An auditorium at St. Joseph’s Theological Institute in Cedara has been named after long-time professor, Fr. Paul DECOCK, at a ceremony on March 19, 2018. The unveiling of the plaque at the auditorium was preceded by Mass presided by the superior of the Oblate Scholasticate, Fr Joseph PHIRI, who delivered a truly “Oblate” homily on compassion.
Fr. Decock, who specializes in biblical studies, was instrumental in the foundation of SJTI, renowned for its training of Catholic priests and religious.
“The Oblates have always been responsive to the needs of the time. We have always been involved in university education,” said Fr. Decock. He said the Oblates have been instrumental in setting up universities in different parts of the world including Canada and Lesotho.
Fr Paul said that while in the past St Joseph’s’ was purely for Oblates, the inclusion of other religious congregations has brought communities together with one goal.
The 75 year old Decock said the Institute had reached an agreement with the University of Kwa Zulu Natal. This agreement will enable postgraduate studies in Catholic courses through that university. The Institute is also looking at offering a degree in Development studies and internet courses as a way of attracting lay people.
He also mentioned the improvement of the Institute’s facilities to accommodate students with handicaps. (Br. Itumeleng MAFISA)