Education Ministry: We show God to young ones through education, accompanying them to discern and accomplish their dreams and guiding them to be faithful citizens.
St. Vincent's High School, Pune
In 1865, a year after St. Xavier’s Church was completed; the Society of St. Vincent de Paul under the presidency of an eminent lay catholic, T.C. Loughnan, Esq., took up the matter of education under its serious consideration and set up a special School Committee with Mr. Charles Cook as its chairman. At its meeting of December 27, the Committee passed the following resolution that was forwarded to Bishop Steins. “That as the want of an additional English School for boys, this has been a long felt need by the inhabitants of Poona, an effort to establish such an institution be made without delay.” The Committee opened a subscription list for the necessary funds and the Cantonment authorities agreed to give gratis a piece of land on the East Street. However, both the subscription and the piece of land were inadequate and so a year later on December 15, the Committee proposed a new plan to the Bishop.
The proposed St. Vincent de Paul’s Boys School would be started by the Bishop with the active collaboration of the Society which “resolved to guarantee to Your Lordship a monthly sum of Rs.100 with a proviso that should we be able to make up the balance of Rs.50 as originally promised, the same will be made good. We further bind ourselves to collect and make over to Your Lordship the sum of Rs.3123 already subscribed and to endeavour to continue making up the stipulated sum of Rs.8000.” To This the Bishop agreed.
In March 1867
In March 1867, news arrived in Poona that Bishop Steins was being promoted and sent as Archbishop of Calcutta, and so the Poona Conference of the St. Vincent de Paul Society requested that it be allowed to name the upcoming school as “Bishop Steins Boys’ School” in order to perpetuate, as they wrote “your name as a friend and Patron of Education which you have proved your self to be ever since your arrival in Bombay”. The name of the school, however, was never changed and Mr. Charles Cook agreed to give up his own bungalow (at the site of the present school library) for the purpose of the school. It would be rented for Rs.50 per month.
On Friday, April 5, 1867
On Friday, April 5, 1867, Mr. Cook shifted from his house to a new one and next day two Fathers arrived from Bombay to start the school: Joseph Brunner and John McDonnough. The school was started on Tuesday, April 9, with just 5 pupils. The very next day, Fr. Brunner wrote to the Bishop: “Boys are coming every day, though they are not numerous till now. On Sunday last, St. Vincent’s School Commission met and showed most zealously to give us any kind of help and encouragement, which in faith we are greatly in need of. The Rs.50 Your Reverend gave me are gone to the last farthing and I can defy all the filoux de Paris and de London to rob me of money…”A month later, Fr. Brunner had more interesting details to give to the Bishop: “Alas, the days are so short here in St. Vincent’s School and yet rather than complain we give thanks to God that however short they are – we have nearly fifty boys all well disposed and doing nicely.
I received these poor Portuguese (Goan) boys, many of them without parents, or sons of butlers and cooks for One Rupee per month, which all paid most willingly in advance. For the others the fees are at Rs.4 for one chap (T. McDonough’s) and Rs.3 for mine. But I am in need of an assistant teacher who be sent without delay…. My money nearly gone again, as I paid to Mme. St. Catherine (Superior of the Convent) a bill of Rs.66.4 for things she purchased for us. From St. Vincent’s Society no cash has been received as yet, as they will be able to collect some only in about a months time, people being absent from Poona now. Besides our support, we should have furniture, cots, chairs, table, chest of drawers etc. I suppose you will hardly be able to send us many things. I hope we’ll go on well and the school will be a success.”
In August 1867
Mr. Cook’s bungalow was purchased in August 1867 for Rs.12,000. But the increase in the number of the students and the fact the “purchased spot is much exposed and infected by the poisoned air that arises from the outhouses in the rear of the Police Barracks”, compelled Bishop Meurin to apply to the Cantonment for a piece of land in the neighbourhood of Liberty Cinema. The request was turned down and consequently a wing had to be added (ground floor of the old “Red Building”). Its inauguration on January 10, 1868 was reported by the BOMBAY GAZETTE (January 14) in the following glowing terms:- “The new school-room of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul was blessed and declared open a few days ago.
The Government Recognized
It is a spacious, elegant and substantial structure, and has sprung up as it were by the touch of a magical wand. Wonderful people, these Jesuits! Nothing appears to checkmate their progress. The word ‘impossible’ after the great Napoleon is not to be found in their vocabulary. Within a period of a few years, look at their convents, chapels, schools, etc., certainly their energy is exemplary, for they fully demonstrated the saying of the great Prince of Painters – nothing is denied to well directed labour, and nothing can be attained without it.” Naturally, the same year the Government recognised the school, and sanctioned Rs.936 as grand-in-aid.
