Ranchi, Jul 10: The inauguration of the new academic year of St Albert’s College, the institute of philosophy and theology Ranchi, was held on Monday, July 10 with fervor and solemnity. The day began with a solemn Eucharistic celebration presided over by Felix Toppo SJ, the Archbishop of Ranchi and the chancellor of St Albert’s College.
Bishop Binay Kandulna the vice-chancellor and a number of priests concelebrated the mass. Archbishop Felix Toppo SJ, in his homily, spoke of the prophetic, kingly and priestly functions of the priests and encouraged the students to put into good use the God-given talents under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. He also urged the staff, students and guests to be prepared for the challenges that the Church is facing these days.
Thereafter, the inaugural ceremony began with the lighting of the lamp and a hymn to the Holy Spirit. Fr Ajay Kumar Xalxo, the rector, welcomed the guests. Fr John Crasta, the president of the College honoured the academic authorities, including Fr Raju Felix Crasta, the director of the Institute of Philosophy and registrar, and thanked them for their selfless service to the College in the academic year 2022-2023. Archbishop Felix Toppo SJ declared the new academic year 2023-2024 open and awarded the degrees and diplomas to the successful students. Bishop Binay Kandulna addressed the staff and students on the occasion. He stressed on the need of hard work, diligence and docility on the part of students. He also asked the students to learn from the lives of saints and holy people, especially the missionaries who sowed the seeds of faith in North India. He counselled the staff to follow Jesus the Teacher, who always accompanied his disciples in every situation.
The culmination of the inaugural ceremony was the Schola Brevis delivered by Professor Dr Kuruvilla Pandikattu SJ. Dr Kuruvilla SJ was the resident faculty of Jnana Deepa Institute of Philosophy and Theology Pune and is now the Chair of Ethics at Xavier Labour Relations Institute (XLRI) Jamshedpur. He dwelt on synodality in the light of the teachings of Pope Francis and contemporary challenges. The speaker explained that we can find God in the cave of our own hearts, in nature and in others. He exhorted the audience to fight for world peace, unity and justice. The inaugural ceremony ended with a sumptuous festive meal.
St Albert’s College Ranchi is the institute of philosophy and theology established in 1914 to cater to the students from North India, especially Jharkhand, Bihar, Odisha and Chhattisgarh. The Congregation for Catholic Education Rome raised the department of theology to the status of Faculty of Theology in 1983. There are 185 students, both philosophy and theology, enrolled for the academic year 2023-2024.