National Congress of Jesuit Alumni Associations of India 2023

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Welcome to the land of peace, knowledge and tranquility

The history of Bihar can be traced back to the dawn of civilization when the enlightened intellectuals of the soil carried and spread the light of wisdom far and wide. The constellation of monasteries and shrines of Hindus, Buddhists, Jains, and Sikhs and architectural grandeur of the past are Bihar’s socio-cultural benevolences. The University of Nalanda was one of the world’s oldest seats of learning. The reign of the Guptas was heralded as the Golden Age of India when science, mathematics, astronomy, philosophy and religion received regal impetus and was pursued with fervor. Etymologically, Bihar derives its name from the Sanskrit word ‘VIHARA’ meaning ‘abode’ or ‘monastery’.

Patna is one of the oldest continuously inhabited places in the world. Whereas one school believes it to be derived from the Sanskrit word “Pattan” meaning ‘port’ as the city was located as a thriving river port near the confluence of four rivers. Another belief is that the city derived its name from “Patan Devi”, the presiding deity of the city. One legend associates the origin to Putraka, a mythological king, who created the city by magic for his beloved queen Patali and in honour of queen’s first born named it as ‘Patliputra’. The city finds mention as ‘Palibothra’ or ‘Palimbotra’ in the writings of Greek historian Megasthenes and as ‘Pa-lin-fou’ in the records of Chinese traveler Fa-hien.

JAAI Milan Patna 2023: Shaping India’s TECHADE - Challenges and Opportunities

Welcome to the tenth edition of the Jesuit Alumni Association of India (JAAI) Milan 2023! This triennial mega-event is going to be a conglomeration of people associated with various Jesuit institutions in India, including thoughtful thematic brainstorms carving out future educational pathways, cultural extravaganza, nostalgic camaraderie and fun & frolic for three pleasant days of 10, 11, & 12 February 2023 hosted by Jesuit Alumni Associations of Patna Province (JAAP) at St Xavier's School, Patna and St. Michael’s School, Patna. The theme of this mega-event is going to be “Shaping India’s TECHADE – Challenges & Opportunities”.

Technology today is the greatest equalizer built by humankind to solve some of the pressing world challenges– from Health crisis to Climate Change. TECHADE is a portmanteau of technology and decade i.e., a decade powered by the impact of technology. This word gained momentum when our Prime Minister had said that data and demographic dividend combined with India’s proven tech prowess presents massive opportunity for the country, and exuded confidence that this decade will be ‘India’s TECHADE’.

To give and not to count the cost

The Society of Jesus - also known as the Jesuits - is a religious order of men within the Roman Catholic Church. Saint Ignatius of Loyola and six of his companions founded the Society of Jesus in 1540. It was in that year that this group received formal approval from the pope, then Pope Paul III. One of his first companions was the then professor of the Paris University, Saint Francis Xavier, who came to India in 1542. He opened the first Jesuit school in Goa in 1543. It was named St. Paul's College. Nothing exists of this institution today except its memory, but it was the predecessor of hundreds of other schools and colleges that are spread all over the country.

The Jesuits are involved in multiple activities in their attempts at nation building in India through continuity with past traditions and new initiatives. Jesuits in India now run more than 400 primary, middle schools, and high schools, 50 university colleges, 22 technical institutes, and 17 business administration institutes, 4 Universities with more than 15,000 teachers, educating more than 4 lakh students belonging to different religious, linguistic, and socioeconomic groups. Many of their institutions are among the most reputable, and their share in the country’s educational undertaking is substantial.

ad maiorem dei gloriam (for the greater glory of God)

The Society of Jesus founded by St. Ignatius Loyala in the 16thcentury is associated with education throughout the world and notably in India. The vision of Jesuit education got its inspiration from the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. St. Francis Xavier arrived in India in 1541 and organized the first Jesuit school in India, His name lives on today in many schools, colleges and institutes of advanced training throughout the subcontinent.

The First World War forced the German priests in India to return to their homeland. On September 10th 1919, Pope Benedict XV established the Diocese of Patna and made Bishop Van Hoeck, S.J., its first Bishop. Bishop Van Hoeck invited the Missouri Jesuits to come and work in Patna. Five Missouri Jesuits - Frs. William Eline, SJ, Henry Milet, SJ, Edward Anderson, SJ, Patrick Troy, SJ, and Thomas Kelly, SJ. - arrived in Patna on 16th March 1921. These first Jesuits of Patna, along with the work of looking after the Catholics, felt the need of starting good schools. They opened Khrist Raja High School in Bettiah in 1927. In 1940 Fr. Loesch, S.J., the then Superior of Patna Jesuits, asked Fr. Marshal to start St. Xavier’s School in Patna. In 1942 the Patna Jesuits started St. Xavier’s Jaipur, in 1950 St. Xavier’s Kathmandu, in 1960 St. Xavier’s Delhi and in 1969, took over St. Michael’s Patna from Irish Brothers. Frs. Loesch, Moran, Niesen, Wrobleswski, Cleary and Murphy were outstanding Jesuit teachers of St. Xavier’s, Patna. Through the years it has built up a reputation for excellence in the education and for preparing the students to distinguish themselves by selfless service to humanity and to lead lives in keeping with the school motto For God and Country. Last year, Patna Jesuit Mission celebrated 100 years of blessings and transforming lives.