Cardinal Oswald flags off the Academic Year at St Pius
‘All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them’ Acts 2:4. So to the Staff and Seminarians were enabled by the Spirit during the Mass of the Holy Spirit, celebrated by Cardinal Oswald Gracias on 8th July in the Seminary Chapel, marking the official beginning of the academic year.
In his homily, Cardinal Gracias stressed upon the power of the Holy Spirit, which has been bestowed on us during the celebration of the sacrament of Confirmation. Each of us in our spiritual journey in the Seminary needs to be refilled with the Holy Spirit and to be led into the world for our ministry. He urged the community to pray intensely to the Holy Spirit for the success of this academic year.
The important part during the Eucharist was the solemn Profession of Faith and oath of fidelity taken by the staff, led by the Rector Fr. Aniceto Pereira. After the Post Communion prayer, the house prefect and the students pledged their own faithfulness to the Lord during this the academic year.
It was indeed a privilege to have his Eminence also for the Lectio Brevis that followed the Eucharist. His Eminence was warmly introduced by the Dean of Philosophy, Fr. Dolreich Pereira. Cardinal Gracias had a lot to share about the challenges faced by the universal Church. He cautioned everyone to be morally sound and prudent in our contact with the people during our ministry, particularly in the light of the crisis of abuse in the church. He was also of the opinion that, with the grace of God, the Church will be resilient in emerging from this crisis.
Preaching the gospel is the current priority in the church and so, His Eminence exhorted us to develop the love for the gospel and to be committed to our preaching ministry. He shared with us that the new document being prepared by the Holy Father for restructuring the Roman Curia, Praedicate Evangelium, has given prime importance to evangelization as well as works of mercy. Each of us should have this “Francis effect”, which is mercy and compassion. By following this, we can be good missionary disciples for the church. He also highlighted the importance of youth and women in our church today. The church has to ensure that they are all included in its life.
The Cardinal appreciated the seminary for its endeavor in forming Seminarians and joyfully announced that October 2019 to 2020 will mark the diamond jubilee of the Seminary, inaugurated on 5th October 1960.
Bro. Denvel Nunes finally proposed a formal vote of thanks and assured his Eminence of our prayers and support for the church and for him.
In the evening, the community had a very pleasant time welcoming the newcomers to our Pius family. This year, we are happy to have 23 newcomers from various dioceses who have joined us at various stages of Seminary formation. We are also privileged to welcome three new staff members to our community. Various items were organized by the cultural department of the seminary to help newcomers to showcase their talents and make the evening joyful. The programme ended with a festive dinner!