AWAKENING TO REALITIES, CHALLENGES and OPPORTUNITIES TODAY
Religious Life Week 2015 commenced with the call to consecrated women and men to awaken to the realities, challenges and opportunities in today’s world. This was highlighted by Fr. Antonio Pernia, SVD—the keynote speaker on this first day of Religious Life Week.
Before the keynote speech of Fr. Pernia, there were other items in the program like the opening prayer led by the ICLA students from Vietnam, the Welcome Address of Fr. Samuel Canilang, CMF—Director of ICLA, the Overview of the whole Religious Life Week events by Sr. Amelia Vasquez, RSCJ—Coordinator of the Spirituality Department of ICLA, and the Introduction to the Keynote Speaker by Fr. Edgar Javier, SVD—Head of ICLA’s Missiology Department.
Fr. Pernia gave two talks focusing on the following themes: (1) Powerless Servants of Humanity, Humble Witnesses of the Kingdom and (2) The Other Face of God – The Challenge to the Consecrated Life Today.
Sr. Christine Burke, IBVM, an Australian missionary recently assigned to the Philippines, responded to Fr. Pernia’s keynote address. Some of the questions she posed to the participants are: What has been the gift to you of living with people whose background is different from yours? What has been hardest for you? How can we share what we are learning with our wider society, torn apart as it is by difference?
The many participants (488 registered excluding ICLA students & faculty, keynote speakers and respondents for the entire Religious Life Week), who joined in this year’s Religious Life Week, didn’t just listen to the talks; they also had a chance to speak during the dyad sharing that followed the response of Sr. Burke and during the open forum.
Ms. Menchie Rojas served as the very able emcee of the whole proceedings.
Introduction of Keynote Speaker
By Fr. Edgar Javier, SVD
Fr. Antonio Pernia, SVD
Talk 1: “Powerless Servants of Humanity, Humble Witnesses of the Kingdom”
Talk 2: “The Other Face of God – The Challenge to the Consecrated Life Today”
Fr. Antonio Pernia, SVD is a religious missionary priest of the Society of the Divine Word. He holds a doctorate degree in Theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome and a master’s degree in Philosophy from the Divine Word Seminary in Tagaytay City, Philippines.
He professed final vows in the Society of the Divine Word in 1975 and was ordained priest in the same year. He taught Philosophy and Theology at the Divine Word Seminary in Tagaytay City and at the Regional Major Seminary in Davao City. He was Provincial Superior of the SVD Philippine Southern province (1993-1994), Vice Superior General (1994-2000), and Superior General (2000-2012) of the SVD. Currently, he is the Dean of Studies of the Divine Word Institute of Mission Studies (DWIMS) in Tagaytay City.