Remembering a Great Jesuit: Fr. Romeo “Archie” Intengan, S.J.

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Last week, I had a dream with Fr. Romeo “Archie” Intengan, my former professor in Special Moral Theology and local superior while I was still a Jesuit scholastic in 1991. In that dream, we had a warm and serious talk. He listened to all my personal problems and frustrations in life and gave me some consoling advice on how to face them and follow Christ.

Life as a layperson after leaving a religious order can be very challenging and frustrating. I felt being suddenly deprived of all benefits and institutional security when I left the Jesuit and religious life. I felt alone in the world after I left the religious order in 1991.

During this lowest moment of my life, two Jesuits often entered into my mind–Fr. Thomas Green, S.J., my former spiritual director at San Jose Seminary, and Fr. Archie Intengan, S.J., my former Jesuit superior at the Loyola House of Studies. I really wanted to see them and share with them all my struggles in life after I left the congregation.

I did see Fr. Green for a spiritual direction two years after I left the religious order. But unfortunately, I wasn’t able to talk with Fr. Archie before his death. I later knew that he was appointed the overall head or the Provincial of the Jesuits in the Philippines. Knowing the workload of a provincial, I didn’t pursue my plan to have an appointment with him, just to talk to him about my new life as a layman. I knew that he would always be there to listen and to provide me with some advice.

Yes, I was able to see him again with my own family, this time not to talk to him on how I found my vocation outside the religious order but to see him for the last time at the Loyola House of Studies chapel during his wake! Although we may not have met again in person, I always felt he was there, happy for what I have done for my family and for the Church as a layman.

Who is Father Archie?

Father Romeo “Archie” Intengan is a former Surgery Professor of University of the Philippines-General Hospital (UP-PGH), Moral Theologian and Professor of the Loyola School of Theology, Ateneo de Manila University, Provincial or national leader of the Jesuit Order in the Philippines, chief ideologue of the Partido Demokratikong Sosyalista ng Pilipinas (PDSP), and a spiritual father and friend to the many people who knew him.

It’s difficult to put Father Archie in one category as he is a person with many talents and abilities, performing various social roles while he was still alive. But to me, Fr. Archie is my spiritual father and true friend. He is also my former professor in Special Moral Theology and Juniorate superior at the Loyola House of Studies, Ateneo de Manila University, while I was still a Jesuit scholastic in 1990. Above all, he is my role model for scholarship, nationalism, and love for Christ.

As an Academic Scholar

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Fr. Archie managed to receive his licentiate in Moral Theology in Spain when he slipped out of the country to avoid an arrest that is ordered by the former President Ferdinand Marcos. After the EDSA Revolution in 1986 that ousted Pres. Marcos, Fr. Archie returned to the Philippines and started teaching Special Moral Theology II at the Loyola School of Theology (LST). I was fortunate to belong to the first batch of students he taught at the LST.

I could not have loved knowledge, research, and scholarship without the inspiration of some top Jesuit scholars led by Fr. Archie. Together with Fr. John Schumacher, S.J., and Fr. Joseph Smith, S.J., Fr. Archie is at the top of my list of role models for research and scholarship. I was always impressed by the degree of preparation, depth and high quality of his class notes and readings in our Special Moral Theology course. His conversational style of teaching was easy to understand. His lectures and class notes were very organized and comprehensive. These notes which were worthy of publication were all well-researched and complete with updated references despite his being a busy person. I knew that he always stayed late at night, doing his work as a scholar and teacher, aside from performing his duty as a local superior, medical doctor, and chief political strategist of his political party—the PDSP.

As a Nationalist

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The nationalism of Fr. Archie is par excellence. To me, he is the reincarnated Jose Rizal and Ninoy Aquino. He endangered his life by fighting the Marcos dictatorship and by trying to reform the country and serve the Catholic Church.

In his Special Moral Theology class, I learned that loving one’s country or patriotism is a sublime expression of loving one’s neighbor as commanded by Christ in the Bible.

 

As a Friend

Fr. Archie may be strong and firm in his beliefs and actions against political malaise and any form of abuse of power in the government, but he remained a gentle friend. He reached out to people and made them comfortable. If you’re sick, you can always knock on his door for a free medical check-up. He would never reject anyone who needs his help.

