoghi, altri templi, a quello che trovavo aggiungevo una stanza, una scala, un pezzo di lamiera e così via. Riordinavo secondo una mia idea, ma poi mi rendevo conto che non si può determinare con precisione assoluta il successivo destino: sarà utile o inutile quello che ho costruito? Sono propenso all’inutile. Appare strano ma in un luogo composto da edifici, ma anche da cose e persone, che devono relazionarsi, quando la diversità diventa indistinguibile il ‘disordine’ regna, non crea libertà e salvezza. Si consuma. Nella foto il vecchio inceneritore di carta. Un ‘tempio’ fatto di pezzi anzi spazi, dove si fa spazio l’entropia. Vi entrano cose da ri-usare, ma che hanno in comune con il corpo metallico la ruggine, la polvere, la muffa, la cenere. Una inutilizzabile struttura da smaltire per chi viene dopo. Noi creature di Dio in polvere saremo quando non-saremo più in grado di metabolizzare energia solare, aria e cibo.  I nostri templi in polvere saranno se alla prossima biforcazione sbaglieremo strada.

Claret Pubblicationsrohel_w

“On May 3, 2000, the Claretian Rhoel Galardo, a quiet, simple missionary priest died in a crossfire between the Abu Sayyaf group who had him among its hostages and the Philippine military forces trying to rescue the kidnapped. Rhoel had been held in captivity from March  20 that year, together with some professors of a Catholic school in  the locality of Tumahubong, in the Province of Basilan (…)”.

This is an extract of the history of Fr. Rhoel Gallardo CMF, written by the reporter of ucanews.com Joe Torres for the book ‘Witness: Mission Stories of Basilan’ edited by Claretian Communications Foundation.

“(…) For four days and five nights they walked, without eating. They forged their way downhill and then up again, avoiding the sharp rocks and the open roots. They marched in the dark, the rough stones cutting into their feet, the thorns penetrating their clothes, the mosquitos and leeches feasting on their blood.

They rested during the day, to avoid being spotted by the pursuing soldiers, and they marched the whole night, as though wild animals were chasing them.

“Walk, Father, walk. Rest will come soon,” a bandit prodded Father Rhoel from behind tugging at the rope that was tied around his waist (…).”

The book was presented by its editors in the “Bulwagang Claret” of Manila, last May 23, commemorating the 15th anniversary of the bloody death of Fr. Rhoel Gallardo. Joe Torres describes the missionaries of Basilan as “witnesses” committed to walk with the people in the midst of all the difficulties and threats to their lives. The Claretians have sealed with blood the option for a pastoral praxis inculturated in the circumstances typical to the zone, trustfully assuming the risk of the free dialogue with the indigenous Muslim  culture.

BIAS AND PREJUDICE, CHALLENGE TO EVANGELIZATION

quevedo+Orlando B. Cardinal Quevedo, O.M.I.

Privilege Speech, CBCP Plenary Assembly
12 July 2015

Pastoral Reality of Mistrust, Bias and Prejudice

In just one fateful day, the relatively remote Moro village of Tukanalipao, Mamasapano, province of Maguindanao, Archdiocese of Cotabato, became the symbol of insincerity and mistrust. Here 44 of the Special Action Force of the National Police died valiantly in an encounter that lasted several hours. The SAF themselves killed 17 Moro rebels and 4 civilians.

Police officers on the spot claimed that their men had gunned down about 250 rebels. Media reported that Moro rebels massacred the 44 police many of whom were shot dead mercilessly even when they were already wounded and helpless. In subsequent days national media played up the massacre report and created a climate of anger against Moro rebels as media focused on the gruesome pictures of the dead and the grief of widows and families.

At the legislative hearings to investigate the Mamasapano several of our legislators expressed the biases, prejudices, and mistrust of the Christian majority against Moros in general and against the BBL (Bangsamoro Basic Law) in particular.

These biases were sown during the period of colonization when relationships between Moros and Christians were characterized by continuing conflict, negative experiences with Moros, the diversity of religious beliefs and culture. Dormant through many decades and occasionally rearing its head, as in the Ilaga-Barracuda armed conflicts during Martial Law, bias and prejudice suddenly erupted into the open in the wake of the Mamasapano tragedy.

On March 20 – 23, 2015 Social Weather Stations conducted a post-Mamasapano survey on opinions regarding the BBL.

The results are telling:

(1) 4% of those surveyed said that they had extensive knowledge of the BBL; 13% said they had partial but sufficient knowledge; 47% said they knew only a little; and 34% said they knew almost none.

(2) Those saying they have sufficient knowledge were 58% of Muslims; 27% of INK; 19% of other Christians; and 13% of Catholics.

(3) The March survey sample was 78% Catholics, 5% Muslims, 3% INK and 13% other Christians. Less than 1% did not give answer.

