Highlights (1982-1991)

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.
1982  
Jan
Fr Machado is appointed by the State government a member of a Committee to frame a Moral and Social Education syllabus for High Schools.
Feb 27
The Shembaganur 'extra-departmental' post office, which once won a national award, is handed over to the government.  
Feb

Our Way of Life , a booklet with guidelines on the Jesuit way of life in the province, is sent to all the houses.

Aug
The Provincials of India discuss the means to foster greater inter-provincial cooperation in the Assistancy, and also to respond to the calls for workers from other parts of the world.  
Oct
Fr P.T. Chelladurai becomes the Principal of the government-run Evening College of Carnatic music, Madras.
Dec 8
The papal delegate, Fr Dezza, convokes a General Congregation to elect the new General.
1983 
Jan 26
Br K.V. Peter, former Post Master of the award-winning Shembaganur post office, receives the Padma Shri award from the Indian government.
April 6 - 8 The Provincial Congregation elects Frs M. Amaladoss and J. Kurikose as delegates to GC 33. They will accompany Fr Provincial to Rome. 


April 24
Fr J. Kuriakose takes charge as the Superior of the new Andhra Region.  
May
Fr Britto Joseph, a specialist in Naturopathy, signs a contract with the Holy Family Hospital, Patna, to establish a department of Indigenous Medicine and train personnel to work in the department.  
Sep 13
GC 33 elects Fr Peter-Hans Kolvenbach the new Superior General of the Society of Jesus.  
Sep 13
Thousands of refugees from Sri Lanka reach the Mandapam camp by sea. Helped by many religious Sisters, the Maitri team, led by Fr A. Augustine, takes care of them and helps about 6000 repatriates resettle in the Kodaikanal hills.
Sep 23
Fr M. Amaladoss, one of the province delegates to GC 33, is elected one of the four General Assistants.  
Dec 1 - 3
St Mary's High School, Dindigul celebrates its Diamond Jubilee.
1984
Feb 22-26
Centenary of St Joseph's college moving from Nagapatnam to Tiruchirapalli. A sound and light spectacle brings out the history of the college and the Jesuit ideals of education.
Feb Fr Maria Louis is appointed by the Vatican the Visitor of the Brothers of the Sacred Heart. 
April 3
The IDEAS (Institute of Development, Education, Action and Studies), Centre, built on the grounds of St Mary's, Madurai begins its first training session.  
Aug
The Government of India sanctions Rs 12 lakhs for a 3 year project of the Anglade Institute, Shembaganur for the "mass exposure of school students and teachers to the disaster of environmental destruction overtaking the country and to the need to develop programmes for eco-development".  
Sep 20
Archbishop Diraviam of Madurai blesses the IDEAS-AICUF Centre building and encourages our work chiefly among the youth.  
Sep 21 - 23 Centenary celebration of St Francis Xavier's Higher Secondary School in Tuticorin.
Oct 6
In Dhyana Ashram the Archbishop of Madras presides over the inauguration of the province's publishing house, Vaigarai Pathipagam, whose chairman is Fr C.K. Swamy, and releases its first book. 
Oct 27 -28 Leaders of Catholic and Lutheran Churches and the Church of South India discuss the problem of the Sri Lanka repatriates and refugees, and formulate a coordinated programme to help them.
Nov 15
Fr Vazhapilly is lent to the Karnataka province to work in the Nagaland college as principal for some years. He is the first Madurai Jesuit sent on a mission to the North East of India.
Dec 27-30
Province Assembly with the motto, "Towards Liberation together with the Poor'.
Dec
Fr Rex A. Pai, former Provincial of Madurai, is made the Provincial of India.
1985  
April 20
The Pope appoints Fr G. Casimir, former Provincial and Regional Assistant, the new Archbishop of Madurai. 
June 16 The episcopal ordination of the Archbishop-elect, Fr G. Casimir, in Madurai.
July 1
The South Indian Common Juniorate is started at Beschi College, Dindigul.
July 5
In Shembaganur, at a seminar organized by MAITRI for the Sri Lankan repatriates in the Kodaikanal hills, they declare that they are treated like bonded labourers, and that Jesuit-led MAITRI is their only source of consolation and contact with the outside world.
Sep 24 to 26
Frs Ignatius Hirudayam and Varaprasadam take part in a seminar of the International Federation of Catholic Universities in Tantur, Jerusalem. 
Nov 1
Fr Maria Louis is appointed the Holy See's Delegate to the Sacred Heart Brothers.
Nov
Fr General declares that the Indian Assistancy will henceforth be known as the South Asian Assistancy. Apart from India it includes Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh and Pakistan.  
1986  
Feb 4
Frs. D. Jeyaraj and Roche visit the communities to review the implementation of the policies regarding domestic workers.
Feb 5
Pope John Paul II visits Madras.  
April

Fr Jerry Rosario, a member of a task-force appointed by Fr General, attends a meeting in Rome to study the problems of "our pastoral ministries today".

