News Letter – January, 2012
On 3rd December, 2011, St. Xavier’s English School, Chakradharpur, celebrated the School Day. The celebrations began with the Holy Eucharist. Most Rev. Felix Toppo, SJ was the main celebrant. After the Holy Mass students staged a colourful cultural programme. Fr. Eugene, the former Principal, too was present for the occasion.
On Sunday, 04th December, St. Barbara Church, Mosaboni, celebrated the Parish Feast. The celebrations began with the Holy Eucharist. The day was marked as there were Baptism, Confirmation and First Holy Communion. After the Mass, the parishioners staged beautiful cultural programme. Fathers from Maubhandar and Chaira too were present for the celebrations.
St. Theresa’s Church, Sindri, began the month of December with Christmas celebrations. On 3rd December a Christmas gathering was organised by BIT students. Fr. Amatus Kujur was the chief guest of this programme. There were skits, dances and carols which were staged by BIT students, parish youth and mahila sangh. With tea and snacks the programme came to an end.
The Paternal feast of St. Xavier’s Parish, Boys & Girls High Schools, Girls Inter College and Hostels was celebrated in pomp and ceremony. On 3rd December morning the students and staff gathered in front of the statue of St. Xavier to pay homage to their patron of their institutions. Sr. Lalita, DSA gave a brief sketch of the life and work of the saint. Then the Parish Priest along with Fr. Puthumai Raj and Fr. Augustine invoked God’s blessing on students through prayers and then garlanded the statue of St. Xavier. The representatives of teachers and students paid a floral tribute to the saint. This was followed by a solemn Eucharistic celebration. The entrance dance, Bible procession, offertory procession and melodious singing made the liturgy lively and a memorable one.
After the Holy Mass, the children gathered in the school ground. Mr. Arvind Kumar Bilung, (D.E.O.), was the chief gust of the function. The students displayed March-past, drills and many cultural items. The chief guest in his message remembered his association with St. Xavir’s institutions and affirmed the steps taken by the institution to give quality education. About 5000 children who participated in the celebration went back home after receiving their ‘St. Xavier’s Day Packet’ and the staff after a sumptuous lunch. The girls inter college had their own cultural events which added more colour to the day’s events. This was attended by parents and well-wishers. (Fr. Edwin Coelho)
On 4th December, 2011, St. John Mary Vianney campus was filled with people as the centre organised a One Day Medical Awareness Camp. There were nine doctors, including general physician and specialists, in the team. The students of St. John Mary Vianney School welcomed the medical team with a melodious song. A good number of people from the nearby villages came to the programme and benefited from it. We congratulate Fr. Vijay Bhat for organising this successful programme. (Bro. Baldeo Hembrom)
Golden Jubilee of Baptism
The Golden Jubilee of the first Baptism at Rajparm Village was celebrated on 10th December, 2011. Fifty years ago on 27th August, Late Fr. Mc Gauby, SJ, had baptised 70 persons belong to seven families in this village. A few days later Fr. John Kenedy Bingham, SJ, joined him and baptised 10 more persons.
The villagers welcomed Most Rev. Felix Toppo, SJ and other Priests who came for the programme with the traditional ‘Ho’ dance from the entrance of the village. Bishop later blessed a memorial stone and Fr. Edwin Coelho recalled the events (history) and called the people to commit themselves to Christ and to become the messengers of His Good News. Then the congregation moved towards the church for the concelebrated Holy Eucharist, which was well prepared. After the Holy Mass there were cultural programmes and a festive meal for all who gathered for the occasion. We congratulate appreciate the hard work done and interest shown by Fr. Richard Miranda, the parish Priest, Frs. Vernon and Bipin, (assistance) and Srs. Michael & Magdalene to make the event a memorable one. (Fr. Edwin Coelho)
On 12th December, 2011, at 11am Most Rev. Felix Toppo, SJ, blessed a new house of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Cluny at Birsanagar. The house is meant for the formation of candidates. Fr. Benedict Minj, the Parish Priest, Fr. Simplicius too were present for the function.
