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23 November, Sabauni staff were hosted by Ecumenical Patriarch, His All Holiness Bartholomew at the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Fanari.
After the official presentation of the Sabauni delegation, ecumenical patriarch expressed his satisfaction, that sabauni is a place where Catholics and Orthodox people can cooperate together “I am very glad that you have very friendly cooperation with our Catholic brothers at your University. I would like to say, that the cooperation with other Christian churches and especially with Catholic Church of Rome is one of the priorities of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. We believe that in light of the challenges and passions of today, we, the Christian churches, must come together and witness the truth of our faith before the whole world.
I have my personal sympathies towards the Catholic brothers, as I studied for three years in Rome, with Jesuit brother in the Eastern Christian University, where I defended my thesis on Canon Law. I have been prepared as the teacher for the Spiritual Seminary of Halki, but as you know, this seminary is closed until now. I have very close ties with Pope Francis, with whom I met quite often and discuss the current actual issues, such Social and environmental issues. In one of his letters, "Laudato si," the Pope writes of the patriarchy's work in environmental matters.
The Ecumenical Patriarch also touched upon the relations of Georgians and Greeks from ancient times and separately mentioned the respect and brotherly love of the Patriarch of Georgia, His Holiness Ilia II. "Ilia II is a very bright person not only for the Georgian nation, but for the whole Orthodox world," he said. He also expressed a great desire and support for the establishment of a Georgian community in Istanbul, where would be a Georgian priest there, alike Russian, Romanian and Bulgarian communities.
At the end of the meeting, the Patriarch presented the newly released book "Meeting with Secrets" translated by Shota Kintsurashvili, adding: "I give you this book not only because it is written by me, but because the position presented here represents the position of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Please, read it and distribute it to your surroundings because I know that there are a number of erroneous views about the Ecumenical Patriarchate".
Mons. Giuseppe Pasotto, a founder of Sabauni and Apostolic Administrator of Latin Catholics in Caucasus, thanked the Patriarch for the acceptance and noted that for him, as the founder of the Sabauni, the harmonious cooperation of Catholic and Orthodox brothers and sisters is very important "Our university aims to create a free space where the employers have the possibility to develop not only professionally, but spiritually as well, regardless of religious beliefs. We want to look ahead and not overlook only the present. Our visit today is also linked to this goal and we would like to ask you for your blessing for our future joint work. "
At the end of the meeting, the Rector and the founder of the Sabauni presented memorable gifts to the Ecumenical Patriarch.
After Fannari residence, Sabauni staff visited the island of Khalki, where the residence of the Ecumenical Patriarch is located with the Trinity Monastery (IX century) and also Khalki School (1841) with the richest library. This residence has been held for many years and still holds various important meetings and Holy Synods.
The visit to Istanbul turned out to be very interesting and impressive for everyone. Irma Tsulaia, Sabaunis’ human resources manager, appreciates this visit: “On November 23, at St. George's Day we visited the Ecumenical Patriarch, His All Holiness Bartholomew, who hosted us at his residence and gave us symbolic gifts. The same day we visited the Hulk Academy, even though it is currently closed, it was still very interesting to see the study audiences and the ancient library, which holds more than 45,000 books. It was also very impressive to see the halls where the Holy Synod was and still is.
I think our visit to Istanbul was very successful. In a very short time, we were able to see many interesting places and get useful information.
I would like to thank the Sabauni administration for this opportunity and I hope we will be able to make similar visits in the future. "
On 22-23 November 2019 Sulkhan-Saba Orbeliani University staff paid a visit in Istanbul, where held two important meetings with Ecumenical Patriarch His All-Holiness Bartholomew and the Georgian Catholics society at Ferichoe region (central region of Istanbul).
On 22 November Sabauni staff visited Georgian Catholics Sanctuary located in the central region of Istanbul (Ferichoe), where the family of Simon Zazadze, Paul, Paulina and Natali Zezadze hosted us. In the beginning of the meeting, Mr. Paul thanked the Georgian delegation for their interest and visit at the Georgian sanctuary. He provided short history of the sanctuary and the church of Notre Dame de Lourdes, he spoke about the past difficulties and current challenges. “My sisters and myself, we are very happy that we have the honor to continue the great work of our grand-father, Pavle Zazadze and Father, Simon Zazadze and take care on the treasure that left our ancestors here. My grand-father and my father had huge work to protect the library until now, the library where are kept thousands of books and manuscripts in several languages. Today we cooperate with the Georgian state and National Library of Georgian Parliament, we are working on the digitalization of the books and soon those books will be available online for the wide audience. I think it is really good job and present for the Georgian people”. While speaking about the history he mentioned how difficulties had his father and grand father to keep some manuscripts safety. “Besides all the difficulties, we have kept this treasure safety and this is all due to the patronage of the Virgin Mary, we always feel her glory and bless” - mentioned Paul.
