After having returned home from a summer full of missions, oratories, Spiritual Exercises, studies, vacations, and countless other apostolates and activities, the priests and seminarians of the Province of the Immaculate Conception of the Institute of the Incarnate Word (IVE) convened once again at the Venerable Fulton Sheen House of Formation to usher in the beginning of a new academic year.
Two special events marked the occasion. The first occurred on September 8, 2015, to coincide with the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Mother. That afternoon, the community members gathered together outside the seminary rectory for the annual blessing of the houses and classrooms. Afterwards they were joined by the sisters of the Servants of the Lord and the Virgin of Matará (SSVM) for a Lectio Brevis presented by Fr. Javier Ibarra, novice master of St. Isaac Jogues & Companion Martyrs Novitiate, on the dichotomy between worldly wisdom and the wisdom that one should acquire through the study of philosophy and theology. Following the presentation, Holy Mass was presided and preached by His Eminence in the church of St. John Baptist de la Salle; Fr. Daniel Mentesana, the provincial superior, and Fr. Mariano Vicchi, the seminary rector, concelebrated the Mass alongside Fr. Ibarra and other IVE priests. After Mass, all gathered in the church hall downstairs for a dinner.
The second event was the Universa examination which took place on Friday, September 11, 2015. Universa is a comprehensive course taken over the summer by seminarians who have completed three years of philosophy. The course concludes with a written and oral examination that encompasses all of the different aspects of philosophy studied.
Six seminarians, in the presence of their fellow brother seminarians and their formators, gave presentations on six different philosophical topics studied in the aforesaid course. Each presentation was reviewed by a panel made up of three IVE priests, each of whom posed each participating seminarian various questions related to his course of studies so as to test his knowledge and ascertain his mastery of the material. That evening, after having assessed the presentations, the panel released its results: every seminarian had passed. Let us thank Our Lady, Seat of Wisdom, for all of the graces given to us as we begin this academic year.