As the number of pupils kept on increasing, more classrooms had to be constructed. In 1882, a top storey was added at the cost of Rs.14,000 and a year later Payne’s Bungalow (near the present cycle-stand) was purchased for Rs.4000 and used for Jesuit Residence. In 1909, the roof of this bungalow collapsed, almost killing Fr. F.X. Gallati. The adjoining Meade’s bungalow was bought and within a year Br. Joseph Heagele put up a new residence for the Fathers. The second floor was added in 1935-36).
In 1908, the school purchased Hanson’s bungalow (parish hall compound) and in 1922 exchanged it for Lavina Hall or Luxa Bungalow, which the Bishop had earlier purchased from a certain Laxman. This bungalow was turned into a boys’ hostel and finally replaced by the Gulati Hall. In 1920 a porch was added to the Red Building and a wing towards the West. The work progressed fast and the Governor of Bombay, Sir George Lloyd, inaugurated the new wing on the feast of St. Vincent, July 19, 1921. Two years later, the play-field beyond Maneck Nullah (dividing the city from the Cantonment) was acquired for Rs.22,000 and the nullah covered in the early sixties.
From 1933 to 2016
Fr. Riklin constructed the imposing wing with the statue of the Patron Saint from 1933 to 1935, and 25 years later Father Schoch replaced the original Red Building with the present office block, library, laboratories and classrooms, completed in 1963 at the cost of Rs. 8,41,910. Soon after, the AV Room was furnished and the stadium built in time for the Centenary Celebration in 1967. In the year 1977, Fr. Edmund D’Souza extended the primary section by one floor. Fr. K. Misquitta constructed the second storey of the building in 1985. Extension of the stadium started in October 1999 and was completed in May 2000 by Fr. K. Misquitta. The multipurpose hall, “Fr. Oesh Hall”was constructed in 2003. In 2011 St. Xavier’s pre-primary section started. 2013 St. Xavier’s School, Vitthalwadi started. The 1982-84 batch built a swimming pool for the school in 2015. The New basketball court was donated to the school by the 1990 batch in 2016.
From 2017 to 2020
On the 16th of March 2019, Phase I of St. Vincent’s Sport Vision(SVSV) project- The indoor Fr. Oesch Memorial Hall remoldeling & renovation – was successfully completed and inaugurated. The first its kind in the city of Pune – A National Basketball Association (NBA) style indoor basketball court. With first grade maple wood surface (supplied by Caoonors – USA),excellent lighting,ventilation and accoustic control.
The entire project has been funded by the alumni network of the school beginning with ex-students from the 1960s to 2018. Mr. Francis Santan D’souza(batch 1967),who made the largest contribution of 100,000 USD,was the chief guest at this inaugural function.
The Provincial of Pune Province, Rev. Fr. Adnrew Fernandes S.J. , Rev. Fr. Kenneth Misquitta S.J. ,Rector St. Vincent’s, Rev. Fr. Francis Patekar, Principal, Rev. Fr. Anish K, Vice Principal and Fr. V. Shingare were present to bless and dedicate the Hall.
Fr. Francis Patekar SJ (Principal) and Fr. Vikram Shingare SJ (Vice-Principal) continue the legacy of the pioneers of the school.
Dnyanamata Vidyalaya Marathi School, Sangamner
Dnyanamata Vidyalaya is a Marathi-medium school and junior college in Sangamner, Ahmednagar Dist. It owes its existence to the hard work of Frs. Rudolph Schoch, John Baptist Thiel, Roder and Zinser. Fr. Zinser’s concept of a school was in the line of the Gymnasium with classical education in Latin and Greek. Fr. Schoch took over from Fr. Zinser, built the school and began enrollments in June 1948. Fr. Thiel introduced agriculture in the school curriculum. Fr. Edmund D’Souza started the Junior College in 1976. The schools of the neighbourhood did not compare in quality of education or discipline with Dnyanamata.
The audiovisual room was built in 2009 by the initiative of Fr. Titus Thankaraj SJ. Students are taught English and other subjects with latest technology. The Junior college has LCD projectors for teaching and learning. The school also avails e-learning from June 2015 with Junior college students.
The school has students from 5th standard to 12th standard, and students come from rural and urban areas. It also has the facilities of hostel for boys coming from distance places, to study in this school.
