Highlights (1962-1971)

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.
March 19
Berchmans Hall, which will house the Jesuit undergraduate students, is inaugurated at Loyola College, Madras.

Jesuits hand over the district of Sarugani in the Madurai archdiocese to the diocesan clergy.

May 31

By a decree of Fr General, the Assistancy of India and East Asia is divided into Indian Assistancy (which includes Sri Lanka) and East Asia Assistancies. Fr Jerome D' Souza continues as Assistant of the Indian Assistancy.

October 2
Solemn opening of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council - a decisive turning point in the life of the Church and of the Society.
Nov 14

Fr M. Dorairaj, the first missionary to Africa from the province, leaves for Mwanza, Tanganyka.

July 7

A Catholic Social Welfare Bureau is opened on the occasion of the Silver Jubilee of the Madurai archdiocese.

Loyola College, Madras, begins a Master's Programme in Social Work with three fields of specialization: Industrial Relations, Medical Social Work and Rural & Community Development.

Copies of the revised ‘Customs Book' of the province are sent to all the houses.

Golden Jubilee of the Catholic Truth Society (C.T.S.), Tiruchirapalli.
  The Jesuit statistics for 1963 show the Indian Assistancy to be numerically (2495) the 6th among 11 Assistancies.
Jan 7 - 9

Fr S. Rajamanickam presents a paper on De Nobili at an International Congress of Orientalists. Dr Humayun Kabir, another speaker at the Conference, acclaims De Nobili as "the first Orientalist".

Jan 31-
Feb. 2

The first Annual Study Conference on Social Action is held at Loyola College, Madras.

April 22
Fr Arul Maria Varaprasadam becomes the Provincial, succeeding Fr L. Fernandez.
July 13

Bishop Mummadi blesses in Guntur the Loyola Public Academy, the second Jesuit foundation in Andhra.


Fr M. Dhavamony speaks on "Christian approach to the Hindus" during the 'Missiology week' in Louvain, Belgium.

October 5
Fr John Baptist Janssens, General of the Society of Jesus, dies. 
Feb 11
Foundation of Vinukonda, the first Jesuit mission-station in Andhra after those established in the 18th century by the French Jesuits of the Carnatic Mission.
Fr Theo Mathias is asked by the University Grants Commission to be a member of an All-India Committee to advise on student integration in university life.
Fr T.N. Sequeira is co-opted as a member of the Government's Kothari   Education Commission.
May 22
General Congregation 31 elects Fr Pedro Arrupe the Superior General of the Society of Jesus.
Aug 25
In a letter to a meeting in France, Fr Arrupe declares that "adaptation to the modern world" is to be a characteristic of his generalate.
Nov 17
Fr Yedanapally leaves for Bangkok to prepare within six months, along with an international group of chemists, a pilot project for teaching Chemistry in South Asia.
Fr E. Ugarte is appointed the chairman of a committee to prepare a Plan of Jesuit Studies for India, applying the recommendations of the Vatican Council II and the GC 31.
Fr General orders a General Survey of the Society to find out how effectively the Church and the Society address today's problems. At the national level, the Indian Social Institute is in charge, and Fr Ugarte in the Province.
June 10
Scholastic I.S.S. James joins the Hong Kong Mission and leaves for Petaling Jaya, Malaysia, to learn the language. (He is now applied to the Indonesian Province)
July 31
Fr General reminds all Provinces of the task entrusted by Pope Paul VI to the Society regarding atheism. In the Madurai Province, Frs G. Ignatius and Louis Xavier are asked to look after this mission.
Oct 16-20
Invited by both the Papal Secretariat for Christian Unity and the Faith and Order Commission of the World Council of Churches, Fr Muthumalai attends ecumenical meetings in Geneva.

