Dearest Ateneo Hearter Graduates of Batch 2020,
Our beautiful campus is empty and quiet on days that should have seen your tears of joy and heard your shouts of jubilation. The newly constructed bridge leading to the Magis Eagles Arena that you would have inaugurated on your Graduation Day remains ready but unused. In these days of uncertainty, it is tempting to focus on the what-ifs and what-could-have-beens. To find God in all things, however, we are reminded to look at what is, what has been, and what will be.
What is is a country and a world in turmoil, grappling with what to do in the midst of COVID-19 crisis. We are deeply sorry to deprive you of a memorable Graduation Ball and Rite but we hope you understand that the decision to cancel your Grad Ball was as much for your safety as it was to be in solidarity with the rest of the country. It would not have been prudent and charitable to push through with the ball while the world is agonizing in uncertainty. We noticed your disappointment but never your anger. You bore the setback so admirably well, our dear graduates. More than graduation balls and graduation rites, more than awards and diplomas, it is your character in the face of adversity that defines you. For this, we are proud of you.
What has been is a journey filled with love. We savor the fond memories we have with you and you have with one another. We thank you for your innovation and creativity, for the many initiatives that your batch spearheaded. We thank you for your affection, for your cheerful greetings in the hallways. We thank you for your hard work and your service, for the many ways that your organizations have contributed to school spirit and in making lives better for your fellow Ateneo Hearters. For all of these, we will miss you.
What will be is a future quite unknown. But rest assured, that God who brought you this far will see you through. We send you off to become scientists, artists, healers, builders, leaders, designers, peacemakers and so much more. May you help us find the cure not just for bodily diseases but for apathy, selfishness, and inequality. You are our bridge to the world. Help us create a more just and loving one. In pursuing your passion and profession, may you be Jesus’ heart igniting all the world. We believe in you.
The future is quite uncertain but hopeful. The rest of our community, especially our Grade 6 graduates who have also been deprived of a meaningful commencement exercise, will have much to look forward to. In the meantime, we stay united in prayer for our country and the rest of the world.
Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu has been and will always be your home, dear graduates. The SACRED HEART of JESUS is home.
Fr. Manny A. Uy, S.J.
March 14, 2020