The 2022 Commencement Exercises Take Place at the ITI

On 11 June 2022, the Commencement Ceremony took place at the ITI. This year twenty three graduating students fulfilled the academic requirements of the ITI study programs and had one of the following degrees conferred on them: Licentiate in Sacred Theology, Master of Sacred Theology, Master of Studies on Marriage and the Family, and Bachelor in Liberal Arts. Nine additional ITI students were awarded with a Studium Generale certificate from their one-year program.

The guest of honor for this year’s ceremony was Archbishop Dr. Pedro Lopez Quintana, the Apostolic Nuncio to Austria. By the power of his office, Dr. Quintana conveyed congratulations and blessings to our graduates from His Holiness Pope Francis.

His Excellency presided over the Graduation Mass at the parish church of Trumau on the feast of St. Barnabas the Apostle, who, together with Saint Paul, undertook missionary journeys and converted Gentiles to Christianity. It was very symbolic, as this is precisely what the graduates of the ITI are called to do: namely, to proclaim the Gospel of God as they embark on a new journey in their lives, leaving the ITI and going out into the world.

In his homily, His Excellency presented Saint Barnabas as a model for our graduates. In our time, he said, many theologians are failing to go deeper in order to understand the Mysteries of Christ, His doctrines, in order to convert the world to the Gospel of the Lord. But there are many theologians, he continued, that do precisely the opposite. They try to convert the Gospel to the world, they try to adapt the Gospel and manipulate it by adjusting it to the desires and values of the modern world. The Nuncio encouraged graduates to remain faithful to Christ, who is the center of the interpretation of the Word of God and the center of Christian life. He asked them to follow Christ’s teaching, as St. Barnabas did, despite any hatred or discomfort this might cause.

The Commencement Exercises continued in the festive hall of the Schloss Trumau. The ITI Grand Chancellor, His Eminence Christoph Cardinal Schönborn, handed over academic degrees to the graduates. Ms. Dora Goda, the Class of 2022’s chosen Class Speaker, delivered her address on behalf of all the graduates under the title “Whether ITI graduates are destined to fail?” and the ITI Rector, Dr. Christiaan Alting von Geusau, concluded the ceremony with a farewell speech to the graduates entitled “Rediscovering the meaning of freedom.” The atmosphere of the celebration was enhanced by the beautiful singing of the ITI student choir and followed by a lunch at the Heurigen Scheibenreif. You can watch the Graduation Ceremony 2022 here.