“On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, ‘If any one thirst, let him come to me and drink. He who believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart shall flow rivers of living water.’” (John 7:37-38)
“ Jesus, knowing that all things were now consummated, said (to fulfill the Scripture), ‘I thirst.’ … When Jesus had received the vinegar, He said, ‘It is consummated’; and He bowed His head and gave over His Spirit. … When they came to Jesus and saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs. But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water.” (John 19:28, 34)
Every human heart desires true love. For this we thirst. But our plugged-in hook-up world does not know what it truly desires. God the Father sent Jesus Christ to die on the Cross so that every single human might have true happiness: the consummation of all desire. Jesus thirsts for the love of every human being, and He wants every Christian to participate in pouring out His Spirit of self-sacrificial love in a world that increasingly doubts the reality of true love.
The infinite torrent of God’s love for suffering humanity flows from the pierced side of Christ, through the sacraments of Mother Church. Our mission in Christ is to communicate this love in word and deed to those who are without hope. This is evangelization.
The Theological Institute at Saint John’s Seminary consolidates and expands the programs the Seminary offers for laypersons, permanent deacons, and professed religious. Cardinal Seán O’Malley officially unveiled The Theological Institute for the New Evangelization on Saint Patrick’s Day, 2011, at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross. The Institute was conceived under the leadership of Bishop Arthur Kennedy, Rector of Saint John’s.
Saint John’s Seminary is committed to communicating the fullness of Christ, His wisdom and His love. The Seminary has not only been preparing men for the priesthood for over 125 years; it has also been forming laypersons for over ten years through its Master of Arts in Ministry program. In order to amplify the opportunities to provide faith formation equal to the demands of evangelizing the modern world, the Seminary has established The Theological Institute for the New Evangelization. Theology must serve the advancement of the Kingdom of God’s love with verve and fidelity. As a seminary, and thus unlike other educational institutions, Saint John’s is totally constituted by its service to the Church. Vatican II calls the seminary the heart of a diocese. At Saint John’s, you grow in wisdom and holiness within the heart of the Church.
The Theological Institute is a response by the Seminary to the increasingly urgent call from the Church, especially since Vatican II, for a more energetic evangelization of the parish and the world, exemplified in Pope Benedict’s recent establishment of a new Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization and in Cardinal Seán O’Malley’s vigorous focus on evangelization.
The Theological Institute follows the indications of the contemporary Magisterium that there are two prongs, or tines, of the new evangelization: the theology of the body and Catholic social doctrine. The mission we have in Christ is now as it ever has been: to channel the living water of the Holy Spirit, the rivers of true love, divine love, the love of Christ—to every desiring heart.
“The Spirit and the Bride say, ‘Come.’ And he who hears, let him say, ‘Come.’ And he who is thirsty, let him come. And he who desires, let him take the water of life, and do so freely.” (Revelation 22:17)
The Theological Institute embraces Saint John’s Seminary’s programs for the laity, deacons, and religious. The programs aim to give Catholics the whole-person formation they need to fulfill their mission in Christ. It includes two degree programs: the Master of Arts in Ministry degree and the Master of Theological Studies for the New Evangelization. The Institute also offers non-degree Certificate programs, the Foundational Certificates and the Advanced Certificate.