44th Semester Opening at the ITI - launch of the Liberal Arts Program

It is an ongoing tradition at the International Theological Institute to start a new semester with a common prayer and academic ceremony. Early morning on Monday, February 12, 2018 Members of the ITI Faculty and Staff together with the entire Student Body gathered at the ITI Byzantine Chapel for a Holy Mass. It was celebrated in honor of the ITI Patron Saint, St. Thomas Aquinas, whose feast, according to a regular Church calendar, fell on one of the days of winter break. In his homily, the main celebrant, Rev. Dr. Joseph Spindelböck, the ITI visiting Professor of Moral Theology, preached that St. Thomas, having known from Holy Scripture that true Wisdom can be found only in God as a fruit of prayer and meditation, and knowing that Wisdom is a fruit of the Holy Spirit and is given to the pious and humble ones, set holiness as a main priority of his life. Fr. Spindelböck also pointed out that St. Thomas believed that human natural talents to study and discern could only be of help and service to this divine vocation of holiness. He invited the entire congregation to take this Saint as an example in searching for Truth, both divine and human, “using each possible way to come to the knowledge and contemplation of Truth, by way of reason and in the light of faith”. The academic part of the Formal Semester Opening took place in the Allan and Radwan Riley Hall, as the entire ITI Community solemnly entered it right after the Holy Mass. ITI Professor Rev. Dr. Jean-Yves Brachet OP gave a speech on the occasion of the Church's commemoration this year the 50th anniversary of Humanae Vitae and 25th anniversary of Veritatis Splendor. He encouraged all to re-read those papal documents, which deal with the most fundamental realities, namely human life and truth. To reflect on them, first of all, in order “to know better the Truth about man and his personal vocation as a married person to cooperate with God in the transmission of life. Also, to reflect on them to be able to live according to this Truth and with the help of grace to transmit this Truth to others”.   Afterwards, the ITI Rector Prof. Dr. Christiaan Alting von Geusau introduced to Students a new study program, Bachelor of Liberal Arts. The Program will be offered at the ITI from September 2018. He also announced that in November 2018 the ITI will hold an international conference, honoring those two Papal Encyclicals mentioned above. The Rector welcomed to the ITI Family a new student, Anthony Xie, the first married student from China, whose wife and two little daughters came along with him. The formal semester opening was closed with the official ITI hymn Sicut Cervus, chanted by the ITI Student Choir. After that everyone was invited for a common lunch on Campus.