CONCLUDING CEREMONY

June 14 2019 - STS - Jerusalem Today, June 14th, the STS all gathered to bid farewell to some Staff members and to the Students departing from this Campus after completing of their four-year programme of theological studies.

In the agenda, a special time was allotted for a “Bachelor’s Degree Certificate” giving ceremony. From their part, also the Students concluding one or both the Diplomas programmes received the official document attesting their achievement.

While we gratefully acknowledge the time that we have shared together as Academic Community, we must also accept with regret that next year some members will no longer be among us. We bid them all farewell and we wish them the best of luck in their days ahead. May God bless us all!

Fruit of the labour
Diploma in Inter-religious Dialogue and Ecumenism - Completed
Diploma in Biblical Geography & History - Completed
A song to invoke Grace: My soul says Yes!

BACCALAUREATE EXAMS: JUNE 12th 2019

June 12 2019 - STS - Jerusalem On today’s morning, June 12th, the summer session of Baccalaureate arrived to an end. By the authority of the Holy See and on behalf of the Academic Authorities of the Salesian Pontifical University, the last three students were declared “Bachelor in Theology.”

Jude FERNANDO, SDB, presented his Theological Synthesis entitled “The Paschal Mystery as source and summit of Christian life.”

Following, Tiago Rangel CARDOSO, NDS, sit an oral final examination, according to the second procedure contemplated in our Regulations. The candidate presented the biblical foundation of, the patristic and magisterial development of, and a systematic theological reflection on, three proposed theological themes.

Similarly, also Odise LAZRI, SDB, hold a dialogue with the members of the Commission on the bases of three proposed theological themes.

Staff and Students bid them farewell and wish them abundant of blessing in their days ahead. May God bless them all!

Jude FERNANDO, SDB
Tiago Rangel CARDOSO, NDS
Odise LAZRI, SDB

BACCALAUREATE EXAMS: JUNE 11th 2019

June 11 2019 - STS - Jerusalem On today’s morning, June 11th, the summer session of Baccalaureate exams continued. By the authority of the Holy See and on behalf of the Academic Authorities of the Salesian Pontifical University, other three students were declared “Bachelor in Theology.”

Yan Naing HTUN, SDB, presented his Theological Synthesis entitled “God’s revelation and promise of salvation in the Old Testament is fulfilled in Jesus Christ and proclaimed by the Church to all the world.”

Rakesh Kumar MERUGU, OFM Cap., defended his Theological Synthesis referred to “Christ, prophecy and the life of the Church.”

Finally, Cristóvão OLIVEIRA SILVA, NDS, presented his Theological Synthesis on “Grace and the salvific plan of God.”

Staff and Students bid them farewell and wish them abundant of blessing in their days ahead. May God bless them all!

Cristóvão OLIVEIRA SILVA, NDS
Rakesh Kumar MERUGU, OFM
Yan Naing HTUN, SDB

BACCALAUREATE EXAMS: JUNE 10th 2019

June 10 2019 - STS - Jerusalem On June 10th, the summer session of Baccalaureate exams began. By the authority of the Holy See and on behalf of the Academic Authorities of the Salesian Pontifical University, three students were declared “Bachelor in Theology.” Congratulations!

Pushparaj ANTHUVAN, SDB, presented his Theological Synthesis on “A theological understanding of faith in the life of the Church.”

Bosco UFOYURU, M.Afr., defended his Theological Synthesis referred to “God and the Salvation History.”

Jerone Fernando WARNAKULASURIYA, SDB, presented his Theological Synthesis entitled “In Christ we have been reconciled with the Father and made co-responsible for our salvation.”

Staff and Students bid them farewell and wish them abundant of blessing in their days ahead. May God bless them all!

