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OFFICIAL INAUGURATION OF THE ACADEMIC YEAR AT SJV SEMINARY
Finally we are back in full swing in our Seminary life here at Saint John Vianney (SJV). The Students returned to the Seminary on the 30th of January and they embarked on their various retreats in different retreat centres around Gauteng and Limpopo. The Formation staff accompanied the students in prayer with their own retreat as well. Following the retreat were two days of orientation. On Monday 09 February, we had the orientation for all the students with Tuesday specifically reserved for the orientation of the new students. Wednesday 11th of Feb was a very important day as we had the official opening ceremony for the year 2015.
The opening liturgical celebration was presided by His Excellency Archbishop William Slattery of Pretoria who was joined by the whole Seminary staff, religious communities from around Pretoria and of course our esteemed external lecturers. This celebration included the “Rite of admission to the Candidacy for Holy orders” for Theology I. In his homily, the Archbishop emphasised the need for those who are called to the priesthood to serve the Lord with their hearts, not only with hands and mind. He continued to urge the new candidates to make theological studies alive in their lives emphasising the need for the students to dedicate themselves to silent reflection, prayer, rosary, adoration and to the formation programme itself. He went on to warn them against the excessive use of social networks, encouraging them to dedicate themselves to reading the lives of the saints and other theological materials. Furthermore, the Archbishop entrusted them to the good counsel and example of Mary the Mother of God.
Of course, as a father, the Archbishop had concerns especially on the abuse of alcohol in the society which may affect the students as well. On that note he asked the students to find other creative ways to enjoy and find joy in their lives other than the abuse of alcohol. On the whole, he expressed his joy and gratitude on the presence of a large number of young men who wish to dedicate their lives to the ecclesiastical ministry. His gratitude extended not only to the students but to their parents and other people who assist them in their vocation. The whole celebration was concluded by a fraternal meal.
We wish all our students, residential staff, academic staff and all who help the seminary a blessed and fruitful year.