Dr. Emiliano Hudtohan

Educator, Business Writer, Industry Expert and Entrepreneur

Les Maillefers

Green Light

Manila Standard Today

Dr. Emiliano T. Hudtohan

October 27, 2014

St. John Baptist de la Salle experienced one event that led him to dedicate his life to the Christian education of the youth in 17th century France. And this happened at the doorstep of the Motherhouse of the Sisters of the Child Jesus in Rheims. He met Adrian Nyel who was sent by Madame Jeanne Dubois Maillefer, his wealthy relative from Rouen for help to open a free school for boys. His commitment to help resulted to the establishment of the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools. He was then canonized a saint and became Patron of All Teachers.

As we celebrated World Teachers Month and Elderly Filipino Week, I remember two Lasallian educators whom I fondly associate with Madame Maillefer. Josephine Cenzon Caluag and Maria Luisa M. Lacson are les Maillefers of the Philippines because they walk the path of St. La Salle.

Director of professional catechists                                                                                                                                             

Louie served the De La Salle schools for almost five decades. She is a consecrated member of Signum Fidei and was responsible for establishing the 17th Signum Fidei chapter in the Philippines. In 1967, she finished her master’s in guidance and counselling and religious education at DLSU. Thereafter, Br. Felix Masson, FSC hired her to teach religion at La Salle Green Hills. As Director (1996-2007) of Br. Andelino Manuel Castillo, FSC Religious Education Foundation (BAMCREF) she was primarily tasked to manage the catechetical program of DLSU in 17 public schools.

She faithfully carried the legacy of Br. Castillo, FSC who introduced the staggered scheduling of professional catechists with lessons in 20-30-40-50-minute variants. The study I conducted in 2005 showed that, in the hands of a master catechist like Soledad Nabos, pupils in a 20-minute session outperformed those who had 40 and 50-minute lessons. This happened because of her sustained support for the continuing education of the professional catechists.

With Br. Andrew Gonzalez, FSC and the catechists, she coordinated the publication of Modyul sa Katekismo at Kagandang Asal textbook for the public elementary schools. Together with her catechists, she authored The Lasallian Rosary Manual, highlighting the significance of the sixth decade in honor of the Immaculate Conception and for the intention of the Holy Father. She worked with Br. Rolando Dizon, FSC and formulated the Bamcref Catechists’ Manual, citing the code of conduct of the professional catechist. .

During her directorship, the DLSU Catechetical Center was registered as Brother Andelino Manuel Castillo, FSC Religious Education Foundation, Inc. in 1982. As the ninth director and the fifth lay director of Bamcref, she is a pillar that strengthened the professional service of the catechists in 17 public schools in Metro Manila.

She served as Vice Chair of DLSU Teacher Education and Practicum Coordinator. After retirement, she became the principal of the School of St. Brother Benilde in Pampanga, a De La Sale supervised school. In 2008, she was a theology professor of College of San Benildo, Rizal.

According to her, her association with Br. Felix Masson, FSC, Br. Francis Cody, FSC, Br. Tomas Aquinas, FSC , Br. Rolando Dizon, FSC, Br. Rafael Donato, FSC, Br. Victor Franco, FSC, Br. Leander Fidelis, FSC, Br. William Garvey, FSC, and Br. Bernie Oca, FSC (1967 to 2013) set the foundation of her Lasallian spirituality. This led to her membership in Signum Fidei

Innovative religious educator

Josie spent almost 25 years of her academic life in the grade school, high school, college, and graduate school at La Salle Green Hills and De La Salle University. Through Br. Leander Fidelis, FSC, she became a volunteer catechist of Baclaran Public High School. In the 60s, under Br. Javier Quintos, FSC, Taft grade school principal, she introduced the new catechesis developed by Fr. Banayad, SJ.

As religion coordinator during the administration of Br. Victor Franco, FSC, she implemented the Human Evocative Approach to catechesis, which was experienced based involving the parents and the community. HEA evolved into a Christian Living Program based on counseling psychology and anthropocentric theology. With Br. Rolando Dizon, FSC, her La Salle Green Hills high school principal, she designed a religious education program which was multi-disciplinary, involving the faculty and parents as key religious educators. Her masteral study (1972) on the religious attitudes and values of De La Salle students affirmed the validity of this program.

At DLSU, she taught with Sam Wiley and they co-authored a textbook on marriage and family life. Through Br. Andrew Gonzalez FSC, she earned a scholarship at the University of Santo Tomas, Manila and her dissertation (1982) focused on the educational administrative leadership and humanization in five La Salle secondary schools in the Philippines. Her panelists included Fr. Leonardo Legaspi OP, Br. Andrew Gonzales, FSC, Br. Rolando Dizon, FSC, Dr. Lourdes Quisumbing, and Dr. Josefina Ramirez.

By then, Josie, considered as religious education guru, teamed up with Fr. Cornelius Hulsbosch, Br. Edward Baldwin, FSC, and Br. Armand Garcia, FSC in establishing the DLSU Campus Ministry. Br. Gabriel Connon, FSC, answering the call of Vatican II for renewal in education, tasked her to orient the young Brothers on the new catechetics. Later, her religious education program was shared with the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines.

But there was a resistance to her new catechesis. She said, she was summoned by Jaime Cardinal Sin, Archbishop of Manila, to explain the new curriculum which was strongly opposed by Mr. Ernie Lagdameo of Opus Dei. [Interestingly, I recall St. La Salle who was opposed by the Catholic hierarchy and the Writing Masters when he revolutionized the one-on-one tutorial system in France.] The new curriculum was not dissolved. Cardinal Sin gave his ‘imprimatur’ and stamped ‘nihil obstat’ on its seemingly humanistic content.

Lasallian partners forever

Louie and Josie are now immigrants. Louie resides in Sacramento, California. She declares, “I continue to live my Lasallian spirituality, living my Faith, Service, and Commitment as a member as a consecrated member of Signum Fidei.” She continues to evangelize through her daily column on Prayer in Business Mirror.

Josie migrated to Guam. There, she devoted her life as a missionary with her late husband Joe. Together they revolutionized the island’s religious education and family formation program. Senators Judith Won Pat, Tina Barnes, and Rory Respicio recognized her “lifetime of distinguished service as an academician, consummate professional, volunteer businesswoman serving the youth, women and families on Guam.”

In 2012, Madeleine Z. Bordallo of the House of Representatives of the United States presented a congressional certificate citing her “20 years of service to students, their families, and communities in recognition of outstanding and invaluable service to the island of Guam.“

Louie and Josie, fashioned by the spirit of St. John Baptist de la Salle, resurrect the devotion of Madame Dubois Maillefer as they continue to serve with love and care through Lasallian service here and abroad.

They are Les Maillefers in the tradition of Lasallian history.

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

Leave a Reply