7 C’s for PCC Direction Setting amidst the Pandemic

7 C’s for PCC Direction Setting amidst the Pandemic

For this year’s evaluation and planning session, we have once again heard the presentations of the strategic execution plans for the seven areas, namely: 1) leadership and governance, 2) human resource, 3) financial and logistical stewardship, 4) curriculum and instruction, 5) integral evangelization, 6) research and information technology resources, and 7) promotions and public affairs.  Allow me to share seven values we can inculcate personally and communally to set the direction for PCC amidst this pandemic and beyond.

    1. CONSULTATION: Pope Francis has stressed the vital significance of becoming a listening Church. In fact the upcoming Synod of Bishops in 2023 will undergo an unprecedented process. In the past, an instrumentum laboris or working paper was drafted by chosen experts and cascaded to all local churches for reflection and feedback. This time, instead of crafting an initial working paper, consultations will be done from below, that is, from dioceses, episcopal conferences, and continental regions across the globe. By this consultative process, the Church can better respond to the needs of humanity and the catholic populace.  Since June 1, for several times, I have met with the PCC Executive Committee and the President’s Council to listen to what has been happening to PCC, especially since the start of the pandemic.  And as you have heard from Fr. Daniel, we have started having individual colloquia with all PCC personnel to listen and understand what is going on in their personal, familial, and work experience.  This is a tedious task as we intend to talk to each one of the over 200 employees of PCC. But will continue doing this because we are learning a lot and able to respond to your needs.
    2. COMMUNICATION: Our work of consultation wants to strengthen a vital aspect in any relationship, that is, communication. God’s nature is relationship and communication: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit—the Triune God intimately related to each other in love, communicating that love, not in monologue but in dialogue. The downfall of friendships, marriages, families, and communities is when communication becomes one way or nil.  Borrowing Steven Covey’s 5th habit, in communicating we “seek first to understand, and only then be understood.” So far, we have tried our best to open communication lines regularly either via viber group or facebook group chat. Even in the digital space, we have initiated not only communication but also communion.
    3. COORDINATION: When we communicate two-way, three-way, four-way, and all the way, we achieve better coordination and avoid conflicts that bring about stress in our relationships and work environment. The practice of coordinating schedules and activities demands following rules and guidelines in our departments and offices in the spirit of respect for each other.  In this way, we avoid self-serving agenda.  But we must also realize that coordination of our daily affairs should also be done with the attitude of sensitivity and flexibility for the common good. For instance, let us abide by the laid out policies  and coordinate with the schedule and use of our school vehicles.
    4. CAPACITY BUILDING: Capacity building means empowerment. In this Year of Missio ad Gentes, we are challenged to be “gifted to give”. God has already empowered us with our humanity, christian identity, education, talents, and skills.  All we have to do is to recognize and affirm the gifts we have.  PCC is already 109 years old and we have been blessed with physical and human resources that have blossomed all these years. Let us utilize these gifts and empower each other to bear not just more fruit but much fruit (cf. Jn 15:1-8).
    5. CREATIVITY: When God created the world and us, he made each human being co-creator. This means that we have to build from what He created. Being co-creators demands creativity. The pandemic has pushed us to be creative and delve more into online education.  We have to be creative in managing our meager financial resources brought about by the devastating effects of the pandemic.  We have to be creative in attracting more enrollment and doing our share in encouraging parents to choose PCC as the educational environment for their children.
    6. CONNECTIVITY: The digital milieu made us more connected than we have ever imagined. Social networks has been a great gift to us during this pandemic. In a way, digital connectivity has made us cope to being with each other when physical gatherings have been prohibited.  However, the connectivity I am referring to is how we can network with persons and institutions outside PCC.  In the past weeks, I was able to network with my brother, Dr. John Paul Vergara, VP of Professional Schools of Ateneo de Manila University to do a ‘quick and dirty’ evaluation of how PCC has executed online education during the pandemic. We have also connected with the PCC alumni to help fund scholarships for college students. We hope to establish more networks not only this year but in the years to come. 
    7. CATHOLICITY: Last but not the least is catholicity. Ever since I became bishop and engaged with parochial schools, the question asked is: How catholic is your school?  This distinguishes us from a public or privately-owned school. As we already know the catholicity of our school puts central emphasis on the Christian formation of the students—on how they are formed to know, love, and live the words and deeds of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is my hope that this catholicity is further enhanced to deepen the spirituality of the parents of our students, our employees and also our alumni.  In so doing, Christian formation is done to the whole educational community, everyone in the PCC family.

The PaDSS theme for SY 2021-2022 is “Missio et Evangelizatio” which simply means mission and evangelization. Let us together inculcate and activate these seven values as we are sent by the Lord Jesus to become joyful, missionary disciples, proclaiming the Good News to those we encounter in this “little acre of grace” entrusted to us for the greater glory of God.

Bp. Mylo Hubert C. Vergara, D.D.

Acting President, Pasig Catholic College

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