Fr Ceyrac is invited by the Secretary General of Pax Romana to visit Africa for three months and to share his experiences with the chaplains and students of that continent.
A six-month Pre-Novitiate is started, and even candidates who have finished their P.U.C. attend it.
Jan 8
All Rectors and Principals, Superiors and Headmasters meet in Tiruchirapalli to reflect on the Decrees of GC 31. They propose practical suggestions to implement them in the Province.
Jan 17-18
The General, Fr Arrupe, visits Madurai, Shembaganur, Dindigul, Tiruchirapalli and Madras.
April 5
Fr Dhavamony is appointed Consultor to the Secretariat for Non-Christian Religions in Rome.
June 29
Archbishop John Peter Leonard, S.J. of Madurai resigns and transfers his powers to the archbishop-elect, Fr Justin Diraviam who belongs to the diocese of Trichinopoly.
July 31
By a decree of Fr General, the Mauritius Tamil Mission becomes a Mission of the Madurai Province, - the first foreign mission of the Province. Fr J de Roton is the Superior of the Mission.
Dec 3
Dr Kothari, Chairman of the University Grants Commission, discusses at St Joseph 's, Trichinopoly, with 9 College Principals' issues like Finances, Teaching Medium and Autonomous Colleges.
On the Marina Beach, Madras, a statue of the Tamil poet Veeramamunivar (Fr Constantine Beschi, SJ, 1680-1746), is installed along with those of other renowned Tamil writers.
A Commission for Brothers is constituted to discuss and advise the Provincial on Decree 7 (on Jesuit Brothers) of the GC 31.
The Prime Minister of India appoints Fr Jerome D' Souza a member of the National Integration Council.
The Madurai Report for the Survey demanded by Fr General is finalized.
Oct 31
A 3-day celebration of the Centenary of Mahatma Gandhi is held at Loyola College for all the University students of Madras city.  
Jan 24 Golden Jubilee of the Apostolic School in Madurai.

Jan 31-
Feb 2
Diamond Jubilee of St Mary's High School, Madurai.
Fr Michael Raj becomes the Director of the Tamilnadu Catholic Audio-Visual Education Service, Tindivanam.
May 1
Fr D. Gordon becomes the Provincial for the second time, succeeding Fr Varaprasadam.

July 18
The M.Ed. course at St Xavier's Teachers' College is inaugurated.
The "Jesuit Survey Report on the Indian Asistancy" is published.
Dec 17-18
Conference of the Brothers of Madurai Province, during which important conclusions are adopted regarding the vocation, formation and work of the Jesuit Brothers.
A Centre of Ignatian Spirituality is set up in the Roman Curia of the Society to provide information and to encourage studies of the Jesuit spirituality.

Feb 11
The Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu opens the new Community Centre at St Joseph 's College, Tiruchirapalli, while inaugurating 125th anniversary celebrations of the college.
Feb 15
Fr Theo Mathias represents the Indian Jesuits at an East Asia Education Conference in Taiwan, and then at a conference on "Global Dimensions of Education" in California.
May 11-17
The first "Assistancy Jesuit Conference" on the theme 'Jesuits in India Today' proposes the formation of a "Province for Common Works of the Assistancy" and of four 'Assistancy Secretaries'.

A three-year integrated course of philosophy and theology begins at Sacred Heart College, Shembaganur.

Sep 5 - 10
Fr Theo Mathias attends the UNESCO Conference on Higher Education in Teheran, Iran as the official Vatican representative.

Jan 6
Fr General promulgates the statutes of the Delegation for Common Works of the Indian Assistancy and appoints Fr Parmananda Divarkar the First Delegate.
May 15 - 22
A JEA National Seminar is held in Shembaganur, with 100 participants, on "the aims and objectives of the Jesuit Education in India".
May 24
Fr Rodney Hart leaves for the Philippines as a missionary, to work among leprosy patients.
May 31 - June7
Fr T.A. Mathias represents the Vatican at a Conference of Asian Ministers of Education and Ministers of Economic Planning, organized by the UNESCO in Singapore.
Fr Provincial promulgates the statutes for the administration of the Madurai Province and appoints two Vice-Provincials – one for Pastoral Apostolate and the other for Education.