Get to know the new VP for Religious Affairs

By: Patricia Ramos
September 02, 2018
2835

Photo by Enrique Agcaoili/The LANCE.

As we move forward to another academic year, we’re welcomed with a new Vice President for Religious Affairs— the soft-spoken 35-year- old priest from the province of Capiz, Iloilo, Rev. Fr. John Stephen Besa O.P.

A person with a joyful personality raised by a religious family, Fr. Besa talks about his journey to the priesthood and to life.

AS A SON AND AS A STUDENT

Growing up in a big family with five other siblings, Fr. Besa shared how he was raised to be a responsible individual who knows how to do household chores such as; washing dishes and cleaning the house.

As the fifth child of the family, he regards himself as the ‘runner’ because he follows his parents’ orders like running to the store to buy some bread, fish, or vegetable. He also came from a religious family who believes that going to church every Sunday is an essential part of our spiritual aspect.

“Kapag may magsisimba tuwing Linggo, we are one family, pinupuno namin yung isang bench ng nanay ko, tatay ko, tapos kaming magkakapatid dun sa simbahan,” he shares.

When asked about what inspired him to become a priest back then, Fr. Besa said that the inclination was already there during his childhood when he became an altar server or Knights of the Altar while he was in the fourth grade.

Also, he graduated high school from Our Lady of Fatima Academy, a Dominican school run by Molo Sisters of Iloilo City, where he started showing interest to the priesthood. At the age 16, he took the exam to enter the seminary, passed and eventually became a priest.

FROM A YOUNG SEMINARIAN TO A PRIEST

Just like any other priests, Fr. Besa admits that he felt a little hint of doubt before his ordination saying, “Siguro lahat naman ng seminarista palaging nagtatanong, kung ito na ba talaga or baka hindi pa ito so there will always be doubts. Yun nga lang, it would be depende nasa formation mo kung paano mo i-hahandle yung mga bagay na yun.”

He also shared how Sto. Domingo Church in Quezon City – the place where he spent his formative years as an aspiring priest – became so familiar to him.

From studying Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy at Philippine Dominican Center of Institutional Studies for four years to taking his Master of Arts at the Institute of Preaching both in Sto. Domingo Quezon City; this place became a venue to some of his memorable years in college.

After his ordination, he was first assigned to Sto. Domingo Church for a few months then eventually transferred to Letran Calamba as an assistant to the director of a Dominican seminary for two years.

In 2016, he was as a parish priest in Camiguin Island and eventually became the director of Lyceum of Camiguin, a partner school of Letran Manila. In his arrival in the island, Fr. Besa shared about how he felt travelling from Aparri, the mainland of Luzon, to an open sea for four hours just to get to the island of Camiguin. “Hindi rin biro yung mga experiences ng mga past missionaries don. I, myself, naranasan ko nasira yung makina ng bangka sa gitna ng dagat. Kapag talagang kaharap mo ang dagat na nagwawala talagang mapapadasal ka,” he added.

Being both the parish priest and the director of the school was tough for him at first because he was young and admittedly said that he also lacks experience when it comes to leading a school but he learned to adapt and get to know the community in Camiguin more.

AS A NEW MEMBER OF THE RELIGIOUS AFFAIRS

Before he came to Colegio de San Juan de Letran-Manila, Fr. Besa was already known to some of our faculty members and administrators who often visit the island of Camiguin.

At the same time, Rev. Fr. Clarence Victor Marquez O. P., our rector and president was the Master of Students back when Fr. Besa was still in the seminary and his thesis adviser in hisMA. Coming from one of the partner schools of Letran Manila, Fr. Besa is really a Letranista by heart.

Although he is already familiar to some of our faculty members, getting to know each student of the Colegio is still one of his main goals since he assumed office last July 11, 2018. Just like what he did in Camiguin, he wants to do classroom visitations in Letran for him to get fully immersed into the community. In fact, he already started introducing himself to the elementary level and hopes to visit until the collegiate level.

Talking about his vision and plans for Letran, Fr. Besa said that he has no plans of changing the programs from the previous VPs of RA but instead he will continue and strengthen the advocacies that were already present especially when it comes to the religious aspect of the community. Nowadays, he said, physical presence is more important to the students. “Sa tingin ko yun yung naaalala ng bawat estudyante kahit grumaduate sila. Naalala nila yung pari na madalas nilang kasama, madalas nilang nakakausap”, he added.

He emphasized how important having a religious aspect in the life of a student along with academics. He believes that it is really important when you see the one assigned in religious affairs as a friend they can talk to about anything.

