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Vol IV, No.3, 2017


Contents President’s Message‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐3 The Conclusion of the Academic Year ‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐4 International Collaboration ‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐9 Baccaalaureates

SAMYNATHAN James Raja, sdb ‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐10

SIDABUTAR Finansius, sdb‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐11

VU Duc Huan Giuseppe, sdb ‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐12

ATINDAANA Cletus, m.afr. ‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐14

CHEGE Erastus Nduati, sdb ‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐15

DANG Lam Giuseppe Cosimo, sdb‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐16

DANG Minh Duc, sdb ‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐17

ELWEU David, m.afr. ‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐19

HAILU Araya Hagos sdb ‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐20

HUANG Long-Hsuan, sdb ‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐22

BERHE Girmay Hailu, sdb ‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐23

TOUGMA Herve, m.afr. ‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐24

VICTOR Dieunel Jean Paul, sdb ‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐26

CHU Paul Phuoc Trong, sdb‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐27

Salesian Ponti ical University at the Service of the Holy Land ‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐29 Islam Focus Lecture ‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐30 Book presentation ‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐31 STS Study Trip ‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐32 Archeological Excursion‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐35

The Salesian Pon fical University's Jerusalem Campus of the Faculty of Theology (Studium Theologicum Salesianum - STS) carries on the academic tradi on of the former Salesian Centre for Theological Studies established in Bethlehem (1929), then transferred to Tantur (1949), to Cremisan (1957) and to Jerusalem in September 2004. It is is located a short 20 minute walk from the Old City of Jerusalem, site of the major events of Christ's life. The Studium Theologicum Salesianum offers a fouryear Pon fical Bachelor's Degree in Theology and from 2015, a Diploma in Biblical Geography and History, and a Diploma in Interreligious Dialogue and Ecumenism. All courses are taught in English. The STS follows a two semester system (September January and FebruaryJune). In addi on to students who do the regular fouryear degree programme, STS welcomes students who want to study a selec on of courses in theology. The lay and religious students and faculty come from various religious orders and congrega ons and rites within the Catholic Church. You can get to know us be er at We also have a well furnished, computerised library containing over 40,000 volumes and close to 100 periodicals in various languages - the majority being in English, Italian and French. You can check our library catalogue on our website. You can contact us at:

President’s Message


ongratulations to each of the graduates of the Pontifical Bachelor Degree in Theology and the Pontifical Diploma in Interreligious Dialogue and Ecumenism and the Pontifical Diploma in Biblical Geography and History. May God be with you and guide you in your ministry in the Church. (The details of where our graduates will be working can be found in the articles in this newsletter, pp. 10-28).

Our sincerest gratitude to the teachers who are moving on to other ministries or further studies. Rev. Fr. Andrew Wong, Rev. Fr. Aloysius Ssekamatte, Rev. Fr. Karol Kulpa, and Rev. Fr. Moses Wanjala have been the pillars of the STS in these years. May I also take this opportunity to thank everyone with whom God gave me the opportunity to serve here during the last eight years - first two years (semesters) as visiting professor and the last six as the president of the Salesian Pontifical University's Jerusalem Campus. I have been blessed with great TEAMS of staff and students. As the acronym, TEAM indicates, “Together Everyone Achieves More,” we have been blessed with achievements that have enriched all of us. I would like to thank each staff member, particularly professors and students with whom God gave me the grace to work together. Dear staff and students (past and present), thank you. Thank you to all my predecessors in this institute who laid strong foundations on which we could stand firm. Gratitude is specially due to the Church leaders in the Holy Land, particularly here in Jerusalem. Apostolic Nuncio of Israel, Cyprus and Jordan, Archbishop Giuseppe Lazzarotto and his predecessor Archbishop Antonio Franco; Patriarch Emeritus, Fuad Twal and Michel Sabbah; Current Apostolic Administrator, Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa; and the Custos of the Holy Land Francesco Patton have been of immense support. We are grateful to the Bishops who have been constantly associated with us, and helping us - even teaching courses at the STS - Bishop William Shomali, Archbishop Michael Fitzgerald, Bishop Giacinto-Boulos Marcuzzo, Bishop Joseph Jules Zerey (Greek Melkite Catholic), Bishop Grégoire Boutros Melki (Syro-Catholic). The secretary of the Bishop's Conference, Rev. Fr. Pietro Felet; the Dean of the Studium Biblicum Francescanum, Rev. Fr. Massimo Pazzini; Director of the EcoleBiblique, Rev. Fr. Jean Jacques Pérennès, and the leaders of institutes like Bethlehem University, Pontifical Biblical Institute, Tantur Ecumenical Institute, Latin Patriarchal Seminary, Studium Theologicum Jerosolymitanum, Redemptoris Mater seminary etc., have all been very generous in collaboration. Many non-Catholic leaders and non-Christian leaders have been very much part of our journey in these years and I thank each of them. Initiating the Diploma in Interreligious Dialogue and Ecumenism was possible only due to their generous support. I thank the Salesian congregation and the Province of the Middle East for the opportunity to serve here in this institute. The authorities at the Salesian Pontifical University, Rome, current and former Chancellors, Rev. Fr. Ángel Fernández Artime, and Rev. Dr. Pascual Chavez and especially, the Secretary General, Rev. Fr. Jarek Rochowiak and the current and former Dean of the Faculty of Theology, Rev. Dr. Damasio De Medeiros and Rev. Dr. Antonio Catellano; the current and former Rector, Rev. Dr. Mauro Mantovani and Rev. Dr. Carlo Nanni have constantly guided our growth together with the Curatorium of the institute and its chairmen, Rev. Fr Francesco Cereda and Rev. Fr. Ivo Coelho. To each and everyone who has been an angel on my path, thank you. The following selected extracts from the writing of a graduating student (in a written assignment) might sum up the joy of working in an institution like ours: “Throughout history, many refined Christian thinkers have attempted to write a careful account of the person and work of Jesus Christ, our Lord and God. In their sincere and great efforts, a colossal amount of knowledge has been acquired. Yet many things about Jesus and his work remain unknown and unanswered. Knowledge of Jesus Christ is simply inexhaustible. What has been pursued in my work is but a child's sincere description of an ocean he has seen for the first time, at dawn. It would be easier for such a child to see the immensity of the ocean and be motivated to contemplate and admire it rather than describe it. This is comparable to my personal experience… In truth, what has been realized is not a succinct and certainly not a comprehensive knowledge of these matters but, rather, a greater consciousness of their immense depth and width. A great deal of material has been seen, read and thought about… yet all this is no more than a drop in the ocean. What I now know remains very little and what is contemplated even less. Against this background, the most that I can claim (if I may even say so) is that my heart and mind have been encouraged to meet and are still meeting the Risen Lord in the Holy Scriptures which he entrusted to his Bride, the Church. To this Church I belong, and within her I long to serve the Risen One as his disciple.” What more can we as professors, who dedicate our lives to teaching in a Faculty of Theology expect? I think our greatest job satisfaction is to know that things like this are happening – not because of us, but because, the Spirit of God, the intercession and protection of Mary and the saints, are continuously working through us, and the circumstances in which God has placed us – students and staff. I wish that the Jerusalem Campus of the Faculty of Theology of the Salesian Pontifical University would forge ahead to our centenary in 2029, with enthusiasm, joy, courage and perseverance in service. Thank you. Rev. Dr. Biju Michael, sdb President – Principal


THE CONCLUSION OF THE ACADEMIC YEAR 2016-2017 7 June 2017, STS Jerusalem LANGAN John Gerard, sdb


n the morning of June 7, 2017 in Don Bosco Hall of the Salesian Pontifical University's Jerusalem Campus, the staff and students gathered to present the degrees and diplomas to the graduating students and to close out the 2016-2017 school year. Br. Andrea Lupi SDB was the master of ceremony for the event and opened by welcoming all the staff and students of STS especially the most Rev. Archbishop Giuseppe Lazzarotto, the Apostolic Nuncio and Delegate to Jerusalem. Br. Paulo Negrini SDB led all gathered in the opening prayer by singing Veni Sante Spiritus. Fr. Biju then invited representatives from the fourth-year class, Br. Hagos Araya SDB and Br. David Elweu M.Afr, to the stage to present the fourth-year class gift of a beautiful new podium to the university campus. Br. John Paul Verno Soro SDB, student representative of STS, spoke next. He welcomed all gathered, especially His Excellency Rev. Archbishop Giuseppe Lazzarotto, and commended all the graduates. Br. John Paul finished by wishing all a pleasant and memorable morning. Br. Dominic Kapatamoyo M.Afr spoke next. In his farewell speech on behalf of the student community he expressed his experience of being both honored and sad at wishing the students and staff taking leave of the STS. He reflected on the necessity of goodbyes in our lives to allow for growth and recognition of God's presence at these moments. Br. Dominic acknowledged Fr. Biju Michael SDB, Fr. Andrew Wong SDB, Fr. Aloysius Ssekamatte M.Afr, Fr. Karol Kulpa SDB, and Fr. Moses Wanjala SDB as their time at STS also comes to an end this year. 4 JUNE 2017

SPEECH OF DOMINIC KAPATAMOYO ON BEHALF OF THE STUDENTS OF STS A very good morning to our Chief Guest His Excellency Giuseppe Lazzarotto, all the teaching staff, our graduating students and my fellow students, and you all present here. Today, as I stand before you all, I feel honoured and sad at the same time, honoured because I have the opportunity to deliver this farewell speech, sad because it is me who has to do the tough job of wishing goodbye to all those leaving us soon. However, it is the universal truth we all have to face, whether we like it or not, everything eventually ends. As much as I've looked forward to this day, I've always disliked endings. But endings are inevitable. Leaves fall. You close a book. You say goodbye. Today is one of those days for you all. You all are so much a part of us that you'll be with us no matter what, our North Star. And the small clear voices in our hearts that will be with us, always. Joyce Rupp, in her book titled “Praying our Goodbyes” gives the original meaning of the word Goodbye. She states that, “the word goodbye – originally meant “God-be-withye”. There is a recognition here that God was a significant part of the going. There is a

Next a video presentation was shown displaying the many activities of the University during the 2016-2017 school year. This was followed by Deacon James Raj Samynathan SDB, speaking on behalf of all the fourth-year students, expressing gratitude to all the staff and students who had helped them during recognition on both sides that time for their time here at STS. parting has arrived and no one can stop the process. Therefore, goodbye is the proclamation in the belief that when we part, God is with us. Goodbye to the traveller means that, the other people cannot keep the traveller from his journey; they know that his leaving is essential for his growth. This is why on behalf of the students I say to our beloved graduates and departing staff, “go, go with God”. To our outgoing Professors Good professors are a reason why ordinary students dream to do extra ordinary things. A sincere word of gratitude goes to all the professors who are leaving us: Fr. Karol Kulpa, Fr. Moses Wanjala, Fr. Andrew Wong, Fr. Aloysius Ssekamatte, Fr. Biju Michael for their fraternal and generous spirit. In them we saw great dedication, passion and love for the Church. These men have left their provinces and the joys of being parish priests elsewhere, simply because they want to contribute to the formation of future priests and ministers in the Church. Please know that we students appreciate you professors, your hard work and zeal for teaching in this University. Each of them have tried their utmost best to do their work according to the mind of the Church. For this we say, “Toda raba”.

