"SERVICE AND LOVE: RECOGNITION OF SLC’S SERVICE AND MERIT AWARDEES ON THE OCCASION OF THE 56TH FOUNDATION ANNIVERSARY OF SLC. MARCH 6, 2020, FR. JOSE BURGOS GYM. MESSAGE GIVEN BY FR. RAMON R. CALUZA, CICM, COLLEGE PRESIDENT"March 12, 2020
To all our beloved service awardees and their beloved family members, members of the Board of Trustees, members of SLC Incorporated, distinguished faculty members, dedicated brothers and sisters of our support staff in administration and maintenance, friends and guests!
Before anything else let me congratulate the members of the organizing committee and our providers, that took care of preparing so beautifully our venue and later, will be serving us our well-deserved dinner which surely will be delicious. Look at this work of art! You make us feel so at home.
Now, I am looking at all of you, and I could say: you are so transformed – all of you are so beautiful and handsome. Shall we call this the afternoon of afternoons! Yes, we will!
There is an innovation in place at this very moment. We have decided that the traditional State of the College Address (SOCA)being given by the School President during the Service Award Ceremony like this will not be given this time. The SOCA will be given somewhere in May 2020 in a formal Academic Session where all of you will be invited to attend. So the event this afternoonbecomes solely a family or social affair. My message will therefore be short. Besides, we have some surprises for you all! Let us enjoy the moment.
This is an afternoon of sincere palpitation of our hearts, as we encounter each other as SLC Family, and express our appreciation for the service we ALL render to our beloved Institution. And added to that of course, is to give recognition to our SERVICE AND MERIT AWARDEES - series 2020!
A few days ago, I was given a list of the names of the Service Awardees for this year 2020. It is a one page document. I read the names: from ten years service to 35 years service. I was amazed with the number of years of service rendered by each one. Compared to my one year and two months here at SLC since I was formally installed, I felt small and a bit envious.
But there was something that stirred in my inner self. The list was dry. There was something and somewhat lacking. So I asked the Office of Human Resources to give me another list, this time with a picture and a short profile of each of the awardees. Then, something happened here (in my heart). I started to connect with a tender feeling of joy and deep appreciation.
I saw faces of special people. I saw and I felt how special this or that colleague of mine is. The dry list became a lively and mysterious experience. The dry and barren list turned into a revelation, a recognition, a mystery and a beacon of hope.In short, it was a source of joy
Now, I am in front of the awardees! There you are: happy faces, beautiful people, manifestation of God’s love, dedicated servants, delicate but willing vessels of God’s beautiful dream of transformedhumankind living in a vibrant and life-giving Mother Earth and the whole cosmic world.
You have selected the theme: Service and Love, for this occasion. How fitting this is. All these years that you are here with us at SLC, were and continue to be, moments of grace, occasions for growth and personal advancement, instances of transformative interventions for the formation and training of the Youth who will be launched as responsible and competent leaders of our times.
Be it in the academic and spiritual field, be you in the administration, be you in the arts, sports and culture,be you in the care and upkeep of our facilities, all of you are men and women who, through word and deed, epitomize the mantra: IN OMNIBUS AMARE ET SERVIRE DOMINUM (IN ALL LOVING AND SERVING THE LORD).
I painstakingly researched for the most fitting Bible Text for this Service Awards Celebration. I found many. But I like most Galatians 5:13. It says (and with a bit of paraphrasing):
“For in Christ, you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don't use your freedom to satisfy your personal desires and aspirations. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love."
This means that in Christ Jesus there is no condemnation for sinning. Even if you sin or commit mistakes, you will not be condemned because Jesus the Christ is alive in you. But to keep people from sinning more and more, to keep people inthe right track, the preventive measure is TO FREELYSERVE ONE ANOTHER IN LOVE. There goes our most fitting theme for this occasion.
The story is told about a little boy who was asked by his teacher: “Where are you from?”
The boy responded: “From Tondo, Ma’am.”
“And where is Tondo?”
“In Manila, Ma’am.”
“And where is Manila?”
“In the Philippines, Ma’am!”
“And where is the Philippines?”
“In the world, Ma’am.”
“And where is the world?”
“In the hand of the Santo Niño, Ma’am!”
Remember that the statue of the Santo Nino has the world in his hand. Joking aside, dear awardees, all these years, ten, fifteen, twenty, twenty-five, thirty and thirty-five years, you had the world (so to speak) in your hands. Your dedication, your honesty, your perseverance, your loyalty, and your consistency in being part of the vision and mission of SLC are commendable. You have the world of SLC in your hands, and I thank you for taking care of this world with love and care, with passion and hope. In good times and bad times, you gave your very best. You can be very proud of this. And we are very proud of you all!
In the name of the Board of Trustees, I sincerely thank you for your passionate and productive service to this institution.
But this does not end there! I believe that all of us,non-awardees here present, have to accompany the awardees in thanking our loving God who has called them to be humble and loving servants in and through SLC.
God has chosen you to be here. To a great extent, you have not chosen to be here, God has chosen you to be part of this beloved Institution. And because of this outlook and conviction, you will be truly rewarded in this life and in the afterlife. I truly believe in this.
Allow me to end by saying, “In all let us love and serve the Lord through our selfless dedication to our tasks and responsibilities in this school, in our respective families, in our community, in our country and in the world. Let us continue to build a better SLC, to help SLC be prosperous and successful in her collective pursuit of academic excellence through transformative encounters.
We express our authentic respect for you, dear awardees. We extend our sincere appreciation for your dedication. We join you in celebrating your well-earned recognition. We pray that you will always be healthy, joyful and hopeful. We are very proud of you. Continue with this beautiful service.
We LOVE YOU AND PLEASE DO TAKE CARE ALWAYS.