On October 5, professors, students and collaborators of the Studium Biblicum Franciscanum of Jerusalem and the Studium Theologicum Jerosolimitanum gathered at St. Savior's Church, headquarters of the Custody of the Holy Land in Jerusalem, for the Solemn Celebration on the occasion of the opening of the Academic Year 2021-2022.
The Holy Mass was presided by Br Frèdèric Manns, distinguished professor who still collaborates at the Studium Biblicum Franciscanum.
In his homily, Br Manns underlined the importance of studying the Bible, the Word of God which is life, and recalled the message of St Francis to St Anthony.
He said, "St. Francis, in his great intuition based on the return to the essentiality of the Gospel as a real reform of the church, responds to the request of some of his brothers who are eager to study evangelical theology to better understand the Scripture. St. Francis writes to Anthony. You can study on condition that you do not extinguish the spirit of holy prayer. One studies and prays. One studies while kneeling. Sacred Scripture is not like classical literature, but it is the Word of God that has been transmitted to us through the centuries and, therefore, there is a need to have great veneration for the Sacred Word."
He added, "Today's world cannot move forward unless it finds values. And the most important values are in Holy Scripture. Holy Scripture is the true daily manna."
Brother Rosario, Dean of SBF, spoke about the grace of receiving students from all over the world.
Br Rosario Pierri,ofm ,Dean- Studium Biblicum Franciscanum, said, "This is a special year because we were finally able to resume face-to-face classes. This is important for the students but also for the teachers because they can follow each student personally. We have had the pleasure of having students from all over the world this year as well, even if they are few in number. The new students come from South America, Africa, some from the Far East and Europe. All the conditions are in place for the year to run smoothly and to resume classes as they did before the pandemic. We have a method, a rich program of activities and conferences. We will see how things go and we will certainly have to follow the instructions of the local authorities."
He added, "We have been able to experience that there are limitations to having lessons via the web, however, it can be taught. Students can learn. There is more autonomy, it is necessary to have some imagination in the study, but it is possible to communicate. The situation made us understand the potential of these means of communication."