Pushparaj Anthuvan, SDB
Bosco Ufoyuru, MAf
Jerone Fernando Warnakulasuriya, SDB

TOPOGRAPHICAL VISIT- THE CITY OF DAVID-SECOND YEAR STUDENTS

Amit Xess SDB

April 11 2019 - STS - Jerusalem On Thursday April 11th 2019, the 2nd Yr. Students of STS, were guided by Fr. Pol Vonck M. Afr. to the City of David, Jerusalem. The visit began at the Dung Gate in the afternoon, from where we walked to the City of David.

The City of David, closed to the neighborhood of Silwan on the outskirts of the Old City, is an archeological site which is speculated to compose the original urban core of ancient Jerusalem. The main archeological sites that can be visited there are: The Gihon spring, which lies on the eastern slope of the south eastern hill of Jerusalem, and is generally considered the very reason why the city first emerged at this specific location; and the ancient water systems connected to the Gihon spring. This system includes natural, masonry built, and rock cut structure, namely, the Spring Tower, the Warren’s shaft (a natural shaft once thought to have been a water supply system), the Siloam Channel (a water system that preceded the Siloam Tunnel), the Siloam Tunnel (a water supply system where the Siloam inscription was found), and the Siloam Pool (two connected pools, an upper one from the Byzantine era, and a second one recently discovered belonging to the Lower Second Temple period).

It was an amazing experience to walk through the tunnel which lasted for almost 20 mins, where inside such a pitch-dark narrow passage, the chilled water reached up to the knees. Our exit was at the Siloam Pool, where we ended our topographical visit. The fruitful visit once again filled each one’s mind with profound information, helping us to picture the life style of the people during that period.

Hezekiah's Tunnel
Fr. Vonck explains...
Touching the ancient
An exciting trip

TOPOGRAPHICAL VISITS -THE CITY OF DAVID – FIRST YEAR STUDENTS

The Hien Pham SDB

April 04 2019 - STS - Jerusalem During our first year of classes, the 1st-year students have Topographical Visits guided by Fr. Leopold Vonck, M.Afr. The last place we visited this year was the City of David, located outside the walls of today’s Old City.

At 2:00 pm on 4th April 2019, 25 members of the first year together with gathered with our guide at the City of David’s gate. The state-of-the-art 3D Presentation was the first point we appreciated. There, the place was presented through the generations, from the times of the Bible until today. After that, we went up to the top of the building to see the wonderful view around the city.

To continue our trip, we went to the remains of King David’s Palace. It is known as the “large stone structure” which was discovered beneath ruins from the Byzantine and the Second Temple periods. Specially, we were interested by the delicate patterns on the stones characteristic of that time.

The third stage of our visit was the Royal Quarter, with the House of Ahiel and the “stepped stone structure”. These were destroyed together with the rest of Jerusalem in the Babylonian military attack.

Definitely, the most exciting part of our journey was for us the experience of going through Hezekiah’s Tunnel. This channel led the water to the Shiloah (Siloam) pool. The length of it is approximately 533 meters and the height differential between the source of the spring and the end of the tunnel is a mere 30 centimeters. In some places it is about 1 meter. However, from a biblical point of view, the main highlight for us was Warren’s Shaft, because many historians believe that Solomon’s anointing and coronation as King of Israel occurred at this very place.

For those who did not want to go through Hezekiah’s Tunnel, another option was to go through the Canaanite Tunnel, which is a dry route about 400 meters. On this route one could explore the Canaanite pool and the Fortifications of the Spring House, the Gihon spring, the walls of ancient Jerusalem, the Weill excavation, and Meyuchas House.

The final place visited was the Shiloah (Siloam) pool. This piscina commemorates the Christian tradition of the miracle of the healing of a blind man (John 9). After Fr. Vonck’s interpretation, the whole class took some time to thank God with a short prayer for the guidance of Fr. Vonck and the adventures of the topographical visits during the year.

Fr. Leopold Vonck guides
Overlooking the pool of Bethesda
Once upon a time...
The adventurous team
The City of David

ARCHAEOLOGICAL EXCURSION TO BET GUVRIN-MARESHA NATIONAL PARK AND TEL AZEKAH

Belito José Joaquim

April 05 2019 - STS - Jerusalem Our last archaeological excursion as students of theology at the Salesian Pontifical University, here in Jerusalem, took place on 5th April 2019. Just as it was scheduled, we journeyed first towards Bet Guvrin-Maresha National Park.

