Highlights (1952-1961)

Here is a list of the important events that happened in the Madurai Province - compiled from the MNL, the newsletter of the Madurai Jesuit Province.

July 31 On the feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola, the Jesuit General, Fr John-Baptist Janssens, signs the decree that raises the Vice- Province of Madurai into a Province.
Aug 15 On the feast of the Assumption of Our Lady and the 5 th anniversary of the Independence of India, the decree is proclaimed both in the Toulouse Province and in the Vice-Province of Madurai. The Madurai Vice- Provincial, Fr Humbert Pinto, is appointed Acting Provincial.
Sept 1 Centenary of Madurai's `mother Province', Toulouse, France.
Dec 3
Jesuit institutions celebrate in various ways the 400th anniversary of the death of St Francis Xavier.
Dec 20-23
First National Congress of AICUF (All India Catholic University Federation) in Madras.

Feb Fr Douglas Gordon is appointed the first Provincial of the Madurai Province.
June 13-16 Frs Sauliere and G. Ignatius represent the Madurai Province at the Centenary celebrations of the Mother-Province, Toulouse in Vals, where many of our pioneers studied Philosophy.
Sept 19
The diocese of Madurai becomes an Archdiocese, with Tuticorin and Trichinopoly as its suffragan dioceses.
Oct Superiors decide to transfer the Noviciate and the Juniorate from Shembaganur to Kattumadam (Beschi College), near Dindigul.
Dec 9 The foundation stone of the Andhra Loyola College is laid by Governor Trivedi of Andhra.


Jan 1
The foundation stone of Beschi College, Dindigul, is blessed and laid. The first issue of the Tamil periodical, Narkarunai Veeran, is published by Fr Paul Wenisch.
June 10 The novice-master Fr. I. Thomas and his novices occupy Beschi College.

July 12
The Andhra Loyola College is inaugurated in Vijayawada.
Dec29 -
Jan 2
In Loyola College, Madras, an Asian Catholic Students Congress is held with representatives from 9 Asian countries, plus Australia and New Zealand. The final Mass is celebrated by Cardinal Gracias, archbishop of Bombay.

May 3 By a decree of Fr General, "the diocese of Calicut is united to the Madurai Province, in order that the Province of Madurai may develop the Malayalam-speaking areas with works of the Society, so that a Province of Malabar may eventually be erected".
July 1 Beschi College in Shembaganur is affiliated to the Madras University, for the Juniors to prepare for University degrees.
Aug 18 The Malabar District, with Fr. Zucol as Superior, is added to those of Madurai and Palamcottah.
Sept Pandit Nehru, the first Prime Minister of free India, meets the people of Trichinopoly on the grounds of St Joseph 's College. The Fathers have a short conversation with him.
Dec 1-3 After 10 years of drought, a terrible cyclone causes awful ravages on the Eastern Coast of Tamil Nadu and inland up to Madurai.


 4 th centenary year of the death of St Ignatius Loyola.
Jan 16
The 3rd centenary of the death of Robert de Nobili (Tattuva Podhagar), founder of the Old Madurai Mission. This is celebrated in our institutions at different times during the year.
March 19
The Latin archbishop of Verapoly blesses in Ernakulam the first Jesuit house in Kerala outside Calicut. Shortly later, another house is opened, this one in the Malankara archdiocese of Trivandrum.
July 31
The feast of St Ignatius is celebrated with special solemnity in  various ways.
Oct 10 The Kerala civil district becomes the Malabar Region, with Fr. de Roton as its first Superior.
Nov Fr. Jerome D' Souza represents India at a UNESCO meting in New Delhi.

Feb 10 Five colleges of Trichy gather at St Joseph's to celebrate the Centenary of Madras university. Fr Jerome D'Souza presides over the main function.
March Fr. Lourdu Yedanapalli presents a paper on high polymers at an International Symposium held at the National Chemical Laboratory, Poona.
June - Aug After the contents of the Kerala Education Bill are known, several protests are organized against the threat of the Kerala government to nationalize all schools - chiefly.
Oct 1
The Jesuit General Congregation decrees the formation of an Assistancy of India and East Asia, and allows Fr General to divide it, when necessary. Fr Jerome D' Souza is the first Assistant.

Jan 4 - 6 The first Tami Nadu Regional Conference of the AICUF is held at St Joseph's, Trichy. About 600 students attend. The study theme is "Religion and Culture".

January 12
Archbishop Louis Mathias of Madras, a Salesian, gives to the Jesuits the management of the retreat house (Dhyana Ashram) he has built in Mylapore, Chennai. Fr A. Muthumalai becomes its first director.
May 28- 30 St Xavier's College of Palamcottah hosts the 48th Madras State Educational Conference, attended by 1500 teachers and presided by the Education Minister of the Government of India.

July 31
Fr Lawrence Fernandes becomes the Provincial, succeeding Fr Gordon.


June 1
Responding to repeated requests from Bishop Agnisamy SJ of Kottar, the Province takes up the management of the Carmel High School in Nagercoil.
Aug 15
A new college church, built in Indo-Saracene style, is blessed at St Xavier's, Palayamkottai.
Oct 22 Dr Humayun Kabir, Minister of Scientific Research in the government of India, declares open the Post-Graduate Science Building at St Joseph's College, Trichy.


June 20
The new church of St John de Britto is blessed in Oriyur.
June Fr Shouriah, the first Madurean going abroad as a missionary, leaves for the British Guyana Mission. --- Beschi College Juniorate in Shembaganur is closed and the Juniors go to Loyola College for their undergraduate studies.
Aug 1
Silver Jubilee of Campion High School, Trichy. The school chapel is blessed.
Aug 13-14 Fr Provincial attends the first meeting of the Conference of the (Men) Religious of India (CRI) in Delhi .
Sept 27 On the anniversary of the approbation of the Society of Jesus, the Malabar Region becomes the Kerala Vice-Province; Fr de Roton is the interim Vice-Provincial. On 20 Dec Fr Edamaram is appointed its first Vice-Provincial.
Dec 23 Fr General appoints Fr Mann, the Patna Vice-Provincial, Visitor of the Madurai Province.
Feb 23 Fr Mann arrives at the Province as Visitor.
May The JEA - the Jesuit Educational Association of India - is founded.
Sept 20 The "Jesuit Board of Tamil writers" decide to become "Beschi Writers' Association", and to bring out religious books every four months.
Dec 3
First Centenary of the Jesuit Mission to the Indians in Mauritius. Many of those missionaries were from the then Madurai Mission.