Edwar Gobran SDB
February 08 2019 - STS - Jerusalem On 8th February 2019, a colorful and memorable Opening Ceremony of the second semester was organized in our Faculty. This event was whole morning long and was held in the auditorium of our Athenaeum. In this interesting occasion, almost all of the students and the teachers from our University took part.
The ceremony commenced by the arrival of various students and professors. Then the Principal of the Faculty, Rev. Dr. Gustavo Cavagnari, started the first speech of the ceremony. He welcomed us warmly and started to underline the importance to be fully present and active in our career especially as future priests and people of good will. At the end of his speech he expressed gratitude to all of us especially for the positive results for the first semester.
The principal’s speech was followed by a very accurate and interesting conference given by Rev. Dr. Diego Sarrió Cucarella, the Principal of the Pontifical Institute for Arabic and Islamic Studies (PISAI) at Rome, Italy. The talking was entitled “Muslim-Christian relations and interreligious dialogue from the White Fathers’ perspective and experience”. Fr. Sarrió started from a historical point of view, talking of the origin of the mission of the Missioners of Africa – also called the White Fathers – and continued describing its evolution up to today. Then he focused in particular on the Institute of Arabic and Islamic Studies. At the end of the conference the audience had the chance to make questions directly to the speaker. This moment gave us a deeper understanding of the Christian-Muslim relation and dialogue, and helped us to deepen issues like the relation between Islam and terrorism, the interpretation of the Quran, and the recent documents of Pope Francis about inter-religious dialogue and the common theological themes. The personal experience of Fr. Sarrió enriched our perspective on this topic.
Then we had a time of refreshment in a typical familiar Salesian style. Following, we gathered for the Students’ Assembly. At this moment we shared our ideas and suggestions with our Principal, and we ended this moment with the election of our new students’ representatives.
We really enjoyed a lot and dispersed with a sincere hope that the second semester could be a time of spiritual and intellectual growth. May God lead each of us to be fully committed in our duties.