SCA

People come and go, but the mission continues.

This is God’s work. His victory not ours.

We would like to thank our student servant leaders who came and took part in bringing more youth closer to God through Student Catholic Action (SCA) movement in Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (PLM).

We have new set of servants in the vineyard who undergone the pastoral formation program last weekend.

They said ‘yes’ to God’s call by serving others and we pray that the Holy Spirit will continue to empower them in this mission.

SCA

“God loves us the way we are, and no sin, fault or mistake of ours makes him change his mind. As far as Jesus is concerned – as the Gospel shows – no one is unworthy of, or far from, his thoughts. No one is insignificant. He loves all of us with a special love; for him all of us are important: you are important! God counts on you for what you are, not for what you possess. In his eyes the clothes you wear or the kind of cell phone you use are of absolutely no concern. He doesn’t care whether you are stylish or not; he cares about you! In his eyes, you are precious, and your value is inestimable.” –

Special thanks to our alumni for their unwavering support in sharing their talents, treasures and time for making the program possible.

SCA is the first student Catholic movement in the Philippines that started in 1936.

SCA came to PLM in 1981 and now on its 37th year, the movement stood tall amidst challenges in the past years.

How did SCA come to the campuses? Who started the spark that ignited the passion of serving others?

Here’s an article published last year about the selfless love of the Columban clergy that inspired SCA.

The Columbans and the Student Leaders they Molded
(by Milwida M. Guevara, SCA Alumni, originally published in Manila Bulletin, December 12, 2017)

I tried to focus on the celebration of the mass yesterday but my memory kept drifting to the past. My friend, Fr. Michael Mohally, a Columban priest, celebrated his 50th anniversary as a priest. His years were indeed golden, having served as a missionary, and dedicated to the formation of leaders through Student Catholic Action (SCA).

The Columban Missionaries are also celebrating their centenary in the country this year. They ran parishes, established schools, served as university chaplains, and worked with the poor.

Many Columbans died as martyrs in the Philippines. Fr. Thomas Flynn died in the hands of the Huks in 1950. Fr. Rufus Hally was shot dead in 2001. President FVR was personally involved in the rescue of Fr. Des Hartford who was abducted by militants in Marawi in 1997.

But we remember the Columbans most fondly for their work with students. They had a special knack for identifying those with great potential for leadership and held their hands and hearts in their formative years. The Columbans modeled the virtues of servant-leadership, sharpened their minds through “teach-ins” and conferences, and developed their love for others through immersion in marginalized communities.

I am privileged to walk in the company of colleagues whose values and work were shaped by the Columban Fathers: Ernie Garilao, former Secretary of DAR; Carn Abella, former President of DAP; Dr. Antonio Torralba, former Dean of Liberal Arts, UAAP; Atty. Hector Villacorta, Secretary of the Commission on Appointments; Tess Villacorta, former Executive Director of Children’s Hour; Tina Monzon Palma, ANC Anchor, Edna Zapanta Manlapaz, Professor, Ateneo de Manila University, and of course, the great Raul Roco. We were products of “indoctrination” of the Columbans on how to live a meaningful life through service to others.

SCA was introduced in campuses at a time when students were drawn to the ideals of Communism. The Columbans adopted the cell technique in formation. It is interesting to note that the ideals of Communism were propagated through the cell method. We met regularly with a group of students where we discussed how it is to be a leader, the meaning of love, and how virtues such as humility and courage, are acquired. But our discussions were rooted not on the teachings of Lenin and Trotsky, but on the examples of a much bigger leader, Jesus. We reflected on His Gospel and His life of love. It was in these cell meetings where I first listened to Raul Roco, dapper, dashing, and eloquent in flawless English and Tagalog. Every December, the Columbans gathered student leaders in every school, college and university, and “indoctrinated” them in Baguio – La Patria Hotel for the men and St. Joseph College, for the women. Coming straight from the province, you could imagine how I listened with starry eyes to Sonia Malasarte, Nonong Contreras, Tati Licuanan, Pablo Trillana, Fr. Sonny Ramirez, Imelda Nicolas,and Abelardo Cortez.

