XU LAUNCHES THE FR. BERNAD S.J. MEMORABILIA COLLECTION

Sep 5, 2011

by DR. ANSELMO MERCADO

On January 25, 2011, at 4:00 in the afternoon, the Xavier University Libraries, in collaboration with the Xavier University administration, the XU Department of History and Political Science and the XU Center for Culture and Arts will launch the “Father Bernad, SJ Memorabilia Collection”.

Fr. Miguel A. Bernard S.J.

We are in the Philippines. It is the only country in Asia that is predominantly Catholic. There was a time in our history that this “Catholicity” was threatened by a “Religious Revolution in the Philippines”. How much do we know about this dramatic story?Many of us have been to Manila. There is a river that flows through that capital city called “Pasig”. That river has a very interesting story to tell too. Our country is a multi-lingual society, and it has been said that our native vernacular languages have “dignity and beauty”. What makes it so? How do our native languages compare with other languages? Then, too, we have our national heroes. How much do we really know about those “guys”, and in particular about our national hero, Jose Rizal?

Many of us live in Mindanao, an island blessed with bountiful resources. How much do we really know about this great island, its economic, natural and historical development? We have our own great river, the “Rio Grande of Mindanao”. This great river has an interesting story to tell as well. Historically, Mindanao has been claimed by the Muslims and by the Lumads.

Today, the island is predominantly Catholic. How did Mindanao become predominantly Catholic-Christian? Where was the first mass celebrated on Philippine soil? Was it in Limasawa or Butuan? A historical research was done and written about this controversial issue. Has it been resolved? Our national hero, Jose Rizal, was exiled in Dapitan, Zamboanga del Norte. Of what significance was his brief stay in that place to the people and the island of Mindanao?

These and many more things are very intriguing, vexing and interesting if only to arouse our intellectual curiosity. Indeed many of us still have much to learn about our rich and interesting history and cultural heritage. We do have a lot to offer and a lot of information are available if we take the initiative and interest to know more about our country and our people.

This is the main purpose of the establishment of the “Father Bernad Memorabilia Collection”. It is housed in the XU campus library because this is the main purpose of a library – to share knowledge to those who will take advantage of this resource.


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