 

Comments

  1. Letran beats San Sebastian, Ends 2-Game Losing Streak
  2. Former Broadcaster and a Veteran Radio Commentator shot dead in Las Pinas City
  3. Cyberknights Participate in Mobile Legends and Call of Duty Mobile on Day 2 of Acad Arena’s Alliance Games 2022
  4. Knights Continue to Struggle, Falls Against Neighbor Pirates
  5. Back For More: The Letran Cyberknights Esports Society set for Acad Arena's Alliance Games
  6. Letran Stumbles Against San Beda, Falls to 3-2
  7. Letran Beats Mapua, Strikes for their 3rd Win
  8. 5 Rescuers in Bulacan, Found Dead
  9. Letran Bounces Back, Deals CSB First Loss of NCAA 98
  10. We Remember
  11. Greta on the Marcos Administration: No Climate Justice under it
  12. Marcos Jr. Attends 77th UNGA, Rallies for ‘Unity’
  13. DepEd Clarifies Zero-Budget for SPED, 150M Confidential Fund
  14. Navarro Surrenders to NBI After Issuance of Arrest Warrant
  15. Letran Suffers their First Loss Against the Arellano Chiefs, 69-72
  16. House Panel Approves OVP’s PHP 2.292 Billion Budget within Minutes
  17. Court Dismisses Esperon’s Overturn Appeal vs Bulatlat
  18. Reyson Dedicates Career Game for Fr. Raffy
  19. Kurt Reyson stars in Letran’s Grit and Grind OT win against JRU
  20. READY FOR BATTLE: Knights Set to face Heavy Bombers to Begin their Three-peat Bid
  21. Abante Seeks to Scrap PCGG
  22. COVID-19 Benefits for Healthcare Workers still Pending, Unfunded
  23. Grit and Glory: Alex Eala becomes First Filipino to Win Singles Grand Slam
  24. Athletes Vow to Achieve Greatness as NCAA Season 98 Officially Begins
  25. British Queen Elizabeth II dies at 96, UK Hails a New Monarch
  26. Letran Community Bolsters up the Pep Rally 2022: Knight and Proud
  27. Remembering the “Living Saint”
  28. The Blessed Smile
  29. 2022 PH Debt Balloons to PHP 12.89 Trillion
  30. Cultural Center of the Philippines to Temporarily Shut its Doors in 2023
  31. Gov’t Prepares for a Special National Vaccination Week
  32. ABS-CBN, TV5 ‘Mutually’ Discontinues Network Investment
  33. Philippine Mass Media Marks First National Press Freedom Day
  34. PH Observes Annual National Heroes’ Day, President Marcos Jr., VP Sara Addresses the Public
  35. Jordan Clarkson Glorious in Home Debut as Gilas Destroys KSA
  36. Remembering GomBurZa
  37. Dolomite Beach: One of Manila Bay's Many Ecological Threats
  38. DBM proposes ‘Proactive and Resilient’ 2023 Nat’l Budget seeking P5.268-T
  39. Ready to face the Lord
  40. Increasing Abductions, Rape-Slay Cases Alarm PH Women for their Safety
  41. Fourth Monkeypox Case Detected in the PH
  42. Manila Mayor Honey Lacuna and Vice Mayor Yul Servo Nieto Visits Schools in Manila for Inspection
  43. Educational Assistance Rollout causes Chaos Outside DSWD Main Office
  44. Knights Get Caught in La Salle’s Storm, Exits FilOil Cup
  45. Poverty-stricken Students to Obtain Cash Assistance from DSWD
  46. Philippine Poverty Rate Increases to 18.1%
  47. Letran Bows to SSCR, still In Dangerous Position in Preseason Cup
  48. Honey Lacuna initiates PinasLakas Campaign
  49. COA: Donations for Typhoon Ulysses Victims found Rotten and Undistributed
  50. Philippines, Vulnerable to Rising Global Temperatures
  51. Knights bite the dust, succumbs to San Beda
  52. Filipino authors, books withstand Red-Tagging remarks VS KWF
  53. Sen. Hontiveros seeks to plumb the P7B "questionable releases" of CHED's UniFAST
  54. Letran celebrates Hybrid Binyag Arriba for Senior High School
  55. COA Reports on the Overpriced 39,583 Laptops Units DepEd Procured
  56. Senate Steps in, Files Resolution to solve Gilas Woes
  57. Students and RSOs Hardwork Pays Off in the Collegiate Orientation and Gaward Arriba 2022
  58. Knights fall to neighbors Pirates, record first loss
  59. Academic Year 2022-2023, Commences with Three Subsequent Annual Events
  60. Letranites Creativity and Passion Mirrors RSOs booths in the 2022 Org Fair
  61. Caralipio, Paraiso lift Knights past Tamaraws in FilOil EcoOil Preseason
  62. First Year CBAA Students, Welcomed to the Colegio with Binyag Arriba Day 2
  63. Colegio welcomes CLAS, COED, CEIT freshmen for Binyag Arriba Day 1
  64. Letran falters to UST, Gets Eliminated from Playoff Contention
  65. Wangs-Letran Bows To Baste, Drops Their Third in a Row
  66. Monkeypox detected in PH, Senate marks DOH Chief as 'urgent'
  67. Vape Law lapses into Law