Prof. Vaja Vardidze, rector of Sabauni thanked the hosts for their time and the protection of the Georgian sanctuary during the years the Zazadze’s family did. “I have had an honor to visit Georgian sanctuary several times and meet with Mr. Simon Zazadze. I have to confess that all the time I come here, I always have a sense of pride and admiration, as I feel a great work of our ancestors. It is a great pleasure to visit and get to know the traces of immediate ancestors. Thank you very much for this flawless work and dedication you are doing for the Georgian people. I would like to express our readiness and support in your endeavors. We will be happy to host you at our University and our country”-said the rector.
Thankful words were said towards the Zazadze’s family from Mons. Giuseppe Pasotto, the founder of Sabauni and the apostolic administrator of Latin Catholics in Caucasus and father Gabriele Bragantini, who visit often the Church of Notre Dame de Lourd and serve the Holy Mass (11 February each year).
Sabauni staff had an opportunity to visit Library where the thousands of books and manuscripts are kept in Georgian, French, Italian, Greek, Latin, Slavic, Turkish and other languages (17 languages ). Among them, there are the first Georgian Grammar published in 1670 in Rome by catholic priest, Francisco Maria Maggio and dictionary of Sulkhan-Saba Orbeliani (Manuscript). Here are also the XIX, XX century’s Georgian newspapers and periodic published in France and in Georgia. Among the valuable books, there are the books published in the printing house of the sanctuary (since 1870).
After the archive, we have visited the Church of Notre Dame of Lourdes and Monastery. At the end of the meeting, holy mass dedicated to St. George’s feast was celebrated by Msgr. Giuseppe Pasotto.
Here are the brief History of the Sanctuary and Monastery:
The Founder of the Church, Catholic priest Petre Kharischirashvili was born in 1818 in Akhaltshikhe. 24 years old he was consecrated as a priest in St-Petersburg. He was teaching at the Kutaisi Theological Seminary. In 1857 he went abroad to pray, praying in the holy places of Jerusalem, Italy. He came to Istanbul in 1859 and began caring for the church. The same year he received the Pope's permission to establish a Georgian Catholic community in Istanbul. It was impossible to have the legal right without the monastic place. According to the archives a nobleman had donated 1230 arable land to the community for the construction of an apartment and a chapel. Then Father Peter and his disciples bought more than three times more land. In a will written by Father Peter in 1863, it is known that the land of the Tabernacle, the chapel, the immovable property, was the property of all members of the Catholic parish after his death.
In the 1861 father Peter laid the foundation for St. Mary's Church and sanctuary, where he died on October 9, 1890. His heart is still stored in special alcohol cans. He is buried inside the church. Father Petre Kharischirashvili has ordained a liturgy in Georgian at the Georgian Catholic Church in Istanbul.
In 1869-1871 he founded a convent of mothers and fathers, Georgian-French, Georgian-Greek women's and boys' schools, and a Georgian printing house. In addition to the religious subjects, the school taught medicine, pharmaceutical work, foreign languages and pedadogy. Prominent Georgian scientists and writers Mikheil Tamarashvili, Mikheil Tarkhnishvili, Ivane Gvaramadze, Benedicte Vardidze and others were brought up in this school.
The Ferricope Georgian Reserve was not only a religious institution but also a large cultural and educational center. In 1911 a Georgian club was established here, where meetings and evenings were held, with at least 150 Georgians attending each meeting. The abode of Fericheo was the home of the Georgians, a reliable refuge. From 1921 many Georgians who had been persecuted by the Bolsheviks had fled Georgia before arriving in France. The members of the First Government of the Independent Republic of Georgia, chaired by Noe Zhordania, had lived here for three months.
