The Ateneo Red Mass, an event hosted by Ateneo Law Alumni Association, was held on August 30, 2017 at the Ateneo Professional Schools. Newly appointed Supreme Court Justices Andres B. Reyes and Alexander G. Gesmundo, as well as Deputy Senior Executive Secretary Menardo L. Guevarra attended the event.
The event started with a mass officiated by Archbishop Soc Villegas. It focused on how to be a Catholic public servant despite through the politics of communio. Archbishop Villegas suggested a set of guiding principles a Catholic lawyer should have. According to him, a Catholic lawyer should always remember Country, Church, Courtesy, Courage, and Christ.
After the mass, a celebratory dinner was held at the amphitheater. The newly appointed Ateneans shared their experiences as a public servant and how the teaching of being “Man and Woman For Others” affects their service to the country. They said that being an Atenean lawyer, imbued with Ateneo’s principles, helped them become successful in their own careers.
Associate Justice Reyes discussed his advocacy on zero backlogs of pending cases when he was in the Court of Appeals. He hoped to establish the same feat in the Supreme Court. To contextualize, he presented a Court of Appeals data showing a 7-year decrease of pending cases from 25,781 to 18,541.
Associate Justice Gesmundo expressed his gratitude to Ateneo community especially to Ateneo Law Alumni Association in recognizing his service to the country. He also acknowledged Ateneo Law School’s contribution to his legal success. In addition, he thanked his co-honorees for living up with the Atenean motto, men and women for others; and further encouraged everyone to be of service for the Filipino people.
Lastly, Secretary Guevarra shared his experience as a legal adviser of the President. He recalled that his relationship with the President can be traced when the then Mayor of Davao became his client. He discussed that being a legal adviser to the President is not an easy job but since it is for the people, the job becomes lighter.
The Red Mass was also graced by the following newly appointed and elected officials: Justice Bayani Jacinto, Mayor Meynard Sabili, Vice Governor Kaye Revil, Justice Edgardo Caldona, Naella Aguinaldo, and Floreida Apolinario.
The Red Mass is held annually to recognize Ateneo Law Alumni who excel in the field of public service. P