The only Christian theology school in Iraq, Babel College, began its new school year in Ankawa this week with a Mass celebrated by Chaldean Auxiliary Bishop Jacques Ishaq of Baghdad and Father Rayan Atto at the Church of Mar Eliya.
“We need optimism and courage” and “I am optimistic” about “the role that Babel College has and will have in the formation of Iraqi clergy,” Bishop Ishaq wrote in the Chaldean Catholic bulletin, Baghdadhope. Our task “is that of instructing, but also forming the future witnesses of Christ,” he said. Therefore, “I have invited the priests and bishops of all of the dioceses to take advantage of the presence of Babel College, as well as of the teachers and the cultural contribution that the faculty can provide.”
After Mass the guests toured the college facilities and new construction that is taking place on the campus, including a new hall, four new classrooms and a library.
“We already have six thousand books, a good number, but nothing compared to what is at the library in Baghdad,” Bishop Ishaq said. “These are books that we cannot recover because the college, seminary and convent of Dora are inaccessible” because they are located in an “extremely dangerous area,” but above all because “they are occupied by the American military which has turned them into a base.”