March 29, 2017
On 29 March 2017, St. Luke’s College held a Joint diploma graduation ceremony at the Grotto. The total number of graduates were 71 for 2 batches. There were 33 graduate students from May 2014 – March 2016 academic year and 38 students from May 2015 – March 2017 academic year. The graduates came from 4 Dioceses – Myitkyina, Banmaw, Lashio, and Mandalay. It was the first joint diploma of East Asian Pastoral Institute (EAPI) and St. Luke’s College, Socio-Pastoral Formation Center.
On that day, Bishop Francis Daw Tang, Fr. Arthur, Director of EAPI, Priests, sisters, Lecturers, Catechists, local faithful, students’ parents and relatives joined the ceremony. Customarily, Joint Diploma graduation ceremony was held with a Mass celebration. As the Mass started, Fr. Leo, Director of the St. Luke’s college, gave a welcome speech. Afterward, the graduation Mass was led by the Bishop Francis, Fr. Arthur, and Fr. Leo. During the Mass, Bishop Francis gave a homilies encouraging the graduates for their coming missions. At the Offertory, the graduate students offered the Catechist wares such as crucifix necklace, Holy water bottle and Holy Bible. As the mass celebration continues, Bishop Francis blessed the Catechist Wares. They also knelt down and offered their vow before the Alter.
After the Mass, Awarding certificate program was held subsequently. Fr. Leo, Director, gave an opening speech. A choir song was sung by the first year Students. Afterwards, Bishop Francis Daw Tang conferred Holy Bible and Crucifix Necklace to all the graduates. Customarily, this exercise represent they are officially recognized as a Catechist. Then, Fr. Arthur, Director of EAPI, awarded Joint Diploma certificate to all the graduates. The next item was awarding outstanding students led by Sara Bosco Zau Doi, disciplinarian of St. Luke’s College. He first explained the process, benchmarks and criteria of selecting outstanding students such as their academic studies, group work, spiritual formation and discipline. There were seven outstanding graduate students from these two batches.
After awarding outstanding students, Fr. Arthur Leger, SJ gave a Commencement speech to all the graduate students. In his speech, he addressed three main important things A, B and C: A for Attitude, B for Belief and C for Context. Attitude towards faithful community should be positive and first important thing. Secondly, it is not enough having positive attitude only, we still need strong Believe and it is more important. However, even if you have Attitude and Belief, it is most important to know the Context of the people, and their traditions and cultural.
Finally, the graduation ceremony was ended by a prayer led by Sara Hawng Hkawng, a senior catechist. After the program, all the graduate students, Bishop, Priests, and staff posed for taking group photos. St. Luke’s College hosted a lunch to all the guest and attendants. In the evening time, there was a Cultural dance and singing Show as a celebration of congratulating graduate students.