|Orthodox News - News|
For the last time this academic year 2011-2012, clergy, professors and students participated together in the Divine Liturgy at the Church of the Monastery of Saint Vlash. June 12 was Graduation Day for the fourth year students. It has become a tradition after the Divine Liturgy for a celebration to be organized in "Sion" Hall at the Monastery.
In honour this feast Archbishop Anastasios, the Metropolitan of Berati, Ignatius, the Metropolitan of Korça, John, the Bishop of Kruja, Anthony, Bishop of Amantia, Nathaneil, Bishop of Bylisi, Asti, and the Director of the Theological Academy, Bishop of Apollonia, Nicholas were present.
The feast was begun by the Director of the Academy, Bishop Nicholas, who recalled the early years of the rebuilding of the Church; the challenges and the hard work that has been accomplished by Archbishop Anastasios, who after his arrival in Albania built the seminary for the preparation of clergy and theologians.
"By the love that we show for each other, we show the world that we are disciples of Christ" – emphasized His Grace Bishop Nicholas.
The valedictorian speech was given by Christina Tolaj, the best student of the fourth year. She related that she had come from "The Home of Hope" and had been among the first children who lived there. Christina recounted in her speech the exceptional care of Archbishop Anastasios for all the children of this home. Then she remembered and thanked everyone who had helped her to grow, to be prepared to face this life. Christina concluded her speech with "Glory to God" .
Archbishop Anastasios spoke at the end of the ceremony. He described four qualities in his speech: Gratitude, Responsibility, Effort and Sanctification. "Gratefulness to God, for what He has given us so far. Gratitude on the part of the students for what God has given to them for four years of studies in this place. Beautiful words are very easy to say, but in critical moments we really can distinguish people who have gratitude. "
"The second word I want to emphasize is Responsibility. Atheism still lives on in people. The work that we need to do with young people is to support children in the early years to learn faith and this is a great accomplishment and requires tremendous responsibility from all."
“The continuous struggle is characteristic of the saints. Not all of the saints performed miracles, not everyone went to martyrdom, but all the Saints fought, they made efforts for their sanctification with much love, with much courage, with the spirit of sacrifice until the end."
Sanctification was the Archbishop’s final point. "God does not want us just to be good people. God has put a very high goal for us, with an unimaginable beauty and extraordinary importance, which is sanctification. This is the fourth word, which means, we are called to be holy."
At the end of the ceremony, all the students of the fourth year were awarded diplomas.