Fr. Joaquin Bernas has taught many students who eventually ended up together. Photo by Mike David

Priestly matches

Asked to comment on matters of the heart in the law school, resident constitutionalist Fr. Joaquin Bernas, S.J., who has quite interestingly officiated a number of marriages between former students, laughed at the thought but gamely gives The Palladium his thoughts on relationships in law school.

The Palladium: What do you think of student relationships in law school?

Fr. Bernas: Well, you cannot help it. You are thrown together and so naturally relationships develop. The only thing is you have to make sure that it does not get in the way of your studies.

P: Is it true that you used to match-make students?

Fr. B: No, I did not match. I just noticed the matches. Like palaging magkasama. I don’t know the percentage rate but the only ones na nagkatuluyan na alam ko — si Mel Sta. Maria! Si Sedfrey Candelaria and I think also si Vanni Vallente.

P: Now, Father, once you notice these matches, what do you do?

Fr. B: Yeah, there are, there are. Before, if I know a triangle, I make them do recitation, silang tatlo or sunod-sunod. I know when the people react and go “Uuuuuy!”

P: Do your old students go back to you and ask you to officiate their weddings?

Fr. B: I don’t want to renew my license anymore to avoid! Tanda ko na! Pero ang dami na. I have a student this year who said to me, “Father, you know, you married my parents!” I don’t recall how many this year but not so many. I wasn’t going to renew [when] my license expired, but then I realized I had to because one of my nephews is getting married.

P: Be the Love Guru. What is your relationship advice?

Fr. B: You can’t help it that you be attracted to someone so you just have to be aware that, unless you want to get married now, you have to be aware that it should not get in the way of your immediate goal. You should talk it over with the guy (or girl) and agree between yourselves that you’d help each other and you don’t become an obstacle to each other as far as reaching your goal. P

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