All the staff members who are leaving were invited up on the stage along with the most Rev. Archbishop Giuseppe Lazzarotto. Each staff member was invited to give parting words to the STS community. Fr. Andrew Wong SDB gave a few words of wisdom and expressed his gratitude for the various people he had worked with in his time here in STS. Fr. Aloysius Ssekamatte M.Afr reminded everyone to give thanks in all circumstances. Fr. Karol Kulpa SDB reflected on his second time leaving STS, his first being as a student, and how study is a part of prayer. Fr. Moses Wanjala SDB called all to reflect on the giving and receiving we have experienced during our time at STS and drawing upon the writings of St. Paul called all to hold on to whatever is good and true. Apostolic Delegate, Archbishop Giuseppe Lazzarotto then presented all the departing staff with a gift on behalf of the University. Three new books from STS publications were added to the more than twenty books that have been published. The first book was Mercy a Christian way of life: Essays in honor of Rev. Dr. Biju Michael, edited by Fr. David Neuhaus SJ and Br. Romero D'Sousa SDB. The second was a book on the statues, regulations, guidelines, and best practices of the STS institute, compiled by Fr. Biju. Finally, the third was eight different translations of the Holy Land Pilgrim Handbook written by Fr. Biju Michael SDB, Fr. David Neuhaus SJ, and Fr. Lionel Goh OFM. Each of these books were presented to those directly or indirectly involved in STS JERUSALEM 5

the translations (Kiswahili: Erastus Chege & Samwel Sagut; Chinese: Philip Huang & Mary Theresa; Indonesian: Finansius Sidabutar; Tamil:Gnana Pragash Rayappan and Pushparaj Anthuvan; Slovakian: Vladimir Plasek; Hindi: Anil Kido; Polish: Karol Kulpa & Jan Rusiecki; Tagalog: Rodil Lladones). All the translators could not be present at the function. Archbishop Giuseppe Lazzarotto released the copies. His Excellency the most Rev. Archbishop Giuseppe Lazzarotto was the main speaker for the celebration. He continued to reflect on endings in general and how they can be a time of uncertainty and sadness, but how they are also good challenges that promote growth in our lives. He challenged all, including himself, to remember our main duty is not what we do, but who we are and called all of us to remain faithful to who we are. His excellency is also coming to the end of his service as Apostolic Nuncio and connected his own reflection and experience with those graduating STS. He gave three words to hold on to as the students prepare for their priestly ordinations; learning, passion, and mission. To never close the book of learning, hold on to the passion for the life we are living and never allow it simply to become a job, and keep in mind the specific mission of the Kingdom of God. The important thing is not the piece of paper to display, but that at the end of our lives we may honestly and sincerely thank God for what we have been given and be able to say we strove to share our gifts with our brothers and sisters. The presentation of the Pontifical Diplomas followed this speech. The Teaching Coordinator for the Diploma in Biblical Geography and History, Fr. Andrezj Toczyski SDB and the most Rev. Archbishop Giuseppe Lazzarotto presented ten students with this diploma. Fr. William Russel M.Afr was the Teaching Coordinator of the 6 JUNE 2017

To the Outgoing Graduates “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams” says Eleanor Roosevelt. Dear graduating students, each one of you has contributed in your own unique way to the life of Studium Theologicum Salesianum, STS. We have given you wings, and now as you leave the nest, we are happy that you can fly on your own. And as you do so, also keep the flag of STS flying high. To embark on a journey towards your goals and dreams requires bravery. To remain on that path requires courage. The bridge that merges the two is commitment. An advise for you from Martin Luther Jr. is that “If you can't fly then run, if you can't run then walk, if you can't walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.” In other words, keep the faith. We your juniors are really grateful to you all for your good example and guidance. To our Principal, Fr. Biju Michael Please note that you have been more than just a Principal to us. You are a father figure, deeply respected, appreciated and loved by us all. With your departure, there is a little change, a little pain, but eventually a transition considered beneficial for the University you are going to. I must confess that Fr. Biju's impending departure is very painful for us. However, we are consoled by the fact that he has laid a very good and strong foundation for us to build upon. Here is a small poem composed for you Fr. Biju:

Oh dear Fr Biju, we cannot believe that you are really leaving Indeed, in life there is time for everything Through Fr Piotr in the song of the Birds “turn turn turn” we remember and hear Qoheleth saying There is a time of coming and now a time of going What a great man we had in you Fr., leading by example A great leader, but so humble A hard worker, but so simple Just like Jesus, in you we have learnt humility Oh yes, in you Fr. we have learnt simplicity Without any doubt, we shall all greatly miss you From the bottom of our hearts, the very best we wish you Our prayer is that the God almighty continues blessing you We cannot hide our sadness on our faces and in our hearts as you depart from us as we truly love you We are filled with joy at the same time for all you have been for us, we shall always remember you This is why this short poem is composed and dedicated to none other than you To all My wish and prayer for all of you taking leave of the STS is that you may always be happy and make others happy too. May all be happy. Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say rejoice. We will miss you. All the very best! Goodbye.

Interreligious Dialogue and Ecumenism Diploma and along with His Excellency presented this diploma to six students. Fr. William Russel M.Afr gave the farewell address to the staff and students leaving STS. Fr. William reflected on the connection between endings and beginnings and connected it in a way that was applicable to all students and staff present. He thanked the fourth-year students and wished them all the best in their new beginnings. He congratulated Fr. Karol and Fr. Moses as they prepare to begin their respective stages in their doctoral studies, Fr. Aloysius as he prepares to begin his term as provincial, he thanked Fr. Andrew for his constant hospitality, and gave special thanks to Fr. Biju for his contribution to STS over the past six years highlighting the institution of the diploma program and transitioning STS to a biennial system which will begin next year. Next, Br. Andrea Lupi called up the graduates of STS and they were each presented with their Baccalaureate Degrees by His Excellency Archbishop Giuseppe Lazarotto in the presence of Fr. Andrew, and Fr. Aloysius. Fr. Biju Michael made the final speech as he congratulated all those who earned the diplomas and degrees. He thanked the Apostolic Nuncio for his constant and generous support of STS over the years and, on behalf of STS, gave him a gift to remember the university by. Fr. Biju thanked all who worked hard in the planning and preparation of this special day. Finally, Fr. Biju introduced two new professors who would be joining the STS staff in the coming academic year. All joined in singing the final hymn, Give Thanks, which was led by Br. Paolo Negrini. Then, all were invited to gather outside for a BBQ lunch provided by the STS.


Speech from the Representative of the Graduating Batch A very Good morning to everyone present here. I stand here on behalf of the graduating students to express our sentiment of gratitude. It is said that, “Being grateful is being graceful” On this auspicious day, we as the graduating class of 2017 are grateful as well as graceful. With grace filled hearts, in the first place we thank God the Almighty for the gift of life, especially for His constant presence and guidance in the past four years at STS, Jerusalem. We would like to express ourdeepest gratitude to His Excellency Giuseppe Lazzarotto for his encouraging presence in our midst today and for his constant availability. We are indebted to Fr. Biju Michael, the President, the professors, and the staff members of STS for their exemplary presence and committed service in educating and formingus according to the Gospel and the principal teachings of the Church, so that we may imitate the example of Our Blessed Mother Mary, the Theotokos,to bear God in our daily life. We also thank the past and present Secretaries of the President Sr. Mary and Sr. Angela, Chief Librarian Fr. Gianni Caputa, Economer Fr. Matteo Balla, brothers who assisted and assist the president and librarian and many brothers for their service and collaboration in attending to all our needs in the academic endeavor in the past 4 years. It is an apt moment to thank Fr. Andrew Wong the Rector of the Salesian community of Ratisbonne and Fr. Aloysius the Rector of the Missionaries of Africa community of St. Ann's, the rector of the seminary of archdiocese, Munich along with them other formators for their guidance, fraternity and self-sacrificing service in helping us to grow in the communitarian spirit of the Trinity and in the humility of Christ. Finally, you dear brethren and fellow students, thank you for your friendship and companionship. May God bless us as we are preparing to become presbyters. Let us pray for each other so that we may not only BECOME but also BE good priests of Christ! Thank you one and all!

