I write this editorial as we wrap up our academic year here in the heat and humidity of July in Macao, very much looking forward to the ASEACCU Conference at Saint Louis University, where the altitude brings cooling breezes that will be very welcome. It is hard to think that it was only a year ago that we met in Cambodia, so much has happened in the meantime.
Some of those events are recorded in this newsletter, where stories from across our region tell the tale of Catholic colleges and universities making a real difference, a substantial contribution to the lives of our students and the societies in which we function. From the matriculation ceremony of the Catholic University of Korea, where Archbishop Chung rightly identified that we are places where what matters is respect for human dignity, taking pride in fostering intellectual abilities, moral character and spirituality. This was echoed at Holy Angels University, Angeles City, in the first award to a Philippine university by the Character Education Partnership of the status “School of Character Education”. This work is vital and can only be achieved if our establishments are full of people who share this commitment. It is good, therefore, to read in this edition of the meeting of the Asian Academy for Campus Ministry at Ateneo de Davao, on the theme of “creating a culture of care of the whole person”.
I had the opportunity of visiting Assumption University in Thailand in April, just as they were about to celebrate the great Thai national festival of Songkran, the story of the university’s celebration provides the most colourful pictures in this newsletter.
Finally, I want to draw your attention to one concrete outcome of our conference last summer: the launch of the International Federation of Catholic Universities International Research Group on Memory and Identity. Five ASEACCU member universities are part of this research group (Assumption University Thailand, Santo Tomas Philippines, USJ Macao, St Paul Institute Cambodia and Notre Dame Australia) together with Catholic universities in Europe and the Middle East. Memory and Identity was the theme of our last conference and the proceedings have been published and are available here.
With my every good wish and in union of prayer.
The Rev’d Professor Stephen Morgan, Rector
University of Saint Joseph, Macao
ASEACCU Executive Secretariat