The site, located in the Israel’s Shephela region, in the foothills of the Judean Mountains, has a tumultuous history from the Idumean Period through to modern times. After the explanations at the spot of the city remains, we moved further to the so-called ‘Polish Cave’, a deep and beautiful artificial cavern. According to the accounts, the cave was one of the preferred places for the Sidonians, the people that arrived to this place from the ancient Phoenicia. However, its present name refers to the fact that after the 1st World War, some Polishes used the cave as a place of refuge and planification for the fight against Germans and left some inscriptions on the rocks.

After this, we moved to the ‘Columbarium Cave,’ just a few meters from the previous one. This cave was planned and hewn as a dovecote for raising pigeons for food, for cult purposes, and for their manure which was used as fertiliser in the field of agriculture. Accordingly, we also entered inside the ‘Maize Cave,’ a beautiful place with its incredible as well as complicated irregular network of passages or paths. After that, we visited the Sidonian burial caves, one of which served as a resting place for the family of Apollophanes, and shortly afterwards, we went to see the famous church of Saint Anne, considered to be the first building used for public Christian worship in the region. The temple was first built by the Byzantines and later on rebuilt by the Crusaders, somewhere around 12th century BC. To finish, we moved to ‘Bell Cave.’

In all, these archaeological sites were first excavated in 1898-1900 by the British archaeologists Bliss and Macalister. However, for the sake of updating and enriching the information about the site, in 1989 new excavations were held by an Israeli archaeologist Amos Kloner on behalf of the Israel Antiquity Authority. Today, this place is listed among the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

After a rustic lunch, the last place visited in our archaeological excursion was Tel Azekah, a town in the Judean foothills guarding the upper reaches of the Valley of Elah, about 26 km northwest of Hebron. It is believed to be the place where the Amorite kings were defeated by Joshua and, perhaps, also the site where David defeated Goliath, the then strongest man in the Philistine army. With this, we completed our exhausting but enriching journey.

An expedition to explore
Toward the Colosseum
Fr. Piotr unfolds the mystery
The battle begins...
Inside the Bell Cave

MEETING OF THE HEADS OF SALESIANS THEOLOGY INSTITUTIONS

March 25-28 2019 - UPS - Rome From 25th to 28th March, 2019, the Roman seat of the Faculty of Theology of the Salesian Pontifical University (UPS) promoted the meeting of the Salesian Centres of Theology connected with the Faculty. The event brought together the Heads of the two external Campuses and seventeen Affiliated, Aggregated and Sponsored Centres from Europe (3), Latin America (6), Africa (3) and Asia (5), who participated together with other invited guests.

The purpose of the meeting was to study and deepen the Apostolic Constitution Veritatis gaudium on Ecclesiastical Universities and Faculties, issued by Pope Francis on January 29, 2018.

Among the speakers: Prof. Andrea Bozzolo, SDB, with a presentation on «The Educational and Theological reading of the Prologue of the Veritatis gaudium»; Prof. Dariusz Kowalczyk, SJ, with the report on «The Postmodern “bad” and “good”: What air does today’s theologian breathe?»; Prof. Andrzej Wodka, C.SS.R., on «A crucial expectation of Pope Francis: theology at the heart of polarities of reality»; Prof. Salvatore Currò, CSI, with regard to «The anthropological implications of the Veritatis Gaudium», and Prof. Gustavo Cavagnari, SDB, on the theme «The Pastoral Formation of the candidates for the priesthood in the light of Veritatis gaudium».

