‘What does Fortes in Fide truly mean to you?’

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Writing as an act of stewardship: Umatuna training volunteer writers

Our archdiocesan newspaper, the Umatuna Si Yu’os is developing a pool of Catholics who are interested in developing their writing skills while covering news of our Church on a stewardship basis.

The Umatuna Si Yu’os is celebrating its 70th year anniversary of proclaiming the Good News of Christ to our people on Guam and in the Marianas largely through the efforts of many good people who contributed their time, talent and treasures as volunteers. We will train. Just provide the faith, heart and desire.

Interested persons, please call Tony Diaz at 562-0062 or e-mail editor@umatuna.org.

God bless!

What does Fortes in Fide truly mean to you?’

Editor’s note: Father Duenas Memorial School recently held an essay contest titled, “What Does Fortes in Fide Mean to Me?” This is the winning essay by senior Christopher Reyes.

By Christopher Reyes
Senior, first place

While Fortes in Fide literally means “Strong in the Faith” in the Latin language, this motto that is part of the embodiment of my school has a much more significant meaning behind it in my eyes. At the start of my freshmen year, the Latin phrase that was just introduced to me started out as any other ordinary quote. Little did I know, Fortes in Fide would be a saying that would influence the actions I have made throughout my high school career. Struggling through peer pressure and challenging endeavors, all of the decisions I have made has led back to remaining strong in the Faith.

St. Augustine of Hippo once said, “Right is right even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong even if everyone is doing it.” In comparison with our school motto, these words of St. Augustine create a very powerful message towards the development of my character. It has constantly reminded me that even when I am put in the most doubtful situations, I should trust my Faith and not what others want me to do. Over the course of my years spent at Father Duenas, I have been put in many difficult positions, both good and bad. However, I am very thankful for the experiences I have been through because without my mistakes, I would have never learned how to earn my achievements.

In relation towards Augustine’s preaching, there were many people who were involved in inappropriate actions: cheating, smoking, and disrespecting authority. Although my peers took part in irreverent behavior, I remembered that it did not give me a right to follow in their footsteps. In order to grow strong in the faith and overcome these obstacles, I had to keep my relationship with God and thrive in his way. These two quotes that resemble similar aspects have encouraged a positive impact throughout these last four years of high school. To me, Fortes in Fide does not only mean being strong in the faith, but it also means forming the Duenas man I am today.

Fortes in Fide

By Cody Diego
Senior, second place

Faith is the lifeblood of Catholicism, my religion. It helps us to live our lives on Earth with the promise of Heaven in mind. Fortes in fide translated means strong in the faith, such a simple saying holds much weight to its meaning. To me, it’s the way I wish to live my life. Wherever I am, or whatever I’m doing, I try to reflect on my faith to see if I’m acting in accordance with all of Christ’s teachings. I’ll be honest, this doesn’t occur as often as I would like it to, but when it does, it brings me so much joy to know that what I’m doing is what my faith prescribes me to do.

In simple terms, to be strong in the faith can be broken up into two parts. The first being well knowledgeable of all of Christ’s teaching and the teachings of the Church. Much of what was taught by Jesus and the Church must be taken in Faith, that is because science can’t prove it, nor can we. We were given the Eucharist by Jesus himself and by Faith we believe that it is Jesus himself. Being rooted in the knowledge of one’s faith is accompanied by the second part of what fortes in fide means to me, which is to make use of our God given knowledge. This is where many others, including myself falter in. It is easy to remain steadfast in our religion, knowing it is true in all its entirety. It is just as important to bring others to believe in what we believe, and this must be done in love or else it might come across negatively which could turn away a potential soul. Jesus sums it up best, ordering us to be trees, rooted deeply in teachings, growing to produce good fruit.

What does Fortes in Fide mean to me?

By Pete Ofeciar
Junior, third place

Fortes in Fide is our motto at FD, which translates to the the phrase “Strong in the Faith”, but to me it has so much more of a deeper meaning. “No man is an island” is another famous quote I like to look at, by John Donne; which means that no one can just rely on themselves alone but on the people around us, the people we trust the most, and more importantly the trust we have in our God.  The reason I believe being “strong in the faith” has a deeper meaning isn’t because of the way the school mentions it to me, it’s about the connection we build with God just as well as others around us. Being strong in the faith means I’m able to rely on God, even when no one is there to stand with me, I can hold His hand and he can lead me through the darkest of valleys. I can pass every one of life’s obstacles with the confidence that the Lord, our God, will protect me and guide me down the safest steps on the narrowest of paths.

Struggle has a treacherous hand that grasps us all in one way or another. Throughout my life, I can say that I’ve experienced struggles, challenges, and rejections; things that we all have or will experience from time to time. But none of it has ever brought me the ideal that I won’t be able to get back up again. My Lord strengthens me just enough to lift my head up again, and reach for His hand to grab; and from there we move forward. My problems may be on a smaller scale than others, but I know I can solely rely on my faith in all times of torment– no matter how difficult. I continue to believe that in my darkest of times, being “strong in the faith” will forever show me the brightest of lights. In the moments when I could possibly lose everything… I can continue to move forward with my head held high… as the Lord guides me through a lifelong journey.