SM Foundation presented 225 college graduates to the Henry Sy family and to Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle during a testimonial dinner on May 30 at the SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia.
The graduates came from different cities where SM malls are located. Many of them rode an airplane for the first time to attend the testimonial dinner. (SM Foundation had arranged for their airfare and hotel accommodations.)
This school year, SM Foundation is helping 1,300 scholars.
Cardinal Tagle congratulated the scholars for working hard to finish their schooling and thanked their parents for providing the moral guidance to help them finish college.
Four summa cum laude graduates—Cederic Aeron R. Baybayon, Jennifer Z. Camenting and Dan Jeward Rubis from National University, and Jessica Aliana S. Habunal from Central Philippines University in Iloilo—led this batch of scholar graduates.
They shared their experiences as SM scholars, while parents gave testimonials on how the scholarship helped their children realize their dreams. Each graduate received a personalized wristwatch with his/her name engraved on it from Henry Sy Sr., and gift certificates from the Sy family.
The SM scholarship program also assists scholars in looking for jobs.
Earlier in the day, the various human resource departments of the SM conglomerate conducted a job fair for the new graduates, providing a chance for them to work in the different SM companies.
Forty percent of this year’s graduates finished their degrees with honors. Aside from the four summas, there were 19 magna cum laudes, 47 cum laudes and 20 with academic distinction.
SM Foundation is on its 20th year.
Msgr. Nico Bautista
After Msgr. Nico Bautista passed away on July 12, 2009, his friends continued to administer the Msgr. Nico P. Bautista Educational Foundation (MNPBEF).
The present president is Jay Gervasio, who told us that the MNPBEF is a purely volunteer organization, thus 100 percent of all donations go to scholarships for poor but deserving students.
When “Monsi” was growing up, he noticed that other kids he played with didn’t go to school. Even that early, Monsi was thinking of how he could help poor kids fulfill their dreams.
The opportunity came when he celebrated his 25th year of ordination. Monsi asked himself, “Why not make this personal milestone a relevant response to the crying need of the times? Why not a scholarship foundation for poor deserving students?”
Thus, on April 11, 1986, the MNPBEF was born and registered with the SEC.
Twenty seven years later, nearly 200 Filipinos have been granted the gift of education by the foundation.
The MNPBEF has also bankrolled the vocational and technical training of young people.
Today, the work envisioned by Monsi is carried out by a team of dedicated volunteers, none of them are paid for their efforts, but motivated simply by the shared vision of providing poor people access to good education.
There are five scholars this school year.
The foundation appeals to friends of Msgr. Nico Bautista and readers who share in his vision to send donations to the Msgr. Nico P. Bautista Educational Foundation.
For details, e-mail MNPBEF@yahoo.com or visit the Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/msgrnicop.bautista.
Those who have graduated are urged to keep in touch by visiting its Facebook page.
Commissioner Ramon Moreno of the Diplomate Society of St. Gabriel showed me the importance of praying Psalm 91 for protection and healing.
He quoted Fr. Enrico Gonzalez, OP, who celebrated the Mass at the Pink Sisters Convent in Baguio on the feast of Corpus Christi.
The priest said, “I am 83 years old, but I never had any serious illness. When people ask me how not to get sick, I tell them to pray Psalm 91 every day after making the Sign of the Cross with a holy oil on your forehead.”
Psalm 91 can be found in any Bible, but better yet buy the “Straight from the Heart” prayer book by Fr. Mario Ladra from National Book Store or St. Paul’s Bookstore, and you can find it on page 198. The Miracle Prayer is on page 29. There are also prayers to all the saints.
Franciscan to be beatified
Fr. Jose Maria de Manila (Eugenio Mortero), born in Manila in 1880, was martyred as a Franciscan Capuchin in Spain in 1936 during the Spanish Civil War.
To be beatified on Oct. 13 in Tarragona, Spain, together with 33 other martyrs, 19 of whom were Mercedarians, the Capuchin would henceforth be known Beato Jose Maria de Manila.
The information was relayed to us by Dr. Alvin Balatbat, a devotee of Nuestra Señora de la Merced, patroness of Barcelona. (She also has a shrine in Bahay Pare in Candaba, Pampanga.)
The new beato will join other Spanish civil war martyrs, mainly Dominicans and Augustinians, who had been based at one time or another in the Philippines and educated at the University of Santo Tomas and Colegio de San Juan de Letran.
The beatified UST Dominicans include Beato Buenaventura Garcia Paredes, a former master general of the Dominican Order in Rome and who previously had taught political law at UST; Beato Jesus Villaverde Andres, former dean of the UST Faculty of Sacred Theology and later, rector of Letran; Fr. Antonio Varona Ortega, a professor of Letran; and Fr. Inocencio Garcia Diez, who had taught at Letran in Cagayan (now defunct).
Other Philippine-based Spanish Dominicans who finished their theological studies at UST and were also martyred include Beatos Pedro Ibañez Alonso, Manuel Moreno Martinez, Maximino Fernandez Marinas and Jose Ma. Lopez Carillo.
Also beatified was Augustinian Fr. Gabino Olaso Zabala, who used to be based in the Ilocos.
Those who want Jose Maria de Manila prayer cards can write to me c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer, Chino Roces Ave., Makati City. Please enclose a self-addressed stamped long-letter envelope for easier mailing.
Relics at Naga Cathedral
The different relics of the Passion of Our Lord in the “Arma Christi Relics,” together with the holy relics of the Cincture (Belt) of the Blessed Mother and Cloak of St. Joseph, St. Padre Pio, St. Philomena and other beloved saints, will visit the Cathedral of Naga City from June 19 to 21, in celebration of the Feast of St. Josemaria Escriva on June 26.
Organizers are Las Amigas de San Josemaria Escriva and the Work of the Saints Relics Apostolate.
Pontifical Concelebrated Mass will be presided over by Archbishop Rolando Tirona, OCD, on June 19 at 5:30 p.m.