SIST IS 25
HIP! HIP!! HIP!!! HURRAY
On the 21st of January, 2012, SIST commenced the official celebration of her silver jubilee; Ezeibe EmmanuelMary, C.S.Sp gives a short history of SIST and a résumé of the opening ceremony of the Silver Jubilee celebration.

I feel very privileged to inform you through this medium that this year is a very significant one for the Spiritan International School of Theology (SIST), in that we are marking the silver jubilee (25 years) of the creation of this institute of learning. Join us in thanksgiving to God for having granted us this singular opportunity of being the ones to mark this very important moment in the life of SIST.
What then is this SIST? A brief examination of the history will assist us in clarifying what SIST is and of course what it stands for.


Brief History and Life in SIST
The Spiritan International School of Theology (SIST), Attakwu-Enugu is both a seminary and an institute of theology established in 1987 for the training of missionary priests, religious nuns and lay men and women who would become effective agents of evangelization in the local church in Africa or anywhere in the world.
SIST was founded by the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans or Holy Ghost Fathers and Brothers) under the proprietorship of the Union of the Circumscriptions of Anglo-phone West Africa (UCAWA), with Rev. Fr. Dr. Elochukwu Uzukwu, C.S.Sp as the first Rector. Today, SIST is the biggest theological seminary owned by the Spiritans worldwide and it produces the largest number of young missionaries to the work force of the Congregation annually.
In conformity with the aim of the founding fathers, SIST provides Spiritans and other religious missionary groups the place for the training of their candidates for the priesthood such as the Claretians, Saviourites, Somascans, and Two Hearts of Love. The Dominicans, the Benedictine, the Conceptionists, the Theatines and the missionary Servants of the Church were part of SIST until they got their own institutes of theology. Members of female religious institutes and congregations also study in SIST such as the Daughters of Divine Love, University Sisters, Clarissan Sisters, Home Visitors of Mary, Spiritan Sisters, Immaculate Heart of Mary, Infant Jesus Sisters, Holy Rosary Sisters and Daughters of Mary Mother of Mercy.
Internationality and inter-culturality are important features of SIST. The population of the students and staff is made up of people from over nine different countries in Africa including Cameroon, Congo Kinshasa, Gabon, the Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, and Uganda. In essence, SIST is a place of encounter for nations and cultures where each distinct people and their way of life are appreciated and promoted. National flags of assorted colours, different languages and styles of dressing all add beauty to the life in SIST and form part of the richness that people enjoy by belonging to or associating with SIST; hence, the saying that “SIST internationalises and inter-culturalises everyone who comes in contact with or passes through her.”
Since her inception, SIST has produced more than 346 priests and a good number of scholars of repute. Many of these people are found as missionaries in Africa, Europe, Latin America, North America, Asia and Australia and anywhere the Church needs workers.
In all, SIST combines prayer, worship, farming, sports, cultural networking and pastoral outreach with assiduous academic studies towards an integral development of the human person for effective ministry.


The Official Inauguration of SIST Silver Jubilee
On the 21st January, 2012, the great SIST officially commenced the celebration of her 25th years as an institution of learning. The celebration of the official inauguration of SIST silver Jubilee was in two phases. The first phase took place at Spiritan International Formation Community, Attakwu (SIFCA) chapel with the Eucharistic Celebration presided over by the Catholic Bishop of Enugu diocese, Rt. Rev. Dr. Calistus Onaga. In his homily titled “The Universality of the Good News”, the Local Ordinary emphasized the significance of missionary activities in the Church and the need to be devoted to Christ’s calling.
The second phase took place at the SIST’s Auditorium after the Eucharistic celebration. It witnessed a series of felicitations and a rich doze of cultural display. In his opening remark, the Rector of SIST, Very Rev Fr. Dr. Jude Ogbenna, C.S.Sp welcomed all and sundry to the second phase of the occasion. He talked about the importance of wisdom, truth, openness, solidarity and integrity in all walks of life for which SIST is known. He congratulated SIST for her vital contribution to the service of God and society. He noted that SIST has contributed to the social and economic welfare of the area in which she is located, and through that to the overall progress of the nation.


Silver Jubilee Logo
While unveiling the Silver Jubilee Logo, the Rector explained the details of the logo: Committed in Solidarity- the theme of the silver jubilee, meaning that SIST is committed to many things; the two hands carrying the globe, one white and the other black, signify different people who work in SIST, and finally Evangelizare pauperibus (evangelisation of the poor) which is the mission of the Holy Ghost congregation and the Church. After explaining the Silver Jubilee Logo, the Rector officially declared the silver jubilee open. This was followed by the recitation of the Silver Jubilee Prayer and singing of the Silver Jubilee Anthem.
The celebration was coloured by the singing of the Abu Oma Group from St. John’s Catholic Church Parish, Attakwu and cultural extravaganza presented by the Block Rosary Cultural Group from the same parish.


Panel Discussion
The second phase concluded with a Panel Discussion with Rev. Fr. Dr. Bona Ugwu, C.S.Sp as the moderator. The Panel Discussion which was highly informative and educative focused on the brain behind the establishment of SIST, the origin of the name SIST and the initial activities and personnel in SIST.
People from different places attended the celebration in large numbers, making it a grand celebration befitting the 25th anniversary of SIST.
In the course of the 25 years of her existence, a lot of developments and achievements have been recorded in SIST, namely, the construction of the access road, the construction of the new academic building, the construction of the new residential building for female religious students and staff, library expansion, increase in the numbers of the students, contribution to the welfare of the village where she is located (road, electricity and water), publication of the Igbo Catholic Bible in 1996 (the initial research was done in SIST), provision of chaplains to the nearby parishes, et cetera. SIST is moving forward toward becoming a full-fledged university. 
It was fun. This is just the beginning of this celebration, it runs throughout the year.
                                           HAPPY CELEBRATION!

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