Thursday, 7 February 2013

36th Convocation of DVK 30 January 2013: Welcome Address

DHARMARAM VIDYA KSHETRAM Pontifical Athenaeum of Philosophy, Theology, and Canon Law Bangalore 560029, India 36th CONVOCATION Presided over by His Eminence Zenon Cardinal Grocholewski, Prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education, Vatican Welcome Address by the President of the Pontifical Athenaeum Your Eminence Zenon Cardinal Grocholewski, Prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education, who presides over the 36th Convocation of Dharmaram Vidya Kshetram and delivers the Convocation Address, Rev. Fr. Jose Panthaplamthottiyil CMI, our beloved Prior General and the Vice Chancellor of DVK, Rev. Dr. George Thanchan CMI, our Vicar General, Rev. Prof. Dr. Thomas Aykara CMI, Rector of Dharmaram College, Rev. Msgr. Dr. Friedrich Bechina, Official of the Congregation for Catholic Education, Rev. Prof. Dr. Thomas Kollamparampil CMI, Dean, Faculty of Theology, Rev. Dr. Jose Nandhikkara CMI, Dean, Faculty of Philosophy, Rev. Dr. Sebastian Payyappilly CMI, Director, Institute of Oriental Canon Law, Rev. Dr. Joy Philip Kakkanatt CMI, Director of the Vinayasadhana Institute of Formative Spirituality and Counselling, Rev. Dr. Shaji George Kochuthara CMI, Registrar, Rev. Dr. Jojo Parecattil CMI, Controller of Examinations and other officials of DVK, Former Presidents of DVK, Rev. Rectors, Superiors, and Deans of Studies of Samanvaya Theological College and Darsana Institute of Philosophy, our Extension Centres, and other affiliated colleges, honourable members of the Senate, Rev. Superiors and Rectors of the Campus Religious and priestly formation houses, the Vice Chancellor of CU and principals of various educational institutions on the Campus, Respected members of the Staff, Candidates for various degrees, Distinguished guests, well-wishers, benefactors, and friends of Dharmaram Vidya Kshetram, ladies and gentlemen, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI has declared 2012-2013 as the Year of Faith, which coincides with the golden jubilee celebrations of the opening of the Second Vatican Council. This is a moment of grace for the whole Church and a moment of self-examination or introspection to all members of the Church as to know to what extent we have succeeded in crystallizing the spirit of aggiornamento that was brought about by the initiatives of Pope John XXIII and Pope Paul VI. If the Second Vatican Council could turn out to be a sure compass for our present century, as Pope John Paul II had affirmed, it is up to each one of us to rekindle and reenergize our sources of faith, by bringing them to creative but faithful theological and philosophical deliberations in view of transforming the Christian life lived in the vicissitudes of the twenty-first century, on the one hand, and to make our faith in Jesus Christ have its true bearing on every aspect of our daily living, on the other, by infusing and enhancing our perspectives on life and reality by the person and values of Jesus Christ himself. This is a great challenge that each institution of ecclesiastical higher learning and research has to address, and Dharmaram Vidya Kshetram has taken upon herself the sacred duty of seriously deliberating upon the documents of the Second Vatican Council documents for the next three to five years, thus making an earnest attempt to empower the faith foundations of both her staff and students, and all those whom she reaches out through various portals of her academic programmes in ecclesiastical sciences. Hence, this 36th Convocation of Dharmaram Vidya Kshetram, taking place during the Year of Faith, has a very important significance for all of us at DVK. In this context, the presence of His Eminence Zenon Cardinal Grocholewski, the Prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education, adds to our joy and contributes further towards making this moment more graceful and fruitful. Born on 11 October 1939 in Poland, His Eminence was ordained to priesthood on 27 May 1963. After a brief period of three years’ service at Christ the Redeemer Parish in Pozna, he worked towards his doctoral degree in Canon Law at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. From 1972 to 1999 he worked at the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura as notary, chancellor, Secretary and Prefect. During this time he was one of the seven members of the commission that studied the draft of the 1983 Code of Canon Law with the Pope, and he taught canon law at the Gregorian and Lateran Universities and the Studio Rotale. He was appointed titular Bishop of Acropolis on 21 December 1982 and consecrated on 6 January 1983. He was promoted to Archbishop on 16 December 1991. On 15 November 1999 he was appointed Prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education. In this capacity, he is presently also the Grand Chancellor of the Pontifical Gregorian University. On 21 February 2001, His Eminence was proclaimed a Cardinal by Pope John Paul II. Along with these serious and burdensome responsibilities that His Eminence is