June
SHEPHERD (Science and Humanities for People's Development), extension service at St Joseph's college, organizes ten-day camps in 3 villages, where St Joseph's students work hard, building houses for the poor.  
July 21
A Computer Centre is opened at Loyola College, Madras. A three-credit course in computers is made compulsory for all students of statistics, mathematics, physics, chemistry, economics and commerce.
Oct 11
The Diamond Jubilee of Loyola College. Two foundation stones are blessed and laid for the Loyola Institute for Development Services and for the Jerome D'Souza Administrative Block.  
Dec 5
The Satya Nilayam Research Institute is inaugurated. 
1987
Jan 28
The Bishop of Palayamkottai blesses the Xavier Institute of Computer Science, at St Xavier's, Palayamkottai. 
Feb 15
The new Zen ignation centre in Dhyana Ashram is opened. The director will be fr. AMA, the first Zen master in India.
March 1
Celebrations to mark the 150 years of the New Madurai Mission begin with a province pilgrimage to Oriyur.
March 23-25
The Provincial Congregation sends two postulates to Fr General recommending the immediate formation of the Province of Andhra and the need for the Province to join hands with Dalit Christian movements at the regional and national levels and support their struggles.  
March 25
Archbishop G. Casimir, SJ of Madurai is transferred to the Archdiocese of Madras-Mylapore.
July 3
Fr Aloysius Irudayam becomes the Provincial, succeeding Fr Michael Jeyaraj.
July 27-30
At a Symposium on "the Jesuit Presence in Indian History', convened by Fr Anand Amaladass, 22 historians present research papers.  
July 31
By a decree of Fr General, signed on 24 July, the Madurai Province hands over the Mauritius Mission, after 29 years, back to the French Province.  
July
Fr C. Amal takes full charge of MAITRI, both in Kodaikanal hills and in Mandapam. A Grihini school is started in Shembaganur to give an over-all basic formation to illiterate young women.
Dec 12-15
Fr Kolvenbach, the Jesuit General, visits the Jesuit colleges in the province, and the Jesuit houses in Madras, Madurai and Dindigul. Besides releasing several books, he inaugurates some new ventures and finally attends the 'sound and light' show on The New Madurai Mission at St Joseph's College, directed by Fr S.M. Selvaraj. 
1988  
Jan 17
Hostel wardens of the province schools decide that Catholics and others should not be separated in the hostels, and that a Day Scholars Centre should be opened in all our schools for poor students.  
Feb 22
Fr V.M. Gnanapragasam, appointed professor of Christian Literature in the Madurai M.K. University, joins duty.  
Feb
Fr Provincial appoints a team to study the objectives, nature, scope, programmes, etc., of the recently inaugurated Jesuit Educational Research Institute (JERI).  
April 10
Social scientists and activists meet to discuss the plan, prepared by Fr. Antoniraj, for a research project on ordained priests.  
April 24
Province's 150 years Jubilee celebrations conclude with a pilgrimage to Kalugumadai, where Fr Capelli, an 18th century Jesuit missionary, is buried. Seven scholastics are ordained priests.  
May
Fr A. Lourduraj is re-elected to the Council and Board of Management of the Henry Martin Institute of Islamic Studies, Hyderabad.  
June 1
The new premises of St Joseph's College Higher Secondary School are blessed.  
June 10
The new province of Andhra is inaugurated. Fr John Bosco becomes its first Provincial. 
June
The Archibishop of Madurai makes the Varusanadu region - one of the most backward in the diocese - a mission of its own rights and entrusts it to the Jesuits, who have already started working in the region. 
Sep 24-25
Ten thousand Christians march in Tiruchirapalli to urge the Government to treat the scheduled caste Christians on par with their Hindu counterparts as regards concessions. 
Oct 25
Fr Jerome D Souza Block in Loyola College is inaugurated.
Nov

The Folklore Centre of St Xavier's College, Palayamkottai, is inaugurated.

