Highlights (1972-1981)

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.

Jan 15
The Jesuit theologate of Kurseong, is transferred to Delhi and called Vidyajyothi.
Feb The plan submitted by Fr Michael Raj to the Tamil Nadu Bishops and to Fr Provincial for restructuring the Mass Media Apostolate is approved.
June 11 Fr Chelladurai's 'Arangetram' (maiden Carnatic music concert) is held in Chennai. He is the first Catholic priest to have an arangetram.
Sept 7
The Director General of the Posts & Telegraphs, Delhi visits the post-office in Shembaganur, managed for 60 years by Br Peter, SJ, and writes in the visitors' book: "If work is worship, this is its temple and Br Peter is the High Priest".
Nov 5
Andhra Region is inaugurated, with Fr J. Baliah as the first Regional Superior.
The management of Campion School, Tiruchirapalli is given back to the diocese.
Dec 12
The Province takes charge of the de la Salle college, Karumathur on the request of the Archbishop of Madurai. Its first Jesuit principal is Fr V. Rajanayagam.

April 22

Fr. G. Casimir becomes Provincial of Madurai, succeeding Fr. D. Gordon.
De La Salle College, Karumathur, becomes Arul Anandar College (St John de Britto's Tamil name), and starts a new course on Rural Development Sciences and Services (RDSS).
May 15 The Andhra Region takes charge of St Patrick's Boys High School in Secunderabad.
May 15 - 21
JEA seminar on "Transforming our Educational Institutions into Agents of Social Change".
June 27 - 29
On the request of the C.B.C.I. Commission for Dialogue, Fr. Ignatius Hirudayam organizes a Tamilnadu Regional Get-Together on 'Preparing the Local Church for Dialogue'.
The new Central Committee of AICUF defines it as a "a students' movement inspired by Christ's ideals of truth, love and justice embodying themselves through history".
Sept 22
In Arul Anandar College, Karumathur, the foundation stone for the proposed Tamil Nadu Regional Seminary is laid by the Internuncio.
Scholastic Francis Britto leaves to serve in the Japanese Province.
Nov 21
The Botany Department of St Joseph's College is recognized as a Research Centre.

Fr Ignatius Hirudayam is appointed Consultor of the Vatican Secretariat for Non-Christians.
April 16
Province Meeting on "Inter-personal Relationships" point out that the vision presented by St Ignatius in the Spiritual Exercises is the best help for such genuine relationships. - The Provincial Congregation elects Frs Varaprasadam and Gordon Delegates to GC 32, who will accompany Fr Casimir, the Provincial.
May 4
Arivalaya, a cultural troupe consisting of 20 scholastics, guided by Fr Michael Amaladoss, gives its first performance at St Mary's, Madurai, after a ‘Jesuit Artists Meet' .

May 10-30
Fr P.T. Chelladurai begins the first Carnatic Music Summer School.
May 25-27
Some concrete guidelines on Poverty are decided upon, and the educational institutions are asked to mould students into "men for others" who will be instruments of social justice.

