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Lecture -Forum on Peace Education

Ladies and Gentlemen:

Good afternoon. To our beloved guests from other institutions, welcome to Holy Angel University; and to everyone, welcome to the Lecture-Forum on Peace Education which was organized and implemented by our Teacher Education Department in the College of Arts, Sciences and Education (CASEd). In particular I wish to greet our distinguished speakers this afternoon ─ our very own S. Josefina Nepomuceno, OSB of the HAU Board of Trustees and of Holy Family Academy, Prof. Ronald Mabunga, National Coordinator of the UNESCO Associated Schools Project Network, and Prof. Jasmin Nario-Galace of the Center for Peace Education, Miriam College.

One in spirit with the United Nations’ International Day of Peace Celebration, this forum is very timely, if only to stress the importance of peace in ourselves, and of peace in the larger world outside. Peace is an important pre-requisite of personal and collective human development; peace is the catalyst of growth and progress, and peace is our calling as men and women created in the likeness and image of God.

Educational institutions like ours must recognize our pivotal role in promoting this noble universal aspiration. Education should serve as a powerful medium and vehicle in developing a culture of life ─ one that respects the dignity of every individual and inflames the passion to work for the common good. Without any iota of doubt and reservation, Holy Angel University as an institution stands up to this call of duty.

In closing I wish to share with you two verses from the Bible which at first, might seem to be contradictory insofar as our topic of interest is concerned. In Luke 12:51 our Lord Jesus said, “Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division.” Elsewhere, in John 14:27, we hear the same Lord Jesus saying, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

In my mind, the gist is that these are not really contradicting declarations. They point out to one and the same thing, that is, genuine peace can be found only in God. Anything less than this is a fragile worldly peace. Peace that is based not on truth and justice, but on tolerance of evil in the guise of peaceful coexistence, is a temporary kind of peace that would soon manifest the ugly pangs of strife and conflict. Peace that is based on love, both of God and of fellowmen, is the only kind of peace that would endure.

How we ponder on this central idea is our agendum in this afternoon’s forum. May we have a fruitful exchange of ideas, and may these bright ideas be translated into concrete action.

Thank you and once again, good afternoon.

Date Posted: 09-12-2012