On Thursday, 15th Decemebr, 2011, the Diocesan Priests came together for the last clergy meeting of the year 2011. The meeting began with prayer and welcome address by the Bishop. After that Fr. C.R. Prabhu lead the group in discussions and deliberations on various issues concerning the life of the clergy and the Diocese at large. The meeting came to an end by a small gathering and a meal.
Sr. Ursula Geogre, OSU, celebrated her Golden Jubilee of her religious profession on 17th December, 2011, at Chandmari, Chakradharpur. Most Rev. Felix Toppo, SJ was the main celebrant of the concelebrated Holy Eucharist. A felicitation programme too was arranged after the Holy Mass. Many Priests and Religious of the Diocese, especially of the Deanery had joined for the celebration and shared the joy. We congratulate Sr. Ursula George and thank God for working wonders through her for the people of Kolhan.
On Sunday, 18th December, 2011, was a joyful and memorable day for the parishioners of Our Lady of Nativity Church, Sini, as Most Rev. Felix Toppo, SJ blessed the newly built Church and offered the Holy Eucharist. The ceremony began with the blessing of the Church and the residence for the Priests. The well arranged liturgy and total participation of the laity brought much meaning to the celebration. There was a common fellowship meal for the people gathered.
St. Xavier’s Primary School, Sini: The School Annual Parents day was celebrated on 22nd December 2011. Fr. Mario D’Souza, msfs, the Director of CBCI Medical College Project, Ranchi, was the Chief Guest. Dy. Chief Engineer of Rly. Workshop, Sini, Presided over the function. The cultural programme by the students were very creative.
St. Francis De Sales School, Seraikella: The grand Annual Sports Day of the School was organized on 12th Nov. 2011. Mr. Pankaj Kumar Singh, the manager of Canara Bank, was the Chief Guest. Fr. Jacob Karama, the Provincial, was on an official visit to the school from 27th to 28th Nov. 2011. He released the school Decennial Souvenir, ‘Springs of Life’. On 17th December, the school celebrated its 12th School Annual Parents’ Day with Most Rev. Felix Toppo, SJ as Chief Guest of the function. Comdt. R.K. Pandey, CRPF, Frs. Cyriac, Philip, Shantwan, Mr. K.P. Dubey, and Dr. Amar Kumar were the Guests of Honour. Varieties of creative and innovative cultural events were displayed by the students. ‘Thiruvathira’ and Tamil comedy from the south were the special attractions of the function.
DSFS Sisters, Seraikella: Sisters are in the process of purchasing a small piece of land near SFS School for the construction of a Convent and a boarding. Provincial Bursar Sr. Therese was here in Seraikella on her visit from 5 to 12th November. Sr. Litty and Sr. Anu have gone for a Retreat to Trivandrum.
Assisi Sisters (ASMI), Sini: Sr. Kochuthresia was transferred to Chhattisgarh on 23rd November and Sr. Viyanni Mary, a nurse from Agra, has joined the community. Sr. Mary Francis has gone for Retreat and Renewal Progremme to Bhopal. (Fr. Shijumon)
St. Joseph’s Community College
As the year comes to an end and as the air is filled with the crisp of winter winds, there is a feeling of joy and happiness everywhere. St. Joseph’s Community College too is in a festive mood. With the half yearly exams over and the students were getting ready for the Christmas Gathering, campus was filled with colour and joy. The Christmas Gathering of the College was on 21st morning. Most Rev. Felix Toppo, SJ was the chief guest of the gathering.. During this celebration 26 Health Assistant students took the Nurse’s pledge, promising that they will be true and faithful to this noble vocation. Sr. Mary, JMJ. was witness to this.
We would like to inform you that the forms for the fourth batch of Community College will be issued from 5th of January to 5th of February 2012. Three courses will be conducted; they are: Diploma/Certificate course in Health Assistant, Diploma/Certificate Course in Desk Top Publishing and Course for Office Assistant. Since there is a great demand for these courses, please send your wards as early as possible with a letter from the Parish Priest to avoid disappointment. We are happy to inform you that there will be Hostel facilities for the girls of the fourth batch. Hostel will be taken care by the PDDM Sisters.