As a Man on a Mission

Fr. Archie is a man on a mission, a true Jesuit, and soldier of Christ. He knew that all his battles are all meant for the greater glory of God. And He knew that his life would end soon. I was informed that Fr. Archie went to his barber after sensing that his life is about to end.  Knowing him as a very systematic and meticulous person, he probably thought that he should face his relatives, friends, and the public in his wake with a good haircut and grooming. He may be a very busy person but he cares for others, making sure that his presence is always pleasant and loving to them.

Living saints and great followers of Christ live their life with a sole purpose of serving God and His Church through their chosen vocation. And Fr. Archie is one of them. I’m truly grateful to God for giving me the grace and the chance to see a living saint in Fr. Archie!

 

Photo Credits: Reverts to the owner/publisher of Fr. Archie’s photos.

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Older People Have a more Satisfying Relationship than Younger Adults

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Age does matter in social relationships. It is assumed that older people experience more negative experiences in life compared to younger people because of loneliness and detachment from relatives and friends who are either sick, dead, or migrated to distant places. Although it is generally true that older people, especially the retired and senior citizens, tend to have lesser reach in social network, the quality of their relationships, however, tend to be more satisfying compared to younger ones.

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Age is connected with experience in life. Older people have more experience about the realities of life and thus more resilient than younger adults with limited experience and who are more prone to commit mistakes and encounter conflicts in social relationships. Younger people are usually facing disillusionment or discovery period in their marital or romantic commitments during young adulthood. But the older ones have already surpassed this transition period and have “gone through the storm” so to speak. After more than 10 or more years in marital or romantic adjustment, it is assumed that they are more or less stable in their relationships and accepting of the faults and limitations of their partners, as well as their respective circles of relatives and friends that directly affect their social interactions, than younger ones.

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The high satisfaction in social relationships among older adults is confirmed by a number of studies that  showed that older people experienced more quality relationships than younger ones. Older adults reported greater satisfaction and fewer negative experiences in their social interactions than younger adults according to a study by Birditt & Fingerman in 2003.

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Other studies also showed that older adults reported experiencing a greater intensity of positive emotions and less intense negative emotions with their close social partners than do younger adults. They also recalled that they derived greater support from their close social ties compared to younger ones.They confirmed that they have better quality ties with their children, more positive marriages and closer friendships (e.g. Rook, 1984, 2003). Thus, social support grows more positive with age (e.g. Field & Minkler, 1988).

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Finally, a study by the United States of Aging Survey found that “[m]ore than half of seniors (53 percent) nationally indicate that being close to friends and family is important.” It  revealed that “[e]ighty-four percent of seniors nationally cite technology as important to their ability to connect with the world around them.” It also showed that spending quality time with their children and grandchildren as very exciting:

  • “41 percent say seeing their children and grandchildren grow up is the most exciting prospect of living a longer life”
  • “One-fifth say spending time with friends and family will be the best part of their bonus years”
  • “18 percent say they are excited to have more time to do the things they enjoy”(https://www.aplaceformom.com/blog/05-08-17-seniors-secret-to-happy-life/)

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4 Top Determinants in Choosing a Partner in a Date

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What do people look for when they want to choose a partner in a date?

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The factors that determine people what to look for from people they want to go out in a date are usually cultural. Each culture has its own set of expectation and criteria of what constitutes an ideal date and date partners. But the following factors seem to be popular among people living in urban societies based on some research studies.

Do you also consider some of these as significant in choosing your partner in a date?

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1. Physical Attractiveness

Although social factors can influence the choice of partners in a dating, physical attractiveness of the partner still remains an important determinant in dating (Spreadbury and Reeves, 1979). This idea of physical attractiveness as a determinant of dating progress is shown to be strong in both casual and serious daters (White 1980).  There is something interesting that should be noted about this study, however, because the findings suggest that it is a similarity of attractiveness that plays a larger role in how long a couple continues in a relationship.

Research supports the idea that both genders value physical attractiveness to a certain degree (especially within short-term contexts), but males may have more incentive for pursuing a woman they perceive as beautiful, even for the long-term.  According to this evolutionary imperative, men may highly value physical attractiveness in a female because it serves as a truthful indicator of health and fertility (Eastwick, 2008).

