A Jesuit, Filipino, and Asian Ecclesiastical Faculty of Theology
2 July 2013
Fr. Jose Quilongquilong, S.J.
President, Loyola School of Theology
P.O. Box 240, UP Post Office
1144 Quezon City
Dear Fr. Joe, P.C.
As Chancellor of Loyola School of Theology, I am happy to congratulate and encourage you on the day of your inauguration as President of LST. Thank you for your generous availability in accepting this new mission of leadership.
As you begin this new journey, allow me to share some thoughts about directions for the future of Loyola School of Theology. First, it is my hope that Loyola School of Theology provides its students first, with a profound understanding of the rapidly changing context of the mission of the Church in the Philippines and Asia today; second, with a deep understanding and appropriation of the content of the faith of the Church; and third, with the pastoral competencies and skills that are needed in order to communicate and incarnate the joy and the hope of the Gospel among the peoples of the Philippines and Asia today, especially the many who are poor and suffering.
In addition, I hope that you will seek to promote in LST the three words His Holiness, Pope Francis, highlighted in his recent Address to the writers of the Jesuit journal, La Civiltà Cattolica. These three words, Dialogue, Discernment and Frontier, should characterize any Jesuit intellectual apostolic ministry, such as LST. To quote the Holy Father, dialogue means "not to build walls but bridges; it is to establish a dialogue with all people, even those who do not share the Christian faith but who 'respect outstanding human values', and even, 'those who oppose the Church and persecute her in various ways' (Gaudium et Spes, n. 92)." Discernment means seeking "to read reality in the light of the Gospel"; it involves believing that "God is at work in the life of every person and in culture" and seeking "to find out what God has brought about and how to continue his action." Frontier means "avoiding the spiritual illness of self-referentiality" and going out to the peripheries, where new questions, new challenges, new hopes call for a creative response from the Church.
I pray that, under your leadership, LST, through its service of theological reflection and research, and the theological and pastoral formation of servant-leaders, may continue to make an important contribution to the life and mission of the Church in the Philippines and in Asia, as LST has done for almost fifty years. Be assured of my support and prayers for you and for the whole LST community.
Sincerely in Christ,
Adolfo Nicolas, S.J.