Father and son Pavle and Simon Zazadze have greatly appreciated the care of the Sanctuary. Pavle Zazadze was originally from Akhaltsikhe, from the village of Ude. In 1913, priest Benedict Vardidze took him to Istanbul to study as a clergyman at the Ferricoye Monastery School. But soon World War I broke out and life got mixed up. Many Georgian students went to Germany to study, but Paul stayed in Istanbul, studying commerce and becoming a celebrity. In 1966, when the monastery was emptied and the last nun died, Pavle Zazadze became the patron of the Georgians Sanctuary at Ferrichoe, he even went to church deeply elderly and cared for this holy place. After his death - since 1989, his son Simon Zazadze has continued this noble cause under his father. At present, the work of the ancestors is led by Paul Zazadze’s, son of Simon, along with his sisters, Paulina and Natalie Zazadze.
On 10 October 2019 training “Learner Centered Teaching “was held at Sulkhan-Saba Orbeliani University, organized by Center of Professional Development of Sabauni. In the beginning of the training, Shorena Parunashvili head of International Relations Office and Erasmus+ programs coordinator made a brief presentation about the Training module and STAR (sustainable learner center teaching – advanced recourses for Georgia and China) project financed by Erasmus+ KA2 program. The training module is based on Manual on LCT which was elaborated within the project, edited by prof. Tsvetelina Harakchiyska (University of Ruse, Bulgaria). The manual is available in Georgian and in English on the university website.
The training was divided into three parts, the first part was presented the theoretical information about the LCT, its needs, the difference between traditional teaching paradigm and modern teaching. During the second part of the training, the participants got detailed information the Student/learner centered teaching methods, as the following: Task based Learning (TBL), Problem Based Learning (PBL), Project Based Learning, Discovery Learning and Learning Contract.
The final part of the training was used for the workshop, where the participant worked in the groups according to the handouts, given by the trainers.
The training was leaded by STAR project trainers, prof. Ekaterine Natsvlishvili and Gvantsa Abdaladze.
There are several trainings planned by Center for Professional Development in this academic year not only on LCT.
The STAR project has been started on 2016 and will end this year. The consortium members are: Masaryk University (Coordinator, Czech Republic), University or Ruse (Bulgaria), University of Coimbra (Portugal), University College Copenhagen (Denmark), 3 Georgian Universities (Sabauni, UG and Zugdidi state University) and 5 Chinese Universities.
On 1-5 July of 2019, Shorena Parunashvili, head of International Relations Office paid a business trip at the Catholic University of Lyon (France) within the Erasmus+ KA107 ICM program. During the visit she had important meetings with French colleagues from different structural unit.
Shorena Parunashvili: “During a week I had intensive meetings with French colleagues, where we exchanged our good experiences and discussed the ways for further cooperation.
Meeting with Mr. Franch Violet, head of IRO of UCLy, was the most important, as we talked about our Institutions’ internationalization policies and our roles in them. Also, we discussed the ways and perspectives for deepen our cooperation in the future. I have to mention, that Sabauni is in the VIP partners list of UCLy, that push our cooperation become more intensive.
Meetings with the representatives of different schools/faculties were very fruitful, as from the new academic year our students from faculties Law, Business and Theology will be able to participate in the exchange program and study at UCLy for free.
Erasmus+ Staff Mobility gave me possibility to get to know my colleagues in personally and exchange /share the best practice in our field. Beside this, after this mobility, cooperation between our Institutions has moved to more active phase and many new joint projects await us ahead”.
The Catholic University of Lyon is strategic partner of Sabauni and there is running Erasmus+ KA107 ICM program since 2018-2019 academic year. Within this project, Sabauni two student, Neli Goginava and Mariam Kutaladze spent Spring semester at UCLy and one more student will be sent for the new academic year. Beside the students, there are planned academic and administrative staff mobility between the Universities.
Sabauni is involved in Erasmus+ KA107 ICM project since 2015-2016 academic year and many students and staff have received benefits from it.
5-6 June 2019 the third international Symposia, “Catholic Heritage in Georgia” was held at Sulkhan-Saba Orbeliani University, which was dedicated to the 25th anniversary of restoration of Apostolic Administration in Georgia. Among the guests, the honorable guests were invited, Msgr. Jose Avelino Betancourt, the Apostolic Nuncio of Holly See in Georgia and Armenia, and Mrs. Malgorzata Wierzchowska from Polish Institute in Tbilisi and from the Embassy of Poland in Georgia.
