Excerpts from the Chairman’s Address, PAREF Annual Meeting 2015
Outreach has been an integral part of the PAREF tradition and we wish it to be even more accentuated in the coming years, starting this year. Twenty-five percent (25%) of the Filipinos are poor, around twenty-five (25) million, roughly the entire population of Taiwan. It is essential that our students are not indifferent to the fact that one out of four of their countrymen have less than around fifty (50) pesos per day to survive. Indeed we want our students and families to strive to make a difference so we can have a different Philippines.
St. Josemaria in fact wrote: “The poor are my best spiritual book”. And he said that through outreach, “[young people] will learn to wage a great battle against misery, against ignorance, against disease, against suffering.” He said: “contact with poverty is an occasion that the Lord usually uses, to enkindle in souls desires of generosity and divine adventures. At the same time, it makes young people aware of always having a heart for justice and love.