Sep 8
Blessing and opening of the new premises of Aikiya Alayam, the Dialogue Centre.
Dec 1
GC 32 begins at Rome.
The second centenary of Fr Thomas de Rossi, SJ, one of the last pioneers of the Old Madurai Mission, is celebrated in Sarugani. He is specially known for the daily evening prayers he wrote in Tamil.
Jan 26
The meeting of Superiors decides that the Province will join in the "Ten Thousand Wells" programme started by the Madurai archdiocese to help the people of the Ramnad district.
March 10
At GC 32 in Rome, the Provincial of Madurai, Fr G. Casimir, is appointed the Regional Assistant.
April 3
In the presence of 14 Protestant and Catholic bishops, the newly-translated Book of Ruth is released, first fruit of the Ecumenical Bible Translation team, led by Fr Michael Irudayam, SJ.
May 12
After studying the reports from the Province, Fr General discontinues the office of Vice-Provincial for Pastoral Apostolate, while maintaining the post of Vice-Provincial for Education.
Fr Dhavamony is elected Dean of the Faculty of Missiology in the Gregorian University.
June 6
Fr Rex A. Pai becomes the Provincial, succeeding Fr G. Casimir, the new Regional Assistant.
June 17
In Karumathur, the bishop of Tuticorin blesses ‘Christ Hall', the new Tamilnadu Region's major seminary for philosophers who will get a degree in Philosophy from Arul Anandar College.
On the feast of the Sacred Heart, the foundation stone of ‘Ugarte Nagar' is laid, a scheme to build 130 houses, out of which 25 will be reserved for workers of the Sacred Heart College, on 8 acres of land donated by the Sacred Heart College.
July 10 A Survey of the East Ramnad is launched, guided by Fr Houtart, who will process the data in Louvain University , Belgium.
Aug 4-8
Fr J. Kuriakose attends a Conference in Rome on "the Role of the Jesuit-sponsored Institutions of Higher Education in the Service of Faith and Promotion of Justice".
Oct 5-6
All Rectors and Principals decide to accept the Autonomous College status, in case this is granted to Jesuit colleges by the U.G.C. and the Government.
In Rome, Fr General founds the "Jesuit Socio-Economic Development Secretariat (JESEDES) with Fr Michael Campbell-Johnston of British Guyana as its first Director.
Nov 2
The Major Superiors of India appoint a committee to work out a programme of formation and study in the context of Inculturation. Fr Varaprasadam is appointed a member of the Committee.
Jan 1
Fr Loze of Madurai Province becomes Secretary of the Jesuit Mission Secretariat in Rome.
Jan 14-16
Golden Jubilee of Loyola College is attended by Mrs Indira Gandhi, the Prime Minister. A Sciences & Arts Exhibition, an academic conference for teachers and students, a seminar on ‘Youth and Faith', and Old Boys' Day are held.
Fr Lawrence Sundaram is appointed the National Chaplain of the Newman Association in India.
March 19
A special Fund to be known as FACSI – meant for apostolic and charitable purposes - is inaugurated in Rome by Fr General.
May 6 - 13
Many Brothers attend a Seminar on the documents of Vatican II and CG 32.
June 10
Fr General promulgates the Statutes of the Jesuit Conference of India and the office of the Provincial of India. Fr Ambrose D'Mello of the Karnataka Province is made the first Provincial of India.
Fr T.A. Mathias represents India for the second time at the U.N. General Assembly and works in the Committee on Humanitarian, Social and Cultural Concerns.
Dec 5
Meeting of the Commission for Education, which expresses the need to prepare ourselves for the work of Non-Formal Education, mainly for adults and school drop-outs.
Dec 19
The 'Pay Commission' submits its final revision of wages to Fr Provincial for his approval.  
At SHC, Shembaganur, Fr G. Ignacy launches a 'Mini Project' in which he teaches certain subjects to First Year philosophers with an Indian approach in tune with inculturation.
July 23
The Finance Commission publishes guidelines towards a better application of the vow of poverty.
Aug 30 -
Sep 3
Fifty Jesuits, diocesan priests, Sisters, Brothers and lay people discuss "the Church and Society in East Ramnad" and insist on the defence and promotion of Dalits as the primary task of the Church there.
Sept 2
The post of the Vice-Provincial for Education is discontinued. But the Province gets a Vice-Provincial for Formation.
Sept 8
The Institute of Inculturation is started in Aikya Alayam, Chennai to commemorate the fourth centenary of the birth of Robert de Nobili, the founder of the First Madurai Mission.
Sept 10-11
The Superiors reflect on Fr Arrupe's letter on "Inculturation of the Spiritual Life and the Apostolate" and takes up the report of the Inculturation Commission of the Province.
Oct 22

A new Commission discusses the development of East Ramnad, the formation of a new Centre for Rural Studies, the Press Apostolate etc.

Oct 22-24
Madurai Jesuits reflect for two days on the caste factor as fostering an unjust structure in the parish milieu; and on the question of lay leadership for the task of liberation of the oppressed.
Oct 30 A meeting of Madurai Jesuits reflects on the role of the caste factor in fostering an unjust structure in the parish milieu; and on the question of lay leadership for the task of liberation of the oppressed.
Nov 13-17

A terrible cyclone causes severe damages first in Tamilnadu, then in Andhra Pradesh, chiefly in the districts of Vijayawada and Guntur. St Joseph's college suffers most from the havoc.

Dec 11
The Headmasters and Superiors reflect about introduction of the Higher Secondary section in Jesuit High Schools.
Jan 2-6
Eight Madureans attend the All India Jesuit Meeting on Formation in Bombay.
Jan 13-15
Provincial Congregation sends Fr General a postulate on the need of a Regional Theologate, and another on the work among the exploited and marginalized Dalits and Tribals.
April 30-
May 1
Local Superiors, Principals and Headmasters share on how to make our institutions progress in the service of Faith and the promotion of Justice. They decide to give up the English medium sections in schools and have only Tamil medium in the Higher Secondary Schools.  
May 5
The Syndicate of the Madras University confers the Autonomous status to Loyola and St Joseph 's Colleges. (Later, all the five Colleges run by Jesuits in Tamil Nadu will become Autonomous).
The Provincial of India decides that the Jesuit philosophate in Shembaganur will be shifted to 9, Lattice Bridge Road, Madras and will be called Satya Nilayam.
June 8
A new retreat centre, "Inigo Dhyana Illam" is inaugratuted in a wing of Beshi college.
June 14
Jesuits hand over the administration of St Paul's Seminary, Trichy to the Ecclesiastical Province of Madurai. The Jesuits still serving in the Seminary form a separate community.
July - Aug
The Tirunelveli Social Service Society, directed by Fr T. Malayampuram, SJ opens a Grihini school in Kuruvikulam for training illiterate girls of marriageable age in domestic sciences and family life.
A team of Jesuits called ‘the PALMERA team' (People's Action and Liberation Movement in East Ramnad) selects the Kannankudi panchayat to launch non-formal education. 68.62 % of its people are illiterate.
Sep 12 -13
The proposed Regional Theology Project is finalized and sent to Fr General.
Dec 30-31
In Madras, 80 Brothers from 9 different Congregations gather for the first Regional Congregation of Tamil Religious Brothers. Br Paranjothi is to represent the Jesuit Brothers in the follow-up of the meeting.
Fr A. Pappuraj is appointed to coordinate the work of rehabilitation of the repatriates from Sri Lanka, divided into camps in Mandapam, Kottupatti near Tiruchirapalli and the Kodaikanal hills.
Jan 6 - 10 The Indian Major Superiors reflect on the decline in personal prayer, and the need of the "integration of our prayer with the apostolate, resulting on apostolic mobility".  
Jan 26 The Madurai Apostolic School celebrates its Diamond Jubilee.
Feb 23

Fr Gualbert begins teaching in a Government School managed by the Jesuits in Bhutan. 

