CLOSING OF THE ACADEMIC YEAR 2019-2020

There is a time for everything, a time to start and a time to end. The Studium Theologicum Salesianum has now brought its present academic year to an end.

On Wednesday, 10 June 2020, the closing ceremony started at 11:00 a.m. Due to the current restrictions, the ceremony was hosted in the Main Chapel, a more spacious venue in which to avoid crowding. The programme itself was abridged, with the intention of not extending it for more time than the necessary.

After the Words of Welcome & Adieu given by the Student Rep, Bro. Charles Craig Spence, and the speech delivered by the Rep of the 4th-Year Students, Dn. Miguel Ángel Condo Soto, the most important moment of the day then arrived with the presentation of Certificates to the graduating students of both the Diplomas (in Biblical Geography and History, and in Interreligious Dialogue and Ecumenism), and of the Pontifical Bachelor Degree in Theology. Each student also received a gift from the Institute.

After the presentation of the certificates, the Principal, Fr. Gustavo Cavagnari, concluding his academic service, gave a final speech, a vote of thanks, and welcomed the new appointed Principal, Fr. Andrzej Toczyski, who will lead the STS as its Head from the period 2020-2023.

In his speech, Fr. Cavagnari expressed his gratitude to all staff and students of the STS for the various roles they play to keep the Campus running, to the Church leaders in the Holy Land, and to the religious and academic Salesian authorities. He invited all students to sustain their studies with constancy, consistency, and to avoid dissipation. And he also encouraged the Professors to continue, as far as possible, to give to any student what he or she is capable of, not setting the bar too low.

The following day, the last Assembly of the Teaching Staff was held to evaluate the Academic Year 2019-20. Special thanks were extended to outgoing teachers and a brief report of the student body and a pre-view of the academic calendar for the coming year was shared.

BACCALAUREATE EXAMS: 5 JUNE 2020

On the morning of 5 June 2020, the summer session of Baccalaureate exams came 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:” Miguel Ángel CONDO SOTO, John LANGAN, and André MATTNER NEUHAUS.

Following the second procedure considered in the STS Regulations, on Monday 1 June the candidates completed a first written examination on one of the set of themes yearly approved by the Academic Council. In the day’s second appointment, they sat for an oral examination of 60 minutes duration, during which they answered the questions presented by the members of the Commission: Rev. Drs. Gustavo Cavagnari, SDB, Andrzej Toczyski, SDB, and William Russell, M.Afr.

The STS congratulate them for obtaining the Pontifical Bachelor’s Degree in Theology and pray for their future pastoral service as ordained ministers.

BACCALAUREATE EXAMS: 4 JUNE 2020

On the morning of 4 June 2020, Dn. Parfait BALMA, M.Afr. presented his final written theological synthesis, entitled “Grace in the Economy of Salvation.” The Commission of evaluation was integrated by Rev. Dr. Gustavo Cavagnari, SDB, Principal of STS and Presider of the examination, Rev. Dr. William Russell, M. Afr., Tutor of the student, and Rev. Gaetan Tiendrebeogo, M.Afr., the appointed Reader.

In the following session, Dn. Nelson EKEH, M.Afr., sat for his final evaluation, presenting his written theological synthesis, entitled “The Christian Mysteries Seen in the Light of Marriage and the Family,” and answering the questions asked by his Tutor, Rev. Dr. Gustavo Cavagnari, SDB, and the Reader of this thesis, Rev. Gaetan Tiendrebeogo, M.Afr. The discussion was presided by Rev. Dr. Andrzej Toczyski, SDB.

Finally, Dn. Samuel SESAY, SDB, presented and defended his synthesis, entitled “The Fulfillment of Prophecy in Jesus Christ for the Salvation of All.” The Commission of evaluation was chaired by Rev. Dr. Gustavo Cavagnari, SDB, Principal of STS and Presider of the examination, Rev. Dr. Andrzej Toczyski, SDB, Tutor of the student, and Rev. Dr. Stanislaus Swamikannu, SDB, the appointed Reader.

The STS congratulate them for obtaining the Pontifical Bachelor’s Degree in Theology and pray for their coming ordination as Priests.

BACCALAUREATE EXAMS: 3 JUNE 2020

On the morning of 3 June 2020, the summer session of Baccalaureate exams continued as per schedule. By the authority of the Holy See and on behalf of the Academic Authorities of the Salesian Pontifical University, other two students were declared “Bachelor in Theology.”

Rodil LLADONES, SDB, presented his final written theological synthesis entitled “The Dignity of the Human Person Elevated by the Paschal Mystery.”

Indika ROGUS, SDB, defended his final written theological synthesis referred to “The Holy Eucharist as the Centre of the Church’s Life and Mission.”

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

BACCALAUREATE EXAMS: 1 JUNE 2020

On the morning of 1 June 2020, 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, the first two students were declared “Bachelor in Theology.”

Samwel SAGUT, SDB, presented his final written theological synthesis entitled “The Paschal Mystery at the Heart of Christian Life.”

Mark ESHUN, SDB, defended his final written theological synthesis referred to “The Eschatological Dimension of all Christian Life.”

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

FOURTH ARCHAEOLOGICAL EXCURSION TO MOUNT OF TEMPTATION (JERICHO) AND WADI MURABBA’AT

Robinson Gidh, sdb

February 29, 2020 – STS – Jerusalem Favoured by beautiful weather, blessed by the warm sun, and as the date was aptly set for the first Friday of Lent, the student faculty left for their fourth archaeological study trip to the Mount of Temptation and Wadi Murabba’at with an able guide in Professor Piotr.

As we began our journey, the guide briefed the students about all the three places we were supposed to visit, though we could not make it to the third location, Tel Arad, because of the Shabbat.

