Collaboration begins this year between Studium Biblicum Franciscanum and the Ecole Biblique et Archéologique Française. For the opening of the 2016-2017 school year, on November 8, at St. Savior’s Auditorium, the lecture given on the theme of “The Apostle Paul: an example to follow, or an unexpected one to face? Understanding the figure and Paul’s texts in the early Christian centuries.”
Fr. Massimo Pazzini, Dean of the Studium Biblicum Franciscanum, opened the event. The Dean greeted a room full of students and reminded them about all of the most significant moments for the College of Biblical Studies and Archaeology from the past school year. Among these were the public opening of the new media section of the Terra Sancta Museum in the Monastery of the Flagellation and the 41st biblical and theological training (dedicated to the theme “The Pentateuch: between Judaism and Christianity”), accredited by the CEI as a training course for professors of religion. Fr. Pazzini then announced with satisfaction that in the second half of September and for the entire month of October, an archaeology dig took place at the Macheaerus archaeological site in Jordan; the Studium Biblicum Franciscanum participated during the first part of the dig.
“I feel happy to have finished my ‘novitiate,’”said Fr. Jean-Jacques Pérennès, director of the Ecole Biblique et Archéologique Française of Jerusalem, “because I came here a year ago and the first year is like a novitiate, but I found much help here, especially from Fr. Massimo.” Fr. Pérennès also recalled the importance of collaboration with the Franciscan Friars of the Custody of the Holy Land. “They do not talk about it very much, but we experience a lot of hardships here and is useful to help us in this regard,” he continued. “We need to understand that this collaboration is important for the future.”
A significant moment of the morning was the Laudatio by Prof. Marcello Buscemi, on the occasion of his receiving the title of professor emeritus. Fr. Massimo Pazzini recalled that the 65th issue of the Liber Annus magazine was dedicated to the monk. After recalling his academic career and his publications, he highlighted other aspects of his life as a professor: “His students will fondly remember that they usually discussed the various chapters of the work in progress, sipping tea in his room,” said Pazzini. For 37 years, Buscemi has taught at the Studium, contributing to the formation of a new generation of priests, exegetes and teachers of Sacred Scripture. With grateful applause, he was gifted the issue of Liber Annus dedicated to him.
Fr. Maurizio Girolami, a professor of patristics, gave a lecture on understanding the person and message of St. Paul in the early centuries of the Church. In his concluding remarks, he said: “Paul always reminds us that the Gospel, not only in its content but also in its expressions, asks us not to stop at what we understand but calls us to open up to God’s power that manifests itself as salvation for everyone who believes.” After a break with some refreshments in the hall of the Custodial Curia, Fr. Jean-Jacques Pérennès, director of the Ecole Biblique et Archéologique Française in Jerusalem, outlined that the activities of the previous school year and he showed some of the institute’s recent publications.