The meeting was moderated by Prof. Damasio Medeiros, SDB, Dean of the Faculty of Theology, together with the Salesians Proff. Paolo Carlotti, Sahayadass Fernando and Shaji Puykunnel; and saw the welcome participation of Prof. Mauro Mantovani, Rector of the UPS, of Fr. Francesco Cereda, Vicar of the Salesian Rector Major, of Fr. Eugenio Riva, Religious Superior of the UPS Vice-Province, and of Fr. Francisco Santos, from the Formation Dicastery. On 27th March, the Most Rev. Vicenzo Zani, Secretary of the Congregation for Catholic Education, presided over the Eucharist for the participants in the meeting at St. Peter’s Tomb.

Furthermore, during the last two days of the Meeting, the participants attended the Conference, «The Way of Beauty. The aesthetic experience in Theology», promoted by the Institute of Dogmatic Theology of the Faculty of Theology.

Coming together
Imploring God's Grace
The heads of Salesians Theology Institutions

ARCHAEOLOGICAL EXCURSION TO EMMAUS NICOPOLIS, LATRUN, SOREQ CAVE, AND SAXUM

Karen Lorenzo Contreras

March 14 2019 - STS - Jerusalem To walk the steps of the great characters of the Bible, to visit the actual places, to get a sense of reality and account for is one of the best experiences as a student of STS.

Our first archaeological excursion of the year was not short from this. Guided by the always-charismatic Fr. Piotr Zelazko, we felt like those disciples on the road to Emmaus saying, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over” (Lk 24:29).

Our excursion began in a very special place, Emmaus Nicopolis. After a short bus drive, just 30 km west of Jerusalem on the road to the Mediterranean, we arrived at the place where, according to one tradition, was the place where Jesus appeared to his disciples after His Resurrection. After the revelations received by Saint Miriam of Jesus Crucified, agreed with Edward Robinson’s identification of this place as the Biblical Emmaus and the Roman-Byzantine Nicopolis, the Carmelites bought this place and the archaeological excavations began. One brother of the Beatitudes community, who now take care of the place, received and guided us.

We continued our excursion by walking up a small mountain to the remains of a crusader castle in Latrun, a mystic and peaceful place. Its name derives from La tour des chevaliers (The tower of the knights) given by the crusaders. Located in a strategic hilltop in the Valley of Ayalon and overlooking the road between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, this place has been a witness to many events in history, and has served as a crucial point for many periods, and now the place is the home of French Trappist monks who cultivate many vineyards.

We then reached a truly unique place in Israel, the Soreq cave, also known as Avshalom´s cave. Located in the Judean hills near the city of Bet Shemesh, this 5,000 mt cave holds a dense concentration of stalagmite and stalactite created over millions of years of water dripping through the ground, dissolving limestone and slowly creating this natural wonder. It was discovered accidentally while quarrying with explosives and opened to the public once it was properly preserved.

Our final destination was very different from the previous places we had visited. With no actual archaeology but a comprehensive multimedia center to help enrich every visitor´s understanding and knowledge of the Holy Land. A lovely volunteer from England guided us in and out the Saxum Visitor Center, who thoroughly took us on a journey through time.

It was a real treat to visit so many different and enriching places in one day, an experience one can have in very few places, as one does in this beautiful land of Israel.

The Emmaus Experience
Remains of Crusader Castle in Latrun
A Holy Land Review - Saxum
Were not our hearts burning within us. Lk. 24, 32

SECOND SEMESTER SPORT TOURNAMENT

March 07 2019 - STS - Jerusalem In the afternoon of 7th March 2019, the second annual STS Soccer Tournament took place at the sports compound located behind the Burj al-Laqlaq tower in the Old City. The date of the event this year was not chosen at random: the tournament followed the celebration hosted at St. Anne’s on the occasion of the Jubilee Year of the Missionaries of Africa.

The game, held from 14.00 until 16.00, was a good and joyful moment of recreation and sharing among the students, and a great opportunity for them to build camaraderie and fellowship.

After three matches full of exciting moments, the STS cup was awarded to the Paul VI’s team. Congratulations!

The team - John XXIII
The team - John Paul II
The team - Paul VI
The game on fire
And its a GOAL...
The winners of the day