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

Opening of the Academic Year 2013-2014

 
 

20 September 2013. Jerusalem Campus of the Salesian Pontifical University
Studium Theologicum Salesianum, Salesian Pontifical University, faculty of Theology, Jerusalem Campus, began its Academic Year on 20 September 2013. 
The opening day included a brief staff meeting to update planning for the year. Staff was introduced to the new computer software connecting the STS with the computer system of the Salesian Pontifical University in Rome. 

Staff and students then met in the Church for a well prepared prayer service at which the teachers made their Profession of Faith and Oath of Fidelity.  Rev. Dr. Ric Fernando, professor of Canon Law led the prayers.

Opening ceremonies began with the words of welcome by the Rector of the Salesian seminary, Fr. Ivo Coelho. Fr. Eric Wyckoff, the outgoing Registrar of the STS then introduced the new students (19 new students) and made a summary report of the activities of the last academic year. This was followed by a presentation of an audio book published by the STS. Rev. Dr. Joan Vernet released the audio book which has over ten hours of recording in 61 tracks. The name of the book is “Songs for a Spiritual Journey” by Fr. Antony Vazhappilly. The staff and students of the STS did the recording at the Don Bosco Communications Studio of the STS.

Principal, Rev. Dr. Biju Michael in his speech thanked the many people who have worked hard to make STS achieve its present identity.  He introduced the new members of the teaching staff and drew attention to the rich and diverse faculty (teachers from 15 countries) that the STS is fortunate to have this year. 21 professors and 52 students from 32 countries form the academic community this year. Fr. Eric Wyckoff was thanked for his services in the last academic year as Registrar. He continues his great service as the professor of Sacred Scripture. Sr. Mary Colman, FSE was welcomed as the new Registrar of the STS. Bishop William Shomali, Dr. Marcie Lenk, Dr. Leopold Vonck, M. Afr., Jean-Claude Cellier, M. Afr., Michael Heap, M. Afr., and Fr. Simon Robert, SDB are the new teachers joining the STS. During the opening function the decree from the Grand Chancellor of the University, promoting Dr. Biju Michael to the status of “Straordinari Professor” of Moral Theology was read to the public by Rev. Dr. Eric Wyckoff.

In his opening speech, the Principal focused on the importance of raising pertinent questions that deal with fundamental issues of human life. He stated: “In the study of theology, as in the study of any subject, asking the right questions is of the greatest importance. What are our questions as we start another year of the study of Theology? Are we satisfied with questions that are about our immediate, pragmatic and practical needs? How do I do this? How do I do that? What can I get out of it? These are important questions. But are they all? Or, do we ask also questions about the profound issues affecting human life? Do our questions sound any similar to the question of the man in the Gospel according to Mathew: “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?” (Mt 19:16)

Only when we have such good questions that affect the whole of our human life will we get the most pertinent answers: “And eternal life is this: to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent” (Jn 17:3).

As a Faculty of Theology, we are called to ask fundamental questions and to seek answers to those fundamental questions that affect our lives…”
The students scoring the highest marks in the year groups were recognized and the award for the student scoring highest in the third year (three hundred Euros) was given away. Deacon Pedro Sachitula won the award with an average of 29.50 marks out of 30. Manuel Hurtado, Sandy Habib and Thomasz Sage were also recognized for their academic performance.

Dr. Biju Michael as President of the Jerusalem Campus of the Faculty of Theology of the Salesian Pontifical University declared the 2013-14 Academic Year open.  All were invited for lunch in celebration.

In the afternoon the students held their first assembly for this academic year.  The students were introduced to the automatic secretarial services available to them on the website of the university: http://jerusalem.unisal.it

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