On Monday 26th October 2015, The Għaqda Studenti tat-Teoloġija (Għ.S.T.) celebrated 70 years and organised a debate about the the local Church and the Second Vatican Council, as part of the Foundation Day celebrations at The Archbishop’s Seminary, ir-Rabat, under the patronage of the Archbishop of Malta.
The panel consisted of Rev. Dr Joe Galea Curmi, the Vicar General who was secretary to the Synod Implementation Commission of the Archdiocese of Malta between 1999 and 2004, and editor of the synod documents; Dr Pauline Dimech, a former member of the central Commission for the Diocesan Synod and of the Secretariat for the Laity, is also a member of the Society of Christian Doctrine; and Rev. Prof. Saviour Chircop, an associate professor in Media and Communications within the Faculty of Media and Knowledge Sciences at the University of Malta, and a former Dean at the same faculty. During this evening, the speakers discussed the interaction of the local church with the Second Vatican Council. Rev. Dr Joe Galea Curmi focused on the implementation of the Second Vatican Council within the local church, especially through the implementation of the recommendations of the Diocesan Synod. Dr Pauline Dimech focused on the Second Vatican Council and the current involvement of lay people within the local church. Finally, Rev. Prof. Saviour Chircop analysed the Second Vatican Council’s document about the media (Inter Mirifica), the current situation of the church’s involvement with the media and present possible ways forward.
The Għaqda Studenti tat-Teoloġija (Għ.S.T.) is a faculty based student senate recognised organisation and the official student organisation of the Faculty of Theology. It is also one of the oldest and smallest student organisations still around. The aims of the organization is to offer help to students in theological, spiritual and intellectual formation, and also through solidarity initiatives. Għaqda Studenti tatTeoloġija is above all at the service of its members: the students reading theology at any level at the University of Malta. Apart from this, from time to time, Għ.S.T. organizes social, academic and philanthropic activities.Originally the Royal University Students’ Theological Association, the Għaqda Studenti tat-Teoloġija was formally founded in 1945. However, it was recently discovered that the Association was in fact a spinoff from an earlier society called ‘Ċirkolu ta’ Studju bejn l-Istudenti tal-Kors Akkademiku tat-Teoloġija’ whose first meeting was held on the 21st December 1942 at St Joseph’s Institute in Ħamrun.Today, the Għaqda Studenti tat-Teoloġija is above all else at the service of its members: the students reading theology at any level at the University of Malta. Two out of the seven members of the executive committee represent all their fellow students at the Faculty Board meetings to express their opinions, help them in their difficulties and sort out their problems. Għ.S.T. was the pioneer among Maltese student organisations to publish its own scientific review, “Melita Theologica”, which was first issued in 1947.
Today, Melita Theologica is the official peer reviewed journal of the Faculty of Theology at the University of Malta, published jointly by the Faculty of Theology, the Theology Students Association and the Foundation for Theological Studies. Proud of its glorious past, the Association looks to the future to continue serving the students venturing in the study of theology in the best possible way.