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Men fully alive, endowed with a passion for justice, and the skills for development.

The Director’s Closing Remarks at the Xavier-Kuangchi Exemplary Alumni Awards

Good evening!

2008_03_08_07621.JPGTo our distinguished Xavier-Kuangchi Exemplary Alumni Awardees this year—Atty Ted Bonpin (`82), Dr. Ricardo Quintos II (81), and Gilbert Son (72), members of the Xavier School Board of Trustees led by our Chairman, Fr. Ismael Zuloaga, Xavier School administrators and teachers, my dear students, parents, alumni, and family and friends:

What a wonderful and moving evening this has been!

On many occasions here in Xavier School, we sing our school song, “Luceat Lux.” Every student and every alumnus knows the words by heart; and each time we sing it, we sing about letting our light shine. But tonight we have done much more than that. Tonight we have honored three men, three Xaverians, who show us what it means and what it takes to let our light shine.

eaawardees.jpgEach one of our awardees, in his own field and in his own way, has provided living examples of the Xavier School ideals and values. Through their lives and example, they prove to us that what we sing about and what we keep hearing from our teachers in school are not empty slogans or mere clichés.

As the School Director and as a Xaverian, I stand proudest and gladdest when we hear of alumni like our three honorees this evening, Xaverians who, against the fashion of the day, dedicate their lives to serve God and neighbor, especially the least of our brothers and sisters.

eahssc.jpgTed, Ricky, and Gilbert, you join last year’s first group of five honorees, when as a fitting celebration of Xavier School’s Golden Jubilee, we launched the Xavier-Kuangchi Exemplary Alumni Award. I remember when we first announced the criteria, a number of alumni jokingly complained that you would need to be a saint to qualify.

Not true. Unlike the Church’s stringent canonization procedures, we don’t require miracles or martyrdom! But when you think about it, our awardees are, in fact, miracle workers in their respective fields and martyrs in their own right. Think about it:

  • To use the law to protect the poor and the planet as Ted has done
  • To hone one’s medical expertise in order to serve those in greatest need as Ricky has done
  • To spread the good news of Christ with as much zeal and humor as Gilbert does…

To do all this when it is so much more materially rewarding and therefore fashionable to exploit, to hoard, and to live for one’s self—This is miracle enough and as our awardees know, martyrdom enough. At a time when we worry about moderating other people’s greed, you have led lives moderated by generosity.

eagssc.jpgOn behalf of the Jesuits of Xavier School, both those who continue to serve here and those who have passed on, on behalf of our school administrators and your teachers, I thank you for inspiring us in a wonderful way tonight. Ted, Ricky, and Gilbert, tonight we honor you, but it is you who have honored Xavier School with your lives of service.

Thank you for making our work as educators more fulfilling. Your examples inspire us to dedicate ourselves even more to our mission of forming our students into men of God and men for others. And I know I speak on behalf of every student, every alumnus, and every member of the Xavier School community when I say that we are proud of you and because of you, we are even prouder of Xavier School. Luceat Lux!

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