Saturday, March 28, 2009

43rd Graduation Rites at Divine Word Seminary

The graduates in their academic gowns,
at the altar are members of the faculty

This morning, in a long but memorable ceremony which started at 8:30am and ended at quarter past 1 in the afternoon, 91 students received their diplomas and certificates from Divine Word Seminary. 73 of these are seminarians studying for the priesthood and 18 are lay people including religious brothers and sisters. These lay students are the first graduates of the Certificate in Theological Studies (CTS) established two years ago. Click for more info on this program.
First graduates of CTS:
front row from left- Edwin, Ms. Rosales, Luz, Louie, Art,
Baby, Juliene, Bing, Romy, Fe, Sr. Paeng and Mario
back from left: Zoilo, Bro Gerard, Jan, and Ronnie
not in the picture--Bro. Roland and Sr. Verna

Of the 73 seminarian-graduates, 43 received their diplomas in AB Theology--after a two-year course of theological studies while 30 received theirs in the Four-Year Ecclesiastical Theology course.

Since the seminary is an affiliate of Pontifical Urbaniana University in Rome, 15 students also received their Baccalaureate in Sacred Theology (STB) diplomas. Graduates of this course can enroll for advanced studies in any pontifical university in the world without going through further requirements like Hebrew and Greek.

26 seminarians and 1 lay student also received their MA in Pastoral Ministry which is accredited by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED).

Bishop Chito Tagle who teaches Theology of the Priesthood here presided at the baccalaureate mass. Fr. Fred Saniel, SVD, the rector of the seminary gave and who handles the Spirituality courses gave an "exciting" opening remarks at the graduation ceremonies. After he highlighted the two "firsts" in this graduation--first CTS graduates and first time to wear academic gowns (togas)--the rector spoke of the 43rd graduation rites on the 1oo years of the SVD in the Philippines in which Divine Word Seminary has produced around 1,200 graduates--now missionaries, priests, bishops, and lay--since its establishment in 1964. On this occasion, he also announced publicly the opening of the Mission Institute which will offer, beginning next school year, a licentiate and/or MA in Missiology.

The keynote speaker was the Provincial of the SVD Central province, Fr. Nielo Cantilado, SVD who narrated his journey to leadership in the Society in a way to inspire these young men and the lay to prepare themselves in this particular ministry.
The provincial, Fr. Nielo handing out certificates;
at the back--the rector, Fr. Fred
and Systematic Theology professor Fr. Ding Fabiosa, SVD (partly hidden)

The valedictorian of this year is Fr. Aris Martin, SVD who is the Summa cum Laude of the fourth year Theology class who also delivered the "Valedicere" speech. Fr. Aris was ordained priest last December while finishing his theology course, teaches Philosophy at Christ the King Seminary, and goes for pastoral work to the Sacred Heart Parish in Kamuning, Quezon City. He will also be joining the faculty of the CTS and will teach Christology.

Over-all director of the graduation rites was the Dean of Studies, Fr. Alex MuaƱa, SVD who holds a Licentiate in Theology (Missiology) from the Pontifical Gregoriana University

Divine Word Sminary boasts of 28 members of the faculty consisting of 16 with doctoral degrees and 12 with either Licentiate or MA. Students come from different houses of formation and convents (= 16) which include SVD, OSJ, OFMCap, Amigonians, Barnabites, Eudists, Somascans, TMP of the Diocese of Imus, Saint Augustine Major Seminary (SASMA), Missionary Society of the Philippines (MSP), Salvatorians, San Pablo (Laguna) Diocese, Hospitaller brothers, sisters of FMIJ, RVM, and Workers of Christ the Worker.
Sr. Miriam Alejandrino, OSB, a biblical exegete--
teaches Prophetic Literature and Biblical Hebrew
at her back is CTS graduate Juliene Batayo

Fr. Danny Tiong of the Diocese of Imus and professor of Moral Theology
directs the graduates to the Procession


arnoldbiagosvd said...

congratulations to Divine Word Seminary! congratulations to the Faculty and staff!

Randolf C. Flores, SVD said...

Thanks Arnold. Mabuhay ang mga misyonero sa Congo! Tumagal nawa kayo dyan. Amen.