The Inauguration of the 2017/2018 Academic Year at The Saint John of Damascus Institute of Theology
Under the patronage of His Beatitude Patriarch John X of Antioch and All the East, the ceremonial inauguration of the Academic Year 2017/2018 at the Saint John of Damascus was held on Thursday evening, August 31, 2017. His Eminence Metropolitan Ephrem of Tripoli, El-Koura and dependencies, presided over the Vespers service in the presence of His Eminence Metropolitan Ghattas Hazim of Baghdad, Kuwait and dependencies, Archimandrite Romanos al-Hannat, Abbot of Our Lady of Balamand Patriarchal Monastery, Dr. Elie Salem, President of the University of Balamand, V. Rev. Archpriest Porphyrios Georgi, Dean of the Saint John of Damascus Institute of Theology, deans, priests, deacons, faculty members and students, at Our Lady of Balamand Patriarchal Monastery. At the end of the service His Eminence addressed the audience. He called them to emulate Saint Symeon the Stylite and Saint John of Damascus who struggled in their lives to overcome their passions. Thus, they were enlightened by God and became a beacon for others.
On Friday morning, September 1, 2017, the Divine Liturgy followed by the Sanctification of Water service was celebrated. Then Fr. Porphyrios Georgi, Dean of the Institute gave his directive to the faculty, staff and seminarians. Fr. Porphyrios passed to them the blessings of His Beatitude Patriarch John X and of the hierarchs of the Holy Antiochian Synod. He explained that “Love draws us to the Church and the House of the Lord. The fresh and pure love that we taste in the Church is the dynamism that draws us to walk on the same path of perfection that those who preceded us walked onto.”