NOVEMBER 18, 2016 - ST. MARY's UNIVERSITY - LONDON
by: dr. prof. BELEN L. TANGCO,
CTGP President, Manila Philippines
JESUS CHRIST, our Lord, is the GREATEST TEACHER. In His humanity, He lived to the fullest in His love and service. In His divinity, He showered grace and being as He so redeemed man.
Through His redemptive act, man's pain and finiteness inherit infinity and eternal bliss.
Through His death and resurrection, He teaches courage, compassion, commitment, direction and renewed vitality to journey towards the Heavenly Father. With a Trinitarian inspiration and providence, indeed, behooving one to share the gifts of LIFE.
In our Catholic Teachers' Guild of the Philippines ( CTGP ), established in the early 50's, we have etched in our hearts and consciousness the Motto: “Initium Sapientiae Timor Domini" ( Fear of the Lord is the Beginning of Wisdom). With the objectives of updating teachers with the pedagogical strategies and techniques in periodic symposia and seminar-workshops as well as CTGP guidance in value formation and commitment to teaching vocation, CTGP also reaches out to communities in the periphery thru catechetical instructions and community projects. Pilgrimages also form part of formation to further nourish spiritual vitality. In collaboration with the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), CTGP co-hosts with the University of Santo Tomas the holding of National Conferences of the National Council of the Laity (Sangguniang Laiko ng Pilipinas ), and actively participates in the Philjppine Conference on New Evangelisation ( PCNE ) convened by Manila's Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, D.D.. With CTGP's general membership composed of private and public school teachers, whose big number come from Metro Manila and chapters in the provinces, parishes and regions in the Central Philippines; Catechists, Guidance Counselors, administrators, supervisors and superintendents, both active and retired, the CBCP's Episcopal Commission on the Laity Chairman , Bishop Broderick Pabillo, D.D., hopes to gather, with the leadership of Council of the Laity President Zeny Capistrano , significant thousands of participants in the " WALK FOR LIFE" event slated on February 18, 2017 at the Rizal Park area as assembly venue to voice out support for LIFE. This is in collaboration with industries who would be financially supporting the event.
CTGP VISION: To create in Catholic teachers an ever deeper awareness of drawing inspiration for their activities in the Christian vision of the world of education permeated with the Gospel values.
CTGP MISSION : To assist the members in acquiring the true philosophy of Catholic Education , and to promote the spiritual and professional growth of Filipino Catholic Teachers, as well as their social well- being to enable them to live up to the ideals of an authentic Catholic Educator.
Besides the periodic seminars for the personal and professional growth of members, national conferences are convened with adopted themes such as: " Teacher's Joy and Courage" with Rev. Fr. Jesus Miranda, OP as Keynote Speaker; " Dominican Charism in the Personal and Professional Lives of Teachers" with Rev. Fr. Louie R. Coronel, OP as Keynote Speaker; "Teacher's Faith and Mission" and the like.
Indeed, we could only be mindful of the Address of Pope Francis on the " Culture of Encounter."
In this encounter, we have three (3) languages: the language of the mind; the language of the heart; and the language of the hands.
A teacher has to take risks. A true educator must be a Master of reasonable risks, the Pope articulates. Attending to the poor young people of the outskirts is also a way of learning sociological reality: they have something that the young people of the wealthier neighborhoods do not have : they have the experience of survival, of cruelty, of hunger, and also of injustice. They have a wounded humanity.
Our salvation comes from the wounds of a wonderful Man on the Cross. From these wounds, they draw wisdom. Teachers have to help them grow in humanity, in intelligence, in values, in attitudes, so that they may move forward and bring to others the experience that they do not have. Reality is better understood from the peripheries than from the centre. Pope Francis underscores, " The greatest failure that an educator can have is teaching within walls."
I say, the Wounded Healer , the Greatest Teacher, the King of Kings, Jesus Christ, heals our wounded humanity. HE IS LOVE. I always recall the words written on the walls of a hospital chapel, with the image of our Lord Jesus crowned with thorns whispering in pain, " Loving me is having the courage to be pierced by thorns and to be embraced with my blood . "
Belen L. Tangco