Within an hour or so we reached Tel Jericho. Without delay, we mounted the lowest cable car in the world (223 meters below sea level) to reach the Mount of Temptation, which was truly mesmerizing, and all would agree that it was a gravity-defying sight looking down. We reached the Greek Orthodox Monastery, traditionally regarded as the place where Christ spent 40 days and nights in prayer and fasting and was tempted by the devil (Mt. 4:1-11). The students seemed sunk into the sanctity of the place with greater serenity and composure. And why should they not, for they were standing in a prayerful posture in front of the stone on which Jesus sat and prayed and the cave in which he stayed. What a wonderful and meaningful way to start the season of Lent, visiting the place where Jesus himself fasted and prayed for 40 days.

Thereafter, quickly we moved to the next destination which was Wadi Murabba’at. It was here in these caves that Jewish fighters hid during the Simon Bar Kochba revolt, leaving behind documents that include some letters signed by the leader himself. During the Roman period many remains like large amounts of pottery and weapons were discovered that reflected habitation during the Chalcolithic, Bronze and Iron Ages.

The students were excited as they stood at the cliff of the mountain and listened to the instructions of the guide. Though it was a breathtaking view and tempting site for selfies and photos, the climbing down and up again was very scary and looked as if death door was as close as to the nose. The only slogan that echoed during the terrifying yet adventurous walk was: focus-focus-focus and be careful. Another frightening information from the Guide that hit the ears and raised goosebumps was – ‘this is one of the most dangerous places in the world’. As the students located themselves somewhere in the middle of the mountain, whereupon looking downward it seemed as if death was written for sure and looking up to the sky it felt as if heaven had opened its door. Amidst all these happenings we made our way safely to the cave we were supposed to reach. After the brief explanation from the guide about the historical place, one third of the students took a brave decision to run back to the bus with Fr. Piotr and others returned by the same route. All reached back and quenched their thirst and hunger. Thereafter, the students went to Ein Gedi for a packed lunch and then headed back to STS, Ratisbonne returning around 3:45 pm.

Mount of Temptation (Jericho)
Traversing the trodden path
Crisscrossing by foot the Holy Mountain
The Joy of Reaching Atop

GALILEE STUDY TOUR

February 07-09 2019 - Galilee Planned annually for the first-year STS students, the study trip to Galilee is a three-days introduction to the sites of the New Testament located in Nazareth, the Lake Tiberias’ surroundings and Mount Tabor. Its goal is to continue to enrich students’ understanding of the historical contexts in which some Gospel stories took place, and to integrate contextual biblical study with spiritual and pastoral reflection. Once again, the students visited different sites with the academically qualified guidance of Rev. Prof. Piotr Zelasko, trained in the archaeology, history and geography of the land. The experience was a further occasion to learn together, foster camaraderie as well as to test their physical resistance, given the cold weather conditions.

Magdala
Capharnaum
Capharnaum
Mount of Beatitudes

OPENING OF THE SECOND SEMESTER

February 03 2020 - STS - Jerusalem On Monday 3rd February 2020, the STS community gathered to begin the second part of their academic journey 2019-20. The occasion, simple, even if institutional, started after a prayer, with a brief Principal’s address about continuing on the path begun last September and still in progress, intensifying the things that were well done and improving the things that were lacking.

The core moment of the opening ceremony was a speech given by Rev. Dr. Michal Vojtáš, Director of the Don Bosco Studies Centre and of the Institute of Pedagogy of the Faculty of Sciences of Education in Rome. The selected topic was: “Salesian Pedagogy of Vocation: Searching for a Lost Dimension.”

After the gathering, the Students’ Assembly followed with the presentation of new details about the forthcoming Study trip to Jordan, a dialogue based on suggestions and clarifications, and also the election of the new Student Representative and the new Year-group Leaders.

II Semester begins with a Pedagogical note
Students' Assembly - Planning to progress
Revisiting Don Bosco's Educative System
Fr. Michal Vojtáš - a sharing of research
Br. Cornelius animates the discussion.

TOPOGRAPHICAL VISIT TO THE TOWER OF DAVID MUSEUM

December 12 2019 - STS - Jerusalem A distinctive character that highlights the archaeological, historical and geographical formation of the 1st-year students is the monthly topographical visits to the most important sites in and around Jerusalem. As the pictures show, they lastly visited the Tower of David Museum of the History of Jerusalem, located in the medieval citadel near the Jaffa Gate, the historic entrance to the Old City. During the tour guided by Fr. Gregor Geiger, the students had the opportunity to know in detail the major events in Jerusalem’s history, beginning with the first evidence of the city in the second millennium BCE, until the city became the capital of the State of Israel. The place itself is a fascinating archaeological site which uncover various periods of its history and of the most significance events related to the three largest monotheistic religions. All new students should be grateful to have these spiritual and enjoyable trips around the Holy City!

Exploring the antiquity
Fr. Gregor brings history alive
Every stone speaks the past
Re-telling the great story

FIRST SEMESTER STS SOCCER TOURNAMENT

November 21 2019 - STS - Jerusalem In the afternoon of 21st November 2019, the long-awaited first annual event of the STS Soccer Tournament was successfully conducted at the sports compound located behind the Burj al-Laqlaq tower in the Old City.

The game, held from 14.00 until 16.30, was a good and joyful moment of recreation and sharing amongst the students, and a great opportunity for them to build camaraderie and fellowship. A particular mention must be made of the attendance of the SHS Sisters, who sat throughout in support of their classmates’ skills.

After three matches full of exciting moments and some balls lost beyond the walls, the STS cup was given to the Lavigerie team. Congratulations!

It's a team game, so is life.
A goal is no accident.
The champions of the day.
Our unity won the day