Thursday, December 28, 2006

Three hours in a convent

I spent the whole morning today with the Daughters of Saint Paul, also called the Paulines. Most of you probably know them as the sisters that publish some of those really great value-formation books and magazines and run the Daughters of Saint Paul Bookstores. (I had the great fortune of having lived in Tacloban City a few houses away from their Tacloban branch - so there were days when I practically lived inside their bookstore just browsing through their books).

I was invited to give a "situationer" on the real state of the country. It's something that I normally don't do primarily because I think there are other people who are more qualified to talk about economics and politics; but the sisters were able to convince me that they wanted to listen to the points of view of an "ordinary man." Besides, how do you say no to nuns?

It was my first time inside a "convent" although I do not think that the Paulines consider their Pasay compound as such. There is a beautiful and serene chapel inside the compound and lots of trees, a printing press, and several houses that serve as quarters for the various communities of sisters. (I don't really know if I am using the correct terms, I was a little embarrassed to ask too many questions of the nuns).

We had the session inside an auditorium that evoked simple elegance and functionality- a hall that reminded me so much of those old quaint audio-visual rooms in certain Colleges that produced echoes and had wooden chairs that did not make that squishing sound. Very few of those are left, I think - they have been replaced by sterile sound-proofed cushioned AV rooms that are filled with all kinds of technical gadgets. I was told that the session was part of their "reflection and strategic planning efforts" which they do every six years or so.

I hope to be able to put together my two-hour talk into a column for New Year's Day.

But I had a really great time interacting with the nuns. It's been a long time since I delivered a talk to an audience that was eerily quiet and so well-behaved (smile). As a teacher of college students, I have been used to employing all kinds of devices to attract, sustain and engage attention that I have forgotten how it is to have an audience with impeccable behaviors.

So, to the sisters who tell me that they do make it a point to check my blog as often as they could, thank you very much for a very inspiring and fulfilling session.

1 comment:

Vince said...

Good chance u got with the nuns, hope will invite u,too when chance is given for us to be exposed with same ideas here.

So here's another interesting blog i want to add to my favorite roll. thanks for this :D

Happy New year :)