Studying in Manila: Reflections from Our Students pt. 2

The second part includes the musings of Theology sophomores

Studying in Manila: Reflections from Our Students 

John Naw Graung (2nd Year Pre-Theology - Myanmar)

John Naw Graung (2nd Year Pre-Theology - Myanmar)

From John:

For me, being part of LST is an incredible opportunity to engage with different people, students from different religious communities and many countries, in order to share our experiences, our diverse cultures and help each other. I see this is a great source of strength and I really value our differences and the beauty of diversity. From my experience of studying with different students in the Loyola School of Theology (LST), one of the things I can share with you is the strength of cooperation among those who are quite different from one another. For example, for the final group project paper on Metaphysics, I was grouped with three people working from their home country– one from Hong Kong, one from France and one from the Philippines. We are from different congregations and countries, but as one group we worked together online. In order to succeed in our project, we worked and discussed together through Google video meeting most of the time. We listened to each other and shared our thoughts and opinions before we submitted our work to the professor. We learned from each other. We listened to each other’s suggestions and feedback and this enabled us to do our work fruitfully and productively. Thus, we were able to accomplish our final group project successfully. I feel this was because we embraced our diversity through working well together. I feel this is the beauty and the value of difference.

dominic

Dominic Lum Zawng (2nd Year Pre-Theology - Myanmar)

From Dominic:

I have been taking a two-year program of Pre-Theology Study (PTS) online at Loyola School of Theology (LST). I have already accomplished my first year of the PTS program in the 2020-21 academic year. It is a great privilege for me to study at LST because I have been taking courses which could be a good foundation for my future Theology studies. Moreover, I have met so many classmates who are coming from different countries and diverse backgrounds. There are not only religious, but also laypeople. It is also a great chance for me to study with those who have different educational backgrounds, perspectives, and cultures. Based on my learning experience at LST, I am very much encouraged to work hard individually and also to work with groups. I have come to realize from learning with students from diverse backgrounds that meaningful knowledge comes from listening and sharing with one another.

 mosese

Mosese Yacalevu (2nd Year Theology - Fiji)

From Mosese; 

Being educated at LST has offered me immense experiences of growth in all aspects of my formation. The courses offered invigorate my intellectual and spiritual endeavours with the diverse cultural and religious encounters bringing me into a space of awe and wonder. The different perspectives shared among the faculty members and students enrich my understanding of faith in a world with so many complexities. One thing that I deeply appreciate in this learning environment is the increasing engagement of the laypeople in the various fields of theology. I find that their views on faith from a broader perspective always root and solidify my experiences. It has been a challenging journey coming into a foreign culture and educational environment, but at the end of the day, LST has provided me with the academic immersion I need as I prepare for mission in the world.

 tu khwang

Tu Hkwang (2nd Year Theology - Myanmar)

From Tu:

Studying at Loyola School of Theology (LST) is a great privilege for me. It allows me to have a better understanding of the wider world and about the love of God for His people in a profound sense. Aside from the wisdom I have gained from every class, the life on campus gives me an opportunity to learn and embrace the uniqueness of other cultures and nationalities, as many of my classmates are from different countries. I could not visit these countries where my classmates come from, but by conversing with them, I come to appreciate and see the beauty of their cultures. So, I can confidently say that this experience is giving me the courage to be able to go to another country, where people have very different cultures. As a missionary seminarian, I believe it is essential to see the presence of God in every community and culture as well as my own. LST does not only teach me about Theology, but it also teaches me how to be friends with strangers.

 hkun

Columban Hkun Myat Aung (2nd Year Theology - Myanmar)

From Columban:

Reflecting on my learning experience at Loyola School of Theology, first of all, I am grateful to get the opportunity to study at LST. The professors are from diverse backgrounds - priests and nuns from different congregations, and laymen and women; some who are not Catholic. Encountering these professors from diverse backgrounds helps me to have a much wider perspective in learning theology. Moreover, I have classmates from various congregations who are seminarians, sisters and lay people. It is a blessing to have classmates from diverse cultural backgrounds. We learn a lot together by doing group work and group presentations in the class. During our group work we have to discuss and listen to each other and make decisions about what and how to present the class. Moreover, when other classmates do presentations, we listen and give our feedback and comments. So, what we learn in LST is not just coming from the professor – I also have the opportunity to learn from my classmates and I learn to listen to other perspectives and I learn to give feedback. Aside from group learning and presentations I have to write a research paper as a final paper, which is between ten to fifteen pages. For this research paper, I have to read a lot of books and have to put a lot effort into it. It is so challenging. However, I am so delighted to study at LST, because I deeply feel that I am growing in my reflective skills, critical thinking and learning to integrate and connect what I learn with the reality of the world around me. In conclusion, learning at LST really helps me to broaden my thinking and perspectives and helps me to connect with the wider world -with courses such as the Biblical Perspectives on Ecology, Migration, and Interreligious Dialogue.

aungli

Columban Aung Li (2nd Year Theology - Myanmar)

From Aung Li:

I am very happy and proud to be an LST student. From pre-theology until now my experience of LST is about integrity, building community and friendship with people of different cultures, countries and religious communities. I have been part of group discussions and presentations with students from different communities and countries. These group discussions are not only about studying philosophy and Theology, but also about learning about diverse cultures and sharing about our different countries. LST is giving me precious gifts, like being open-minded, critical thinking, friendships, a better understanding of my faith in God, pastoral approaches for my future ministry and so on. In this time of pandemic, this online study is not easy. However, I have a chance to do a lot of research and I am still finding a way to learn theology. LST is one of the best schools I’ve experienced in in my whole life.