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Friday, January 8, 2016

Memories of My College Years in UP Dilman and Fr John Delaney

University of the Philippines Student Catholic Action Members with Fr John, President of UP Vidal Tan and Professor of Music Antonio Molina, Conductor of the UPSCA Choir, 1952-1955

Here's some memorable and inspiring quotes of Fr John- From Prof. Oscar Llorente Evangelista’s “Some Historical Notes on Father John. P. Delaney, S.J.”

On the meaning of the Mass — “To Father Delaney, to know the Mass is to live the Mass, and to live the Mass is to accept religion as God’s way of life. If this is so, religion is not something confined to a little compartment of life, not a sacristy affair. There can be no room or what he called ‘incomplete Catholics’.”

Prof. Evangelista explained that Catholicism, in Fr. Delaney’s words, must be ”intellectually secure, solidly grounded on reason and history”, a Catholicism that must be “complete, all embracing, penetrating every department of their living”, and finally a Catholicism that “must be sacrificial, centered in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, flowing outward from the Holy Sacrifice,” to the end that “their own lives may be lives of sacrificial service to fellowmen, to country and to God.”

Prof. Evangelista also elaborated: “Appealing to students was his presentation of religion as an active, vibrant, down-to-earth religion for men and women. He was a dynamic speaker, humorous, entertaining, master showman, yet what sank in deeply was the point he was trying to put across. He was light-hearted in his approach to sensitive issues yet there was an intellectual grounding for his argument.”

On U.P. education – “Father Delaney considered religious growth as part of UP education. He challenged the entering freshman to also plan his religious growth as part of his university development, arguing that a UP education was incomplete without religious growth unless the student preferred “to be University scholar and a religious moron at the same time.”

“In orienting the freshmen, he emphasized three main points : UP was a non-sectarian university respecting the free choice of religion…; non-sectarianism did not mean anti-religiousness or indifference to religion; the UP community was a deeply religious community.”

On campus politics – “There was no doubt that to his detractors, Father Delaney was a meddler in UP affairs, if not a Charlatan. But he had won over a very supportive community who practiced the precepts that he had preached by words and deeds. It was this thought and his own conviction that he was doing the right thing that might explain the following statement that he gave on June 27, 1954, and again on August 1, 1955 in defense against the accusation that he was a ‘meddler’.”

“….Does Father Delaney meddle? Definitely yes! Since 1946 I have meddled and meddled intimately in UPSCA and the lives of the UPSCAns. Since 1949 I have meddled and intimately meddle in the life of the Community and its Families. I begin my meddling at about 4:30 every morning, and I continue to meddle, frequently until midnight; not because I have any innate aversion to early retiring, but because you keep bringing your lives to me for my meddling…I shall continue to meddle as long as you and I are one in the intimate oneness of priest and people – as we have been, happily been, since first our pathways crossed in this beautiful experiment in community living which is our Diliman. I know not what in Manila or in Davao or in Baguio or in any other corner of the country the color of my skin and the place of my origin would make of me, but not here, not in Diliman, surely, not in Diliman am I “foreigner.” If I were, then I would have to ask in honest bewilderment – how much more of himself must a man give before he can become one of you? God loves you.”
UPSCA General Meeting, 1954
I am in the front row kneeling/squatting, 3rd from the Right. Next to me is Johnny Gregorio, my college best friend that I am still trying to reconnect. If you know of Johnny's whereabouts, please let me know via FB or in this blog.

In his book, Prof. Oscar Llorente Evangelista also cited the set of rules promulgated by Fr. Delaney which was circulated by "Chapel Chismis" in 1953, as follows:

1. Select your course wisely.

2. Attend your classes intelligently.

3. Study conscientiously and systematically.

4. Try to get interested in your own subject so that you’ll be studying to learn, not just to get grades

5. Try particularly to develop an enthusiastic interest in at least one of your subjects

6. Elevate your taste in Art, Music, in reading.

7. Choose your companions with great care.

8.Recreate simply, inexpensively, wholesomely.

9. Budget your money carefully.

10. Don’t borrow.

11. Lay off the hard liquor.

12. Don’t waste your time and money in Manila.

13. Don’t go steady, fall in love, or get engaged too early.

14. Play the field for a few years and save yourself a lot of heartaches.

15. And finally, be faithful to frequent confessions, Mass and Communion.

Stay close to the chapel.

Make a friend of the Chaplain.”

The other famous quotes by Fr John is Dirty Hands.

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