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The Campus Ministry Department sent delegates to the 3rd National Conventions of Campus Ministers at Water Front Insular Hotel in Davao City last October 24 – 26, 2008. The theme of the said convention was, “Building and Strengthening the Dialogue of Faith and Culture on Campus.” The activity was attended by around four hundred Campus Ministers from all over the country.

Three celebrations of the Holy Eucharist with corresponding themes and three conferences with different interesting topics were done during the affairs. The Welcome Mass was celebrated by Most Rev. Fernando Capalla, D.D. the Archbishop of Davao with a theme; ‘Recognizing the Grace of Unity in Diversity.’ The Holy Mass on the second day was celebrated by Most Rev. Rolando Tirona, OCD, D.D., Bishop Prelature of Infanta with a theme; ‘Building the Pillars of a Just and Lasting Peace’ while the culminating Eucharistic Celebration on the third day was celebrated by His Eminence Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales, D.D., the Archbishop of Manila with a theme; ‘Strengthening and Deepening the Spirituality of Communion.’

One of the keynote speakers, Bro. Karl Gaspar, CsSR, talked on ‘Dialogue of Faith and Culture on Campus: The Quest for Sustainable Peace’. Brother Karl underscored the importance of the dialogue of faith and culture in school campuses most especially if the school admits students who are Muslims, Hindus, and other religions and/or sect. Other speakers were: Fr. Sebastian D’Ambra, PIME, the Founder and Director of Sisilah Dialogue Movement, talked on ‘Embracing Diversity In The Campus’, Bro. Karel San Juan, SJ, Ph.D., Executive Director of Emmaus Center for Psycho-Spiritual Formation, talked on ‘Building a Just and Lasting Reconciliation in the Campus’, and Leah H. Vidal, Ph.D., Executive Director of Mindanawon for Cultural Initiatives and Campus Ministry Director of Ateneo de Davao University, talked on ‘Spiritual Accompaniment and Leadership Transformation of the Youth.’

The speakers in each conference stressed the importance of addressing the culture of the people in the campus before going deeper into their faith in order to widen the horizon for peace, unity and diversity. “…Eh, sayang naman ‘yong pinagpaguran nating activities pag hindi nakakapasok sa puso nila (the youth) because they cannot grasp nor accept them…they might be doing things only because we ask them to do so…,” Brother Karl opined.

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