Bishop Raymond Wickramasinghe - Diocese of Galle, Sri Lanke - obtained his doctorate
in Moral Theology from the Academy in 2001.
"Greetings from Sri Lanka! I am extremely happy to recall with gratitude the time I spent as a student at the
Alphonsian Academy. The world of knowledge that I received there is incomparable to any other study
programs I have followed in my priestly ministry. While emphasizing the very orthodox trends in the Catholic
Church, the professors and formators of the Alphonsian Academy lead us to see the world realities with wide
open eyes and taught us to be responsible in grasping the truth.
In my present ministry as the seventh Bishop of Galle - appointed August 31, 2011 - I live the good values and principles that I learned in the lecture halls of the Academy. I am entrusted with a population of ~2.5 million people, and among them the Catholics are less than one percent. The majority in the southern Diocese of Galle are Buddhists, while the rest are Muslims and Hindus. I have 14 parishes, 20 women religious communities and 26 major and minor seminarians. One of my main focuses is the inter-religious dialogue and Ecumenism. We meet regularly for various discussions and organize days of recollection for other Christian denominations. Amidst the vast distances that our faithful have to cover in reaching one another, I witness a great enthusiasm and a genuine Spirit innate in them. The collaboration on the part of Catholics and non-Catholics concerning common issues is commendable.
All the fulfillment that I have today as Bishop is because of the maturity that I received from my education at the Alphonsian Academy. I wish to thank the Alphonsian Foundation for their continuous advocacy for all the worthy undertakings of our beloved Academy in Rome. May god bless our donors and friends. I wish also to send my loving greetings to all the Professors and Formators and the present students of the Alphonsian Academy."
His Excellency was recently honored with the opportunity to meet with Pope Francis during the recent papal visit. Listen to Bishop Raymond's thoughts here courtesy of Radio Vatican:
Father Rengith Joseph (Philip Chakkummoottil) obtained his doctorate in Moral Theology
from the Academy in 2012 - serves as a professor of Moral Theology for St. Ephrem's
Theological College, Satna, in northern India, the mission Major Seminary of the Syro
"I am very proud to be a son of Alphonsian Academy and no doubt, because of the Academy, I am a
better missionary today... As the animator of third-year theology students, I help and guide them in their
human formation and pastoral formation. Our students visit several villages in the vicinity of the seminary
on every Saturday afternoon. As you may know, these villagers are 100% followers of the Hindu religion.
The people welcome us wholeheartedly and the brothers make it a point that they build up personal relationships with the villagers. We visit houses, console the sick, provide tuition for children and conduct classes for the youth. Our students are very much active in taking care of the least, lost and last ones of society. They also try to impart Christian values to the people.
We have a voluntary group called Premdan (love-giving) which regularly visits the Central jail in Satna to extend love and concern to the brethren behind bars. Every Thursday two brothers visit the jail to teach the prisoners and give them moral guidance. Many of the prisoners share their painful experiences and the brothers are able to offer them kindness and consolation, as well as enkindle their hope for a better life. We try to share the Gospel values with these lost ones who are repenting over their past lives."
Testimonials from our Alumni
Father Martin Delaney - Priest for the Diocese of Motherwell, Scotland, Assistant
Priest with the parishes of St. Francis of Assisi and St. Bridget, Glasgow, and
Diocesan Youth Chaplain. Alphonsian Licentiate obtained in 2014.
"I am about to complete my first year of priesthood on 26th June. Nothing could have prepared
me for how varied parish life and ministry has been. I am very glad, however, that I completed my
studies in Moral Theology at the Alphonsianum, where I was given the opportunity to reflect upon
the complex issues facing humanity today, as well as the complexity of human beings themselves!
To be a priest in Scotland today it is necessary to see oneself as being at the forefront of the
'new evangelization.' In my ministry with young people especially, it is vitally important to address
difficult questions such as abortion, euthanasia and assisted suicide, as well as issues of gender
and sexuality. These issues need to be addressed because they are very prominent in the media,
but also because they can be important in the personal lives of those we encounter. Our task is to
explain Church teaching, and also to show how a personal relationship with Jesus Christ is life-
giving within everyday life. I am very grateful to the professors and fellow students of the
Academy for helping prepare me to do my best to help others to enter into this relationship.
