Graduates 2015: SVST Thanksgiving
Graduations in SVST are not called “graduations” but “thanksgiving” where students thank God and the whole academic community as they pass on to the next stage of their differing vocations – seminarians, sisters, lay brothers and lay people. Last school year’s Day of Thanksgiving was held at the Santuario de San Vicente de Paul on March 28, 2015. The Eucharistic Celebration was presided by Fr. Gregorio Bañaga, C.M., President of Adamson University. Among those who graduated were 9 seminarians from different dioceses in the country with a diploma on the Curriculum for the Ordained Ministry that qualifies them for priestly ordination. They were also graduates of Master in Pastoral Ministry. Ten students graduated from Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and fourteen others got the Diploma on Philosophy for Theological Studies. There were thirty two lay people who finished the diploma course on Hapág-Layko.
But the highlight of this school year’s event was the graduation of ten lay people from the course on Master in Pastoral Ministry. It is not easy for lay people to study theology. First, theological studies have always been perceived as a restricted field for the religious and clergy. Second, the demands of a masteral course require a full-time work; it is not for those who do full-time employment. Third, masteral courses have always been the domain by people from the academe. Thus, ordinary lay people who come from grassroots communities or organizing practitioners, or who spend their time in an 8 to 5 job, need to overcome these double or triple hurdles in order to be able to survive serious theological studies. But they did! SVST is so proud of what they have accomplished. Now, they are back to their own communities doing the work for the Kingdom in their new calling as theologians among the margins.
SVST also expressed its gratitude and bade farewell to Rex Fortes, C.M. who was at the helm as Dean for the academic year 2014-2015. He was sent for graduate studies at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium.