Rector’s Assignments for Students This Academic Year

A new academic year at the ITI was solemnly opened with the Matriculation Ceremony at Allan and Radwan Riley Hall. As is tradition at the ITI at the beginning of an academic year, all the faculty members proclaimed the Oath of Fidelity. They promised to always remain faithful to the authentic Magisterium of the Catholic Church and the Roman Pontiff. Thirty-three young men and women, who replenished the ranks of the ITI student body this fall, inscribed their names in the ITI Matriculation Book. By doing so, they took upon themselves the duties and obligations of academic, liturgical, and common life at the ITI.

ITI Rector and President, Dr. Christiaan Alting von Geusau, welcomed the festive assembly, especially the new students and their families, to the ITI. In his speech, he pointed out that we live in extraordinary times and as Christians, we are called to engage in the world each of us according to our own possibilities and vocation. The ITI, said the Rector, is a place where students are prepared for this mission, where they get ready to face the challenges of the world and make a difference in it. To be able to do so, students have to learn three lessons, which they can learn by accomplishing the three-part homework assignment he gave them for this academic year.

Dr. Geusau built his address on three quotations of great modern thinkers, Dag Hammarskjöld, Romano Guardini, and Karl Heinrich Waggerl, who speak respectively of freedom of mind, education of conscience, and humility and charity of heart.

Freedom of mind: This is what studying at the ITI is about, the Rector said. Our professors are here to help students free their minds from certain opinions that the modern world imposes on us or, in contrary, forbids us to think. Here at the ITI, we focus on the seminar method. We read the texts of the great masters together and try to understand their messages for us, which in fact are as relevant today as they were some two or three thousand years ago. Studying at the ITI is not about our opinions, but rather about opening our minds to discovering the truth. It is about the liberty of our minds.

Education of conscience: We can only stay straight in this world, the Rector continued in his speech, when we have a conscience that is continuously formed and educated, that is deeply rooted in relationship with God. We are here to form our conscience and build our relationship with God. It is a great privilege to have the daily opportunity to go to Holy Mass, Divine Liturgy, confession, and adoration, and to pray the rosary. The ITI offers all of these opportunities and it is up to us to choose to make use of them. Living at the ITI is about working on our conscience, building and educating it.

Humility and charity of heart: In his third point, Dr. Geusau warned students against falling into theological arrogance. He says that no matter how much wisdom we have acquired, if our hearts are not rooted in Christ and thus in humility and in charity, then all that wisdom is for nothing. If we are not capable of encountering the other, all our studying is useless. If our hearts are not directed to Christ, then we cannot do much good in the world. This is what the ITI is about. Here we come to understand God’s love for us more deeply.