Studium Theologicum Salesianum
Salesian Pontifical University : Faculty of Theology - Jerusalem Campus

The Conclusion of the Academic Year 2015-2016


Jerusalem, 4 June 2016
Romero D’Souza SDB

On 4th June 2016 STS had the official conclusion of the academic year 2015-2016. We began at 11.00 am in the Don Bosco Hall. The occasion was graced with the presence of His Excellency Archbishop Giuseppe Lazzarotto, the Apostolic Nuncio & Delegate to Jerusalem, Israel.
The first part of the programme began with the hymn to the Holy Spirit Veni Sante Spiritus followed by the words of welcome given by Sr Angela Ridout SJA,  the Registrar of STS in which she gave thanks to the many persons involved in the academic processes of growth in the love of God during the past year. Cl. Dieunel Victor SDB spoke on behalf of the students thanking the outgoing students and thanking the Lord for this year which has been a year of blessing and challenges. This was followed by a video presentation highlighting the important events of the Academic Year 2015-2016 produced by Javier Orengo SDB.

Two other speeches followed. The first by Deacon Tomasz Sage sdb (representing the graduating group) who gave thanks to the professors for their help in nurturing them through theological insights, learning and synthesis. He made special mention of Rev. Fr Biju Michael SDB the President, who had been a great source of encouragement by both word and example. He concluded by inviting all the students to hold on to strong will and patience in study and learning for the ultimate goal: Jesus Christ and for the mission.

Ms. Elena Camilleri (representing the first group of graduates of the two new Diploma programmes: Diploma in Biblical Geography and History & Diploma in Interreligious Dialogue and Ecumenism) spoke of her experience of learning and her immersion into the Bible through the classes, visits, guided readings and reflections by the professors of the University.

The Chief Guest, Archbishop Lazzarotto awarded the trophy to the winning team (St Matthew) of the STS football tournament held on 28 April. After this he also released the two books from the STS namely Mercy without Boundaries & Saint Maria Elisabeth Hasselblad. The first is published by the STS Publications and the second is an English translation by the STS. In his words of advice and exhortation, Archbishop Giuseppe Lazzarotto, made two suggestions. Quoting Pope Francis, who in turn cites St. Ignatius of Loyola, who said that it is not knowledge that fills and satisfies but the savouring and tasting of God’s wisdom, which is love. The task for a priest is to share God's love acquired along with knowledge to all they serve. The second piece of advice also comes from Pope Francis who noted that one cannot be a good educator from the window. True education comes from living among those to be educated and understanding what their life and cares are about.

Followed by this motivational and inspiring talk we had the presentation of the PONTIFICAL BACHELOR DEGREE IN THEOLOGY and PONTIFICAL DIPLOMAS to the graduating students. The vote of thanks was proposed by the President Rev. Fr Biju Michael, who thanked the staff (teaching and non-teaching) for their dedication, classes, time and availability; and the students for their co-operative and collaborative work and help as well as their efforts to reading and study.  He concluded giving thanks to God in the words of the psalmist quoting Psalms 107, 92 and 138. At the end, we had a thanksgiving Hymn entitled: “Give thanks with a grateful heart…”

The second part of the programme was the sumptuous BBQ lunch on the basketball court, which was a time spent in fellowship and family spirit by students and staff. Steven Redhead claims that life is what one's heart and mind has pondered most. “In learning and in life we ultimately pursue, not conclusions, but beginnings” and today as we come to the close of our academic year it is only a beginning to take our learnings to the places we go and to live our learning.

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