8 JUNE 2017

International Collaboration between




n 24 May, 2017, the Salesian Pontifical University's Jerusalem Campus, Studium Theologicum Salesianum, Jerusalem, Israel and the Pontifical University of John Paul II in Krakow, Poland entred into a formal agreement to develop academic co-operation in the fields of education and science, embracing the teaching staff, research staff and students of both academic institutions. The team representing the Studium Theologicum Salesianum (Rev. Dr Biju Michael, Principal & Rev. Dr Andrzej Toczysky, Coordinator for Institutional Cooperation) signed the document on 6 May at Bethlehem, in the presence of Rev. Dr Roman Bogacz from UPJPII. The agreement comes into effect on 24 May 2017 with the signing of the document by Archbishop Marek Jedraszewski, Great Chancellor of UPJPII and Rev. Prof. Wojciech Zyzak, Rector of UPJPII. The primary objective of the co-operation shall be the execution of joint and collaborative academic and research tasks. Prof. Roman Mazur, Scripture scholar and author of several books, will be teaching next year at the Jerusalem Campus of the Salesian Pontifical University as a part of the exchange of professors. The Studium Theologicum Salesianum has a similar agreement with the Chur University of Switzerland, which has witnessed a healthy exchange of students in the past years.


SAMYNATHAN James Raja, sdb DEFENDS HIS BACCALAUREATE SYNTHESIS 29 May 2017, STS Jerusalem D'SOUZA Romero Luciano, sdb


n the 29 May 2017 at 9.00 am, Deacon James Raj Samynathan, sdb began to defended his Theological Synthesis entitled, “Jesus is the Definitive Revelation of God, Revealing the face of the Father as Mercy. This spells out the Vocation of Humanity, and the Mission of the Church is to show it forth”. The panel examining the work of James Raj were Rev. Fr Biju Michael sdb (President of STS); Rev. Fr Pier Giorgio Gianazza sdb (Tutor & Guide for the Synthesis) and Rev. Fr Andrzej Toczyski sdb (Reader for the Synthesis). The President Fr Biju Michael began by giving a welcome to students and staff present as well as stating the procedure for the defence. He introduced student James Raj to present his Synthesis. James began by giving thanks to God, family and friends, and all the Salesians who helped and accompanied him in his journey thus far. He gave a 10-minute presentation of his Synthesis. In a nutshell, he summarized the three chapters wherein he shows first, the gradual revelation of God: ways, contents, and goals of revelation; second, the face of mercy in the image of Jesus Christ who reveals the Father's mercy; and third, about the mission and teachings of the Church in the vocation of humanity. The first examiner on the defence was Rev. Fr Pier Giorgio Gianazza sdb, the tutor who congratulated the student for a commendable work done on the theme of Mercy as well as praised him for the commitment and hard work on his synthesis, and for the constant dialogue and meeting for the working and submissions of the draft. He also acknowledged him for this good assimilation and personal reflection on the title chosen. The question asked was about God being the creator and man being the co-worker in His creation and the role of Jesus Christ in his creation in view of the new heaven and new earth. To this, the student James Raja answered, quoting scripture passages from the New and Old Testament as well as from Church document (Dei Verbum) and Church father (Origen). The second examiner on the defence was Rev. Fr Andrzej Toczyski sdb, the reader who credited the student for his good theological synthesis on the topic of mercy and for his bringing out the relevance of mercy which manifests the father's mercy. The synthesis was well articulated with coherent arguments in the three chapters. However, the reader posed reflective and practical questions to the student: first, how are revelation and theology (knowledge of God) necessary for salvation? Second, for this well written condense and reflective synthesis, how would you supplement the understanding of mercy in implementing and applying the principles of the Catholic social teaching of the Church? To this, the student answered by quoting the corporal and spiritual works of mercy from the scriptures and made an interesting connection to the principles of Catholic social teachings.

10 JUNE 2017

Lastly, Fr Biju Michael, asked questions based on the synthesis with regard to the role, function, and juxtaposition of the justice and mercy of God and the understanding of the role of repentance in light of human freedom? After a short break, the Bachelor of Theology defence panel met and Rev Dr Biju Michael sdb read the declaration on behalf of the Church and the Pontifical University that James Raj Samynathan sdb officially concludes his Bachelors of Theology degree. The concluding ceremony took place by 10.00 am with vestition of the student by the panel examining his Theological Synthesis. We congratulate him on his completion of the degree for the Bachelors in Theology and pray for his ordination to the Order of the Presbyterate which will be on 22nd July 2017 (Chennai, India).

SIDABUTAR Finansius, sdb DEFENDS HIS BACCALAUREATE SYNTHESIS 29 May 2017, STS Jerusalem BUDNY Jaroslaw, sdb



n the morning of 29 May, 2017, deacon Finansius Sidabutar, SDB defended his baccalaureate Synthesis at Studium Theologicum Salesianum in Jerusalem, thus finishing the 1st circle of theological studies and earning the title of Bachelor of Theology. The title of his Synthesis was: “From Divine Communion to Human Communion: God as Trinitarian Communion, the Church as already but not yet fulfilled, the community life modeled on the Trinity and the heaven as eternal communion with God and His saints”. The members of the panel examining the synthesis were, Rev. Biju Michael, SDB, Rev. Pier Giorgio Gianazza, SDB and Rev. Moses Wanjala, SDB. At the beginning, deacon Finansius gave a 10- minute presentation of his synthesis. He explained chapter by chapter the ideas conveyed in his paper. The first chapter is about how God is a communion of persons: the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Second chapter explains how the Church is called to be in communion with God, who showed us how to live in communion and enabled us to live in communion. Chapter three treats on the community life of specific groups of people called to model their community on Trinitarian communion. In chapter four, we learn how our perfect communion with God will be only in heaven. STS JERUSALEM 11

The first examiner on the defence panel was Fr. Pier Giorgio Gianazza, SDB, tutor of deacon Finansius. He expressed his delight in the work of deacon Finansius, who in his synthesis managed to present the concept of Trinity not only as a theoretical concept, but also as a reality that affects our daily life. Fr. Gianazza, then, asked about the four dogmas of Mariology (Divine Maternity, Perpetual Virginity, Immaculate Conception, Assumption) that are connected to the fourth chapter of the synthesis. In the answer, deacon Finansius explained how Mary lived in total communion with God, founding his ideas on the four dogmas. The next examiner, Fr. Moses Wanjala, SDB, highlighted how the theme of communion is important in contemporary world torn by individualism and post-modernistic ideas. Deacon Finansius was also asked to explain how the heavenly life of communion is anticipated in the liturgy and in the common priesthood of the faithful. He answered with the ideas conveyed in the document on lay faithful Apostolicam Actuositatem. The document explains how lay faithful by engaging in the daily activities can be signs of communion and moreover, they offer all their sufferings as a sacrifice to God and unite it with the sacrifice of Jesus during the Mass, thus exercising their common priesthood. Lastly, Fr. Biju Michael, SDB, President of the defence panel asked few questions to clarify the idea how certain communities can be the models of the Trinitarian communion, while never achieving the perfect resemblance to Trinity. After a short break, the members of the panel awarded deacon Finansius Sidabutar, SDB, with the Bachelor of Theology degree. He is expected to be ordained to the Order of the Priesthood on 9th of August 2017 in Indonesia.

VU Duc Huan Giuseppe, sdb DEFENDS HIS BACCALAUREATE SYNTHESIS 29 May 2017, STS Jerusalem FERNANDO Jude Nevil, sdb


n the 29 May 2017 at 3.00 pm, Deacon VU Duc Huan Giuseppe, sdb began to defended his synthesis entitled "The Paschal Mystery is the core of the Christian life. The true disciple, proclaiming his faith in the Risen Lord, according to God's eternal plan, and living it as a personal experience with the community, becomes a witness and apostle of Christ". The panel examining the synthesis of Deacon VU Duc Huan Giuseppe were Rev. Fr Biju Michael sdb (President of STS); Rev. Fr Pier Giorgio Gianazza sdb (Tutor for the Defence) and Rev. Fr Coutinho Matthew sdb (Reader for the Defence).

12 JUNE 2017

After the brief introduction by Rev. Fr. Biju Michael sdb (President of STS), the candidate was given 10 min. to present his synthesis. In his presentation, Dn. Huan explained how paschal mystery becomes the centre of Christian life. The Jewish paschal mystery (the covenant between God and Israel) followed by Christ's paschal mystery (Christ's crucifixion, death and resurrection) mark the climax of the salvific plan of God. According to Dn. Huan, this salvific work throws light on the mystery of Jesus Christ as the Saviour of the world. Moreover, the Eucharistic celebration on Sunday commemorates Christ's Paschal event and Christ's glorious resurrection which is the foundation of Christian faith and the sacraments. The first examiner on the defence panel was Rev. Fr Pier Giorgio Gianazza sdb (Tutor for the Defence); he expressed his gratitude to Dn. Huan for choosing this topic and developing it systematically. Furthermore, he asserted Christ and Christology as the centre of this paper and congratulated the student for using important sources (Scripture, magisterial sources, theological sources etc.). Basing on 2nd Chapter, Fr. Gianazza asked Dn. Huan to substantiate ecumenical view on the seven sacraments in celebrating the paschal mystery. In answer, Dn. Huan explained different views of the ecumenical churches on sacraments and how these views interrelate or contrast with the opinion of the Catholic Church. The next examiner, Fr Coutinho Matthew sdb, appreciated the paradigm of the paschal mystery which Dn. Huan employed to explain the central elements of Catholic theology. Moreover, Fr. Coutinho asked Dn. Huan to explain the role of the paschal mystery in Christian spiritual and moral life. Huan answered by saying that the Christian moral life and spiritual life are two dimensions of Christian life in relating to God and neighbour. Therefore, the paschal mystery should help Christians to live fully these two dimensions based on love. Eventually, Fr. Biju Michael sdb asked some questions on participation in the paschal mystery, the real presence in the Eucharist (Ecumenical point of view), theological studies and Clericalism and the similarities between Christ's body and soul and human body and soul relating to mortal death and eternal life. After a short recess, the Bachelor of Theology defence panel met and awarded deacon VU Duc Huan Giuseppe SDB, with the Bachelor of Theology degree. Deacon Huan is expected to be ordained next year to the Order of the Presbyterate in Vietnam.


