(SaiGon, VietNam) St. Alphonsus Theologate celebrated the opening of the Academic year 2019- 2020 on Monday 2nd September 2019, with the presence of 20 priests and more than 100 seminarians of 16 congregations. The ceremony was held in the Redemptorist Monastery Mai-Thon.
The Holy Mass on the Holy Spirit was presided by Fr Provincial Joseph Nguyen Ngoc Bich. In his homily, he invited everyone to pray for God’s grace upon all the professors and students in this new academic year.
After the morning mass, the opening ceremony was held in the common hall. There were 5 main parts: Evaluation of the academic year 2018-2019, Graduation ceremony, the rite of sending for seminarians who will have one year of pastoral immersion, opening speech of the Rector and finally the orientation of prefect of study.
First, on the behalf of the board of directors, Fr Anthony Nguyen Van Dung, the prefect of Theologate, greeted the new students and evaluated the academic year 2018-2019. With the efforts of the board of directors, St Alphonsus Theologate has invited experienced and qualified professors. As a result, the quality of studies has increased significantly.
Next, Fr Provincial of The Redemptorist Province of Viet Nam confers the graduation certificates and celebrated the rite of sending. The grandaunts had undergone 6 years of studying (2 years of philosophy and 4 years of Theology). They had to overcome over 80 subjects at St Alphonsus Theologate.
In his speech to opening the new academic year, Fr Joseph Do Dinh Tu emphasized the motto of Theolgate: “Soli Deo et Studiis – Only God and Study.” Besides accumulating academic knowledge, he reminded the students to build the spirit of a family and foster human virtues.
Following that idea, the prefect of studies, Fr Anthony Nguyen Van Dung quoted Mk 1:15, “The time has come. The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” This is the main theme of the academic year 2019-2020. The students are invited to live the spirit of conversion so that an intellectual conversion might occur within themselves. The knowledge they gain at the Theologate must help them deepen the relationship with God, in order to respond strongly to the call of proclaiming God’s Kingdom.
With the end of the opening ceremony, a new academic year begins. Hope that the seminarians of St Alphonsus Theologate prepare well for their future missions.
Bart. Nguyen và Ban Van Hoa
Translated by: Duc Trung VU, CSsR