  68. Wangs-Letran Stung by CEU Scorpions with Second Straight Loss
  69. Kobe Monje powers Letran to first FilOil Preseason Cup Win
  70. The New Slate of Officials for the 19th Congress of the Philippines
  71. Knights succumb to Green Archers in D-League
  72. The Trial Classes for the Elementary, Junior High School, and Senior High School of Letran: A Testament
  73. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. delivers his first SONA at the newly renovated Batasang Pambansa
  74. Shooting in Ateneo de Manila University Results into 3 Deaths and Several Injuries
  75. Teatro de Letran’s “Piladelpiya, Hirrr Ay Kammm!!!” Wows Teatro Europa’s Third Edition Launch; Letran Filipiniana Dance Company Opening, a Dazzling Comeback Performance.
  76. The Letran Let’s Flex Hyflex Program: The Start of Modern Innovative Education
  77. Wangs-Letran Outguns Gutsy Marinerong Pilipino, Gains solo Lead in D-League
  78. Letran Survives Gritty AMA Scare to Get 2nd Straight D-League Win
  79. Cyberknights Grab First Win in CCE, Goes 1-3
  80. Letran Gets Swept By San Sebastian, Officially Ends Season 97 Campaign
  81. Former CBCP President, Archbishop Lagdameo, dies at 81
  82. Sangalang, Paraiso, Caralipio provide championship composure as Letran overcomes pesky St. Clare
  83. Knights unveil roster for PBA D-League
  84. Letran stuns Mapua, Improves to 2-6
  85. Esports: Letran bows to Arellano and CSB in MLBB at the Collegiate Center for Esports Competition
  86. Lady Knights Yield to Lady Generals
  87. A Fight Against Poverty: Launching of Angat Buhay NGO
  88. President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos Jr.; Now on the Highest Seat of the Nation
  89. First woman-elect Lacuna takes oath as the 28th Mayor of Manila
  90. “It’s not a signal for me to stop, but to keep on going.”: NBA Dream still alive for Kai Sotto even after Draft Snub
  91. Letran bows to Lyceum; Drops to 1-4
  92. Lady Knights Escape San Beda in Five Set Thriller; Finally Enters Winning Column
  93. Knights sweep Cardinals, cops 19th NCAA title
  94. Letran Completes Comeback Over Mapua to Take Game One
  95. Still in Shining Armor: Letran Escaped The Altas’ Scare, Charges to the NCAA 97 Finals With an Unblemished Record.
  96. Letran Escapes Arch-rivals, Finishes Elimination Round With A Clean Sweep
  97. Elite Eight: Abando, Paraiso Lead Knights to Gritty Win Against Golden Stags, Secures Final Four Slot.
  98. Knights Thrash Bombers, Extending Their Unbeaten Streak to 7-0.  
  99. A Look Into Ping Lacson
  100. Letran Escapes Lyceum, Secures Fifth Straight Win of the Season
  101. Knights Continue Hot Streak, Trounces Mapua
  102. Letran Triumphs Over Perpetual, Abando Records Career Game
  103. Letran Dominates Arellano, gets 2nd Straight Win
  104. Letran Charges Back, Edges Benilde in NCAA ‘97 Opener
  105. Rewriting OPM: The P-pop Takeover
  106. Filipino Humor and Pinoy Comedy Films: A Sacrosanct Relationship
  107. The Unfaltering Voice of the Press
  108. To Get The Fire Back
  109. Pearl's Pride and Glory: First Philippine Republic Day
  110. CHED and DOH Visit Letran In Preparation For NCAA Bubble, Colegio Now Approved For Training
  111. Stand-up Comedy Culture with The KoolPals
  112. LCES, Finally an Official Alliance of AcadArena
  113. To The Unsung Heroes in Our Screens
  114. Tokyo 2021: Looking back and moving forward
  115. Exhibiting ‘Resiliency and Creativity’: NCAA Season 96 to kick off on June 13
  116. NCAA ‘Special’ Season 96 to push through with online sporting events in May
  117. Letran alumnus to send Colegio’s 400th Anniversary score and lyrics to the moon
  118. LOOKBACK: A glimpse of Letran’s Yellow Brick Road of Sports in 2020
  119. Two bullets each
  120. DENR awards Colegio with Gawad Maparaan
  121. Letran conducts webinar on violence against women
  122. The Greatest Reset
  123. Lloyd Cadena: More than a vlogger
  124. Long live the King!
  125. Former Tigers Paraiso, Bataller set to become new members of the Knights
  126. Killing our heroes
  127. Students urge suspension of online classes despite memo from VPAA
  128. Philippines under state of calamity due to COVID-19
  129. NCAA Season 95 suspended indefinitely
  130. Letranites express dismay over Paskong Arriba
  131. Quadricentennial Year 4 ends with a double celebration
  132. Letran dethrones San Beda, claims 18th title
  133. Dugong Arriba: Kilalanin ang ating Rektor