List of Principals
1948 – Fr. Rudolph Schoch, SJ
1952 – Fr. John Baptist Thiel, SJ
1966 – Fr. John Santos, SJ
1972 – Fr. Edmund D’Souza, SJ
1981 – Fr. Bertram Rozario, SJ
1986 – Fr. Rajendra Gabriel, SJ
1991 – Fr. Thomas Salve, SJ
1998 – Fr. Mario Fernandes, SJ
2002 – Fr. Ovid Pereira, SJ
2003 – Fr. Ratnakar Dushing, SJ
2004 – Fr. Robert Das, SJ
2012- Fr. Francis Patekar SJ
2016-Fr. Peter Khandagale SJ
2021-Fr.James Thorat SJ
Dnyanamata Vidyalaya, Nagar Road,
Sangamner 422 605, Dt. Ahmednagar
Tel Off (02425) 223528 Res 225828
St. Xavier High School, Kolhapur
St. Xavier’s owes its origin to the express desire and concrete efforts of
the local citizenry in response to their felt need. 145 prominent citizens
signed a petition sent to Fr. Pius Geisel, SJ on Sept 17, 1956. In March that
year, Belgaum and Poona Missions were created into a Jesuit Vice Province.
There was no Jesuit institution between these cities which were separated
by 355 Kms. Fr. Geisel liked the idea because a school in Kolhapur could serve
as a link between the Missions.
Fr. C. C. Coutinho, SJ Minister and Boarding Director at St. Paul’s, Belgaum, was
appointed to pioneer the project. 200 students were enrolled within three days.
A year later, on Oct. 29, 1958, Mudhol House and the surrounding grounds was
purchased and the school was christened St. Xavier’s on Nov. 11, 1958.
The foundation stone of the school building was laid on Mar. 5, 1959, by
His Highness Shahaji Maharaj of Kolhapur. Within a year the rear wing was
completed and inaugurated by Princess Indumati Ranisaheb. The buildings were
completed in 1966. Bro. John Alphonso replaced Bro. Eric D’Silva to make the
playfields, while Fr. Gregory D’Souza arranged the school laboratories. Fr.
Miranda was responsible for the academic performance and value education in
keeping with the tradition of the Society’s standards of excellence.
Fr. Ratnakar Dushing SJ
St. Xavier’s High School,
Kolhapur 416 003
Tel Res (0231) 2654835, Sch 2651360
Loyola High School, Pune
Loyola High School and Junior College is an English medium school founded in 1961 and is named after St. Ignatius of Loyola, who founded the Society of Jesus in 1540.
The school which is recognised by the Government of Maharashtra and prepares pupils for the Secondary School Certificate Examination (Std. X) and for the Higher Secondary Certificate Examination (Std. XII) is owned by Poona Catholic Educational Association (Pvt.) Ltd. and managed by the Poona Jesuit Schools Society which belongs to the Christian religious minority group and therefore enjoys the rights and privileges guaranteed by Articles 30 (i) of the Constitution of India.
Sunday, the 11th of June 1961 was damp from the monsoon showers. In front of an unfinished building, amongst bricks, heaps of sand and bulldozers stood a motley group of boys, girls and teachers listening to Fr. Schoch as he announced that Loyola High School had been officially inaugurated. This first assembly lasted 2 hours, at the end of which Fr. Schoch declared a holiday. This, according to one of those first students, received enthusiastic applause from Fr. Rehm, the first Principal!
At the time, the area had no English medium schools for boys. So with little more than a dream, a lease of land from the National Chemical Laboratory (CSIR) and a pocketful of generous donations, Fr. Schoch and his team set about building the school on hostile, hilly terrain. It was infested with snakes and scorpions, and used an approach road that had been carved out for purposes of transporting stone from a nearby quarry. This road was later re-routed and what we see today is a magnificent tree lined driveway leading up to the school.
Initially the school was populated with students from other Jesuit schools who filled vacancies in the junior classes. Std VI had 15 students in each division and this was the case of the higher classes as well. The first batch of Std X students passed out in 1962. The school had eleven standards and Std X and XI were ‘co-ed’ till 1965 – to accommodate girls from the adjacent St. Joseph School, still under construction. The school even had a degree college up to Second Year B.Sc. till 1975. The Junior College was added when the Maharashtra State Board switched to the 10+2 system.
An Olympic sized (400 m) running track set on the main ground fronting the school
3 swimming pools – a paddling pool for young boys, a pool for lane swimming and a separate diving pool
Facilities for training in cross-country running
A football ground
Basketball courts for seniors and juniors
A well equipped library
Modern and technically up-to-date laboratories for experiments in Physics, Chemistry and Biology
A music room
An Arts and Crafts facility with coaching available for students wishing to take the Elementary and Intermediate Art Examinations.
An airy canteen set in a garden
E – Learning
Fr. Anish K SJ
St. Xavier High School, Shrirampur
St. Xavier's School is started in 1992, by Fr. James Shelke SJ, a pioneer in building many schools in Ahmednagar Distirct. St. Xaier School offers education to many students around Shrirampur. St. Xavier’s School, Shrirampur is locally managed by the Jesuit Fathers residing in Loyola Sadan Parish Church. Fr. Joseph Gaikwad is the manager and Fr. Titus is the principal.