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University President's Welcome Speech for ACUP 2018 January 30, 2018

Good morning. On behalf of Holy Angel University, Mayap ayabak pu kekayu ngan. On behalf of Saint Louis University, Mapteng ja agsapa. On behalf of Saint Mary’s University, Naimbag a bigat kadakayo amin. Magandang umaga po sa inyong lahat.

On behalf of Saint Mary’s, Saint Louis, and Holy Angel Universities, it is my distinct pleasure to welcome you all to the annual National Conference of the Association of Catholic Universities of the Philippines. At this conference, we will explore the role of Catholic universities in strengthening Filipino families toward nation-building as our collective response to Amoris Laetitia, the most recent Apostolic Exhortation of our Holy Father Pope Francis.

The first month of a new year is always a time of rejuvenation and renewal – a time to recommit ourselves to the values we hold in common – our faith in Jesus Christ, our love for our families, and our dedication to the education of our youth. As we reflect upon our many blessings, we do so with the awareness that all is not well in our nation. There are many whose condition makes it difficult for them to know the treasures of family and faith. One out of four Filipinos (26%), including majority (59%) in Muslim Mindanao, live below the poverty line. There seems to be a growing number of Filipinos for whom an emergent reality is the so-called “death of conscience,” quoting our first keynote speaker Bishop Pablo Virgilio S. David. Further, there are some who seem to view human life as having a finite value or who seek to redefine family, marriage and even gender – away from the norms and beliefs that have sustained civilization for centuries.

Let us join together to continue being a witness to the truth that our shared faith is not repressive, but is the key to a promising future. More than ever, our country needs devout leaders – those who regard their faith not only as their spiritual identity but also as the governing force in their daily lives. These leaders need a Catholic educational option lest the most capable of them would be formed in secular values to defend a secular world. A Catholic education, which is perhaps the most important apostolate of the Church, should leave a person with no doubt about the nature of family, the nature of man and woman, and the nature of right and wrong. By co-hosting the ACUP 2018 National Conference with Saint Louis and Saint Mary’s Universities, Holy Angel University stands with other Catholic universities in our shared commitment to develop these servant leaders.

I earnestly hope that you will have a memorable experience here in Holy Angel University and Angeles City. After this conference, I invite you to stay longer in the birthplace of sisig, enjoy pindang, explore betute, relish bringhe, and other highlights of Kapampangan cuisine … and make your contribution to the local economy. And if you forgot to bring your Lipitor, Metformin, Colchicine, and Zestril, the nearest pharmacy is about an eight-minute walk from here.

Welcome and have a great conference! Laus Deo semper!

Welcome remarks by Dr. Luis María R. Calingo, President of Holy Angel University, at the 2018 ACUP National Conference, Holy Angel University, Angeles City, 30 January 2018.

Date Posted: 01-29-2018