Jesuit Leadership Education Seminar 2023: Atenean lawyers’ journey to Laudato Si’
16 May 2023
It is an annual tradition for the Ateneo de Manila University Law School to conduct a Jesuit Leadership Education Seminar (JLE) for student leaders and movement builders. The JLE is a 3-day seminar and workshop that aims to facilitate a deeper understanding of our Ignatian mission and identity as a Jesuit Law School, and the call for future lawyers in community and nation building. This year, in line with Ateneo’s university-wide mission to become a Laudato Si’ University, the JLE was conducted with the theme Laudato Si': Atenean Lawyers’ Response to the Cry of the Earth and the Cry of the Poor. The 3-day event was held on 12 to 14 May 2023 at the Caritas Philippines Academy, Tagaytay City.
This year’s JLE was opened by no less than the University President, Fr Bobby Yap, who gave an introduction on the call of Laudato Si’. Reflecting on the question “Who turned the wonder world of the seas into underwater cemeteries bereft of color and life?”, Fr Bobby shared insights on the themes of Laudato Si’, focusing on the conviction that everything in the world is connected, the intimate relationship between the poor and the fragility of the planet, and the shift to integral ecology.
Zeroing in on the twin calls of Laudato Si’ to hear the cry of the environment and the cry of the poor, the Keynote session was followed by a talk by Dr Bobby Guevarro entitled "Drawing Close to the Poor' at the `Table of Hope': Five Invitations". Dr Guevarra gave an inspiring lecture on the invitation to have genuine and meaningful engagements with the most vulnerable sectors of society. This session was complemented by the session of Atty Ray Paolo Santiago, Executive Director of the Ateneo Human Rights Center (AHRC), who discussed the different avenues for law students to contribute to the fight for social justice.
On the call of Laudato Si’ to respond to the cry of the environment, Atty Bobby Chan, Executive Director of the Palawan NGO Network Inc. (PNNI), shared his experience of being a staunch environmental defender, chasing chainsaws and illegal fishing vessels, saving wildlife, and fighting for the last frontiers of Palawan together with local community partners.
Acknowledging the cry of the country for good, competent, and compassionate leadership, Mr Philip Dy, Executive Vice President of Metrobank Foundation and former Undersecretary from the Office of Vice President Leni Robredo, shared insights on Good Governance, what it is and why we need it. A panel of ALS alumni composed of Atty Eugene Kaw, Atty Nicolene Arcaina, and Dean Joey Hofileña also shared their experience on how they applied Ignatian values in their law practice, towards our shared mission to care for our common home. This was followed by a workshop on Rule of Law and Development by Atty Joan Dela Cruz. Through this exercise, participants learned tools and skills they can use in analyzing issues and planning concrete responses to the call of Laudato Si’.
The JLE was designed to impress upon student leaders the vital role of law student leaders in responding to the issues faced by our country. This is one venue for the ALS administration, professors, and students to reflect on our mission to form lawyers who are skilled not only in the science and art of the law, but also leaders with a burning passion and desire to serve the nation for the greater glory of God.
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