2. Financial Prospects

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Women do not only value physical attractiveness of their male partners but also their financial prospects in the long run as they are expected be better equipped to provide for both his partner and subsequent offspring.

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Females had much stronger preferences towards “financial management, ambition, and industriousness, higher education, desire for children, high intelligence and capacity for parenting” (Williamson, 1965).

3. Proximity in Age

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Age does matter in dating. Unless a person is just looking for financial support from a rich individual, the age gap between dating partners is important in society. Most research studies reveal that proximity in age between dating partners is important. One partner must not be very old or young compared to the other. Their age must either be similar or proximate. People can easily notice a gap when partners show affection in a public date. Signs of informal disapproval can be seen in their facial expressions when seeing a couple with a big age gap.

4. Social Desirability

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Individuals who are themselves very socially desirable (physically attractive, personable, or possessing great material assets) will require that an appropriate partner will possess more social desirability than will a less socially desirable individual. If couples with different social desirability in a situation, couples with similar desirability will most likely date with one another (Walster et al, 1966).

Women Want More!

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Women are even more demanding than men with their dating partners. Aside from social desirability, they have much stronger preferences towards partners who demonstrate “financial management, ambition, and industriousness, higher education, desire for children, high intelligence and capacity for parenting” (Williamson, 1965).

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Because of women’s expectation of their partners’ financial security,  men tend to postpone their marriage just to achieve first a middle-class social status. Dating and Courtship Patterns, Some Explorations, by Harold E. Smith, for instance, suggests that “owing to the needs of men to achieve some economic prosperity first, males more often than females in courtship postpone matrimony.”

Photo credit: Pexels.com, Pixabay.com

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4 Top Determinants in Choosing a Partner in a Date

valentines-day-3131986_640

What do people look for when they want to choose a partner in a date?

Web Hosting

The factors that determine people what to look for from people they want to go out in a date are usually cultural. Each culture has its own set of expectation and criteria of what constitutes an ideal date and date partners. But the following factors seem to be popular among people living in urban societies based on some research studies.

Do you also consider some of these as significant in choosing your partner in a date?

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1. Physical Attractiveness

Although social factors can influence the choice of partners in dating, physical attractiveness of the partner still remains an important determinant in dating (Spreadbury and Reeves, 1979). This idea of physical attractiveness as a determinant of dating progress is shown to be strong in both casual and serious daters (White 1980).  There is something interesting that should be noted about this study however, because the findings suggest that it is similarity of attractiveness that plays a larger role in how long a couple continues in a relationship.

Research supports the idea that both genders value physical attractiveness to a certain degree (especially within short-term contexts), but males may have more incentive for pursuing a woman they perceive as beautiful, even for the long-term.  According to this evolutionary imperative, men may highly value physical attractiveness in a female because it serves as a truthful indicator of health and fertility (Eastwick, 2008).

2. Financial Prospects

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Women do not only value physical attractiveness of their male partners but also their financial prospects in the long run as they are expected be better equipped to provide for both his partner and subsequent offspring.

Females had much stronger preferences towards “financial management, ambition and industriousness, higher education, desire for children, high intelligence and capacity for parenting” (Williamson, 1965).

3. Proximity in Age

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Age does matter in dating. Unless a person is just looking for financial support from a rich individual, the age gap between dating partners is important in society. Most research studies reveal that proximity in age between dating partners is important. One partner must not be very old or young compared to the other. Their age must either be similar or proximate. People can easily notice a gap  when partners show affection in a public date. Signs of informal disapproval can be seen in their facial expressions when seeing a couple with big age gap.

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4. Social Desirability

Individuals who are themselves very socially desirable (physically attractive, personable, or possessing great material assets) will require that an appropriate partner will possess more social desirability than will a less socially desirable individual. If couples with different social desirability in a situation, couples with similar desirability will most likely date with one another (Walster et al, 1966).

Women Want More!

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Women are even more demanding than men with their dating partners. Aside from social desirability, they have much stronger preferences towards partners who demonstrate “financial management, ambition and industriousness, higher education, desire for children, high intelligence and capacity for parenting” (Williamson, 1965).