(4) “Approval of the proposed BBL was favorable among those with extensive knowledge about it.” Disapproval from among those with little knowledge, and even greater disapproval from among those with no or almost no knowledge about the BBL.

One would naturally wonder why anyone who has little or almost no knowledge of the BBL would disapprove of it. One reason came from the following actual conversation. It went like this.

I asked him, “Do you support the BBL?”

“No, I don’t support the BBL.”

“Have you read the BBL?”

“No.”

“So why don’t you agree with what you have not yet read?”

“Ah, basta, I don’t agree.”

One would logically conclude that such negative attitude about the BBL is due to bias, prejudice and mistrust, a mistrust that several of our own honorable legislators have expressed in the hearings on the Mamasapano tragedy.

I have an educated guess that our people in the parishes who know little about the BBL get their information from the Media that generally dish out one-sided and misleading information as well as incorrect interpretation of the BBL.

A Failure of and a Challenge to Evangelization

24 years ago the Second Plenary Council of the Philippines observed that we have “sacramentalized” our people but we have not evangelized them. And thus we have “split level Christianity.” This is the reason for the first major pastoral priority of the Church in the Philippines – integral faith formation so that we may have authentic Christian disciples who have the mind and attitude of Christ and live it in daily life.

Here is the sequel to the conversation I narrated above.

“Cardinal, you know, of course, that none of us is a member of your peace advocacy group, the Friends of Peace.”

“Yes, of course, I know. That is why no invitation was given to you. By the way I, too, have certain biases and prejudices against people and individuals. But I have learned not to let such sentiments influence my judgments. So, are you against the BBL because you are biased and prejudiced?”

To his credit, he said, “To be honest, Cardinal, yes.”

“Well, to those in the same situation, as yours, I can only ask, and I also ask this of myself, what would Jesus say about your biases and prejudices?”

RENEWED EVANGELIZATION

The Mamasapano tragedy sadly exposed the deeply entrenched biases and prejudices of Christians. Sadder still is to learn that most of those who disapprove the BBL but know little or almost none about it are Catholics.

The challenge for us, shepherds of the flock, is to study this phenomenon seriously and come up with programs of integral faith formation that would go beyond orthodoxy and into orthopraxis – from doctrine to life.

Our programs of faith formation and catechesis, our religious institutions and schools, colleges, universities, seminaries and houses of religious formation have to initiate faith formation programs towards authentic discipleship that would lead the young, the religious formandi, seminarians, religious and clergy to have and to live the mind of Christ.

RICORDO DI P. BRUNO VANIN

Con P. Bruno Vanin ci siamo conosciuti dai tempi del seminario minore del PIME anche se insieme nella stessa comunità in quegli anni non ricordo di aver vissuto con lui. Comunque abbiamo passato anni insieme gli anni della teologia e poi dal 1981, quando è arrivato nelle Filippine, abbiamo lavorato nella stessa regione, anche se in posti differenti.

Ricordo P. Bruno come un buon amico, sempre disponibile all’ascolto e molto franco nelle risposte, in buon gergo contadino e trevigiano. Questa mattina quando ho saputo della sua dipartita, non so come mai ma mi è venuto in mente l’apostolo Natanaele: una persona schietta, senza doppiezze e molto generoso. Uno che non si è mai tirato indietro quando c’era da lavorare, e a volte i suoi sacrifici sono stati grandi..

Quando tre anni fa era tornato dall’Italia dopo un periodo sabbatico di riflessione e rinnovamento, ricordo che avevamo parlato molto sul nostro modo di essere missionari stranieri vicini alla pensione e sulla nostra presenza dopo tanti anni nelle Filippine per non correre il pericolo di perdere l’entusiasmo col rischio di lasciarci vincere dal pessimismo o dalla disillusione.

Dopo quel periodo in Italia, Bruno si era rimesso a lavorare con impegno con la gente di Mindanao fino alla scoperta della malattia. Quando l’ho rivisto lo scorso anno a Lecco, mentre era in cura con la chemioterapia, diceva di sentire molto la mancanza del contatto con la gente anche se era sempre impegnato nel giardinaggio. In seguito mi aveva scritto più contento quando aveva trovato da fare un po’ di ministero nelle parrocchie ( Redecesio, Segrate) vicino al san Raffaele.

Ora è andato alla casa del nostro Padre di tutti. Là ritroverà i nostri comuni amici delle Filippine: Giancarlo Bossi, Fausto Tentorio e gli altri prima di loro e di noi.

Buon viaggio, Bruno. Saluta tutti gli amici e manda a tutta la gente delle Filippine, specie a quelli che ti hanno conosciuto, la pace del cuore che viene dal Signore.

Fernando

Father Bruno Vanin Died,

Father Bruno Vanin died this morning (July 7 2015) in Lecco, Italy. He was suffering from cancer for the past one year.  Born in Treviso on November 26,1956 and ordained priest on December 27,1980, he was assigned to the Philippine’s mission in 1981 and worked there since.

