Thursday, September 5, 2013

For the record: Defensores Fidei Foundation's Ninth Annual Apologetics Seminar has begun

Since 2005, Defensores Fidei Foundation has held an annual Apologetics Seminar introducing Filipino Catholics to the whys and hows of Catholic apologetics. Broadly speaking, Catholic apologetics as it is now understood is the art of charitably but firmly defending the Catholic faith in the face of attacks against it. Hundreds of Filipino Catholics have learned the basics of Catholic apologetics through these seminars. It should be noted that H.E. Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales endorsed the work of Defensores Fidei while he was Archbishop of Manila. 

This year's Apologetics Seminar consists of 12 sessions, 3 of which will be held in Santuario de San Jose in coordination with the parish. 

Who are the speakers?

1. Rev. Msgr. Carlos Estrada, Ph.D -- Regional Vicar of the Prelature of the Holy Cross and Opus Dei. Msgr. Estrada has long been a friend of Defensores Fidei and it has been a 'tradition' for him to give the Christology lecture during the annual apologetics seminar. 

2. Rev. Fr. Abe Arganiosa -- One of Defensores Fidei's original lecturers and a passionate apologist and polemicist, he returns for this year's Apologetics Seminar to give the talk on Papacy. He was formerly College Chaplain of Aemilianum College in Sorsogon, and was the host of a religious TV show in that province.

3. Rev. Fr. Winston Cabading OP, Ph.D, ECS -- Secretary General of the University of Santo Tomas (UST) and Director of UST's Institute of Religion. He is one of the few Filipino priests with the faculty and ability to celebrate liturgical rites according to the Byzantine Rite.

4. Rev. Fr. Jose Quiolongquilong S.J., S.Th.D -- President of Loyola School of Theology (LST), Ateneo De Manila University (ADMU). He is also an Asst. Professor of Spirituality in the same school and an author on prayer. He completed his Licentiate and Doctorate in Spirituality at the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome while working as regional secretary for Asia-Pacific at the Jesuit General Curia in Rome.

5. Rev. Fr. Mark Emman Hao Sese -- A priest of the Diocese of Pasig (of which he is the Vice-Chancellor) ordained only in 2010 and the current Parish Priest of the Quasi-Parish of Our Mother of Perpetual Help, Tanyag, Taguig. He studied theology in the University of Navarre in Spain. 

6. Ed "Chief" De Vera -- A Founding Member of Defensores Fidei Foundation, author of two books (Catholic Soul and Mysteries of Salvation History – Promise and Fulfillment in the Holy Rosary) and columnist for Kerygma magazine.

7. Marwil Llasos-- An Associate Member of Defensores Fidei Foundation, lawyer (educated at UP College of Law) and one of the Philippines' leading lay Marian apologists. He was also one of Ang Kapatiran's three senatorial candidates in the 2013 senatorial elections. He is currently preparing a multivolume work on Mariology. 

8. Carlos Antonio Palad -- An Associate Member of Defensores Fidei Foundation, Vice-Chairman of Filipinos for Life and a member of the International Council of Foederatio Internationalis Una Voce. Some of his feature articles have appeared in magazines / papers such as Catholic World Report, Believe, CBCP Monitor and Life Today

The last session of the Seminar will be on November 23 while the "graduation" will take place on December 7, 2013. The "graduation" will be preceded by a talk by Mr. Ed de Vera on "How to do Apologetics", and will be followed by Mass. 

From 2007 to 2010 and again in 2012 the closing Mass of the Defensores Fidei Foundation Apologetics Seminar was in Latin, celebrated ad orientem; from 2007 to 2009 and in 2012 it was celebrated according to the Forma Ordinaria / Novus Ordo and in 2010 it was according to the Extraordinary Form / Traditional Latin Mass. The celebrants were:

2007 - Fr. Abe Arganiosa CRS

2008 - Bishop Angel Hobayan, Emeritus of Catarman, with Fr. Abe Arganiosa concelebrating and with Fr. Carlos Estrada as MC.

2009 - Fr. Abe Arganiosa CRS

2010 - Fr. Rodel Lopez OMI

2012 - Fr. Carlos Estrada

For this year, the plan is to conclude the seminar once more with a Latin Mass, although there is no word yet on which Missal will be used. After the Mass there will be lunch followed by an informal reunion of Filipino Catholic apologists. (UPDATE: On December 7, 2013, a Latin Mass was celebrated ad orientem by Fr. Carlos Estrada according to the 1970 Missal.)

It should be noted that the DFF seminar for this year will be the second to occur entirely within the Year of Faith (October 11, 2012 - November 24, 2013) proclaimed by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. The 2012 seminar ran from October 13 to December 15, 2012. Thus, Defensores Fidei will have marked the beginning and end of the Year of Faith with Apologetics Seminars. 

In its Note with Pastoral Recommendations for the Year of Faith (Jan. 6, 2012) the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith noted the need for apologetics:

It would be useful to arrange for the preparation of pamphlets and leaflets of an apologetic nature (cfr. 1 Pt 3:15), which should be done with the help of theologians and authors. Every member of the faithful would then be enabled to respond better to the questions which arise in difficult contexts – whether to do with sects, or the problems related to secularism and relativism, or to questions “arising from a changed mentality which, especially today, limits the field of rational certainties to that of scientific and technological discoveries,”[26] or to other specific issues. (Recommendations II.8)

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