Because of women’s expectation of their partners’ financial security,  men tend to postpone their marriage just to achieve first a middle class social status. Dating and Courtship Patterns, Some Explorations, by Harold E. Smith, for instance, suggests that “owing to the needs of men to achieve some economic prosperity first, males more often than females in courtship postpone matrimony.”

Photo credit: Pexels.com, Pixabay.com

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The Religiosity of the Filipino Catholic Christians

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Photo: St. Joseph Cathedral, Butuan City, Philippines (courtesy of the author)

Surveys on Filipino religiosity by the Social Weather Station (SWS) had consistently revealed a more privatized faith for the Filipino Christians, i.e., a Christian faith focusing only on private spirituality and lacking in social involvement. The results revealed that most Filipinos consider themselves very religious, with very strong beliefs in the existence of God and higher level of participation in religious activities.

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In particular, the Filipino youth (within ages 15 and 30) regarded themselves as religious (extremely religious 9%, very religious 29% and somewhat religious 49% or a total of 89%) in a 1996 SWS survey commissioned for the Philippine Youth Commission. This high level of religiosity is not, however, accompanied by a strong social involvement, particularly in organizational involvement. Only 12 percent of the Filipino youth are involved in church and religious organizations as well as in sports and recreational organizations. With regard to participation in charitable institutions, only 3% of the youth are involved.

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Photo credit: author

In general, most religiosity surveys revealed that the Filipino faith, although high in religious belief, lacked public character. Most of the popular Filipino religious practices are more oriented towards the individual and/or small circle of friends and relatives and lacking in structural dimension demanded by the CST.

Penitence

Photo: Filipino Christians doing in penitence during Holy Week in the Philippines (Source: http://thepinoywarrior.com)

The Filipino religious practice of penitensya (penitence) during Lent, for instance, encourages a pietistic and individualist orientation of faith. Though hugely popular, the devotion remains an individualist effort to atone one’s individual sin and lacking in social dimension. The popular devotion to the Black Nazarene in Quiapo is also devoid of liberational dimension. Many devotees participated in the devotion as a form of personal and familial gratitude due to some material favors they received from the Black Nazarene.

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Photo: The procession of the Black Nazarene of Quiapo (Source: http://theologasia.com)

Fernando Zialcita, a Filipino anthropologist, confirmed this pattern in his earlier study of the black Nazarene devotion. His informants revealed that the motivation in joining the Black Nazarene devotion is more materialist in nature, deviating from the Church’s official spiritual on devotion.  Filipinos rate themselves very high in religiosity and religious beliefs but they did not seem to relate them to social issues and problems as indicated by religiosity surveys and popular devotions in the country like the Black Nazarene.

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Photo credit: author

This finding is consistent with the study done by Dr. Ricardo Abad (2005) on the social capital of Filipinos: Filipinos tend to be affiliated more with their own smaller circles of relatives and friends and less in organizations and associations in the Church or in civil society. The Filipino Christianity is generally a privatized or personal one.

Sto. Nino

Photo: Sinulog procession in honor of the Sto. Nino in Cebu City, Philippines (Source:http://catholicleader.com.au)

The Second Plenary Council of the Philippines (PCP II) says that most of the people’s faith today is centered on the practice of the rites of popular piety and not on community and of building up of the world into the image of the Kingdom (PCP #13), specifically on building up of a faith community and involvement in social issues (PCP II#17). For this reason PCP II recommended a rigorous catechism of the “unchurched” or “nominal” Catholics, that is, the vast majority of Catholics in the Philippines who greatly lack knowledge and formation in the Christian faith, particularly on the Church’s social doctrines. Thus, catechism and Christian formation of Filipino Catholics on the social doctrines of the Church are, therefore, urgently needed in order to develop their Christian social conscience and  spirituality of social transformation.

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One must remember that the Christian faith is neither all about social activism and pietism nor solely about saving the individual’s soul, but a fine blend of spiritual and social struggle for the total liberation of the individual and society from all forms of personal and social sins. The Second Vatican Council emphasized that the mission of the Church in the contemporary world is helping human being to discover God as the ultimate meaning of his/her existence (CSDC #576). The Church’s mission is the total salvation of the individual and society from spiritual and material slavery.

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