Saints Peter & Paul Major Seminary
Bodija, Ibadan, Nigeria
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Monday, November 12, 2018

Bodija is great indeed! This greatness lies not merely on her structures and serene environment but essentially on the efforts and achievements of her illustrious sons over the years. Speaking of greatness, particularly dear to our heart among the numerous academic and intellectual achievements recorded during the course of 2017/2018 session is the award winning essay of Rev. Benneth Chidiebere Umeh. Rev. Benneth, our student and now a deacon of the Catholic Archdiocese of Abuja, had his formation in our seminary, Saints Peter and Paul Major seminary, Bodija Ibadan. With this landmark event, Rev. Benneth became the first award-recipient having emerged best among over 100 essays contested between 22 seminaries across 4 continents during the just concluded Catholic Seminaries essay competition conducted by the Interfaith Center for Sustainable Development (ICSD) and StudiumTheologiumSalesianum, The Salesian Pontifical Univesity, Jerusalem Campus, and it is the First of its kind to be conducted for Catholic Seminaries. The purpose of this essay was to reveal the depth of Catholic teaching on renewable energy. It should also be said that with the award came a handsome price of 500USD cash given to the awardee.

The essay contest was judged by an international panel of Catholic professors, and was comprised of: Fr. Matt Coutinou, SDB, Professor of Moral Theology, Studium Theologicum Salesianum– the Salesian Pontifical University Jerusalem Campus; Fr. Russ Mcdougall, CSC, Rector of Tantur Ecumenical Institute, Jerusalem; Dr. Celia Deane-Drummond, Director of the Center for Theology, Science, and Human Flourishing and Professor of Theology, University of Notre Dame, Indiana; Fr. PremXalxo, SJ, Associate Professor, Faculty of Theology, Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome; Br. Paul Colemon, Librarian, Capuchin Friary, Jerusalem.

The following schools were represented in the contest:

1)    St. Mbaaga’s Major Seminary, Ggaba, Uganda – 18 students

2)    St. Thomas Aquinas’ Major Seminary, Bambui, Cameroon – 14 students

3)    Bigard Memorial Seminary, Enugu, Nigeria – 13 students

4)    Seminary Of All Saints, Uhiele Ekpoma Edo State, Nigeria – 10 students

5)    Seat Of Wisdom Seminary, Owerri, Nigeria – 9 students

6)    Claretian Institute Of Philosophy, Maryland Nekede, Imo State, Nigeria – 7 students

7)    The National Missionary Seminary Of St Paul, Gwagwalada, Abuja, Nigeria – 6 students

8)    Holy Spirit Seminary, Papua New Guinea – 3 students

9)    Salesian Pontifical University, Jerusalem – 3 students

10)  Saints Peter and Paul Major Seminary, Bodija, Ibadan, Nigeria – 2 students

11)  Saint Albert The Great Major Seminary, Idowu-Offoran, Abeokuta, Nigeria – 2 students

12)  St Peters Major Seminary, Malawi – 2 students

13)  Catholic Theological Institute, Papua New Guinea – 2 students

14)  Morning Star College Claret Nivas, India – 1 student

15)  Kristu Jyoti College, India – 1 student

16)  Inter-Congregational Institute of Philosophy, Human Sciences And Religious Studies, v       Malawi – 1 student

17)  St. Francis Xavier Major Seminary, Singapore – 1 student

18)  Ss. John Fisher & Thomas More National Seminary, Zimbabwe – 1 student

19)  Chishawasha National Seminary, Zimbabawe – 1 student

20)  Catholic Theological Union, Chicago, USA – 1 student

21)  Moreau Seminary, Congregation Of Holy Cross, USA – 1 student

22)  Boston College School Of Theology And Ministry, USA – 1 student


Notably, Rev. Benneth’s essay titled “The Potentials of Renewable Energy for Sustainable Development: A Reflection on the Basis of Church’s Energy Ethics” was judged to stand out amongst others because it was a “strong combination of personal narrative and insights into Catholic teachings”. Anyone who reads this essay will find how he beautifully weaves experience and theology with a highly compelling simplicity of diction. In addition, the clarity that permeates the work shows an overwhelming integration and internalisation of Church doctrines and life, a dearth hard to find.

Indeed, Bodija is great and we are proud of our own. We also congratulate the runners -up of the contest: Agoabin Javis Zinkeng from St. Thomas Aquinas Major Seminary, Cameroon and Dilip Gnanaprakash from Kristu Jyoti College, India.

Please, follow the link below for more information about the Competition and to read this essay.



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