ATINDAANA Cletus, m.afr. DEFENDS HIS BACCALAUREATE THESIS 30 May 2017, STS Jerusalem MULENGA Richard Mwenya, m.afr.


n the 30th May 2017, at 09:00, Deacon Cletus ATINDAANA defended his synthesis after four years of theological studies in the STS. The theme of his synthesis is, “'My food is to do the will of him who sent me, and to accomplish his work” (John 4:34). Jesus Christ's obedience to doing the will of his Father was accomplished through his public ministry and consummated in the paschal mystery, the sign of which is the Eucharist. The true disciple of Christ seeking the way to eternal life is called to Eucharistic discipleship in the Church.” The panel of examiners comprised of Rev. Dr. Biju MICHAEL the principal of the STS, Rev. Dr. Willam RUSSELL the tutor and Fr. Eric WYCKOFF the reader. After the words of welcome and introduction from the principal, Deacon Cletus opened the session with an inspiring prayer. Thereafter, he gave a well thought summary of the three chapters of his synthesis. He pointed out the fact that, his synthesis was inspired by his reception of baptism as an adult. In his own words as written in the introduction of his synthesis he stated that, “Convinced of these matters, this Theological Synthesis is a simple exposition of my faith fervently seeking to understand the person and work of Jesus Christ, in a bid to know him more, to love him better, to follow him more closely and to proclaim him faithfully and boldly to the world.” Upon completing the summary of the three chapters of his synthesis, his tutor asked a pastoral related question on how the lay faithful and married people are related to priests and what the priests can learn from them. To these questions he responded enthusiastically by quoting St Paul's first letter to the Corinthians which teaches about the members of one body with various duties. Later on his reader gave an objective and positive appreciation of the synthesis and asked the Deacon on how the synthesis would be useful in his missionary life as a member of a Missionary Society. To this question, the Deacon answered making reference to the particular call of each congregation in the Church through their charism and spirituality. Lastly, Fr. Biju Michael sdb pointed out some interesting parts of the work and invited the Deacon to highlight on terms such as Eucharistic discipleship. After a short recess, the Bachelor of Theology defence panel met and awarded deacon ATINDAANA Cletus, M.Afr. with the Bachelor of Theology degree. Deacon Cletus is expected to be ordained to the Order of the Presbyterate on 26th of August 2017 in Ghana.

14 JUNE 2017

CHEGE Erastus Nduati, sdb DEFENDS HIS BACCALAUREATE SYNTHESIS 30 May 2017, STS Jerusalem LUSHIBASHI Vernon, sdb


ev. Deacon Chege Erastus on 30th May defended his synthesis entitled, “The mystery of the Trinity as revealed through the sacrament of marriage and the Christian interpretation of African traditional marriages.” The panel that examined Chege was made up of Rev. Fr Biju Michael SDB (President of STS); Rev. Fr. Giovanni Caputa SDB (Tutor for the Defense) and Rev. Fr Moses Wanjala SDB (Reader for the Defense). Fr Biju began first by welcoming the audience present. He then requested Chege to present his synthesis within 10 minutes. Chege's synthesis contained three chapters. In the first chapter, he dealt with the mystery of the Holy Trinity which is revealed through the sacrament of the marriage in the Old Testament. In the second chapter, he presented the revelation in how the sacrament of marriage is celebrated basically from the point of view of the New Testament. Finally, in the last chapter, Deacon Chege focused on the Christian interpretation of marriage in the African tradition, looking at the past heritage and the present with reference to the Apostolic Exhortation on the Role of Christian Family in the Modern World. The first examiner on the defence panel was Rev. Fr. Giovanni who expressed his gratitude to Dn. Chege for choosing him as his guide and congratulated him for his remarkable work. Fr. Giovanni asked Dn. Chege to explain the purpose or value of the consecrated life basing on Vita Consecrata. In response, Dn. Chege expounded, how the consecrated life is rooted in the example and teaching of Christ and considered it as a gift of God to His Church through the Holy Spirit. According to him, the purpose of Christian life is a universal call to holiness and a call to religious life. The next examiner, Rev. Fr Moses asked about how Christian marriage is a foretaste of the wedding feast of communion throughout the liturgical year. In response to that question Dn. Chege vibrantly explained the close relationship between the heavenly liturgy and the sacrament of marriage. Moreover, it is a foretaste because the spouses celebrate their wedding here on earth in actuality with all its glory and joy an example of the heavenly banquet. Eventually, Fr. Biju asked some questions on traditional African cultural values in marriage and relationship between God and African proverbs. After a short break, the Bachelor of Theology defence panel met and Rev Dr Biju read the declaration on behalf of the Church and the Pontifical University that Chege Erastus SDB officially concludes his Bachelors of Theology degree. We congratulate him on his completion of the degree for the Bachelors in Theology and continue praying for him for his ordination to priesthood which will be on 13th July 2017 (Nairobi, Kenya). STS JERUSALEM 15

DANG Lam Giuseppe Cosimo, sdb DEFENDS HIS BACCALAUREATE SYNTHESIS 31 May 2017, STS Jerusalem LANGAN John Gerard, sdb


n Wednesday, May 31, 2017, Deacon Lam defended his baccalaureate Synthesis at Studium Theologicum Salesianum in Jerusalem, completing four years of study and earning the title Bachelor of Theology. His synthesis was titled, “God loves the poor. The poor at the centre of Jesus' mission and that of the Church.” Lam's tutor for his synthesis was Rev. Dr. Leopold Vonck M.Afr. and the reader was Rev. Fr. Karol Kulpa SDB. Rev. Dr. Michael Biju SDB, Principal of STS Jerusalem Campus, welcomed all present to the Baccalaureate Exam and highlighted the purpose of such an exam by reading article fifty-three of Sapientia Christiana which states a “student proves he has received the full and scientific formation demanded”. Deacon Lam then led all in an opening prayer and presented a brief overview of his synthesis. Beginning with Pope Francis' call today to all people to work tirelessly to help the poor in the world. Then, going through the biblical understanding of what poverty is by looking at the various Hebrew words used in the Old Testament and their unique meanings, differentiating between material and religious poverty and also those who beg and those who are hungry. He spoke about how concern for the poor has been a consistent part of Old Testament covenant theology and the transition to Jesus and the New Testament brings a unique aspect of not only the teaching, but the example given by the life and actions of Jesus himself. Showing that the Good News does not exclude the rich and how it even goes beyond justice to a lived charity. The Church today continues Jesus' mission and maintains this key aspect of concern for the poor. Deacon Lam highlighted the challenges that come as the Church tries to faithfully live out this concern for the poor mentioning the tension that arose from the development of the theology of liberation and the Church's work in evangelizing against communism. He called to mind the challenges that still exist today such as identifying and recognizing the various kinds of poverty in the world today. When the time came for questions from the tutor and the reader Fr. Leopold congratulated Deacon Lam for his commendable work and gave a few small recommendations for ways to combine material in a few of his chapters. Fr. Leopold asked Deacon Lam about the idea that non-Christians could purify their intentions for charitable works being done and Lam responded by first stating that his work was not complete and more could be done, but then explaining that all people, both Christians and non-Christians, can examine their actions and purify their intentions to make sure God is the subject of their work and they are being done with good intentions. Fr. Karol also commended Deacon Lam for his work particularly his ability to continue to apply what he learned early on in the research paper to later discoveries. He presented deacon Lam with a case involving a woman in an abusive marriage involving abortion and contraception. He asked Deacon lam what kind of pastoral advice he would give to a person in this situation. Deacon Lam answered this question covering the theological points necessary to understand and then presenting practical advice to be given. 16 JUNE 2017

Eventually, Fr. Biju SDB, the president of the commission asked Deacon Lam to present key point of a pastoral plan for taking care of the poor in a parish. Deacon Lam laid out a few key points of a pastoral plan focusing on the fact that the priest is not the only one and needs to make use of his parish council. The importance of keeping up to date on Church teaching by returning to Church documents regularly, and the need to understand the situation of the people in his parish. Next Fr. Biju asked Deacon lam to speak to the point that if the Catholic religion can only be proclaimed to the poor then is religion merely the opium of the poor. He pointed out that since all people are sinners we are all poor in one way or another and therefore in need of Jesus in our lives. After a short break, the Bachelor of Theology defense panel met and awarded deacon DANG Lam Giuseppe Cosimo SDB, with the Bachelor of Theology degree. Deacon Lam is expected to be ordained to the Order of the Presbyterate on the 23rd of June 2017 in Utrail, Bangladesh.