entrusted with, he is also a Curial Member of the Congregations of Doctrine of Faith, of Bishops, Divine Worship and Discipline of Sacraments, Evangelization of Peoples, Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, and the Special Council for Oceania of the Secretariat General of the Synod of Bishops. His Eminence taught at the Faculty of Canon Law of the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome (1975-1999), and at the Faculty of Canon Law of the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome (1980-1984). He also gave lectures on Administrative Justice at the Studio Rotale of the Roman Rota (1986-1998). Being an author of numerous publications in different languages, His Eminence has been frequently invited to speak and to give talks at national and international conferences and conventions, held in various countries around the world. He is also connected with a number of Canon Law associations, and with the editorial boards of some academic reviews and journals. Among the many honours received by His Eminence are: 18 honorary Doctorates; the Grand Medal of San Gorazdo of the Ministry of Education of Slovakia (2000); the Grand Cross of the Order of Merit (Chile) (2003); the Grand Cross of Merit with Star and Sash of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany (2005); the Commander’s Cross with Star of the Order of Polonia Restituta (2009); and the Commander of the Order of Academic Palms (l’Ordre des Palmes académiques) of the Ministry of Education of the Republic of France (2009). Given all these facts and recognitions that His Eminence has been bestowed with, it is an honour for all of us to have the august and enriching presence of His Eminence Zenon Cardinal Grocholewski to preside over this 36th Convocation Ceremony of Dharmaram Vidya Kshetram and to deliver the Convocation Address. In the office of the Prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education, His Eminence takes personal care to make arrangements for the growth and excellence of the education imparted at our Athenaeum. This very first visit of His Eminence to take part in today’s Convocation Ceremony and the international conference that we would inaugurate tomorrow indicates his personal interest in the welfare of our DVK. Hence, in the name of Rev. Fr. Jose Panthaplamthottiyil, our Prior General and Vice Chancellor and the entire academic fraternity of Dharmaram Vidya Kshetram, and all those who have gathered here for this 36th Convocation Ceremony, Your Eminence, may I extend to you a very cordial and warm welcome! Today we are doubly privileged to have the presence of Rev. Fr. Jose Panthaplamthottiyil CMI, the Prior General of the CMI Congregation and the Vice Chancellor of Dharmaram Vidya Kshetram. As the Prior General, he is an efficient administrator and animator of religious life, with a very clear focus on religious values; he is a person with a wonderful sense of compassion for the poor. He is a well-known orator and writer. He secured his M.A. in Government and International studies from the University of Notre Dame, and an M.S. in Journalism from the University of Illinois, and has carried out research in Mass Communications from 1994-1998 in Marquette University, Milwaukee, USA. He served as the Chief Editor of Deepika, the first Malayalam daily newspaper and allied publications for many years. In the capacity of the Vice Chancellor, Rev. Fr. Prior General accompanies DVK in every possible way, and he keenly follows the developments and gives us proper directions and support. On this auspicious day of Convocation, and specifically to this Convocation Ceremony, may I extend to you Rev. Fr. Prior General, a very cordial and warm welcome! His Eminence Zenon Cardinal Grocholewski is accompanied by Rev. Msgr. Dr. Friedrich Bechina. He is a key official of the Congregation for Catholic Education, especially for his involvement in the international activities in the area of higher education. He was awarded the "Bellarmino Award" for his PhD in “The Church as the Family of God” at the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, in 1997. He is the elected member of the Bureau of the Steering Committee for Higher Education and Research (CDESR) at the Council of Europe. He is a former elected member of the Bologna Process Follow Up Group. Rev. Fr. Bechina is closely associated with the various affairs of DVK, especially in leading it to its further heights. His positive approach and appreciation for what DVK could attain so far instils in us a lot of confidence. May I extend to Your Reverence Msgr. Dr. Friedrich Bechina a most cordial and warm welcome! Rev. Prof. Dr. Thomas Aykara CMI is the Rector of Dharmaram College and he is the head of all institutions that are the constituent units of Dharmaram. Earlier he was the Professor of Philosophy and in the capacity of the President of DVK, he animated and led DVK academic community to greater heights of academic excellence. Now, having returned to Dharmaram as its Rector, he takes very special care of DVK and offers us his valuable support and encouragement to