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Inauguration of the New Academic Year at SHTC

By Br. Bivan
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Shillong, Aug. 9. The Academic Session of the Platinum Jubilee Year (2012 - 2013) of Sacred Heart Theological College was solemnly inaugurated on 6th August, 2012 at the new conference hall of the college. The chief guest of the day, Archbishop Dominic Jala expressed his hope that SHTC would continue to be a pathfinder and scale great heights in exploring new horizons in the growth of the Church in North East India. He exhorted the students to contribute to the mission of Jesus by preparing themselves well by pursuing theological studies. He wished that as the college crosses another milestone, many more priests and religious who pass through this formation centre will be effective leaders of the people of God.

Fr. Rector welcomed the gathering during the official inauguration of the Academic Year. He thanked the members of the neighbouring communities for being an integral part of SHTC. Fr. George Maliekal who is also the chairman of the governing board of SHTC in his message stressed the need to build our lives on the knowledge acquired through theologizing.

The keynote address was delivered by Dr. Glen C. Kharkongor, the Vice Chancellor of the Martin Luther Christian University (MLCU), Shillong. He elaborated on the positive and negative aspects of tribal culture and society. He pointed out also the intricate challenges that we could face in our mission while working with the tribals. He congratulated the college and the faculty members for the work done in the region.

Fr. Barnes Mawrie, the new president of SHTC presented the annual report of the college. He said that the presentation of the report was an opportunity for all to learn from the past and to perform better in the coming academic year. On this occasion a book entitled ''Grace and Competence in Pastoral Ministry: Essays to Mark the Platinum Jubilee of Sacred Heart Theological College, Shillong (1938 - 2013)'' was released by Archbishop Jala. Fr. Varghese Palatty, the vice-president of the college proposed a vote of thanks.

The inauguration Ceremony included also a solemn Eucharist presided over by Archbishop Dominic Jala. In his sermon,  the Archbishop asked the congregation to be mindful also of the ongoing violence in the neighbouring state of Assam and how we ought to respond as followers of Christ to this sad situation.

The inauguration of the academic year was graced by Fr. George Maliekal, Provincial of Silchar, Fr. Vattathara Thomas of Guwahati, Fr. Michael Peedikayil of Delhi, Fr. Thomas Ellicherail of Kolkata, Fr. Nestor Guria of Dimapur, Fr. V T Jose, the Rector of SHTC, staff members of the college, priests and religious from the neighbouring communities and all the students of the college.
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