Ignatian Year Activities in Asia Pacific

The Ignatian year commemorates the turning point of Saint Ignatius of Loyola who suffered a cannon fire on his leg at the battle of Pamplona. From this incident Saint Ignatius experienced a spiritual transformation and conversion where he eventually formed the Society of Jesus. This year is the 500th anniversary of the Ignatian Year which falls in May 2021. The theme of the 500th Ignatian year is From Profession to Purpose: Discern your authentic self in the new normal. This theme invites students, lecturers, and employees at the Jesuit University to have a deeper reflection on their talents, passions and contributions to the world.

In this 500th Ignatian year, AJCU-AP (Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities in Asia Pacific) held an online meeting to plan activities to commemorate the Ignatian year. The meeting was held on July 14, 2021 which was opened with a prayer by Fr. Romio Brahma, S.J from Fu Jen Catholic University and continued with remarks from the President of AJCU-AP, Mr. Johanes Eka Priyatma, M.Sc., Ph.D. The one-and-a-half hour meeting was chaired by Mr. F.X.Ouda Teda Ena, M.Pd., Ed.D., as Vice Chancellor 4 of Sanata Dhama University who is also Secretary of AJCU-AP.

The meeting was attended by representatives from Jesuit Universities in the Philippines, Japan, Korea, Taiwan and China. The universities are Ateneo de Davao University, Xavier University, Ateneo de Manilla University, Sophia University, Elisabeth University of Music, Sogang University, Fu Jen University, The Beijing Center and Ricci Hall, The University of Hong Kong.

The meeting resulted in three details of activities. The first activity is Online Round Table Discussion for Students. With the theme Reimagining Higher Education: Post Covid Classrooms, this activity aims to invite student representatives from Jesuit Universities in Asia Pacific to share experiences and challenges faced during the pandemic. This activity was also attended by faculty members who are expected to listen to the experiences and challenges of students and discuss. Each University proposes 5 (five) students as members and 1 (one) student as a speaker. The activity will be held on 24 September 2021 and registration is open from July to September 2021 via the AJCU-AP web page.

The second activity is the Online Round Table Discussion for Faculty Members. The activity with the theme Reimagining Higher Education: Post Covid Classrooms and Regional Collaborations has the same goal as the first activity where participants who are representative faculty members from AJCU-AP member countries are also invited to share experiences and challenges during this pandemic. Each country proposes 1 (one) representative. In this activity it is also hoped that new collaboration ideas between universities in AJCU-AP will emerge that strengthen and improve the relationship between AJCU-AP universities. This activity will be held on March 25, 2022 and registration is open from July 2021 to February 2022 via the AJCU-AP webpage.

The third activity is the Short Video Competition. With the theme Covid-19 pandemic as a cannonball moment, this activity invites students at AJCU-AP member universities to make short videos containing turning point events during the pandemic, which are packaged according to the students’ creativity. Each University sends 3 (three) videos which will then be selected by judges from Fu Jen University from Taiwan, Ateneo de Manilla University from the Philippines, Xavier Learning Community from Thailand, Sanata Dharma University from Indonesia, and Xavier University from the Philippines. This activity will be held in early 2022.

As one of the member universities of AJCU-AP, Sanata Dharma University invites students and faculty members to participate in these international activities. There will be many benefits that can be obtained from this activity, such as insight into the situation during the pandemic from various countries, strengthening from fellow Jesuit university colleagues in other countries, even ideas for new collaborations between AJCU-AP Universities. Therefore, this pandemic period can be a turning point and repentance moment for all residents of Sanata Dharma University to develop themselves to respond to the challenges of the times.

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