lead our Athenaeum in its development. Reverend and dear Fr. Rector, please accept our very cordial and warm welcome to this 36th Convocation of DVK! It is a matter of joy and appreciation that all my predecessors in the office of the President, except Rev. Fr. Mathias Mundadan, who passed during this academic year and Rev. Fr. Thomas Kadankavil, are present here with us. I see their presence as a great source of support and continuity for DVK, especially as they show great interest in the academic growth of our Athenaeum, which they cherished and to which they contributed their best. With a grateful heart, may I extend a very cordial and warm welcome to Rev. Prof. Dr. Joseph Pathrapankal, Rev. Prof. Dr. Francis Vineeth Vadakethala, Rev. Prof. Dr. Thomas Aykara, Rev. Prof. Dr. Sebastian Athappilly, Rev. Prof. Dr. Kuncheria Pathil, Rev. Prof. Dr. Thomas Kollamparampil and Rev. Prof. Dr. Francis Thonippara. Hearty welcome, dear Fathers! The academic heads and office bearers of DVK are ready to go an extra mile when it comes to the goal of excellence in ecclesiastical sciences. Hence, their services are invaluable and I am glad to note that they contribute generously to the management of the day to day academic and administrative affairs. From this point of view, I would like to thank all of them and specially welcome Rev. Prof. Dr. Thomas Kollamparampil, the Dean of the Faculty of Theology, Rev. Dr. Jose Nandhikkara, the Dean of the Faculty of Philosophy, Rev. Dr. Sebastian Payyappilly, the Director of the Institute of Oriental Canon Law, Rev. Dr. Joy Philip Kakkanattu, the Director of Vinayasadhana Institute of Formative Spirituality and Counselling, Rev. Dr. Shaji George Kochuthara, Registrar, Rev. Dr. Jojo Parecattil, the Controller of Examinations, Rev. Fr. Davis Panadan, the Finance Administrator, Rev. Fr. John Neelankavil, the Librarian. A very cordial welcome to you, reverend and dear Fathers! In a very special way, may I also extend a very warm welcome to the Rectors, Deans of Studies of various Extension Centres – Darsana and Samanvaya, in India, and CIIS in Rome, and Affiliated Institutes such as Vidyadeep College of Theology, Carmelaram Theological College, and De Paul Institute of Philosophy and Religion. The presence and support of the Superiors and Rectors of various campus houses remain a great source of strength to us here at DVK, as they collaborate with us in fulfilling the mission entrusted to us at DVK. May I accord to you all Reverences a very warm welcome. I also recognize the presence of the honourable members of the Senate of Dharmaram Vidya Kshetram and accord to them a very cordial welcome. DVK is crafted into its present shape and quality by the selfless and committed contributions made by her staff members. They all work tirelessly, without expecting anything in return, but with the sole intend of moulding our students into excellent pastors and wonderful human beings by emphasizing on their intellectual, spiritual and pastoral formation. On this day of joy, as our students graduate, it is a matter of pride for every professor at DVK. As they have significantly contributed in preparing the graduandi of this convocation ceremony, I think that it is proper and opportune that I extend a very cordial and warm welcome to the members of the staff of DVK: a hearty welcome to all the teaching staff, both the residential and the visiting staff! The graduandi of this 36th Convocation of Dharmaram Vidya Kshetram: you are the central focus of the day. It is a day of reaching the pinnacle in the process of your formation and research. You have worked hard to complete your course and to come to the present status that you have already attained. DVK has been accompanying you, moulding you with all her resources. Today, therefore, when you all come back to your Alma mater, it is an occasion of great joy for all of us both your teachers and your fellow students. For all of us it is a moment of pride that you have made it: now, as you are bidding farewell to DVK, may I ask everyone of you to become the light of the world by becoming the channels of God’s grace, by becoming the other Christs, alter Christus, and living your faith in Jesus Christ with utmost care. It shall be your good life, your clear teachings of the principles that are enshrined in the Gospels, that shall earn you greater credits on your further sojourn. Today, as we have gathered together, I accord to you a very cordial and warm welcome and pray for God’s abundant blessings upon all of you. Then, finally, my dear students of DVK: you make DVK; in fact, the entire infrastructure and everything at DVK exist for you. Today’s ceremonies will remind you of the milestones that each one of you has to attain in the process of your academic pursuit as part of your vocation. Hence, it is also meaningful that you all participate in this Convocation with attention and diligence. May I therefore extend to you a cordial welcome! Once again, extending a warm welcome to everyone, may I remain. Saju Chackalackal CMI President, DVK

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