Dear Subscribers to the JST-SCU’s Seasonal Prayer Series,
I am writing to introduce myself as well as to provide an explanation for some exciting things on the horizon that will impact this mailing.
As the new dean of the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University (JST-SCU), I come to this mission with gratitude for the heroic labors of my predecessors and the wholehearted welcome of President Julie Sullivan and the entire JST-SCU community. I am hopeful about this moment in the life of our school.
Already, exciting things are in the works. Recently, I returned from the Vatican where Pope Francis invited me to participate in the Synod on Synodality. For people who are familiar with the workings of a synod, the usual approach involves a marathon of speeches and protracted rounds of voting on predetermined texts prepared in advance or proposed during the meeting only by bishops. Not so this time: participants carried out their work in small groups of mixed compositions, that is, laymen and laywomen, religious, priests, and bishops. They listened to one another in multiple rounds of spiritual conversation. Oftentimes, I recalled the tagline of the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University: “Living Theology. Transforming Our World.” The synod is a living theology, and I anticipate that the outcome will be transformational for the church in the world.
As a school, we plan to carry this synodal energy into the coming months with programming that continues these vital conversations. Because much of our efforts are directed toward this initiative, as well as the development of a new strategic plan, we are indefinitely suspending the seasonal prayer series. With Advent approaching, I realize that this resource has been meaningful to many of you. Please know that we did not reach this decision lightly. However, after an honest assessment of where we are, we need to create space for a renewed vision to emerge in ways that would more fully engage your desires, expectations, and support for our mission at JST-SCU..
We will contact you about new offerings as well as other exciting developments at JST-SCU as they become available.
Yours in Christ’s mission,
Agbonkhianmeghe E. Orobator, S.J.
Jesuit School of Theology
Santa Clara University