No sooner had classes commenced in mid-September, Israel was once again in
national lock-down. Life came to a halt and contingency plans were put into
action. Zoom classes became the norm allowing all the students to follow the
weekly schedule on line.
The intended Dies Academicus - usually a grand event with a guest speaker and
many invited participants – was just not possible this year. Instead, we marked
the occasion of beginning the new Academic Year 2020-2021 with a simple
ceremony. After words of welcome given by the new President of STS, Rev.
Father Andrzej Toczyski SDB, a Solemn Mass of the Holy Spirit was celebrated,
presided by the Vice Provincial of the MOR Province, Rev. Father Emanuele
Vezzoli SDB and assisted by Rev. Father Andrzej Toczyski (President) and Rev.
Father Stanislaus Swamikannu SDB (Rector). In his homily, Father Emanuele
inspired his listeners, speaking about theology and how it must engage the
mind as well as the heart. He urged the assembly to be always committed in
both mind and heart, because “what you are is God’s gift to you, and what you
make of yourself is your gift to God and to the young.” He stressed that
studying theology is a way to become this gift.
After a musical interlude, Rev. Father Matthew Coutinho SDB presented the
returning and new members of staff who would be teaching this year. He then
proceeded to introduce all the new members of the 1st year, hailing from eight
different countries in Asia, Africa & Europe. Because of the situation, they
have still to arrive but they are very much united with us via Zoom. We pray
they will soon be with us here in Jerusalem.
Congratulations were then given to the highest achieving students in each year
during 2019-2020. Sr Angela Ridout (Registrar) presented the special award to
Br Calvin Akunga M.Afr., the top scorer in last year’s Third Year, now in his final
year at STS.
After declaring the new Academic Year officially opened, the President invited
everyone to participate in the Light refreshments before concluding the
morning’s event.

- Sister Angela Ridout SJA – Registrar

24 October, 2020


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