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



5 October 2016, STS, Jerusalem
Samuel Sorie Sesay, SDB


Today the students and teachers of the various Theological institutes of Jerusalem gathered for the Mass of the Holy Spirit to invoke the blessings of God on the new academic year. As good seminarians and good professors or lecturers of theology, we cannot but start with the celebration of the Eucharist as a way of giving thanks to almighty God for bringing us together after summer break as well as a way of welcoming all our new students and lecturers.

The mass took place at the Franciscan parish in the old city of Jerusalem with about 52 priests around the main celebrant Rev Fr. Francesco Patton, Custos of the Holy land. The readings of the celebration were fitting for this occasion. The First reading was taken from Galatians 2:1-2.7-14 and the Gospel was from Luke 11:1-4. The celebrant in his homily drew lessons from the Gospel text for the study of theology.

The disciples asked Jesus to teach them how to pray. Jesus in his divine wisdom taught them the “Our Father.” Fr Francesco in his explication of the text said that it is a reminder of how the teaching and study of theology should be done. Theology should lead to an authentic and profound relationship with the God of Jesus Christ - the Almighty Father whom Jesus taught his disciples to pray to and go to in times of needs and difficulties. Hence, the study of theology is to build and maintain our relationship with God.

He also stated that like the disciples asking Jesus to teach them how to pray, students of theology should likewise establish a relationship based on dialogue with lecturers so as to attain that which is central to the study of theology. Therefore, there is a twofold interplay. The students by creating this relationship of trust with the lecturers should allow him or herself to be guided by the lecturers. The lecturers should in turn be enthused and challenged by the interactive dialogue with the students.

After the solemn mass, all who attended the mass had time to have some refreshment and time to chat with professors, colleagues and friends, sharing experiences of the summer with old friends as well as making new ones.

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