Friday, November 30, 2012

Chesterton English Academy

       The patron of the English Academy at the National Seminary Philosophate is Gilbert Keith Chesterton. He, by his birth belonged to the family of Chesterton. The Chesterton’s were a middle class, liberates in politics and religion, reasonably well to do, amateurs; in the noblest and most liberal sense. Chesterton was not a conventional, not a reflationary either, but was a rebel. He relied on traditions but his reliance was original and creative. He found creativity, not in a man-centered universe, but in a God- centered universe not in rationalism or irrationalism, but in an informed heart. Though his literature be influenced men, both intellectually and spiritually. The significant characteristic of Gilbert Keith Chesterton was that he defended the faith of the Church through his literal works when the faith was challenged. Therefore, National Seminary of Our Lady of Lanka, the Alma mater of the indigenous clergy, has taken Gilbert Keith Chesterton as the patron of her English Academy in order to be enriched by his vision in all his endeavours.

       All the activities of the Chesterton English Academy at the National Seminary Philosophate are helpful in raising up the standards of the English language and improving the general knowledge of the students. The prime and objective of the Chesterton English Academy is to emphasize the correct use of the English language and to help the students to keep up with the world trends and with people of different spheres of knowledge and experience, cultures, languages and creeds. When there is a common language cutting across racial and linguistic differences, it will be helpful not only to communicate with each other but also to work together to build up healthy relationships towards prosperity through unity.

       Since the National Seminary Philosophate was opened newly we, the Philosophy students wanted to begin a new culture in this new hose of formation. With this inspiring spirit we set the wheel in motion by installing a branch of Chesterton English Academy in the new Philosophate in the year 2000 under the guidance of the former director, Very Rev. Fr. Valence Mendis.

       The Chesterton English Academy started in the new Philosophate in the academic year 2000/2001 with 43 students. Like the mother academy, this new branch of the English Academy began to function independently. For the better functioning of the Academy as well as for the improvement of the students’ talents there are 6 committees with different aims. They are,

1. Drama Committee
2. Speech Committee
3. General Knowledge Committee
4. Translation Committee
5. Vocal Music Committee
6. Wall Magazine, Poetry and Essay Committee

        Each committee has held different competitions in their own capacities. The responses of the students were encouraging. Though the Chesterton English Academy in the Philosophate does not have a long history, she has started everything as the Mother Academy. Every activity is functioning smoothly and efficiently. Further we are proud to say, we have published a bulletin, “The Millennium”. At present the moderator of our academy is Rev.Fr. Nilantha Ediriwikrema and at the moment there are about 100 students in the Academy. We are also happy to say that the Chesterton English Academy with the active participation of her students is maturing her history gradually.