“Holiness as Configuring to the Person of Christ” is the theme for the academic year 2019-2020. As we configure ourselves to the person of Christ, we are transformed into men and women, who will one day act in the person of Christ. In order to achieve this objective, we need good education, which we, at St. Albert’s College, seek to impart. Good education facilitates students to think critically and be creative. Hence, education/ learning is not only about gaining knowledge or securing degrees. Education leads to empowerment; it confers on the seeker the power to think and act freely, especially for the good of the other. At St. Albert’s, we learn in order to understand the mysteries of Christian faith and morals. The hard work of our staff and students in teaching and learning intends to prepare our students to become witnesses to the Gospel values. Eventually, the learning will help our students to find answers to people’s questions, life and struggles.
Holiness, which is an integral aspect of human formation, is one of the ways of renewal offered to the staff and students of St. Albert’s College. Imbibing holiness can mean many things. Most significantly, through an intense prayer life, let us live in constant intimacy with the Trinitarian God. Secondly, human formation has a significant role to play in the life of a seminarian and religious candidate. Along with the spiritual life and studies, other activities like pastoral ministry, social service, manual work and recreational activities should contribute towards the integral formation of the student. One needs to pray, study, serve and socialize with inner freedom; and the sign of inner freedom is that one finds joy and satisfaction in all that one does. Thirdly, besides developing academic and other skills, we need to overcome negativity and inferiority. This helps us to be a positive force in the community/ place, where we study and live.
Finally, from a more realistic and pragmatic viewpoint, the call to priesthood and religious life is an exalted one; but it is also fraught with difficulties and challenges. Scandals and counter-witness have shaken the faith convictions of the people of God. We have shown lack of transparency in the exercise of power and responsibilities. Sexual abuse, especially of minors, needs to be addressed with utmost seriousness and sensitivity. Besides these, more recently, the Church in India, including Jharkhand, has suffered deliberate and vicious attacks from forces that are inimical to peace, harmony, equality and justice. Closer home, the demands of the spiritual and academic formation at times will bring despair, where the goals may seem unfeasible. All these may render us vulnerable to disillusionment and frustration. But we shall not take these as a setback but as the much required driving force and impulse to review our motivation and life-plans. Likewise, this is the opportunity to renew our response to God’s call and rediscover the original zeal so that tomorrow’s priests and religious are consistent with their identity and spirituality. Jesus Christ, the light of hope, will instil in us the belief that something better is always possible. The Lord will fortify our willingness to fight and struggle for a better future. May the compassionate and merciful Lord bless you!