The Columbans also saw to it that student-leadership should be well-rounded. We had festivals throughout the year where we developed our talents in drama, debates, singing, dancing, arts, and sports. Those were the years when SCA sponsored college fairs where we had great fun in marriage booths, roulettes, merry-go-round, and ferris wheels. In the evenings, we swayed and boogied with the music of RJ Jacinto and the Electromaniacs.

The Columbans helped us to have a deep understanding of life. They led us in our work with communities in the peripheries. I credit my work with the public high schools and the slums in Tondo as the backbone of my obsession for justice and education. It is not strange that many of my SCA colleagues have a penchant for public service and have continued to work with the poor.

I met Fr. Michael 47 years ago. He had an innocent look on his face and was looking forward to his work in the Philippines. Little did he know that he would serve as the Director of SCA in public high schools for many years, sans any priest as assistant. He was forever running around all day in his small car saying masses all over Metro Manila, counseling hundreds of students, and guiding their activities. His heart broke (and so did ours) when SCA was outlawed by the martial law government.

But the Columbans probably will never realize how much their work with SCA has impacted on Filipinos. Their influence has multiplied a million fold through the work of former student leaders whom they have formed. Like ripples in a pond, the ideals of the Columbans have multiplied and changed the course of rivers and oceans. They have set the course for thousands of SCAns to do what is right, give without counting the cost, and work without seeking reward.

Thank you Fr. Michael and the Columban missionaries who have given their best to the country. Indeed, you made us hear the angels sing.

Kind

One small, thoughtful gesture can make someone else’s day. This was the inspiration behind the 37th founding anniversary of Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila – Student Catholic Action (SCA) outreach activity. Alumni and members heralded random acts of kindness in the walled city of Intramuros.

Nearby residents of the university experienced a free meal with jeers and cheers – more laughters and no tears.

It inspired alumni and members to share the heart of giving not only during special occassions but daily.

It’s a lifestyle that reflects God’s goodness and grace to us with a “pay it forward” mentality.

Kindness PLM SCA

Performing random acts of kindness makes you an example of what is possible. You become an inspiration, opening the awareness of others to their own potential. Most of us want our lives to inspire love in others. A simple random act of kindness could very easily be life-giving to both the giver and receiver. When one is coming from a place of generosity, of giving and kindness that is pure and without any expectation or reward in return, what is occurring is the manifestation of a deeper reality, a deeper meaning and knowing that you are not so alone, that you are united and connected to more than you may have ever realized. Photo credits to my dear sisters Marites Villegas & Lalie Jimenez.

How great is it that our random acts of kindness and good deeds can make someone else’s entire day?

Here are some random acts of kindness that you can do to others:

  • When you see something good, share it. Manny, a friend who teaches, said that when his students are doing really well he calls their parents. Manny teaches at an alternative school where parents usually receive calls from the school when their children are in trouble. Manny said he likes to make sure he also calls with good news. How great for the kids and their parents. Keep an eye out for the positive and share it with parents, spouses, friends and so on. These are simple and great random acts of kindness.
  • Be sure to also share in a work setting. When you get great service tell the person who helped you. Then, tell a manager. Go to the corporate web site and submit an email. Write a positive online review of a business you like. It makes a difference. Our mason and electrician said that over 50% of their business comes from online reviews. And, don’t forget to point out those people at your work who do a great job.
  • Everyone is important. Learn the names of your office security guard, the person at the front desk and other people you see every day. Greet them by name. Also say “hello” to strangers and smile. These acts of kindness are so easy, and they almost always make people smile.
  • Hold the elevator. Sometimes, when I hope the elevator will shut before someone else comes and slows me down, I think, “Am I really in that much of a rush that an extra minute will hurt me?”
  • If you see someone who looks lost and might need help with directions, don’t wait for him to ask you for help.
  • Photograph tourists. See a person or a couple trying to take a photo of themselves? Offer to take it for them.
  • When people are gossiping about someone, be the person to chime in with something nice.

