ANKAWA, Iraq, JAN. 16, 2007 (Zenit.org) - Classes have resumed at Iraq's only faculty of Christian theology as well as at a seminary that moved out of Baghdad for security reasons.

Chaldean Bishop Rabban al-Qas told AsiaNews that the doors of Babel College and St. Peter's Major Seminary reopened on Thursday, after being closed for months.

Abductions, assaults and threats to the Christian community in the capital convinced local Church leaders first to shut down both the college and seminary, and then to move them.

The neighborhood of Dora, where the headquarters of both institutions were first located, has become one of the most dangerous areas of Baghdad.

The reopening of the faculty of theology was marked by a Mass celebrated by Monsignor Jacques Isaac, rector of Babel College, in the Chaldean Church of Mar Eliya.

Bishop Andraos Abouna, vicar patriarch representing Chaldean Patriarch Emmanuel III Delly, and Sarkis Aghajan, a Christian and finance minister in Kurdistan's regional government, were also present.

About 25 seminarians are registered in Babel College, but there are many other students studying theology and philosophy.

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Teachings of Christ

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied." (Matthew 5:6 ESV)

Exaltation of the Cross

Save Your people, O Lord, and bless Your inheritance; * grant victory to Your Church over her enemies * and protect Your commonwealth by Your Cross. (Troparion - Tone 1)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Willingly lifted up on the Cross, O Christ God, * bestow Your compassions upon the new commonwealth that bears Your name. * By your power grant joy to Your Church, * granting her victory over her enemies. * May she have your Cross as the weapon of peace * and the invincible ensign of victory. (Kontakion - Tone 4)

The Church celebrates the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross on September 14th.

Random Proverb

"My son, be attentive to my wisdom; incline your ear to my understanding, that you may keep discretion, and your lips may guard knowledge." (Proverbs 5:1,2 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

We see the water of a river flowing uninterruptedly and passing away, and all that floats on its surface, rubbish or beams of trees, all pass by. Christian! So does our life. . . I was an infant, and that time has gone. I was an adolescent, and that too has passed. I was a young man, and that too is far behind me. The strong and mature man that I was is no more. My hair turns white, I succumb to age, but that too passes; I approach the end and will go the way of all flesh. I was born in order to die. I die that I may live. Remember me, O Lord, in Thy Kingdom!

St. Tikhon of Voronezh