DANG Minh Duc, sdb DEFENDS HIS BACCALAUREATE SYNTHESIS 31 May 2017, STS Jerusalem PLASEK Vladimir, sdb


n the morning of 31st May, 2017, Dn. Minh Duc DANG, SDB defended his baccalaureate Synthesis at Studium Theologicum Salesianum in Jerusalem, thus finishing the 1st circle of Theology and earning the title of Bachelor of Theology. The title of his synthesis was: “Faith to faith: the dialogue with Judaism and Islam opened up by the Second Vatican Council, in the spirit of Nostra Aetate, and its implications for Ecclesiology, Ecumenism and the way the Christians live out their faith”. The commission consisted of the Rev. Vonck Leopold, M.Afr.,the tutor; Rev. Russell William, M.Afr., the reader of the paper and Michael Biju, SDB, the president of STS. Firstly, Dn. Minh gave a ten minute presentation of his synthesis. His work was strongly influenced by the last summer experience, spent in Istanbul. Mornings he could spend writing and studying, while afternoon working in refugee camp discussing and working with young adults and children. Thus his concern in Judaism and Islam developed theoretically and practically he translated into the synthesis. It starts with the overview of the interfaith dialogue from the Scripture, models of dialogue in the early


Church including martyrdom. It continues presenting the Middle Age and Modern periods and their influence on the mind-set of Muslims and Christians today. It ends with the Interreligious dialogue based on Nostra Aetate and its proposals for the dialogue facing the challenges of present days. The tutor Fr. Leopold Vonck pointed out how the Scripture narratives, as well as the periods of history and the Second Vatican Council can strongly influence contemporary dialogue, which is in the heart of the essay. He posed the question: “Can you spell out some particular ecclesiological implications of this dialogue?” Minh underlined the change of the language. The second question was related to the martyrdom as a form of dialogue. Deacon Minh distinguished the liberal and rigorist approach, presented the model of St. Paul meeting the traditional practices of people proposed the living Christ as the only God. Words of Tertullian about martyrs as seed of new Christians encouraged the way of the life of Christians, who later fulfilled the whole Roman Empire. Martyrdom could test the faith of Christians. The reader Fr. William Russell pointed out the synthesis should strongly stick to the title choosing the crucial Biblical passages and analyse seriously the main Church documents, like Nostra Aetate. He distinguished the dialogue with Jews from dialogue with Judaism, as well as dialogue with Muslims from the dialogue with Islam. Finally, he posed the question: “What does faith mean for Catholics and what is the Church comparing it with other human communities, especially in Islam and Judaism?” In his answer Dn. Minh underlined the points of differences between the Catholic Church and two other monotheistic religions as well as the role of dialogue between them. Lastly, Fr. Biju Michael pointed out that the martyrdom is the supreme proof of the witness of the faith and distinguished the interreligious from the ordinary dialogue. Deacon Minh stressed the role of witnessing the truth and underlined the supernatural element of faith. After a short break, the members of the panel awarded deacon Minh Duc DANG, SDB, with the Bachelor of Theology degree. He is expected to be ordained to the Order of the Priesthood on 24th of June 2017 in New York, United States of America.

18 JUNE 2017

ELWEU David, m.afr. DEFENDS HIS BACCALAUREATE SYNTHESIS 30 May 2017, STS Jerusalem LUPI Andrea, sdb


n the morning of May 30, 2017, Deacon Elweu David defended his Bachelor of Theology synthesis at Studium Theologicum Salesianum in Jerusalem. The title of his synthesis was: “The completion of God's saving plan: Creation, Adam's fall, the restoration in Christ, the human response to God's call, the foretaste of the Divine communion in the Church, the fulfillment in Heaven”. The members of the panel examining the synthesis were, Rev. Biju Michael, SDB, President, Rev. William Russel M.Afr. (Tutor) and Rev. Matthew Coutinho, SDB, who served as a Reader. At the beginning, Deacon David made a 10 minutes presentation of his Synthesis. The work, presenting the Saving Plan of God, was articulated in three Chapters. The first chapter dealt with the Creation of God and the Fall caused by sin. Second chapter explained how in Jesus Christ Humanity and Creation were restored. The Church, New Eve, is called to join in this reality with an active cooperation. Chapter three examined the fulfilment of the saving plan of God with the new Heaven and new Earth, the eschatological reality towards which the world is moving. The first examiner on the defence panel was Fr. William Russel, M.Afr., tutor of deacon David. He expressed his appreciation for the diligent work of the deacon, who in his synthesis managed to present a wide topic in a coherent and methodologically correct fashion. Fr. Russel, then, asked about the relationship between Theology and Science in today's effort to deal with cosmological questions like the origin and the end of the world. In the answer, deacon David, after a brief survey of the historical development and controversies between the two approaches, explained how the Church, attentive to the Holy Spirit, has been able to receive the contributions given by the scientific world. The student was able to explain the different levels at which Theology and Science stand in the effort to understand Cosmology in the light of Revelation. The next examiner, Fr. Matthew Coutinho, SDB, acknowledged the ability of Deacon David to make good use of the several theological treatises in his effort to deepen the understanding of God's salvation plan. The student was asked to explain the reality of Ecumenical Dialogue and Inter-religious dialogue in the context of his topic. Deacon David, making a fruitful use of the Conciliar Document Unitatis Redintegratio, showed how the communion to which STS JERUSALEM 19

Ecumenical Dialogue is leading the Christians is undoubtedly one of the fruits of the Spirit that signify, although still imperfectly, the fulfilment of the new Heavens and new Earth. On the other side, Inter-religious dialogue was addressed by Deacon David in the light of the Fathers’ Magisterium, especially Ireneaus’ synthesis of the Logoi spermatikoi. Lastly, Fr. Biju Michael, SDB, President of the defence panel asked few questions to clarify the role of Baptism in the divine plan of salvation, its necessity and the destiny of non-baptized people in the plan mentioned. After a short break, the members of the panel awarded deacon David Elweu, M.Afr., with the Bachelor of Theology degree. Deacon David is expected to be ordained to the Order of the Presbyterate on 13th of July 2017 in Uganda.

HAILU Araya Hagos, sdb DEFENDS HIS BACCALAUREATE SYNTHESIS 1 June 2017, STS Jerusalem Clement Yan Naing Htun, sdb


n the morning of 1st May, 2017 at 9:00 a.m. Deacon Hailu Araya Hagos, SDB defended his baccalaureate Synthesis at Studium Theologicum Salesianum in Jerusalem, thus finishing the 1st circle of theological studies and earning the title of Bachelor of Theology. The title of his synthesis was: “Eucharist, as ‘an action of Christ and of the people of God hierarchically ordered’, is both the summit of Christian life and the source from which the action of the Church takes its origin.” The members of the panel examining the synthesis were, Rev. Biju Michael, SDB, Rev. Caputa Giovanni , SDB and Rev. Toczyski Andrzej, SDB. At the beginning, deacon Hailu Araya Hagos gave a 10-minute presentation of his Synthesis. He explained chapter by chapter the ideas conveyed in his paper. The first chapter explains briefly the meaning of the Eucharist, (in Greek thanksgiving) is the traditional name for the Lord‟s Supper (Didache 9:1), probably based on Christ’s having “given thanks” at its institution (1Cor. 11:24; Mt. 26:26-28; Mk. 14:22-24; Lk. 22: 17-20). The early significance of the Eucharistic meal is indicated in Acts 2:42, 46; 20:7; its Epiphanic character is suggested by its tie with the Christophany of the Emmaus road (cf. Lk. 24:30-35). It is suggested that the miracles of feeding (particularly in Mathew Chapters 14-15) are part of an early Eucharist catechesis. The different names are given to this sacrament by the Vatican II, following the Council of Trent. And it speaks about the establishment of the new covenant of God as a manifestation of the supreme love by which Christ sacrificed himself on the behalf of humanity. The second chapter mainly speaks about the Eucharist as the action of the people of God hierarchically ordered. The People ought to be clearly guided and taught that entering into the mystery of the Eucharist highly depends on a liturgical celebration which is done with dignity, due preparation and, above all, faith in the mystery itself. As a help in this line, in the Church, there is a sacred hierarchy of orders: the Pope, Bishops Priest and Deacons are acting on behalf of Christ. Finally, “the Eucharist builds the Church and the Church make the Eucharist.” 20 JUNE 2017

The third chapter is about how Eucharist is both the summit of Christian life and also the source from which the action of the church takes its origin. The Eucharist is the source of Church's mission and other works of apostolate for the common good of the entire humanity. The Eucharist teaches us to enhance social justice and to live in solidarity with the poor and needy. The Eucharist and ecumenism is also discussed very briefly as part of Church's mission for evangelization. No point of division has been more disastrous than the disunity surrounding the Eucharist, the very sacrament of unity itself: “The Eucharist tastes bitter, in a divided church.” In this case, Mary teaches us how to develop the Eucharistic attitude with her Son Jesus Christ, and she is our model and mother. The first examiner on the defense panel was Fr. Caputa Giovanni, SDB, tutor of deacon Araya and he expressed his delight in the work of Deacon Hailu Araya Hagos, who in his synthesis managed to present the Eucharist as “an action of Christ and of the people of God hierarchically ordered”. It is both the summit of Christian life and the source from which the action of the Church takes its origin. Fr. Caputa Giovanni, then, asked about how the Church as mother and teacher accompanies both catechumens and neophytes to the personal participation in the Eucharist based on the catechesis of Cyril of Jerusalem and Ambrose of Milan. The next examiner, Fr. Toczyski Andrzej, SDB, highlighted how the theme of Eucharist is important in Christian's life and in the action of the Church. Deacon Hailu Araya Hagos was also asked to explain about the relationship between “Manna in the Desert” (cf. Ex. 16; Nb. 11:6-9) and the Eucharist. He focused his answer on the allegorical (Spiritual) relationship between them and made some reference to other key Biblical passages as well as the patristic and modern exegesis. Lastly, Fr. Biju Michael, SDB, President of the defense panel asked few questions to clarify the idea about the Eucharist as the summit of Christian's life the source of all the action of the Church. After a short break, the members of the panel awarded deacon, Hailu Araya Hagos SDB, with the Bachelor of Theology degree. He is expected to be ordained to the Order of the Priesthood on 2nd of July 2017 in Ethiopia.


