The University of

Saint Joseph (USJ), in Macau, previously known as Macau Inter-University
Institute, was founded in 1996. It was jointly organized by the Catholic
University of Portugal and the Diocese of Macau. It is also connected by
structural, academic, and social bonds to the Special Administrative Region of
Macau, to Portugal, and to mainland China.

The University has
three campuses: One is located in NAPE, where Masteral courses are offered and
laboratories are located; another is in the Seminary of St. Joseph, where our
Dominican brothers are taking their institutional studies at the Faculty of
Religious Studies; and the third one is the Ilha Verde campus, which is the
main, newly blessed campus of the USJ.

The main campus in
Ilha Verde had not yet been blessed until now in spite that it started
operating on 11th September 2017. This is why such a blessing took
place now, on the 4th of March 2019. The occasion was graced with
the presence of His Eminency Cardinal Fernando Filoni, the Prefect of the
Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, who had been invited by the
University to preside the ceremony, which consisted of a votive Mass in honor
of Saint Joseph and the blessing proper. On this day the morning classes and
activities were suspended by the Rector of the University in order to
facilitate the participation of the students, professors, staff and friends in
the ceremony.

Concelebrating with
Cardinal Filonni there were two bishops, namely, D. Stephen Lee, the bishop of
the Diocese of Macau, and D. Jose Lai, his predecessor. Joining them was
Archbishop-elect Msgr Ante Josic, the Delegate of the Holy See in Hong Kong for
the past ten years, who has recently been named Nuncio in Ivory Coast. Likewise,
Fr. Peter Stilwell, the Rector of the University, and a good number of
priests-professors and priests from different Congregations settled in Macau
diocese were also around the altar. At the very start of the Mass, the bishop
of Macau, D. Stephen Lee, had some welcome remarks and words of gratitude
towards those attending the blessing ceremony.

In his homily,
Cardinal Filoni highlighted the importance of the University of Saint Joseph in
Macau. This institution, according to him, not only offers, like any other
university, a wide range of programs across different fields of knowledge; but,
as a Catholic University, is also called to be a leading center for the study of
Catholic Theology and related disciplines in East Asia, attuned with Macau
unique historical position in the Church in this part of the world. In
addition, Cardinal Filoni spoke beautifully of St Joseph as Jesus teacher by
word and by example. This same pattern he applied to the professors and the
students of this University named after him.

Our Dominican brothers
from St Dominic priory contributed with their voices to make this celebration
more solemn and prayerful, as they sung during the Mass.

Before the end of the
Mass, Cardinal Filoni, the bishop of Macau D. Stephen Lee and the Rector of the
University, Fr Peter Stilwell, proceeded with the blessing of the USJ Ilha
Verde campus. It took place through the prayer and the sprinkling of holy water
of a commemorative stone, a landmark of the University placed under the special
protection of Saint Joseph and of Our Lady of Fatima. All those attending the
ceremony were reminded that the blessing was not mainly for the stone for the
material structures, but rather for those who would study, teach and work at
the University. As a fitting end, there were some exchange of gifts: the
Cardinal gave the University a chasuble for its chapel and a silver medal
commemorative of His Holiness Pope Francis.

Finally, after the
ceremony, there was a meeting of the Rector, Deans, Faculty members and
representatives of the student Association of the University with the
Cardinal at Saint John Bosco auditorium