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

TOUGMA Herve, m.afr.



2nd June 2017, STS Jerusalem
UFOYURU Bosco, m.afr.

On the morning of 2nd June, 2017 at 10:30 a.m. Deacon Hervé TOUGMA, M. Afr. defended his baccalaureate Synthesis at Studium Theologicum Salesianum in Jerusalem, thus finishing the 1st circle of theological studies and earning the title of Bachelor of Theology. The title of his thesis was: " MISSION AND TRINITY: Mission considered in its source in the Father, in its model in Christ, in its soul in the Holy Spirit and as an ecclesial vocation. “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit (…). And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age” (Mt. 28: 19-20). “The members of the panel examining the thesis were, Rev. Biju Michael, the President, SDB, Rev. Dr. William RUSSEL, M. Afr., the Tutor and Rev. Fr. John Bosco Vincent Raj, SDB, the Reader.

At the beginning, Deacon Hervé TOUGMA gave a 10-minute presentation of his Synthesis. He explained chapter by chapter the ideas conveyed in his paper.

In his introduction he presented the challenges that the Church faces in her mission entrusted to her by the Triune God. Chapter one deals mainly with God the Father as the source of mission. He, God the Father sends the Son and the Holy Spirit through the Son to fulfill this mission. Though the Father remains the Source, He is nevertheless in communion with the Son and the Holy Spirit. In the second chapter, Herve stressed the mission of the Son. In the third chapter, Deacon Hervé TOUGMA focused on the promise, the sending and the permanent presence of the Holy Spirit in the Church’s mission.

After a ten minute presentation of the synthesis, the Tutor, Dr. William RUSSEL commented on the whole synthesis and praised the student for the hard work achieved. He acknowledged that the question of the Trinity still remains a complex one among other theological disciplines. Nevertheless, the synthesis took into consideration many resources related to the understanding of the mission which is always Trinitarian. He also asked a question:  Identify what you consider to be (at least three, or more) of the main practical and pastoral challenges facing the Church’s Mission in Africa today; then suggest appropriate ways in which priestly ministers and other pastoral agents could or should be responding to them, if you identify and deal with more than three such challenges, make sure that the three which you consider the most important are dealt with in depth. By basing on Rm 12:9 and on the document, “Ecclesia in Africa”, Deacon Hervé TOUGMA used the concept of the Church as Family, as members of the Church in which each and every one baptized has received gifts, talents in order to contribute to the life of the Church. In this context, the clergy, the priests and the Bishops in particular are called to live coherently according to what they believe and they preach and are urged to be the model as Christ the model par excellence. As regards to the Evangelization, Deacon recalled the attention of each catholic baptized to bring his or her stones for the building of this Church, Family. This contribution will not leave aside the aspects of peace and justice, the eradication of the poverty in the human society. He also brought to light the challenge of inculturation in the liturgical life of the Church which still in one way or the other affects the faith and the whole life of the faithful. He once again mentioned the lack of dialogue. He emphasized on the fact that the dialogue with conflicting countries in Africa could bring peoples, the bishops and the whole Christian community together.

After exploring the question, the Reader of the synthesis, Fr Vincent John Bosco congratulated Deacon Hervé for his personal interest in this area of the Church’s Mission. He made some comments and suggestions. The reader asked: while at one hand we have the COMMAND of Christ to baptize and announce the Kingdom of God, at the other, there are few who have a narrow understanding of the phrase Extra ecclesiam nulla salus (eg. Leonard Feeney). What would you suggest on the universal salvific will of God?

By elaborating on this question, Deacon Hervé stressed the point that in the encounter of Paul with the Areopagus, the listeners of Paul did not say that they will never listen to him, they rather promised to listen to Paul next time. It is understandable that some listeners believed and followed Paul. Thus the continuing dialogue of Paul is here an inspiring step for any missionary to continue preaching Christ to others. A missionary, in his tasks of preaching Christ, should not have a narrow understanding of Extra ecclesiam nulla salus. God in his ways and manners can save other people as well. This was followed by questions from the head of the commission.
After a short break, the Bachelor of Theology defense panel met and Rev Dr Biju read the declaration on behalf of the Church and the Pontifical University that Hervé TOUGMA, M. Afr successfully completed the requirements for the Bachelor Degree in Theology.

Deacon Hervé TOUGMA is expected to be ordained on 1st July 2017 in his home archdiocese of KOUPELA (Burkina Faso).




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