Monday, 29 June, 2015

First Ecclesial Visit in a Nutshell

As many as 38 saplings of the United Theological College garden kicked off their first ecclesial journey in style on June 28, 2015 to St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral in the heart of Bengaluru city. With full enthusiasm we walked to the Cathedral which is close by and we got a warm welcome by the authorities as well.

We got the first hand information on the tradition of the catholic churches and also it made easy for us to differentiate the tradition of ours. Though we worship the same Lord everywhere, the way of worship and concept of Order of Service differ.

Putting incense around the Altar was new to most of us. During the Service people maintained the sanctity of worship. Another feature of the Catholic tradition is that the deacon with the permission and blessings of the chief priest read the Gospel passage and delivered the sermon. Interestingly, before reading the Gospel passage the deacon offered incense to the Holy Bible.

Only after going to this Cathedral we realized that this Sunday was the 13th Sunday of this year and they were very particular about this. The sermon was based on Mark 5:21-43. This passage talks about mainly on ‘simple faith’ which was apt for the theological students like us.

One more thing we noticed is that the diocese of Karnataka has circulated the passage and required material for the service. A pamphlet which was in circulation suggests us that the diocese decides the subject for every week and circulates the same across the state. So whichever part of the state you go you will hear the same sermon on that particular day.

Monday, 22 June, 2015

Bishop Dr. Mar Aphrem preaches in the UTC chapel

Bishop Dr. Mar Aphrem of the Assyrian Church of the East (The Chaldean Church) preached in the Tagore Hall for the Sunday evening worship yesterday. He was accompanied by Bishop Awgen Mar Kuriakose. The bishop is an alumnus of UTC who studied here way back in 1966. The worship was a home coming for the bishop.

Bishop Aphrem has published more than 70 books in various languages and he is a scholar in the field of History of Christianity. His series of books on humour in the church are very popular and have been reprinted several times.

Bishop Mar Aphrem preached about the need and importance of ecumenism, knowing and practicing new trends in theology, learning from each other, being sensitive to what God has created and doing our part for creation and the environment as important things we should do. He emphasized on cultural and geographical challenges within Christianity and said we have to overcome them.

The bishop along with Bishop Awgen Kuriakose were honoured by the principal.

Monday, 8 June, 2015

College reopens

The college reopened after the summer vacation with principal's tea and worship yesterday. The continuing graduate, post graduate and research students along with the new students got together in front of the ERC and later in the Tagore Hall. The new students were introduced along with the faculty members and administrative staff. Deans of graduate and post graduate sections made announcements for the year and the worship theme was also introduced.

In the worship that followed, the principal Rev. Dr. John Samuel Raj dwelt on theological education and the need to work in unity for the progress of the college. The Registrar Rev. Lalawmpuia Hauhnar assisted in the worship along with student representatives.