Fr. Arevalo: Father of Asian Theology

Filipino Catholics and non-Catholics, especially those in the clerical and religious circles are over-familiar with Fr. Arevalo either as a teacher, a conference speaker, a writer, a spiritual guide, or simply, as a servant of the Church. By God’s sheer grace, I have known him in the late 90s in the classroom – his theological mind sharp as a samurai sword and the calm abiding of his demeanor – silencing. Pause. I don’t intend to write a long tribute. But for those who are beginning to be curious about him since his homily during Tita Cory’s funeral mass, your curiosity must at least begin with the Man named Jesus. It’s a prerequisite for him, and he will only make sense to you within this given. By the time you listen or read him again, expect to be silenced, be awed, by the simplicity and depth of God criss-crossing through our broken lives. Be open: his words will prick your soul, more if it’s long been basking in complacency while carrying the Christian ID.

Here’s a little chizmax: if St. Ambrose once pricked the spiritual brilliance in St. Augustine, Fr. Arevalo had lullabied the same brilliance in the now globally glowing Bishop Chito Tagle. If you are Catholic and haven’t heard Bishop Tagle talk, you might want to start as his Facebook fan.

It is no surprise to me that the Federation of Asian Bishops Conference (FABC) had recently honored him as the Father of Asian Theology. Still, I celebrate within, understanding theology not so much as an academic degree or expertise but as an ever-growing curiosity and acceptance on how God is so deeply involved in all facets of our lives. Salamat po, Fr. Arevalo for weaving those stories of God’s involvement!


22 thoughts on “Fr. Arevalo: Father of Asian Theology

  1. Kapatid, I am not familiar with Fr. Arevalo before the death of Pres. Aquino… But I am very familiar with Bishop Tagle… I used to watch his program “Light Talks” pero hindi ko na nakikita ngayon, at sa mga masses niya… I have no questions then on Fr. Arevalo’s mental prowess, seeing how brilliant Bishop Tagle is…. He then deserves the title… 🙂

    • His Facebook page i linked in this post is the most accessible, not to mention that the vids are of high quality produced by the Jesuit Communications…Fr. Arevalo is one unassuming gift around…

  2. I’m not that familiar with Fr. Arevalo too, siguro dahil lang sa nasa malayong lugar ako..

    Anyway, I love Bishop Tagle, I always watch his tv program ‘Word Exposed’ in youtube and his Kape’t Pandasal every tuesday in one portion in morning show in channel 2. I always reposting his clips in facebook actually, hehehe..

    Thank u po for posting this.


  3. I love Fr. Arevalo bro! I attended the theology conference at Don Bosco Makati last year where he was the speaker together with Bishop Tagle.


    And I am so thankful that Bishop Chito is our bishop here. His theology is something that we will all appreciate, understand and love…and not some out of this world kind of theology detached from the experiences and consciousness of believers.

    • At the last Papal election, there were at least Latin American cardinals who were strong contenders for the papacy. I prayed for such a change, I guess most Catholics would like to see a non-Europeanized papacy. This is my wildest guess – if ever Bishop Tagle becomes a cardinal, he would be a papal fuertes materiales. He has the leadership and the intelligence…

      • I agree…he is still very young and what the Catholic Church needs at this very moment is someone who is still very faithful to the teachings of the Church, yet truly understands and could communicate well to a modern fast-paced era.

        Bishop Tagle is all that: he understands and shares theology really well, from all levels, rich and poor.

        That is also our dream.

        • In the silent, unassuming toil of the likes of Fr. Arevs, the Philippine Church keeps growing. This is the K of God alive among us…Fire of the Holy Spirit – keep our hearts burning for knowing your Presence…

  4. narinig ko na si Fr Arevalo, sa libing ata ni ate cory… sya nga ba yon…

    at nakakatuwa may ganyang palang balita, karangalan ko yan, at karangalan din ng bansa… magagaling talaga ang mga Pinoy…

    Day II na ng boracay adventure ko, halika ipapasyal na ulit kita…

    • Anak ni Brader Mike! – Nasa Boracay ka pala ngayon nagliwaliw. I expect more photos from your blog. Uy, nakapaghinga na si Kuya Blu, wala ka pa dun sa welcome salo-salo…

      Oo Alvin, si Fr. Arevs yung nag homily….

  5. Same. I am not familiar with Fr. Arevalo but I am very familiar with Bishop Tagle. Fan niya ako sa facebook. hehehe.

    But more than that, Bishop Tagle was my professor way back in Tagaytay. Brilliant!

    On our first day of class, napanganga kami lahat sa galing niya. Grabe! During the break, walang tumayo, lahat nakaupo lang at gusto pang makinig sa kanya.

    a little anecdote on “light talk” and “word exposed”: Bishop Tagle shared in our class that he received many complaints from viewers during his “light talk” program. Many did not like it daw because the bishop was interviewing people instead of being the one talking….

    to which Bishop Tagle sighed, sabi niya sa class namin: “perhaps the people are not yet ready to see a bishop who knows how to listen…”

    kaya when the abc 5 became tv 5, the “light talk” also metamorposed into “word exposed”. in that show, Bishop Tagle does all the talking, no more interviews…and it rates well…

    • Thank you for this info. Never got the chance to “light talk”. I think i was still abroad then.
      Pads, sakto ka – listening to Bishop Tagle’s lecture is always a delight even if it drags for hours. Hearsay then (naging tsismoso tuloy ako) that people have been wanting him to become a bishop except that Bishop Tagle wanted to remain a simple teacher in sports shirts. Slowly, Bishop Tagle is changing the Filipino mindset about church leadership and most will do a lot of shaking off of the old ways haha…

      • that is true. among the priest circles, we want tagle to be the next cardinal from the philippines.

        //Hearsay then (naging tsismoso tuloy ako) that people have been wanting him to become a bishop except that Bishop Tagle wanted to remain a simple teacher in sports shirts.// this is not a hearsay. sabi mismo sa amin ni bishop tagle before that he was always reprimanded even during his seminarista days because he loves to simply wear yong white t-shirt na see through…very simple ang kasi siyang tao…pero nong naging bishop na siya, he also felt the need na magbarong, mag prim and proper…pero kung wala siya sa public eye, naka-shirt lang yan at naka-shorts…at sumasakay pa yan ng public transpo, at naka-standing position pa…

        omg, dami kong kwento tungkol sa kanya…

  6. this is cool! nabasa na kaya ni Fr. Arevalo ang article na ito at ang mga comments dito… hehe… masabi nga sa kanya mamaya sa lunch… hehehe…

    Fr. Arevalo is really brilliant. I am always mesmerized by the profoundness of his insights. In fact, one of the things that i look forward to during our mealtime is the conversation with him.


  7. brillian Fr. Arevalo!!!…. I personally read some of his books and articles in many theological subjects.. his good, full of wisdom and with deep spirituality.

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