Wednesday, September 26, 2012

A new Filipino priest-playwright

From Sun Star Cebu's article Sept. 23, 2012 article on The other side of Msgr. Ting Ancajas (via Katekista Ako blog):

One such talented  priest is Msgr. Agustin ”Ting” Ancajas. He entered the priesthood only after finishing  a degree in communication from the Ateneo de Manila University. 

Ordained a priest in 2000, he was first assigned to the Lonergan Communication Center at the Seminario Mayor. Then, until the retirement of Rufino (sic) J. Cardinal Vidal, he became the cardinal’s secretary. 


... playwriting is his passion. He started to write plays in 1998 under the pen name Angelo (his favorite name) Zige (the family name of his great, great grandfather who—shhh—was a Portuguese friar, whose picture is with one of Msgr. Ting’s aunts). So far he has written 15 one-act plays. He explains: “I grew up with radio shows. I just love to write plays because of that. Sometimes when I am inspired, I write non-stop from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. When I’m inspired to write, and I get the momentum to do so, it’s hard to stop.” 

His two latest plays are Laptop and Living Downstairs. He wrote Laptop in 2010 when he  was in London taking a six-month course, from September 2010 to March 2011, on  acting and directing at the Central School of Speech and Drama  at the University of London. Living Downstairs is about domestics living in London, for which he actually became a domestic for two weekends to get the feel of their life. 

Laptop is a contemporary play about two brothers and a sister in London. 

“It’s about  family relationships,” Msgr. Ting says. “The laptop is an important gadget to connect people, to break or mend relationships, especially for people who move around. It’s the laptop, especially through Skype, that connects them.” 

Msgr. Ting says his plays have been  shown in the seminary, as well as in other parishes when their priests ask to borrow the plays. He will show Laptop on Sept. 28 and 29 at the Marcelo Fernan Cebu Press Center. He originally wrote Laptop in Tagalog, a language he grew up with during his childhood days in Manila, but he has had to translate it in Cebuano for this presentation, which will see him as a better-prepared director honed in the “Method Acting” to “be natural, be realistic as much as possible.”

Thursday, September 20, 2012

UST is first Filipino Catholic university to implement the "Mandatum"

On September 19, 2012, the entire body of lay theology teachers in the University of Santo Tomas -- the Philippines' only Pontifical University -- received the Mandatum required by Canon 812 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law (read this particular Canon here) and by the Apostolic Constitution Ex Corde Ecclesiae, which was promulgated by Pope John Paul II back in 1990. Both of these documents require that those who teach a theological discipline in any Catholic institute of higher education should obtain a mandate (mandatum) to teach from the competent ecclesiastical authority, usually the Ordinary or bishop of the diocese where the institute is located. 

In addition to the lay theology teachers, professors of ethics, professors of professional ethics, high school religion teachers, and six instructors in bioethics at the UST Faculty of Medicine and Surgery received the Mandatum. (H/t to Mr. Richard Pazcoguin, Asst. Director of UST Campus Ministry, for this information.)

To my knowledge this is the first time that a Catholic institute of higher education in the Philippines has specifically required its teachers of theological disciplines to obtain the Mandatum. The UST Varsitarian modestly comments that "this is probably the first time the mandatum will be enforced in the Philippines". In the United States, where the issue of the Mandatum and the overall concern for doctrinal purity in Catholic education has been more pronounced and impassioned among laymen, many small and middle-sized Catholic colleges and universities (informally called "Ex Corde Ecclesiae schools") have been publicly implementing the requirement of a Mandatum or an equivalent Oath of Fidelity for all of their teachers of theological disciplines since the 1990's. 

Rite for the Conferment of the Mandatum: