CONCLUSION OF THE YEAR 2020-2021

Allow me to congratulate each of the 4th year students who have graduated with a Pontifical Bachelor Degree in Theology and all those awarded with a Pontifical Diploma, in Interreligious Dialogue and Ecumenism, or in Biblical Geography and History. May God be with you and guide you in your coming ministries at the service of the Church and of your Congregations.

May I also take this opportunity to thank everyone with whom I had opportunity to serve here during my first year as the Principal of STS. I would like to thank each academic member, particularly the Registrar, Sr. Angela, the Academic Councilors, all Professors, the Student representatives and all students, for your availability, collaboration and support.

I thank the Rectors of the Seminaries, especially Fr. Stan and Fr Dave, for their constant support and encouragement.

Words of thanks - even if only virtually - go to our Chancellor and Rector Major, Rev. Fr. Ángel Fernández Artime, the Dean of the Faculty of Theology Fr. Antonio Escudero Cabello, and the Secretary General, Rev. Fr. Jarek Rochowiak.

With that I may proclaim the End of the Academic Year 2020-21 and I wish you all a serene holiday!

- Fr. Andrzej Toczyski SDB

June 9, 2021

BACCALAUREATE EXAMS: JUNE 4

The presenters for the Baccalaureate Exams on June 4th were:

Dc. Amit Xess SDB, he presented and successfully defended his synthesis titled; THE EUCHARIST: THE SOURCE AND SUMMIT OF CHRISTIAN LIFE. He will be ordained in Kansbahal India.

Dc. Nishanth Stephen SDB, he presented and successfully defended his synthesis titled; CHRIST'S RESURRECTION AS THE FULFILLMENT AND THE NEW BEGINNING OF THE MYSTERY OF SALVATION. He will be ordained in Madurai, Tamil Nadu, and will be a teacher in Sayalkudi

June 4, 2021

BACCALAURTEATE EXAMS: JUNE 3

The presenters for the Baccalaureate Exams on June 3rd were:

Dc. Calvin Akunga M.Afr, he presented and successfully defended his synthesis titled; BE HOLY FOR I AM HOLY: THE SUPREME DIVINE COMMANDMENT. He will be ordained in the Archdiocese of Nairobi, Kenya; and is appointed for mission in the Province of Maghreb.

Dc. Steven Demaio SDB, he presented and successfully defended his synthesis titled; CREATED, ACCOMPANIED AND DIVINIZED IN TRINITARIAN FRIENDSHIP. He will be ordained and ministering in New York

 

June 3, 2021

BACCALAUREATE EXAMS: JUNE 2

The Baccalaureate Exams Continued on June 2nd .  The presenters  were:

Dc. Leonard Carlino SDB, he presented and successfully defended his synthesis titled; CONSECRATION AND THE RECAPITULATION OF ALL THINGS IN CHRIST. He will be ordained and ministering in New York.

Dc. Albino Sacanjila Sabonete SDB, he presented and successfully defended his synthesis titled; CHRIST'S OFFERING ON THE CROSS FOR THE SALVATION OF HUMANKIND. He will be ordained in Luanda City, and will be ministering in Huambo City.

Dc. Michal Jeszke SDB, he presented and successfully defended his synthesis titled; CHRISTIAN REVELATION THROUGH THE PARADIGM OF FAMILY. He will be ordained in Rumia Poland, and will minister in Bydgoszcz.

June 2, 2021

BACCALAUREATE EXAMS: JUNE 1

The Baccalaureate Exams Commenced on June 1st.  The presenters  were:

Dc. Craig Charles Spence SDB, he presented and  successfully defended his Synthesis titled; SHEPHERDING AT THE HEART OF THE CHURCH FOR THE GOOD OF ALL HUMANKIND.  He will be ordained in New Orleans and has been assigned to teach in Washington D.C.

Dc. Tresor Lulenga M.Afr, he presented and  successfully defended his Synthesis titled; THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, MOTHER OUR SAVIOUR, MODEL OF OUR CHRISTIAN LIFE. He will be ordained in the diocese of Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo; and will be appointed for mission in the province of Ghana/Nigeria.

 

June 1, 2021

STUDY TRIP TO EILAT

It doesn’t happen every day... it’s hard to convey in one page the beauty of the experience we had together, right at the end of the semester of classes. Southern Israel was still an unexplored land for many of us until recently. Three days were enough to let this corner of the earth, made up of history and nature, into our lives.

We set off on Sunday morning, leaving the mild climate of Jerusalem for the decidedly hotter one of the Negev. The first great fortune we had was to have a guide who is deeply in love with this area of Israel, with its desert, its sea, its history and people. Fr. Piotr was waiting for us at his home, in the parish of the Hebrew-speaking Christian community, in Beersheba. It was from there that we left for our first destination: the archaeological site of Tamar, in the Arava valley, whose layers speak of a history that began in the period of the First Temple (10th century BC) and survived until the Arab period (7th century AD). Accompanying us along the ancient ruins was Yoanan, a young boy who calls this place “home” and whose voice reveals a great passion for archaeology and Bible history. After all, living here, on the edge of the desert, with one’s family cannot be explained otherwise.

It is often thought that a bus trip consists of successive stages, between which nothing interesting happens or is seen. Nothing could be further from the truth in our case. Road 90, which accompanied us to the far south, cuts through the Arava and then the Negev desert and is a perfect observatory for this unique landscape, made up of a plain surrounded by mountains that go from the ochre of sand, to the silver of rock, to the red of copper. Copper! The same mineral that had already attracted ancient civilizations 6000 years ago, also attracted us there, to the mines of Timna. Here, from the marriage between wind and water came to light an incredible scenery, where the red earth takes on the most impressive forms, from the bizarre and giant mushroom to the elegant and majestic arches and pillars of a temple. Evening came and morning followed, the first day.

It does not seem inappropriate to use the same formula here as in the creation story. What we experienced was a real journey through the beauties of creation that are concentrated in this small piece of land. The second day of our adventure was dedicated entirely to the sea and its life. The coral reef of the Red Sea is a unique and precious spectacle and you don’t have to be a diver to witness it. A visit to the Underwater Observatory Marine Park in Eilat kept us busy and “underwater” all morning. Of the many attractions here, two deserved our full attention: an underwater glass-walled chamber and a large
pool with a name as fascinating as it is disquieting: the “shark pool”. Corals and fish of all varieties awakened in us that sense of admiration and meditation on the wonders of creation, which became even more real in the afternoon, thanks to the snorkelling experience. Mask and snorkel and then two hours in the water, spent looking closely at the colours of the fish that we had only seen through the glass in the morning. No sharks, fortunately: those are best seen only in a pool and from a distance! A good dinner at the hotel and a long night’s rest gave us back the energy that the sea had demanded as the price for so much beauty. And so, ready for the third day, we set off on the road back home. Leaving Eilat, a few kilometres away, more animals awaited us in the Wildlife Reserve of Hai Bar Yotvata: no more fish and corals, but ostriches, oryxes, addaxes, gazelles and ibexes. A short safari in this desert area brought us close to these curious creatures, who wanted to get closer to the bus to “see us a bit more closely.” Once again, an immersion in nature, a prelude to the spectacle that was waiting for us... in Makhtesh Ramon. A crater of 40 x 9 km in a red and arid land that gives the impression of having landed on another planet. The view of this landscape from the village of Mitzpè Ramon was as breathtaking as the story the museum tells: that of Ylan Ramon, the first Israeli astronaut to give his life on a space journey. All that remained was to conclude with a salute to the true “masters” of the Negev, those men and women who proved that life in the desert is possible: the Nabateans. Today, the city of Mamshit is in ruins, but it gives a glimpse of the splendour of a civilization that knew how to organize its existence to adapt to these scenarios. The signs of Christianity are also present here, in the two churches built when the inhabitants of this and other villages in the Negev became Christian, Byzantine. It is difficult to forget the harmony of these buildings, whose colour and elegance seem to have risen from the desert with almost no effort, naturally.

And so, with eyes full of all this beauty, we returned to Jerusalem, grateful to Fr. Andrzej for having conceived this great project for us and to Fr. Piotr for the passion with which he made it come true.

- Matteo Vignola, SDB

May 14, 2021

THE THIRD ARCHAEOLOGICAL EXCURSION

On the 16th of March, the STS students effected their third archaeological excursion of the year. This time we went to visit the remains of the monasteries of our Fathers in faith, namely the monks who lived in the Judean Desert between the 5th and 7th AD. Indeed, Monastic life is mainly about prayer. Monks isolate themselves from the world. We landed first at Male Adummin where the Monastery of Saint Martyrius is situated. He was its founder. In the 5th century, he came from Egypt and settled there as a hermit and his monastic life attracted many people. The remains show that there were quite number of monks living in the monastery. Later on, he was made Patriarch of Jerusalem. Signs show that it was probably the biggest walled monastery in the Judean desert. Its specificity is that the monks were living a common life. I could see the ruins of their chapel, refectory and small rooms. They collected water from the rain and kept it in a cistern.

Next, we visited St. Euthymius’ monastery. The saint was born in Armenia and at the age of 29, came to the Holy Land for a pilgrimage. He fell in love with the Holy Land and decided to establish a monastery here. The Monks were living separately and only came together to pray. After his death, they came together for a common life. This monastery was destroyed in the 12th century. What struck me there is the cistern built outside the monastery. It is huge.

The third place we visited was the Good Samaritan Inn. I saw beautiful mosaics from the Byzantine Period. According to tradition, it is the place where the Good Samaritan helped the injured person. Jesus would have used this road on his way to Jerusalem. St. Georges Koziba and St. Gerasimos’ monasteries belong to the Greek Orthodox Church. There are still monks living there today. It was amazing to see those isolated monasteries in the desert. Unfortunately, St. Georges’ monastery was closed and we were unable to enter. According to tradition, the Prophet Elijah lived in one of the caves there because Ahaz, the king of Israel, wanted to kill him. We also visited St. Gerasimos’ monastery and its beautiful Church decorated with icons. I also saw the remains of human bones of the monks who were massacred.

Finally, we went to the burial place of the Prophet Moses, according to Muslim tradition. I had a wonderful moment in the desert, discovering and learning a lot from the life of the monks in the Judean desert. The “heart to heart” relation with God was central in their daily life.

- Isac Kinda M.Afr.

March 16, 2021

INTRODUCTION OF STUDENT COLUMN

On behalf of all the Students of Studium Theologicum Salesianum (STS), I, as the Student representative, would like to welcome you to the new STUDENTS' COLUMN on our Website.
 
The Students’ Column has been essentially created as a safe space for STS students to share some of their ongoing theological reflections with other like-minded people around the globe, from an empirical and contextualized perspective in accordance with Catholic teachings. Thus, the Holy Land, and in particularly Jerusalem, becomes an ideal and enabling environment to enhance such reflection as we journey through our four years of theological studies.
 
This column will hopefully provide readers with diverse and enriching theological reflections on ancient, medieval, modern, contemporary, cultural, doctrinal and ethical issues as far as the discourse of theology is concerned. Our multicultural and multinational context is an amazing symbol of strength which gives rise to mutual respect, co-existence and co-responsibility, as we play our respective roles as students of the mother of all sciences – Theology. It is my hope that this column will provide you with some of the many facets of theological scholarship as you continue your life’s pilgrimage.

-Cornelius Robert U-Sayee SDB

March 1, 2021

STS DAY 2021

This was indeed a day that will now definitely find its place in the history of Studium
Theologicum Salesianum, Jerusalem Campus. The event had been preceded by a bundle of
uncertainties, confusions and ambiguities as to how the event would turn out, but the planning and
organizing committee had done their preparatory job so well in foreseeing a day that would be set
apart from the regular and monotonous theological classes. They looked for a day that would be
fully packed with jubilation, exuberance and lively presentation of various cultures from different
continents. The beauty of the College rests in its variety and diversity of different cultures, of
different ethnicities, of different values and mentalities, but all united as one in Christ. Hence, this
diversity had to find its way to express itself through the hidden talents of the students who were
looking for a suitable platform. And that wonderful day it was!

Truly an unforgettable day, 1 st of March, 2021, the very first “STS DAY” was celebrated
with much enthusiasm. The day brought to reality the vision of our efficient and creative Principal,
Fr. Andrzej Toczyski and the excellent administration of Sr. Angela, the Registrar of our college.
We certainly cannot forget the whole-hearted cooperation and decision of the Academic Council to
allow this programme to take place. They deserve our appreciation. For the event, everyone came
with his or her very special costume in different colours and style. One could obviously notice how
each one felt connected to his or her own specific culture and country. The audience cherished and
appreciated what they witnessed, the performers on the stage were enthused by the energy and
ambient created by the audience and the organizers. The countenance of everyone was lit with a
glow of sheer joy and happiness. The experience shall remain etched in the memory lane of every
student.

The programme commenced with a beautiful prayer led by Deacon Lenny, followed by an
apt welcome speech delivered by the student representative, Br. Cornelius. After this, the
programme kick-started with events one after another, such as singing, dance, music, drama and
video presentations of various cultures from different countries. Every performance and
presentation had depth and creativity in it and so, the audience was kept enthralled and animated
throughout programme. The guests, professors and students did not realize that they sat at a stretch
for almost two hours. This proved that the event that looked initially uncertain was such a great
success. The programme ended with a vote of thanks, given by the Principal of STS.

But that was not the end! The Principal, along with his core team, had arranged a sumptuous
buffet for all the guests, professors and students. All enjoyed the lunch and fellowship with a sense
of joy and accomplishment. The day came to a happy end with volleyball and basketball games.
Practically all the students participated and the professors were around cheering the players.
The investment made for such a day never goes unproductive. To the students, it gave rise
to a definitive and certain future of hopes, initiatives and dreams.

-Robinson Gigh sdb

March 1 , 2021

THE SECOND ARCHAEOLOGICAL EXCURSION

“Alas! The glory of Israel, slain upon your heights! How can the warriors have fallen!” (2 Sam 1:19)

With these poetic words, found in the second part of the book of Samuel, King David mourns the death of
his king Saul and his good friend Jonathan whose tragic death occurred on the mountain of Gilboa. The
echo of these words accompanied our group of STS students who, last Thursday February 25th, around the
same geographical area, visited the Crusader fortress of Belvoir and the wonderful complex of
Bet'Shean, an ancient city whose walls saw the lifeless body of the wretched King Saul.
On a wonderful sunny day, our first destination was the crusader fortress of Belvoir known as "the star of
the Jordan" due to the shape of its construction and its ideal strategic position. It was Gilbert of Assailly,
the Grand Master of the Knights Hospitaller, who began the construction of the grandiose fortress in
1168. With the fall of the Crusader kingdom, the fortress was destroyed and fell into disuse. Nevertheless,
it remains to this day the best preserved Crusader fortress in the whole of Israel. From the fortress, we all
enjoyed the wonderful view of the valley, up to the sea of Galilee and the mountains of the Jordan
Kingdom.

In the second part of the day, after visiting the fortress of Belvoir we enjoyed a visit to the ruins of the
wonderful Roman city of Scythopolis where the ancient city of Bet She'an was located. This is perhaps
one of the best preserved architectural complexes of the Roman period in Israel. The visit of the theatre
and the bath houses, the walk on streets guarded with Corinthian columns, and the wonderful view from
the tel, is a truly unique experience that speaks of the glory and splendour of a bygone time.
As a conclusion, we can say that the day was marked by an admirable spirit of fraternity among the
students and a deep desire to discover the legacy of antiquity. Due to the richness and beauty of the places
visited, the excursion left an excellent impression on us all. Belvoir and Bet Sh'ean are certainly two
places that are highly recommended to visit in Holy Land. For this opportunity that enriched our
experience and our love for the Land, all the students are very grateful.

- Diego Borbolla Jiménez SDB

February 25, 2021