HUANG Long-Hsuan, sdb DEFENDS HIS BACCALAUREATE SYNTHESIS 1 June 2017, STS Jerusalem LLADONES Rodil Padilla, sdb

Today is the fourth day of the Baccalaureate Synthesis defense of the students of the STS Jerusalem Campus. At 10:30 am, Deacon Huang Long-Hsuan, SDB began to defended his Synthesis entitled, “Being Christian is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea, but the encounter with an event, a person, which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction” (BENEDICT XVI, DEUS CARITAS EST 1) meeting Christ in the scriptures, in the sacraments and in new cultural and pastoral contexts”. The panel examining the synthesis of Deacon Philip were Rev. Fr Biju Michael, sdb (President of STS); Rev. Fr Pier Gianni Caputa, sdb (Tutor for the Defense) and Rev. Fr. Matthew Coutinho, sdb, (Reader for the Defense). The President Fr Biju Michael began by giving a welcome to students and staff present as well as stating the procedure for the defense. Deacon Philip led the assembly in prayer. Then, Deacon Philip gave a 10-minute presentation of his synthesis by thanking his tutor and the principal as well as mentioning his motivation and inspiration in writing his synthesis. In a nutshell, he summarized the three chapters wherein he shows first, the importance of the Scripture as the focal point of encounter with God, the second chapter deals on the primacy of the sacraments as another real source and visible encounter with God predominantly on the Eucharist; and the third chapter deals with the mission in new cultural and pastoral contexts as another source of encounter with God. The first examiner on the defense was Rev. Fr Gianni Caputa sdb, the tutor who commented the different facet of the paper such as the method, content, objective and subjective indication. Fr. Gianni also commented both the strength and weakness of the paper. He congratulated the student for a commendable work. The question asked was about the way the Church as Mother and Teacher prepares both the catechumens and neophytes for the sacraments of Christian Initiation through the catechism of St. Cyril and St. Ambrose. To which Deacon Philip answered by emphasizing the word “Mystagogical” and through the writings of these Fathers of the Church. The second examiner on the defense was Rev. Fr. Matthew Coutinho, sdb, the reader who credited the student for his good theological synthesis on the topic of the encounter of God in the Scriptures, the Sacraments and Mission. He mentioned the key important aspect of the synthesis. After mentioning both the positive and negative quality of the synthesis the reader posed reflective and practical questions to the student: "Mary is the masterpiece of the Trinity, Mother of the Word Incarnate and mother of the Church, sign of hope for pilgrim humanity." Which uses the theme of 'encounter with Christ' as the focus; trace elements of this encounter in the life and vocation of Mary and draw out some pastoral consequences for Christian witness in contemporary society. To which, Deacon Philip convincingly answered that the “FIAT” of Mary summing up everything. The “yes” of Mary is the beginning of this encounter with the Trinity. The relationship of Mary to her Son Jesus was strongly emphasized. Lastly, Fr Biju Michael, asked questions based on the synthesis on how to change the mentality of the people especially those who received the Sacrament of the Eucharist thinking that it is something rather than someone, a Person. Deacon Philip responded stressing that the Word of God should be 22 JUNE 2017

underlined before encountering Jesus in the Eucharist. According to Deacon Philip as a priest to be, through Catechism, Bible Study aside from homilies and other opportunity in the parish these are some of the very best way in ensuring a change in mentality about the Eucharist. After a short break, the Bachelor of Theology defense panel met and Rev Dr Biju Michael sdb read the declaration on behalf of the Church and the Pontifical University that Deacon Huang Long-Hsuan, SDB successfully concludes his Bachelors of Theology degree. We congratulate him on his completion of the degree for the Bachelors in Theology and Huang is expected to be ordained next year to the Order of the Presbyterate in Taiwan.


BERHE Girmay Hailu, sdb DEFENDS HIS BACCALAUREATE SYNTHESIS 02 June 2017, STS Jerusalem ROGUS APPUGE Gayan Indika, sdb


fter having gathered together knowledge on various Theological doctrines for four years, on the 2nd of June 2017, Br. Girmay Hailu Berhe defended his Theological synthesis, “The Paschal Mystery as Celebrated in the Church's Life and Worship, with particular reference to Eastern Liturgical Traditions.” He defended his synthesis in front of three panelists namely; Fr. Biju Michael, SDB (President of the STS), Fr. Bill Russell (Tutor for the defense) and Fr. Moses Wanjala, SDB (Reader for the defense). He began his 10 minutes presentation saying that the main purpose of writing his synthesis was to deepen his knowledge about the Easter Liturgy. His work was divided into three main chapters; he gave a systematic summary of each chapter. In the first chapter, he presented the historical aspect of the Paschal Mystery that originated in the Old Testament and was fulfilled in the New. In the second chapter, he talked about the liturgical celebration of the Paschal Mystery in the Church worship. In his last chapter he discussed about the Christian life, as witness to the death and Resurrection of Christ. The first examiner of the panel was Fr. Bill Russell, his guide. He congratulated him for his efforts and the hard work to write this Theological synthesis and to integrate various Theological topics. Fr. Bill asked the following question, how do we integrate the theme of Mary and the unity in the life of the Church? He expounded the answer by saying that the unifying factors are the obedience, faith and the witness of Mary as found in the Scriptures. STS JERUSALEM 23

The second examiner was Fr. Moses Wanjala, SDB reader of the synthesis. He praised the student for his hard work to come up with this synthesis, which was presented with various Theological topics such as Christology, Mariology, Eschatology, Liturgy etc. Nevertheless, he asked Grimay to explain about, how the Ethiopian Church through the Sacraments and Paschal Mystery witness to God's Liberation? He explained his position using Sunday Holy Eucharist and Fasting. Lastly, Fr. Biju Michael SDB raised the following questions. Bearing in mind the universality of the salvation, why the new Roman Missal replaced the word 'All' with 'Many'? The second question was to explain why in the liturgy, drums, rhythms, dances are different from the ones used in regular life. He was able to give comprehensive answers to the questions which were raised. The principal concluded reading some quotations which he found interesting and aroused the curiosity of the audience to read the synthesis. After a short recess, the Principal announced that Br. Girmay Hailu, SDB, had successfully earned the Bachelor of Theology degree. Girmay is expected to be ordained this year to the Order of the Diaconate in Ethiopia.

TOUGMA Herve, m.afr. DEFENDS HIS BACCALAUREATE SYNTHESIS 2nd June 2017, STS Jerusalem UFOYURU Bosco, m.afr.


n the morning of 2nd June, 2017 at 10:30 a.m. Deacon Hervé TOUGMA, M. Afr. defended his baccalaureate Synthesis at Studium Theologicum Salesianum in Jerusalem, thus finishing the 1st circle of theological studies and earning the title of Bachelor of Theology. The title of his synthesis was: “MISSION AND TRINITY: Mission considered in its source in the Father, in its model in Christ, in its soul in the Holy Spirit and as an ecclesial vocation. “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit (…). And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age” (Mt. 28: 19-20). The members of the panel examining the synthesis were, Rev. Biju Michael, the President, SDB, Rev. Dr. William RUSSEL, M. Afr., the Tutor and Rev. Fr. John Bosco Vincent Raj, SDB, the Reader. At the beginning, Deacon Hervé TOUGMA gave a 10-minute presentation of his Synthesis. He explained chapter by chapter the ideas conveyed in his paper.

24 JUNE 2017

In his introduction he presented the challenges that the Church faces in her mission entrusted to her by the Triune God. Chapter one deals mainly with God the Father as the source of mission. He, God the Father sends the Son and the Holy Spirit through the Son to fulfill this mission. Though the Father remains the Source, He is nevertheless in communion with the Son and the Holy Spirit. In the second chapter, Herve stressed the mission of the Son. In the third chapter, Deacon Hervé TOUGMA focused on the promise, the sending and the permanent presence of the Holy Spirit in the Church's mission. After a ten minute presentation of the synthesis, the Tutor, Dr. William RUSSEL commented on the whole synthesis and praised the student for the hard work achieved. He acknowledged that the question of the Trinity still remains a complex one among other theological disciplines. Nevertheless, the synthesis took into consideration many resources related to the understanding of the mission which is always Trinitarian. He also asked a question: Identify what you consider to be (at least three, or more) of the main practical and pastoral challenges facing the Church's Mission in Africa today; then suggest appropriate ways in which priestly ministers and other pastoral agents could or should be responding to them, if you identify and deal with more than three such challenges, make sure that the three which you consider the most important are dealt with in depth. By basing on Rm 12:9 and on the document, “Ecclesia in Africa”, Deacon Hervé TOUGMA used the concept of the Church as Family, as members of the Church in which each and every one baptized has received gifts, talents in order to contribute to the life of the Church. In this context, the clergy, the priests and the Bishops in particular are called to live coherently according to what they believe and they preach and are urged to be the model as Christ the model par excellence. As regards to the Evangelization, Deacon recalled the attention of each catholic baptized to bring his or her stones for the building of this Church, Family. This contribution will not leave aside the aspects of peace and justice, the eradication of the poverty in the human society. He also brought to light the challenge of inculturation in the liturgical life of the Church which still in one way or the other affects the faith and the whole life of the faithful. He once again mentioned the lack of dialogue. He emphasized on the fact that the dialogue with conflicting countries in Africa could bring peoples, the bishops and the whole Christian community together. After exploring the question, the Reader of the synthesis, Fr Vincent John Bosco congratulated Deacon Hervé for his personal interest in this area of the Church's Mission. He made some comments and suggestions. The reader asked: while at one hand we have the COMMAND of Christ to baptize and announce the Kingdom of God, at the other, there are few who have a narrow understanding of the phrase Extra ecclesiam nulla salus (eg. Leonard Feeney). What would you suggest on the universal salvific will of God? By elaborating on this question, Deacon Hervé stressed the point that in the encounter of Paul with the Areopagus, the listeners of Paul did not say that they will never listen to him, they rather promised to listen to Paul next time. It is understandable that some listeners believed and followed Paul. Thus the continuing dialogue of Paul is here an inspiring step for any missionary to continue preaching STS JERUSALEM 25

Christ to others. A missionary, in his tasks of preaching Christ, should not have a narrow understanding of Extra ecclesiam nulla salus. God in his ways and manners can save other people as well. This was followed by questions from the head of the commission. After a short break, the Bachelor of Theology defense panel met and Rev Dr Biju read the declaration on behalf of the Church and the Pontifical University that Hervé TOUGMA, M. Afr successfully completed the requirements for the Bachelor Degree in Theology. Deacon Hervé TOUGMA is expected to be ordained on 1st July 2017 in his home archdiocese of KOUPELA (Burkina Faso).

