St. John Berchmans St. Alphonsus Rodriguez St. Aloysius Gonzaga



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FORMATION

Jisu Jaher, Novitiate
On 4th April 1977, Father General issued the decrees erecting Jisu Jaher at Dudhani , Dumka, as a house of the Society and as a Novitiate. Fr. Cecil Azzopardi was appointed as Vice-Rector of the community and approved as novice master. Together with Fr. P.A. Chacko , Minister and Socius and 10 novices, Fr. Cecil moved into the still-under-construction building. Soon they were joined by 7 Juniors who had just completed their novitiate in other novitiates. Fr.Emmanuel Stellini was appointed dean of the Juniors. Other staff members were Sch.Cyril Tigga, Regent, Br. Benjamin Sarupurti to look after the kitchen and Br. William Tigga tlook after the farm. Fr. Cecil McGarry, General Assistant for Formation, blessed the new novitiate building at a solemn function held in the quadrangle of the building on 1th January 1978. Since its inception Jisu Jaher has seen 269 novices passing through its hallowed portals. In 1982 the Juniorate closed down and the Juniors moved to the common Juniorate at Sitagarha or other Juniorates elsewhere. A corner of the campus has been designated as the Province cemetery. Fr. Oscar Scerri (+ 1978) was the first to be buried there and was followed in later years till the time of writing in 2013 by 21 other companions. Since 25th February 1987 when the Superior's House was inaugurated, the Novitiate and the Superior's Curia have existed side by side.

Candidates' House-Vinay Bhavan
The formation of candidates to the Society began at the newly built Apostolic School on the campus of St.Joseph's High School, Guhiajori, in 1974. The High School and Apostolic School were managed by the Jesuits at the time. Fr.Cecil Azzopardi was Father-in Charge of the Apostolic School and Director of the Candidates Jesuits 7 and Diocesan 2). In 1975 a request was made to Bishop Leo Tigga to open a Candidates' House at Purnea in a vacant house belonging to the diocese. Bishop Leo consented and Vinay Bhavan was blessed and inaugurated on 31st July 1975 by Bisahop Tigga. Fr.Salvino Briffa was appointed the first Director, Sch.Angelus Kujur and Br. Emmanuel Ainul was his assistants. There were 27 candidates (20 Jesuits and 7 Diocesan). In the following years others were admitted from the dioceses of Raiganj and Jalpaiguri. In 1978 Fr.Henry Schembri succeded Fr.Briffa as Director. When the new Candidates' House was completed at Sahibganj Fr.Schembri and 29 Candidates shifted from Purnea to Sahibganj in January 1982.The Candidates, 36 in all, began attending the Sahibganj College to complete their Intermediate in Arts or Science, 14 Jesuits, and 22 Diocesans for Dumka. In 1995 the joint programme for the learning of English came to an end and and the diocesan candidates ceased to attend Vinay Bhavan. The house got its first Superior, Fr.George Beck, in 1999. He was also the Director of Candidates.

In 2006, it was decided to shift the Candidates to Mundli where they would have a better standard of education reading for their Intermediate in our St.John Berchmans' Intermediate College. From 2007 the house at Sahibganj was empty and Fr.Provincial by a letter dated 22 November 2006 announced that a Jesuit Socio-Cultural-Research and Media Centre with the name PRATIKSHA would be established at Vinay Bhavan with Fr.Varkey Chenakalayil as its first Director. The year of studying English was dropped. However a rethink of this step was made in the light of the need of our candidates to get a good command of English. Hence Fr.Provincial decided in 2009 to establish once again the first year candidacy to learn English from Gonzaga Sadan in Mundli, back to Vinay Bhavan in Sahibganj. And so in June 2009, the Candidates were back at Vinay Bhavan in the care of Fr.Thomas Kuzhively.

Candidates' House- Gonzaga Sadan
Gonzaga Sadan was inaugurated by Fr.Provincial Varghese Puthussery on 3rd July 2006 and 19 Candidates began attending the Intermediate classes at St.John Berchmans' Intermediate College (Hindi medium) run by the Society. In 2009 it was decided to shift back to Vinay Bhavan the year of studying English and so only the Collegian candidates remained at Gonzaga Sadan. Also in 2009 diocesan candidates for Purnea diocese were admitted and later those of Dumka diocese. F.Ignaci Laza is both Director and Superior of the Jesuit Community at Mundli.

Pre-Novitiate- Loyola Sadan
On 23 September 1996, 15 Pre-Novices moved from the Candidates' House, Vinay Bhavan at Sahibganj to the newly built Loyola Sadan at Sonabari in Raiganj diocese to begin their Pre-Novitiate in the Province under the first appointed Director Fr.Christopher Ekka. The house was blessed on 15th October 1996 by Bishop Alphonse D'Souza SJ and officially inaugurated by the Provincial James Aril (RIP).Every year a number of aspirants, after their Candidacy and Intermediate, proceed to Loyola Sadan to complete their Pre-Novitiate training.