Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Opening of the Academic Year 2012-2013

On Monday 15 October 2012 on the Memorial of the first woman Doctor of the Church , St. Theresa of Avila, the new rector of the Angelicum,  Fr. Constanzo Adam OP, officially inaugurated the 2012-13 academic year with a votive  Mass of the Holy Spirit in the University Chapel. "We begin our new academic year 2012-2013 invoking the Holy Spirit," he stated during his homily in both Italian and English to a full church.

Fr. Adam pointed out to the academic authorities, professors, staff and students gathered for the Eucharistic celebration that the new academic year begins precisely on the Year of Faith initiated  by Benedict XVI only four days before. "One of the main objectives of the Year of Faith is to promote a renewed conversion to our Lord Jesus Christ, until all men and women become credible and joyful witnesses to the Risen Lord," he added.  He challenged both professors and students to become "doors of faith" (portas fidei) to everyone they meet.  Recalling the II Vatican Ecumenical Council , whose 50th anniversary is also being celebrated this month, he reminded those teaching and studying theology that they are especially called "to contribute to the deepening of reveled truth so that it may become easily understood and communicated to all people."  Likewise, the professors and students of other disciplines "are expected to be filled with a strong passion for the truth and a true service to the evangelizing mission of the Church." He thus called to mind the theme of the General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops that the Holy Father convoked for October on “The New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith” where two Angelicum alumni, Cardinal Dolan and Cardinal Wuerl, are participating -the latter as the Synod's Relator-General.

The Rector also highlighted that on 7 March 1963 Blessed John XXIII visited the Athenaeum Angelicum elevating  it to the rank of a Pontifical University through the "Motu Proprio" Dominicanus Ordo.  He then surprised those present by announcing that he wished to celebrate the 50th anniversary of that great event by inviting Benedict XVI  to the festivities at the University.

He concluded by honoring the Saint of the Day, St. Theresa of Avila, by stating that in spite of the fact that she was a Carmelite nun, she had as confessors and spiritual directors, Dominican fathers and professors from the famous Dominican University of Salamanca. "I don't think that it will be an exaggeration to say that in her heart of hearts Theresa was a Dominican!"