VICTOR Dieunel Jean Paul, sdb DEFENDS HIS BACCALAUREATE Synthesis 3 June 2017, STS Jerusalem FERNANDO Jude Nevil, sdb


n the 3rd of June 2017 at 9.00 am, Deacon VICTOR Dieunel Jean Paul, sdb began to defended his synthesis entitled “God’s self-revelation reached its climax in the Incarnation and is actualized today for all those who believe: “And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us, and we saw his glory” (Jn 1:14). The panel examining the synthesis of Deacon VICTOR Dieunel were Rev. Fr Biju Michael sdb (President of STS); Rev. Fr. Giovanni Caputa SDB (Tutor for the Defence) and Wyckoff Eric SDB(Reader for the Defence). After the brief introduction by Rev. Fr. Biju Michael sdb (President of STS), the candidate was given 10 min. to present his synthesis. In his presentation, Dn. Dieunel explained how the gradual revelation came into its climax through Christ's incarnation (cf. Col. 1; 15, 1 Tim. 1:17). He highlighted the revelation of God's plan and love for mankind as an epicenter of theology. This synthesis consists of three chapters. According to Dn Dieunel the first chapter explains God's self-revelation in different ways and to different figures in the Old Testament. The second chapter focuses on Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Word, as the fullness of God's self-revelation and communication. Furthermore, the third chapter is based on the different aspects of God's revelation. The first examiner on the defense panel was Rev. Fr. Giovanni Caputa SDB (Tutor for the Defence); He appreciated his synthesis on Revelation. Fr. Giovanni asked him to explain synthetically how John's revelation (Book of Apocalypse) and last articles of the apostolic creed present God's revelation (Is it already accomplished or is it still in progress?). In answer, Dn. Dieunel said that in a way John's revelation is not fully accomplished till the 2nd coming of Jesus or Parousia. Christ's 2nd coming will consist of Judgment of both living and the dead. The next examiner Fr. Wyckoff Eric SDB explained how this theological synthesis becomes a fruitful venture which covers the different principles of theology. Fr. Eric asked about the relationship between God's self-revelation and Salesian mission, spirituality and educative style. In answer, Dn. Dieunel stated that Don Bosco received God's revelation through his dreams and God's action is directly interconnected to Don Bosco's mission. Moreover, we as a Salesians experienced God's 26 JUNE 2017

revelation through our preventive system based on reason religion and loving kindness. Eventually, Fr. Biju Michael sdb asked some questions on the spiritual shepherd and priesthood, the priesthood as a ministry and the kind of death experienced by the receiver of the revelation. After a short recess, the Bachelor of Theology defense panel met and awarded Dn. VICTOR Dieunel Jean Paul, sdb, with the Bachelor of Theology degree. Dn. Dieunel is expected to be ordained to the

CHU Paul Phuoc Trong, sdb DEFENDS HIS BACCALAUREATE SYNTHESIS 03 June 2017, STS Jerusalem Neuhaus, André Luiz sdb


n the morning of June 3, 2017, Deacon Paul Phuoc Trong Chu defended his Theological synthesis entitled, “Theology of the Good Shepherd: Jesus the gate that leads to abundant life; Christ, the Good Shepherd who knows his sheep and lays down his life for them; the Son of God who unites humanity into one flock, the Church. The panel that examined Paul's work were Rev. Fr. Michel Biju, SDB (President of STS); Rev. Fr. William Russell, M.Afr. (Tutor for the Defense) and Rev. Fr. Karol Kulpa, SDB (Reader for the Defense). In his ten 10-minute presentation, Deacon Paul Chu could explore the three chapters of his written synthesis: In Chapter 1 he explains about the Gate that represents Jesus as the entrance into the Trinitarian life. In Chapter 2 he expounded the Good Shepherd who represents the constant presence of Christ among humanity. In Chapter 3 he expounded about the Church, the culmination of the mission and the work of the Son of God. The first examiner on the defense panel was Fr. William Russell, M. Afr., tutor of Deacon Paul. He congratulated him for his precise use of methodology, the employing of the main important theological treatises and for the deep level of his content. Afterwards, Fr. Russell made a threefold question about how can the bishops be helped in their Ministry of Shepherds since it is one aspect of the whole church mission? What are the implications of the Church to be called to be the Good Shepherd of the whole of humanity? What does it mean to be a Church “for others”? The student Paul


Chu answered these questions based on the documents of the Second Vatican Council and Amoris Laetitia. The second examiner on the defense was Fr. Karol Kulpa, SDB, the reader credited Deacon Paul for his adequate use of theological language and his competence to use mainly primary sources. Then, Father Kulpa made a practical question about the topic of reception of Holy Communion for the divorced and remarried people. The student Paul Chu answered highlighting the importance of the discernment in these cases and quoting Familiaris Consortio and Amoris Laetitia. Finally, Fr. Michel Biju, SDB, President of the defense panel, asked some questions about the role of the Holy Spirit in drawing the human being to God even before the incarnation of Christ and the essential aspects of the priesthood. After the break, Deacon Paul Phuoc Trong Chu was awarded with the Bachelor of Theology degree by the members of the panel. He is expected to be ordained to the Order of Priesthood on 24th of June 2017 in New York, United States.

28 JUNE 2017


at The Service of The Holy Land


he Salesian Pontifical University's Jerusalem Campus of the Faculty of Theology recently ventured into a project to make good literature on the Holy Land available to pilgrims from around the world. The concept originated with the recognition that many peoples from around the world, who visit the Holy Land as pilgrims do not have books available in their mother tongue. Approximately, more than 3 million people visit the Holy Land each year. Close to 60% of the visitors are Christians. Of these, about 50% are Catholics. About a million of the visitors define themselves as Pilgrims. While the largest numbers remain those from America and Europe, pilgrims from other nations have been on the increase. Newspaper reports indicate that pilgrims from India, China, Indonesia, Philippines, Sri Lanka, African nations etc., have almost doubled since the year 2000. There is a dearth of Christian literature in local languages for pilgrims from these countries. While many of them can get around with a bit of English language skills, literature in their language will improve many fold the quality of their visit to the Holy Land. With a view to meet this need, the Salesian Pontifical University is publishing booklets for Christian pilgrims in different languages. The Apostolic Administrator, Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa is an ardent supporter of the project. The book is authored by Fr. Biju Michael, SDB (President of the Salesian Pontifical University's Jerusalem Campus), Fr. David Neuhaus, SJ (Patriarchal Vicar for the Hebrew Speaking Catholic community and for Immigrants), and Fr. Lionel Goh, OFM (Chief Librarian of the Custody of the Holy Land) – all professors at the Jerusalem campus. The books are financed and marketed by Scopus World Travel Ltd. Books in Sinhala (Sri Lanka), Chinese, Tagalog (Philippines), Polish, Indonesian, Kiswahili, and Tamil, are already completed. Archbishop Pizzaballa released the Sinhala version and Archbishop Lazzarotto released the other versions that have been completed.


Tagalog Translator Fr. Francis with his mother

Sinhala Translation: Bishop Harold Perera of Kununegala Diocese of Sri Lanka coordinated the translation with the help of Rev. Fr Piyal Janaka Fernando, Rev. Fr. Ananda Weerakoon, and Rev. Sr Clarice Perera. Chinese Translation: Theresa Yan, Philip Huang, Francesca Li, Song Lei, Tian Jia Shen, Huang Bin, and Zhang Yun worked together to produce the Chinese version of the book. Tagalog Translation: Rev. Fr Francis Eugene Fadul, the Chancellor and Personal Secretary of the Bishop of the Diocese of St. Paul in the Philippines translated the book into Tagalog. Polish Translation: Rev. Fr Piotr Przesmycki, sdb, a veteran pilgrim guide in the Holy Land and a former professor at the STS, translated the book into Polish. Indonesian Translation: Rev. Deacon Finansius Sidabutar, sdb, a final year student of the STS translated the book into Indonesian. Kiswahili Translation: Rev. Deacon Erastus Nduati Chege from Kenya and Brother Samwel Severin Sagut from Tanzania, both students of the STS translated the book into Kiswahili. Tamil Translation: Mr. Antony Tason from India translated the work and Rev. Deacon Gnana Pragash Rayappan helped in the final production. Translations in other languages (Vietnamese, Burmese, Arabic, Telugu, Hindi, Konkani, Kannada, Malayalam, Slovakian, and Russian) are in various stages of production. The demand for the books that are already in print indicate that these books are meeting a genuine need.

Islam Focus Lecture on



n 4 May 2017 at STS – Jerusalem, ZAHRA ASAD RAJA presented her reflection on “A MUSLIM LIFE-INPROGRESS”. Zahra Azad Raja was born in England and raised in Pakistan, Zimbabwe and Kenya. After graduating from the Heritage School in Harare, she moved to the Middle East to learn Arabic and Modern Hebrew, and to pursue a degree in Islamic Studies at the University of Jordan in Amman. She then returned to England to read Theology and Religious Studies at Exeter College, Oxford. 30 JUNE 2017

ZAHRA ASAD RAJA stared her reflection basing on three important topics in Islam. They are: Quran, the prophetic tradition of Gabriel, and Junayd on Imam Ali. At the beginning of the presentation, she narrated about her life story as a student, volunteer and as a religious (Sufi). According to her, every genuine Muslim has to pay special attention to the Quran in order to understand the very core message of Islam. Islamic tradition presents a deep reflection about Mind, Body and Soul. Therefore, one has to seek the truth amidst economic, political and cultural challenges. Moreover, we have to pay the cost of being religious. According to her there is a dichotomy between theoretical knowledge and inner world. Yet one has to discover God by being obedient to Him and serving Him in a better way. The moral and religious norms of a particular religion show, how one has to live in the world and discover his or her inner being. Thus, our religious life and commitment should be part of our soul not only part of our thought. After her Presentation, Ms. ZAHRA ASAD RAJA took up some questions from the STS students. Finally, the Master of Ceremonies, BUDNY Jaroslaw sdb thanked Ms. Zahra for her interesting presentation.

