Nagpur: The St. Thomas Orthodox Theological Seminary, Kalmeshwar, Nagpur celebrated two major events and milestones on Thursday which was attended by well-wishers and dignitaries from all parts of the country. The Seminary is the outside Kerala theological centre of the almost 2000 year old Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church founded by St. Thomas, one of the apostles of Jesus Christ, which has a following of about 25 lakh people across the world. Photo Gallery
The first event marked the inauguration of yet another milestone in the development of the Seminary: a modern, multi-facility Upasana Centre that will be a convention-cum-residential facility. The second was the 3rd Convocation of the Seminary that was started in 1995. The morning saw the Holy Qurbana that was celebrated by His Holiness. Six Metropolitans of the Orthodox Church were also in attendance besides scores of priests and deacons.
His Holiness while delivering the Presidential address at the Convocation said, “Theology will not reap its full fruits if it fails to locate itself in a place and in a context. How can we therefore make theology more relevant to our Context, Community, Nation and to our Personal Lives? That’s the real challenge for a theological institution, its faculty and students.” He went on to illustrate that the country as a whole was at a crossroads on the socio-economic and political fronts. The real solution lies in religious harmony and uplifting the downtrodden in the country. He also alluded to his recent visit to Vatican where he spent considerable time with His Holiness Pope Francis where he highlighted the need for Christian unity and ecumenical brotherhood.
Rev. Dr. Santanu K. Patro, the Registrar of the Senate of Serampore, in his elegant Convocation address dwelled on the theme of Freedom. He posited the three way agenda to freedom: freedom from personal sin, freedom to help others and freedom not to yield to evil. He concluded by exhorting the young graduates of the last four batches of the seminary, “The future of freedom is entrusted to you. There is no alternative to freedom. There is no better choice than this. Take your vocation and call seriously.”
Rev. Fr. Dr. Bijesh Philip, the Principal of the Seminary beautifully alluded to Kalmeswar’s famous orange yards and the vocation of priests, “This part of Nagpur called Kalmeshwar is famous for its Orange yards and nurseries. Oranges from the Kalmeshwar Orange market are taken to various parts of India. Fruit plants and flower plants are also taken from the nurseries around the seminary to different places to be planted there. The seminary is also a nursery from where the graduates are sent to different parts of the world to bear much fruit by abiding in Christ.