March 18 The schoolmen discuss self-evaluation of the English medium sections in our schools.
March 25
Loyola organizes a march to the Governor's House to protest the anti-Church atrocities in Arunachal Pradesh and other North Indian regions, and express serious concern about the Arunachal Pradesh Bill and the Freedom of Religion Bill.
Fr Provincial appoints a commission to study the future of our properties in the Kodaikanal hills, in keeping with the decree of CG 32 and the new Statutes on Poverty.
May 22-25
Four of our Brothers attend the First National Convention of Religious Brothers of India (NARBI) meant to encourage all Brothers in the process of renewal and adaptation.
June 10
The Auxiliary Bishop of Madras inaugurates the Regional Tamil Theologate, called Arul Kadal (the Ocean of Grace), a phrase very dear to Veeramamunivar (Fr Beschi).
June 24
Inauguration of "Valarmathi", the new Juniorate at Clive's, St Joseph's College, Trichy.
On retiring as a college professor, Fr G. Thottungal goes to serve in East Africa.
In Loyola, Madras, Fr Casimir Raj starts LIBA (Loyola Institute of Business Administration). St Joseph 's starts JIBA (Joseph's Institute of Business Administration ) as a one-year post-graduate diploma course.
Nov 25

Fr General reminds all Jesuits of their commitment to fight atheism: "To meet this challenge facing the Church, we must adequately revise our manner of life and work".

Dec 23 Fr A.J. Lawrence reaches the island of Trinidad in the West Indies, his new mission post.
Dec 26-29
Province Meeting on "Together toward Tomorrow". The assembly is in favour of a preferential option for the poor and downtrodden in every sphere of our apostolate.

Feb 2 - 4

Celebration of the Silver Jubilee of Andhra Loyola College.
March 18
The philosophate at Shembaganur begins the process of shifting to Madras. As the building in Shembaganur becomes again a house of the Madurai Province, a part of it is used for the Anglade Institute of Natural History, started by Fr K.M. Mathew.
May 18
Twenty of our media men ask for an evaluation of the various periodicals published by the Madurai Jesuits, and the formation of an Editorial Board for each periodical.
July 11-12
The General, Fr Arrupe visits Madras - mainly to inaugurate Satya Nilayam, the new national Jesuit philosophate.  
Caritas India asks Fr Ceyrac to coordinate the work of 15 volunteers (including 4 Jesuits) sent from India to help the Kampuchean refugees in Thailand. 
Responding to the request of the Bishop of Kumbakonam, Fr Pushpanather becomes Correspondent and Headmaster of the High School in Viragalur.  
Fr Dhavamony represents the Vatican at the First General Assembly of Ecumenical Associations of African Theologians, at Taounde, Cameron.  
Nov 8
In Madras three programmes mark the third birth centenary of the well-known Tamil poet and a Jesuit, Veeramamunivar (Fr Beschi): a seminar; a public function; and a special feature on the Madras Television.  
Nov 14
Fr Arrupe writes to the entire Society about the urgent problem of the refugees and announces the formation of the Jesuit Refugees service (JRS), which will work with non-Jesuit collaborators.  

Nov 30-Dec 2
Centenary celebrations of St Xavier's High School, Palayamkottai.  
This year's Jesuit statistics show that there are 431 fewer Jesuits in the world, but the Indian Assistancy has increased by 86 and now numbers 3002, becoming the most numerous after the United States (5618).
Feb 7
The Research Institute of Entomology in Loyola organizes a National Seminar on "Research Advances in Entomology in India". The renowned agricultural scientist, Dr M.S. Swaminathan, delivers the presidential address. 
April 5
Fr Michael Jeyaraj becomes the Provincial, succeeding Fr Rex A. Pai. 
The Tamil Department of St Xavier's College in Palayamkottai is recognized as a research centre.
June 1
The Bishop of Chandigarh asks Jesuits for help and Frs S David and V. Diaz become our first Himalayan missionaries.  
Fr A. Machado is appointed Secretary-Treasurer of the Catholic Educational Council of Tamil Nadu.  
Aug 6
In a talk to Jesuits working among the refugees in Bangkok, Thailand, the General, Fr Arrupe says: "These (refugee) problems are not solved by human efforts; we do not pray enough". The following morning, while landing in Rome, Fr Arrupe suffers a paralytic stroke. 
The Provincial, Fr M. Jeyaraj is elected to the Executive Committee of the National Advisory Council of the Catholic Bishops Conference of India (CBCI).