Valor

Are you ready to serve?

Today we commemorate the Day of Valor, formerly called Bataán Day, to remind us of the heroism of our soldiers and for Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila – Student Catholic Action (PLM-SCA) team, it was a day to huddle and to plan for the servant leadership training.

A group of servant alumni reflected on the relevance of the movement in evangelizing the youth in the PLM community.

Valor

A leader with a servant’s heart works tirelessly to develop his or her team and is focused on what they can do for others.

The alumni are composed of doctors, finance executives, educators, engineers and human resources management specialist to name a few.

Beyond their profession, the group aims to continue the servant leadership legacy of the movement.

Student Catholic Action was founded in 1936 in the Philippines and started in Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (PLM) back in 1981.

Since then, it has undergone a gradual process of development and expansion. Evolving from a loosely formed city-wide association in the early years it has established itself as a well-knit organization with SCA Units in practically all educational institutions in the Archdiocese of Manila.

Demonstrating adaptability as one of its main assets, SCA first concerned itself with the problem of education in the state university. It was here that the first unit was formed by Columban Father Edward J. McCarthy in 1936 at the University of the Philippines-Manila. It was formally approved by his grace, Archbishop Michael O’ Doherty on April 12, 1936.

During the occupation era the impetus of the early enthusiasm of SCA maintained the organization for a short time. Registered with the Japanese authorities “SCA for secular colleges and universities,” the organization continued with its regular student Masses but eventually, due to lack of priestly assistance, all activities gradually ceased.

After the war in 1948, with the archbishop’s request in Manila, an immediate objective of establishing religion classes in non-sectarian and public schools was called for. SCA was revived and expanded for the main purpose of providing many catechists required for this work not only in Catholic Schools. SCA then had an increasing influence until such time it did not only focus on catechism but also embraced the SIX AIMS (presently the SCA Areas of Concern).

In 1969, during the heightened student activism on Martial Law Years, student organizations including SCA was banned due to the infiltration of the leftists. Other arch/dioceses however continued the program in their own. CBCP abolished SCA in 1985 and the national coordination was lost. In 1998, CBCP, through the efforts of Bp Rolando J. Tria Tirona, ECY Chairman and Ms. Teresita E. Nitorreda, SCA gained back its national structure and was granted a mandate as a recognized youth organization by the Episcopal Commission on Youth.

INTERNATIONAL AFFILIATIONS

  • International Young Christian Students (IYCS) – with consultative status at UNESCO and UN ECOSOC
  • Philippine Network of Ecumenical Teams (PHILNet)
  • Ecumenical Asia-Pacific Students and Youth Network (EASYNet)

GENERAL ACTIVITIES

SCA is inspired by Cardinal Joseph Cardijn’s methodology SEE-JUDGE-ACT. The same methodology that is used as the REVIEW of LIFE of every SCAn. These activities follow one methodology:

  • National Leadership Conference (Exposure-Reflection-Action/Resolution)
  • Regional Leadership Conference (Exposure-Reflection-Action/Resolution)
  • Cluster or Archdiocesan Conference
  • National Solidarity Day/Day of Prayer for Peace
  • Leadership Youth Camps
  • Symposiums on Various Issues (Political, Educational/Cultural, Socio-Economic-Ecological, Spiritual, Media and Recreational)
  • Socio-Economic-Environmental Related Action Projects (tree planting, coastal clean-up, etc.)
  • Advocacy building

FORMATION PROGRAMS FOR MEMBERS AND YOUTH

Four-Stage Formation toward Full-fledged Membership

  • eSCAPade
  • Cell Meetings (8-session PCM)
  • Basic Orientation Workshop (BOW)
  • Christ the King Leadership Recollection and Oath-taking
  • Chaplains and Animators Formation Exchange (CAFÉ)
  • Animators Team Training

FORMATION PROGRAMS OFFERED TO THE YOUNG PEOPLE

  • Youth Evangelized to Serve (YES)
  • Taize Formation and Prayer