Book presentation on



lement Htun Yan Naing, student of the STS, Jerusalem Campus of the Salesian Pontifical University had a wonderful opportunity to present a book entitled: THE COST OF DISCIPLESHIP. The attendance and the attention shown by the Students and the members of the teaching Staff during the presentations manifested their interest and willingness in acquiring knowledge. Clement started his presentation by introducing the author, Dietrich Bonhoeffer(Feb. 4, 1906 – April 9, 1945).Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a Protestant Lutheran Pastor, theologian, and active in the German resistance to the policies of Hitler and Nazism. He was born in Breslau in 1906. The son of a famous German psychiatrist, he studied in Berlin and New York City. He left the safety of America to return to Germany. Due to his opposition to the Nazi regime, Bonhoeffer was arrested and executed at the Flossian concentration camp, during the last month of the war. He was hanged in April 1945. He remains an important symbol of opposition to Hitler, and his views on Christianity are increasingly influential. After introducing the author, Clement briefly presented each part of the book. In the first part he briefly explained about“Costly Grace and cheap grace”. According to the author cheap grace is the deadly enemy of our Church; cheap grace means the justification of sin without the justification of the sinner. Grace alone does everything and so everything can remain as it was before. Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, and grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate.Moreover, Costly grace is the treasure


hidden in the field. Costly grace is the gospel which must be sought again and again, the gift which must be asked for, the door at which a man must knock.Discipleship simply means the life which spring from grace, and that grace simply means discipleship. In the second part, he expounded about “The Call to Discipleship”. The call goes forth and is at once followed by the response of obedience. The response of discipleship is an act of obedience, not simply a confession of faith. Furthermore, Suffering and rejection sum up the whole cross of Jesus. To die on the cross means to die despised and rejected. In sum, Discipleship means adherence to the person of Jesus, and therefore submission to the law of Christ which is the law of the cross.

STS STUDY TRIP 19-20 April 2017, STS - Jerusalem PLÁŠEK Vladimir & John Langan


ur two days study trip to Galilee started from the STS in Jerusalem on Wednesday at 7.00 am. We were 58 persons and the main leaders and organizers were Fr. Biju Michael, Fr. Karol Kulpa and Fr Matteo Balla. Our route on Wednesday was: Jerusalem – Akko – Rosha Ha Nikra – Tiberias.

Bahai Gardens First place that we visited were these beautiful gardens on the outskirts of Akko. Bahai religion is a monotheistic religion, belonging to the youngest religions in the world with about 6 million believers in 150 countries around the world, with the centre in Haifa. It tries to connect Judaism, Christianity and Muslim religions into one religious system. It claims that God reigns through the prophets like Moses, Christ, Mohammed and the last prophet Mizra Ali Muhammed al Bab. His son Mizra Hussein Ali continued spreading the religion, living in a house near Akko, which after his death in 1892 was transformed into a museum. This museum is in the centre of the Bahai Gardens that we visited, about 3 km from today's Akko. The Gardens are full of different flowers: roses, geranium, iris, as well as trees: pines, cedars, cypress, all organized in precise geometric shapes.

Akko Akko was the main point of interest of today's trip. It is called also Acre and is historically well known as a crusader fortress and the gateway into the Holy Land. It is about 23 km north of Haifa, and only about 20 km below the boundaries with Lebanon. Its age is estimated around 4000 years. Throughout the rich history of the city different civilizations reigned in the city: Canaanites, Israelites (David, Solomon), Assyrians (Sennacherib), Greeks (Alexander), Egyptians (Ptolemais, who changed its name into Ptolemais), Syrians (Seleucs), Romans (Pompeii), Byzantine, Arabs (Umayyad). The city reached the peak of its development at the time of the crusaders (1099-1292), when it became the main connection between the Europe and Palestine and also the bastion of Western Christianity in the Holy Land. The King of England Richard the Lion's heart, the Emperor Fridrich II, The King of France Ludvik VII and Ludvik IX, as well as St. Francis of Assisi, Marco Polo and rabbi Rambam 32 JUNE 2017


Rosh Ha Nikra

visited this important city in this period. In 1191 the Crusaders conquered the city and it became for 100 years the capital city of a Latin Christian kingdom with the new name “St. Jean D'Acre”. Many merchants, monks, architects and knights came to the city from Europe, with the biggest influence of the Genoa's sailors. The importance of Akko grew by the presence of the monastic military orders especially Templars and the Hospitallers. The Hospitallers moved their headquarters from Jerusalem to Akko in 1191. In the Knights Palace we visited among others the Hall of Columns, impressive dining hall of the Order, as well as Sugar Bowls Hall, the Hospitallers were renowned for leading development of the sugar industry. From the boat, we could observe the beauty of the old port and city. After the lunch in the local restaurant we passed through the Templar tunnel and went to see the northwall fortification to finally move from Akko to the north, to Rosh Ha Nikra.

Rosh Ha Nikra It is a border control point of Israeli- Lebanese boundary, rocky headland steeply descending into the sea. Every army in the history that marched towards Palestine from the north, had to pass through this obstacle. Alexander the Great in 333 commanded to hew Tyre steps into the rock. In the present it is a nice recreation area, with a cable car, the shortest in the world, built in 1968, that covers the height of 102 m. We saw also the tunnels in the caves and wonderful views of the sea full of sea animals as we watched in the movie afterwards.

Tiberias At the end of the first day, tired, but full of beautiful moments we reached Tiberias where we took the dinner as the last common moment of this unforgettable day and still enjoyed the evening near the Sea of Galilee, the Sea that our Lord loved.

Tabgha The second day of our study trip started off with an early wake up and a quick breakfast at the hotel. We loaded up the bus and headed to Tabgha, or Peter's Primacy, to celebrate mass. This is the traditional site of Jesus' third apparition to his disciples, where they went fishing all night, but caught nothing. Jesus appears, questions them about the success of their fishing, and directs them to cast the net over the right side of the boat. It is only after their nets are filled that Peter recognizes Jesus, jumps out of the boat and swims to Jesus. They proceed to eat breakfast together and then Jesus questions Peter three times, “Do you love me?”. Fr. Jasmond, a Salesian from Malta, presided at the concelebrated Mass here and spoke in the homily about the blessing for all of us to be at that place and reflect on this event within the octave of Easter. After leaving Tabgha we prayed Morning prayer together on the bus.


Mt. Hermon

Mt Hermon Next, we drove through Golan Heights and up the slopes of Mount Hermon. The Golan Heights is a section of land that has been under Israeli control since the 1967 Six-Day war. Standing at 2,814 meters, Mount Hermon is the highest peak in all of Israel. It is mentioned a few times in the Old Testament, such as the book of Deuteronomy, and in the New Testament. Upon ascending the mountain by ski lift we listened to Fr. Karol's explanation and then a snowball fight ensued using the remnant of the snow that was holding out on the mountain's peak. We returned to the base and drove into the nearest town of Majdal Al-Shams for a delicious lunch.

Caesarea Philippi After lunch, we drove over to Caesarea Philippi to allow the fourth-year students to see the remains of an ancient Roman Temple to Pan and the other remains of the city. It is here where tradition has it, that Peter confessed Jesus to be the long-awaited-for Messiah and then Jesus told Peter, “you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it”.

Kfar Blum The last stop for the day was in the town of Kfar Blum. We started off by getting a different perspective of the Jordan river as we kayaked down on rafts underneath the warm sun. It was an exciting paddle down the Jordan that brought joy to all the students. We finished off the activities here with a zip-line down into the river. At the end of the day the students had their spirits lifted by the opportunity to pray and have some fun together in the various events of the day. We prayed the evening prayer and a rosary to begin the bus ride back to our homes in Jerusalem. It was a quiet trip back as everyone was quite tired from the two full days of activities. Kfar Blum

34 JUNE 2017




n 21st of April 2017, the students of STS had their last archaeological excursion of the current academic year, to Mount of Temptation, Wadi Darga and the Dead Sea.

Mount of Temptation The mount of Temptation is situated in the Judean desert. According to the Gospel writers Jesus was tempted by the Devil after his fast of 40 days. The summit of the mountain is approximately about 360 meters above sea level and the mountain is about 5km northwest of Jericho. The mountain is also known as Quarantania and Jebel Quarantul which means 40 days. The monastery of the temptation, a Greek Orthodox monastery which is built on the slopes of the mountain marks the traditional site. According to archaeologists the traditional site was constructed by the Byzantines in 6 A.D.

Wadi Darga Jewish ďŹ ghters during the Bar Kochba revolt hid themselves in the Murabba'at caves in Wadi Darga. Here they left behind some of the important documents and letters signed by Simon Bar Kochba. After the discovery of the Qumran caves, the Bedouin tribes began to search for other caves that might contain important documents and valuable materials. Consequently, these Bedouin tribes and archaeologists found four caves at Wadi Murabba'at and discovered important manuscripts dating back to Bar Kochba revolt. These manuscripts were written in Hebrew and Greek and explained the daily life. The letter from Simon Bar Kochba addressed to Yeshua ben Galgola who was the military commander was an important letter, which described the political situation of the Second Temple period. Bar Kochaba was a zealous ďŹ ghter who fought against the Roman dynasty. Moreover, Archaeologists found a divorce document of the couple from Massada and remains of clothes, pots and iron knives. At present these manuscripts are well preserved in the museums.

Dead Sea The Dead Sea in the Bible is known as the Salt sea and sea of the Arabah. It is considered as the lowest point on the earth and situated between Israel and Jordan. According to the archaeologists the Biblical cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were situated around the Dead Sea. It receives water from the Jordan River. The sea saltiness does not allow any organism to survive and everyday large amount of water is evaporated due to the dry climate. STS JERUSALEM 35

German Seminarians Visit STS


Studium Theologicum Salesianum

Jude Fernando Richard Mwenya Mulenga John Gerard Langan

Salesian Ponti ical University, Faculty of Theology Jerusalem Campus 26 Rehov Shmuel Hangid, P.O.Box 7336 91072 Jerusalem � Israel /

STS Newsletter June 2017  

Salesian Pontifical University - Jerusalem Campus

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