Article Text by Jonathan S. Lacson, Assistant for Formation, FPTI – ERDA Tech, Photo by Rowena B. Dela Cruz, Sponsorship Program Coordinator, FPTI – ERDA Tech
The Fr. Pierre Tritz Institute – ERDA Tech community gathered on Wednesday, June 14, 2017 for the Mass of the Holy Spirit which Jesuit schools traditionally have at the beginning of a new school year. The mass was concelebrated by Fr. Aristotle Dy, SJ, Xavier School and Fr. Pierre Tritz Institute – ERDA Tech President; Fr. Arturo Borja, SJ, Xavier School Chaplain; and Fr. Xavier Olin, SJ, Xavier School Campus Minister. The blessing of the class symbols: Philippine flags, school flags, crucifixes, and pictures of class patron saints was also done during the mass.
Homily Text by Fr. Aristotle C. Dy, SJ, Xavier School and FPTI – ERDA Tech President
The Gifts of the Holy Spirit
I would like to begin by welcoming our new students in Grade 11. In case you are wondering what this Mass is all about, this is our traditional way of opening the academic year in a Catholic and Jesuit school. We start the year by invoking the Holy Spirit upon each one of us so that the Spirit will guide us with knowledge and wisdom throughout the year.
One of the gifts of the Holy Spirit is unity. If you recall the story about the Tower of Babel in the Old Testament, the people started speaking different languages after the Lord punished them for trying to build a tower that would reach up to heaven. The result was division.
This division, however, was reversed in the New Testament when the Holy Spirit came upon the apostles after the Resurrection and Ascension of Jesus. The apostles began to speak in different tongues, and yet they could understand each other. There was a new unity through their faith in Jesus Christ.
We also pray for unity among ourselves and in our country. St. Paul speaks of other gifts of the Holy Spirit, and this can be unique to each one of us. Just think about it for a moment. Some of you have the gift of reading, like those who proclaimed our Scriptures earlier. Some have the gift of singing, like those in the choir. Some have the gift of explaining complex subjects, like perhaps our teachers here.
We all have gifts, and the Lord invites us to develop these gifts and use them to serve the community. Two weeks ago, Mr. Magsalin and I were at the Toyota Training Center in Sta. Rosa, Laguna, for the graduation ceremony of its students who took a two-year technical training program. Five ERDAnians were among the graduates, and three of them graduated with honors out of the 200 students. We were very proud of them, and we were even told that ERDA Tech graduates are not only competent, but also punctual, respectful, and very diligent. I hope this is true of all ERDAnians!
Those five ERDAnians who graduated from the Toyota program are now gainfully employed at the Toyota dealerships in Otis and North EDSA. They exemplify for us the vision of our founder, Fr Tritz, for young people like you to learn a technical skill during high school so that you can be employed right away and help your families beat the scourge of poverty. I hope that you also take this vision to heart, and use your gifts to secure a bright future for yourselves and your families.
Let us pray that the Holy Spirit will guide us with the graces we need to do well this school year, and that we may develop our gifts fully out of a desire to serve others.