1989  
Jan 10 - 15
The operation MAGIS (More Authentic Goals In Schools) training programme is conducted for the first time for 46 participating teachers. 
Jan 17 - 19
The Jesuit pastors reflect on "Socio-political Situation in Tamilnadu" and make proposals for formation of the laity and the organization of the parish into 'Basic Communities'. 
Feb 28
Launching of the massive survey work for the Province Dalit Research, covering 14 Catholic and 6 Protestant dioceses.  
March 31
In Shembaganur, PEAK (People's Education and Action Kodaikanal) is founded – with the team working in Kodaikanal hill moving from Sacred Heart college to Xavier's House in a field. 
June 14 - 17
The 3rd AICUF National Convention, attended by some 300 delegates, adopts a new constitution that lays stress on the mass movement aspect of AICUF and its implications.
June 18 A preliminary consultation is held on the Jesuit involvement in the Chengai-Anna district.  
July 16-Aug 1 Fr Gellard, the French Provincial, visits the Madurai Province on the occasion of the province's 150th anniversary. 
July 19 The De Britto School, Devakottai gets a new block blessed by Fr Gellard, the French Provincial. 
July 21-22
Fr Gellard visits Oriyur , where he gives to the shrine the crucifix used by St John de Britto, blesses and inaugurates the new school and hostel buildings as well as resting hall for the pilgrims.  
July 22 In Arul Anandar College, Karumathur, Fr Gellard declares open the Toulouse Block, a gift of the French Province for the Jubilee of our Mission, and blesses the RADAR Training Centre. 
Oct
Archbishop Casimir of Madras-Mylapore asks if Jesuits would take up the ailing Catholic magazine, the New Leader. After discussions, the Provincial informs the Jesuit Archbishop that the province is not ready to take over and run the magazine, but it would lend the services of Fr M.A. Joe Antony to the archdiocese to be the editor of the New Leader.
Dec 15
Fr M.A. Joe Antony takes charge as Editor and Publisher of the New Leader.
1990
Jan 17
Sch Dominic Royce becomes the first Jesuit in the province to become a trained Bharathanatyam dancer, when he gives his arangetram (maiden performance) in the Bharathya Vidya Bhavan, Madras. 

 

Jan
Fr Jerry Rosario becomes the first Assistancy coordinator of JEPASA (Jesuit Pastors in South Asia), a new initiative of the Assistancy.   
Feb 11
With the approval of Fr. General, the La Salette shrine in Kodaikanal is gifted to the Madurai archdiocese.
Feb 17
Provincial Congregation sends a postulate that requests Fr General to initiate the process for the formation of a dependent Chennai region. 
March 28 The newly formed Dalit Commission meets for the first time. 
March
The meeting of the Tamil Nadu unit of CRI (Conference of Religious India) decides never to accept donations for admissions and never to open a new unaided English Medium school. 
June 12
A programme for the development of the 23 villages of Varusanadu is presented at a meeting in the Madurai Archbishop's House.   
June 21
The Jesuit Chengai team starts in Palliagaram a " Remedial School for the Drop-outs", inaugurated by Fr James Rodrigues, Rector, Loyola College.  
June
Fr Muthupackiam's services are lent to the seminary of the Jalandhar diocese.
June 14-15
Fr Provincial inaugurates 157 houses built for the families of the freed 'bonded labourers', in three villages of the Kodiakanal hills.  
Aug 6

Fr C. Amal takes up the responsibility of coordinating the efforts to help the Sri Lankan refugees, whose number has increased substantially.  

Sept 27

On this 450th anniversary of the confirmation of the Society of Jesus by Pope Paul III, the Jesuits all over the world begin an Ignatian Jubilee Year.  

Sept Fr S. Arokiasamy is appointed Secretary of the CBCI commission for Clergy and Religious.
Dec
After 5 years of experimentation, the Province makes a commitment to send Jesuits to the mission in Zambia, either on a short-term or a long-term basis.  
1991
Feb 5
The former General, Fr Arrupe dies, almost 10 years after his paralytic stroke. His successor, Fr Kolvenbach, describes him as a man of three loves: for Christ, the Son of the Father; for the Lord's Church; and for the Society of Jesus.  
March 10
The first State-level Convention of the Alumni of Jesuit Colleges and Schools is held at St Joseph's College, with 600 delegates from 14 alumni associations.  
April 22
In Madras, a public function to celebrate the Ignatian Centenary.  
April
The CBCI appoints Fr M.A. James the Director of the National Vocations Service Centre, Pune.  
May 20-21
The ‘Province Days' in this Ignatian Year are an occasion for former and present Superiors and other Jesuits to share and relive the rich memories of the province.  
May
Fr C. Amal assumes full-time responsibility of the Madurai Jesuit Refugee Service.  
July 17-20
Five former students from Jesuit Colleges and Schools in the Province accompany Fr Joe Lawrence to the World Jesuit Alumni Congress in Bilbao, Spain.
Aug Fr Mathew Moolel becomes the first Jesuit to serve as Principal of the only College in Sikkim.
Aug 21-23
Indian Jesuits in Social Action meet to discuss "Taking Sides with the Oppressed", explained as " to be one with the oppressed, specially the Dalits and Tribals, in their struggles". 
Oct 4-6
The Botany department of St. Xavier's College organizes, for the first time in South India, a National Symposium on pteridology, the science of Ferns.  
Dec 1
Fr Sebasti L. Raj takes charge as Director of the ISI, New Delhi.