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Thursday, August 24, 2006

Sunday, August 13, 2006


Memorial of St. Maximilian M. Kolbe
14 August 2006

Today we celebrate the memorial of St. Maximillian Kolbe; Pope John Paul II canonized Maximilian as a "Martyr of Charity" in 1981. Saint Maximilian Kolbe is considered a patron of journalists, families, prisoners, the pro-life movement and the chemically addicted. Saint Maximilian died in 1941 in a Nazi prison camp where he offered his life, to die in the stead of the other prisoners.

As many of you know, I was assigned in Bilibid Prisons for two years working as a rehabilitation officer. Those two years were memorable for me because those years were the period of lethal executions. Out of seven who were executed, I reached and known all the other six convicts. I did not reach Echegaray. During an execution day, our office was in charge of the family of these convicts. We try to help them in any way we can to face those crucial moments of their lives. One time, as I vividly remember, I was tasked to watch the kids of the convict – a young teen girl and a little boy. The little boy was too busy playing with his toys while the girl was just sitting still in one corner. So I approached the girl and asked her if she is okay. Perhaps it was the dumbest question to ask during those times. She remained silent for a while. Then she answered, “Sana po ako na lang ang nasa lugar ni tatay para magkasama sila nina nanay at bunso. At first, I was stunned by her reply. Perhaps there is something wrong with what she said. But then I realized there is more right and truthfulness in her words.

I think this simple incident has many things to say us, especially for us Jesuits. When the time comes for us to give ourselves fully, for the poor, for the sick, for the dying, for a cause, for a friend, for a brother, can we truly say, “We are really there for these?” Perhaps in all of our formation years, we are constantly reminded of the meaning of the Cross, yet at the same time, we are also reminded of our weaknesses and limitation. But I think the important thing here is that we are asked go beyond ourselves, to continue on loving and loving. This is true giving. This is true dying.

Like what in our Gospel today Jesus said, "The Son of Man will be delivered into human hands, and they will kill him. But he will rise on the third day." This was the faith of Maximillian Kolbe; fueled by the love of Christ and the Virgin mother; he embraced death joyfully. Through the death, which Christ underwent on the Cross, the redemption of the world was achieved, for this death has the value of supreme love. Through the death of Father Maximilian Kolbe, a shining sign of this love was renewed in our century which is seriously and in so many ways threatened by sin and death.”

St. Maximilian M. Kolbe, pray for us.

Arthur W. Nebrao, Jr., S.J.
JP Chapel

Sunday, August 06, 2006

student profie for education of the gifted

My name is Arthur Williams Nebrao, Jr., SJ. I will be turning 29 years old this November. I grew up as an adopted child in Zamboanga City, but for the past eight years, I was staying here in Manila. On 1998 I graduated BS in Computer Science at Ateneo de Zamboanga University. After college, I taught for one year in the same school teaching Systems Analysis and Basic programming. I also maintain the school system as part of my staff load.

After some time of discernment, I volunteered with the Jesuit Volunteers Philippines. This is a lay organization which sends volunteers as teachers, youth organizer, pastoral workers, NGO program officers, campus ministers and social workers to different poor areas in the country. I was then assigned with Philippine Jesuit Prison Service in the New Bilibid Prisons. I served as a rehabilitation officer for the soon-to-be-released-prisoners under the Pre-Release Rehabilitation program. For the latter part of my stay, I was one of the organizers of Juvenile Assistantcy Program which aims to foster rehabilitation for youth offenders in Bilibid. Proud to say our efforts gave way for the effectively of the Juvenile Delinquency Law and the abolition of death penalty in the country. I stayed there for two wonderful and fruitful years before I enter the Philippine Province of the Society of Jesus on 2001 as a Prenovice.

Presently I am a Jesuit Scholastic taking up MA Philosophy in Ateneo de Manila as part of the two year Philosophy formation program. Hopefully after this school year, I will be sent for the two year Regency formation program which gives us the opportunity to teach basic education in the different Ateneo schools or to do mission work in Cambodia or East Timor. This is all part of the eleven years formation program of the Society of Jesus.

Since I have accomplished enough Philosophy courses since I have started, I was asked to take the eighteen units of Education in order to take the licensure as well as to use these foundations in education during my regency work.

Presently, I don’t teach any class. But what I can share is that we are assigned in different apostolates. My primary apostolate is moderating the Ateneo Christian Life Community (ACLC). This is a student organization in the Loyola Schools which focuses on three aspects of formation: prayer, community, and apostolate. The consolation I am experiencing with ACLC is guiding and experiencing the magnanimity of the youth in proclaiming God’s love and social justice to the poor. My secondary apostolate comes in the form of spiritual direction, retreat and recollection giving, as well as doing multi-media projects for the various offices in the Province. If I may include, it is really a challenge and a grace to guide these gifted and unique souls as they journey in their own life. I may not be teaching but I have close contact with students as a moderator of ACLC and in the process I could help the students realize their giftedness.

Arthur W. Nebrao, Jr., SJ
Ma Ph
5 August 2006
for Education of the Gifted

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