The Symposia was opened with welcome speeches from Msgr. Jose Avelino Betancourt, Msgr, Giuseppe Pasotto, Apostolic Administrator of Latin Catholics in South Caucasus and founder of Sulkhan-Saba Orbeliani University and Prof. VajaVardidze, rector of the University.
The first speaker of the Symposia was prof. Gabriele Bragantini, with the speech “25th anniversary of restoration of apostolic administration”. In his speech, Bragantini answered the most asked question regarding the administration, such: what does it mean apostolic administration? Why apostolic administration and not Tbilisi Eparchy? What is difference between apostolic administration and eparchy? and etc… Prof. of Tbilisi State University, Murman Papashvili, presented different approach regarding the voyage of Sulkhan-Saba Orbeliani in France with the title “Why wanted Sulkhan-Saba Orbeliani launch French Missions in Georgia”. About the life of famous polish artist, Zygmunt Waliszewski spoke prof. Henryka Justinska. The first session ended with the speech of Guliko Mchedlidze, professor from Korneli Kekelidze Georgian National Center of Manuscripts who spoke about the unpublished historical documents about the Italian priests in Kutaisi”.
The second session open Sabauni professor, Nugzar Bardavelidze, with the topic “Fratti Minori Capuccini and Georgia”. About the article published in newspaper “Bedi Kartlisa” regarding the problem of Catholic Church in Istanbul spoke Mariam Marjanishvili, employer of Historical Museum of Kutaisi. Historian Davit Merkviladze delivered the paper on Arcangelo Lamberti’s “Sacra Colhis”.
The first day of the symposia ended with the speakers Tamar Charkviani, Sociologist “Discourses towards Georgian Catholics in Georgia” and National Museum researcher, Irakli Feradze, “Catholic Missioners and medicine in the late Middle Ages Georgia”.
The second day of the Symposia open Sabauni professor, Nugzar Papuashvili with the paper “Friedrich Parrot about the catholic Church of Kutaisi in 1829” where spoke the German doctor, alpinist, Friedrich Parrots ‘trip in Georgia and Kutaisi. The Symposia was attended by Italian speakers, Francesco Trecci, Historian, Author the book “Georgian in Italy”and Alessandto Bicchi who spoke about the relationship between Georgian Orthodox Church and Catholic Church.
Last session of the Symposia, was presented by two speakers: Tinatink Kokochashvili, the descendant of Georgian Catholic Maecenas , the Zubalashvili brothers spoke about the contribution of the catholic Zubalashvili to the Georgian Nation ‘s History and Current Reality”. Kokochashvili’s speech was based on prof. Zhuzhuna Peikrishvili’s second book about the Zubalashvili. Maia Damenia, doctor at Ilia State University presented the prosopographical Database of Catholic missions in Georgia”
At the end of the Symposia, the excursion was offered in the Catholic Charitable Organizations, “Caritas Georgia”and “Reabilitation Center of St. Camillo”.
The speeches delivered during the Symposia will be published for the next year.
On 2 June Baku hosted the third conference established as a cultural bridge. The conference on Contemporary American short stories was held with the cooperation of Sulkhan-Saba Orbeliani Teaching University and Language Co-Working Cetre. The organisers were Tamilla Myrzayeva, the director of the centre and Alexandra Japarova from Azeri side and Tamta Kalichava, visiting lecturer at Sulkhan-Saba University and Ilia State University, Shorena Gogiashvili head of the language center and affiliated assistant at Sulkhan-Saba University, Veriko Khutsishvili invited lecturer at Sulkhan-Saba University from Georgian side. Besides the literature, the Azeris made a performance to introduce their writers to the Georgian guests. The cycle of conferences dedicated to contemporary American literature was conducted the third times throughout three consecutive years. It was the first Georgian visit in Baku.
The opening speeches were made by Almaz Melikova, a famous film critic, working for the National Academy of Science; Aynur Qazanfar qizi- a folklorist in the National Academy of Science; Leyli Aliyeva, a famous translator in the National Academy of Science. The significance of the conference was increased as serious plans were set for the cooperation during next year with the inclusion of other countries by establishing cultural bridges and holding conferences in the same format. Detailed information will be announced to students later.