22nd Dies natalis of the ITI – another milestone

On October 1st, the Feast Day of our beloved Patron Saint Therese of Lisieux, we had the privilege of a special Dies natalis celebration. Our Grand Chancellor, Christoph Cardinal Schönborn, for some hours became Professor Schönborn again and taught the full student body of ITI a class on the Summa Theologica of St. Thomas Aquinas, reading together with, and explaining to the students the text at hand in the classical seminar method. An inspiring class was the result! After this very special class ITI’s many new students had the opportunity to meet Cardinal Schönborn personally.


During the festive Holy Mass Cardinal Schönborn delivered a moving sermon “by” St. Therese herself on the life with Jesus (watch and listen here). The ITI student choir, as tradition dictates, sung our “Sicut cervus” hymn as beautiful as ever. At the end of the Mass, ITI graduate and current Head of the Formation Program for Seminarians and Priests Fr. Yurko Kolasa, received from Cardinal Schönborn the official decree appointing him as Vicar General for the Archdiocese of Vienna in charge of all the Eastern Catholics in Austria. Fr. Yurko already fulfilled the function of Vicar General for the Byzantine Rite Catholics in Austria and his ministry has now been increased due to the fact that Cardinal Schönborn himself was in July appointed as Ordinary for all Catholics of Eastern Rites in Austria.


The Dies natalis celebrations were concluded with a lunch for all students, staff and faculty. The weather again allowed for seating outside in the campus courtyard.


“To make myself bigger – it is impossible, I have to bear myself such as I am with all my imperfections, but I want to seek the means to go to Heaven by a little way really straight, really short, a little way all new. […] I too would like to find an elevator to take me up to Jesus, because I am too little to climb the rough stairs of perfection. Then I looked in the holy books for the indication of the elevator – the object of my desire – and I read these words issued from the mouth of Eternal Wisdom: «If anyone is a little one, let him come to me.» Then I came, guessing I had found what I was seeking and wanting to know, O my God, what you would do to the little one who would respond to your call, I continued my research and look what I found: «As a mother comforts her child, thus I too will comfort you, I will carry you at my breast and I will dandle you on my knees!» Ah! Never have more tender, more melodious words come to gladden my soul, the elevator which has to elevate me up to Heaven - it is your arms, O Jesus! For this I do not have to grow bigger, on the contrary I have to remain little, to become more and more so.” (St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Story of a Soul, MS C, 2v-3r, OC 237-238)