First published in UA&P News Page, June 2012
A university cannot be a real university if it does not provide “integral formation” characterized by an education on faith, reason, culture and life as mentioned in the Credo, Dr. Antonio Torralba, UA&P trustee, said.
Dr. Torralba explained that a university’s mission to integral formation is the reason why UA&P offers means of enriching the human spirit such as the Mass, meditations and days of recollection. They are, however, only a few ways of being well-formed as human beings.
“Spiritual formation is not isolated to those activities one goes to or attends,” Dr. Torralba said, explaining that one should consider them as venues for intellectual development and discovery of truth using both faith and reason.
A person with spiritual formation, or who at least pursues it, easily “appreciates the challenges of life much better,” Dr. Torralba said. “He would have a sounder set of criteria for his decisions and he would perhaps learn how to love disappointments and accept the realities of life with a greater spirit of love.”
Another characteristic of someone who pursues things of the spirit understands “that good things will come out of everything,” he added.
What distinguishes the spiritual formation offered by the University is its secularity and its respect for people’s freedom. Sharing his experience of formation while studying in schools run by religious institutions, Dr. Torralba mentioned how spiritual activities were “supposed to be attended by everybody.”
“Here (in UA&P), while people are encouraged to attend (retreats, etc.), we are not coerced,” he said.
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