FLvaninB2

stanza di Bruno in Arakan

FLvaninB10

il solito caffè a Columbio

FLvaninB

a scuola in Columbio

Negli ultimi giorni di Rancio nella stanza terminale, con la barba bianca, il volto scheletrico, i desideri che rimpicciolivano, le gambe vacillanti, il tramonto riflesso sulle montagne a nord (San Martino), con la sola serenità e il calmo avvertimento dell’unica stella notturna a lui rimasta, lui, Bruno, con grande dignità si beveva la vita in tutto quello che in Mindanao era stato, che era e sarebbe stato.

Evvai!

Pumboat capsized 55 feared dead

A commercial “pump boat” (which is a canoe-style craft with outriggers powered by a small engine) carrying 189 people has capsized in the central Philippines, minutes after leaving port. The boat covers three times a day the route from Ormoc City to Camotes Island. Only 134 survived. The biggest maritime disaster in the Philippines happened on december 20 1987. On that fatal occasion more the 4300 people died  when MV Dona Paz caught fire and sank after a collision with an oil tanker, MT Vector.

Online Degree Programs in the Philippines

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Online degree programs were first offered in the Philippines in the early 90’s during which there was a recorded continuous growth in the number of state and private institutions in the country. Also during this period was when the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), one of the three government organizations handling the education system in the country, encouraged many educational institutions to offer distance learning programs. This move was triggered by the increasing population and rise of tertiary enrolments over the past years.

1990’s – Rise of Open Universities

One of the well-recognized Higher Education Institution (HEI) offering online degree programs in the country is the University of the Philippines Open University (UPOU), which was established in 1995. OPOU is the pioneer of open learning and distance education in the Philippines. Another prominent open university in the country is the Polytechnic University of the Philippines Open University (PUPOU). PUPOU began offering online degree courses in 1990. The Asian Institute for Distance Education (AIDE) is one of the only four government-recognized distance learning providers in the country offering full academic degrees. Other pioneers of online degree programs are the University of Santo Tomas (UST), Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) through the e-Learning Access Program, and Dela Salle University (DLSU). The online programs offered by these online universities include undergraduate programs, graduate certificate programs, post-baccalaureate programs, masters program, and doctoral programs.

2000’s – Technological Advancements in HEIs

The eLearning market starts to emerge in the Philippines in the early 2000’s. However, the online courses offered by that time are limited only to certificate and vocational training. The government agency that helps facilitate these online programs is the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA). Today, TESDA is offering various online courses in the fields of IT, Tourism, Electronics, Automotive, HVAC, and Agriculture under the so-called Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET). Although these programs only provide Diploma and Certificate courses, TESDA has ladderization programs from these courses to the degree courses.

At the turn of the millennium, internet technology starts to gain momentum in the education system of the Philippines. This technological milestone gives way to the emergence of more public and private HEIs offering online courses. According to a study, the number of internet users increased by about 291% during the period of 2000-2006, which is equivalent to 7.82 million people. According to Philippines ICT Statistics Portal, the mobile phone subscription was more than doubled from 2006 to 2011 and the fixed broadband subscription was more than quadrupled within the same time frame. According to StateUniversity.com, various public and private websites have also surfaced to provide online programs and services to students in the higher education. Among of these institutions are the Advanced Science and Technology Institute, Kodiko Online, 2StudyIt.com, Education for Life Foundation, Estudyante.com, FAPENET, Gurong Pahinugod, and Iskolar.com.

2010’s – High Economic Growth Impacts Higher Education Programs

According to Business World Online, there are nearly 2,300 HEIs in the Philippines and 1,259 of them were offering business degrees in 2012. According to CHED, tertiary enrolment reached 3.3 million in the same year. Based on Courses.com.ph, there are lots of postgraduate courses in the Philippines that can be taken online from various public and private HEIs today. These are online courses in education, management and public administration, agriculture, media and communication, health and allied sciences, computer studies, business, and architecture and engineering.

The Expanded Tertiary Education Equivalency and Accreditation Program (ETEEAP) can be considered as one of the major breakthroughs in improving the offerings of online degree programs in the Philippines. Under this program, students aiming for bachelor’s degree can complete their studies in about a year or so and they also have the option to take the program online from the accredited online colleges and universities.

Fueled by the growing economy, more and more HEIs are offering online degree courses to both Filipino and international students across the country today. And with education programs offered by TESDA and CHED, it is expected that online degree programs in the country will continue to experience more growth in the coming years.

Paul Hata is involved in various education and ministry programs across Asia aimed at providing internationally accredited programs from United Kingdom at the most affordable prices. Paul can be reached at – http://www.bccolleges.co.uk

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Paul_B_Hata