In the United Kingdom, there are currently many ethical issues being debated. I have to continue to be a student of moral theology in order to respond to these challenges. Again, the skills which I developed at the Alphonsianum are helping me to respond to developments in my own country.
I offer prayers and good wishes to all professors and current students of the Academy."
Father Antuan Ilgit, S.J. - Currently studying at Boston College and serving the
congregation of St. Leonard's Parish in North End, Massachusetts.
Alphonsian Licentiate obtained in 2011.
Rev. Antuan Ilgit, S.J., was born in Hersbruck, Germany, in 1972. He entered the novitiate in
the Italian Province of the Society of Jesus (aka the Jesuits) in 2005. In 2007 Antuan became the
first Jesuit of Turkish citizenship. He was ordained a priest in Rome in 2010, and since 2013
holds dual citizenship - Turkish and Italian.
Father Antuan earned a BA in Public Administration from the Gazi University/Faculty of
Economics and Administration (1990, Ankara, Turkey) and an STB in Theology from the Pontifical
Gregorian University (2008, Rome, Italy). In 2011 he graduated summa cum laude in Moral
Theology and Bioethics, earning a Licentiate degree from the Alphonsian Academy. His thesis -
“A Comparison between Issues Related to the Beginning of Life in Turkish Bioethics and the Teaching of the Catholic Church” - considered abortion, contraception, IVF, and the use of embryonic stem cells, based on research analyzing Turkish laws
regulating biomedical research, statements of the Union of Turkish Medical Association, and the decisions and studies of the Presidency of Religious Affairs of the Republic of Turkey.
After his licentiate, Father Antuan served for a short period as assistant parish priest for the Catholic Community of Meryemana Parish in Ankara, Turkey, as well as treasurer of Ankara’s Jesuit Community. Missioned to the United States shortly thereafter, he attended Saint Joseph’s University and, in the Fall of 2012, was nominated for membership in Alpha Sigma Nu, the international academic Honor Society of Jesuit Colleges and Universities. Father Antuan earned an MA in Health Care Ethics from Saint Joseph’s in 2013. After his graduation with distinction, he was nominated for the Alpha Epsilon Lambda National Honor Society/Omega Chapter at Saint Joseph’s. Presently, Father Antuan is pursuing his doctorate at Boston College.
I hope you enjoy a brief glimpse into the lives of some of our Alphonsian Academy graduates.
If YOU are a graduate of the Academy, we'd LOVE to hear from you!
Please email or get in touch with us
via Facebook ("AlphonsianFoundation Joyce Pyle").
Father Luis Antonio Monge - Priest for the Parish in El Carmen de Pijilí in the western
portion of the Archdiocese of Cuenca in south-central Ecuador. He earned his
Alphonsian Licentiate in 2007.
"My work is basically pastoral, involving a very large area - from 40 meters to 3,400 meters above
sea level. In this part of the world people are mainly dependant upon agriculture and mining.
My parish consists mostly of families with many young people and children. I minister to them, in part,
by providing clarity and instruction as they face day-to-day living struggles and issues of morality.
Another big part of my work involves the family catechesis and sacramental formation. I organize Christian assemblies - opportunities for evangelization and discussion about basic living and community problems. These assemblies also provide an opportunity to share proposals and issues with civil authorities. Our parish staff works closely with the local government and the Archdiocese for the betterment of the people we serve.
The challenges of my parish are similar to those faced by other parishes throughout the world - they are many! My staff and I have initiated an expansion project involving our parish building and the pastor's house. We also have plans to provide space for arts and crafts events. To promote local vocations for our youth, we need to create spaces such as classrooms and music rooms, as well as recreation areas to simply enjoy life and feel safe.
Because of today's social mentality, ministering to families can be especially challenging. With the wonderful help of our pastoral teams and lay couples, we are able to encourage sexual education. Keeping our team of volunteers strong and available is hard work and we continually pray for more individuals to come forward. Please pray for our staff and ministry teams!
I truly enjoyed my two years at the Alphonsian Academy and I very much appreciated the 'family atmosphere' between teachers and students. Sharing with priests from all over the world was inspiring and has enriched my service to my congregation, surrounding community, and the Church."
Editor's note: A HUGE thanks to Mr. Gabriel Hernandez of Liguori Publications for his generous assistance with translation.