Our New address is as follows:
St. Xavier’s Boys School, Chaibasa, celebrated its Platinum Jubilee on 22nd December, 2011. The day long concluding ceremony of the Jubilee began at 8 am with a Holy Eucharist. Most Rev. Felix Toppo, SJ was the main celebrant of the concelebrated Holy Eucharist. The cultural programmes were in the evening. Various dignitaries of the town were present for the programme and appreciated the great efforts and contribution that the School made towards the education of the people in Kohan area.
An ecumenical and Inter Religious gathering was organized at St. Joseph’s Welfare Centre, Golmuri, on 25th December, 2011. The programme was compressed of reflections from eminent personalities of the town, carols, skits and dances. It was an opportunity to share Christ’s love with one another and to experience the unity which Christ envisioned.
As part of the Jubilee Year Commitment, the families of Burigora Unit has decided that every family in the unit will make an altar at home and will enthrone a Bible in the house. Most of the houses have fulfilled their commitment and in turn the Priest-In-charge of the unit has blessed the altars. In most of the villages the villagers gather every day at different families for evening prayer, and in some other villages they gather once in a week. The Priest-in-charge along with members of the unit has arranged Recollections for the faithful. And the response was wonderful. (Fr. Sanjay Kujur, CSsR)
Br Oscar Rodericks, SJ (16/03/1931-08/12/2011)
It is said that not all five fingers are alike. Each finger is different, unique and has a specific task to perform. In the lives of our Jesuits and, in people in general, we find that each of us is different and unique. There will never be another you – there will never be another Oscar. Oscar is unique – singular – outstanding with God- given talents that made him a ‘man for others”. He came from a deeply religious family that gave one son, Joseph, to become the second Bishop of Jamshedpur; a daughter, Margaret – to become Sister Margaret and later the Provincial of the Sisters of Nazareth. Br Oscar seemed to be able to handle anything he was asked to do, and that with a smile.
He entered the Society of Jesus on 10 June 1956, at Vinayala, Mumbai. Already from Novitiate days, he became proficient in skills of all types that would make him an ideal Community man, able to carry burdens in many different fields. He did further training in mechanics at Pune, and so was able to keep the Mission vehicles on the go and rescue many a companion after a break-down. But his speciality grew as his skills increased as a superb Minister and Treasurer. These Ministries included:
- Minister and Treasurer of Jamshedpur Diocese at Bishop’s House, Golmuri;
- Minister and Treasurer of the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Jerusalem (1979);
- Treasurer in the General’s Curia, Rome;
- Minister and Treasurer of XLRI;
- Treasurer at Loyola School, Jamshedpur;
- Treasurer and Revisor of De Nobili School, Digwadih;
- Minister and Treasurer of XIM, Bhubaneswar;
- Treasurer of Vidya Jyoti, Delhi;
- Minister and Treasurer, De Nobili College, Pune;
- Minister and Treasurer, Xavier Residence, Bhubaneswar;
- Treasurer of Orissa Jesuit Society, Bhubaneswar
- and back to square one – Treasurer of Loyola School, Jamshedpur, until his death.
In discharging his duties, he meant business when it was business and humour when it was humour. He was the no-nonsense type, a man of discipline and principles.
What then was special about Br Oscar? It appears in an exclamation we often heard from his lips: “OH, BOY!” It’s an expression of a heart ready to do anything for his great Love – Jesus. That “anything” could mean running off to the bazaar, off to pick up someone from the railway station or airport; endless trips to the bank … and what was to be a culmination in the degree of his generosity – taking pictures for families on the occasion of First Holy Communions. In November 1975, on his way back from such a photo session, driving his Bullet motorcycle, a taxi suddenly stopped in front of him without notice. Br Oscar swerved, but as he did so, his leg was pinned against the bumper of the taxi and the motorcycle battery. The bone was crushed. What followed were the heroic efforts at Mercy Hospital to save his leg – but the bone was so badly crushed that no pin would take hold, and an amputation of the lower leg and foot was required. And that’s the way he lived - limping away – for the past 36 years!
His courage, stamina, cheerfulness in the many years that followed since the amputation of his leg, have been an inspiration for everyone. He not only overcame the handicap, but managed to go on driving cars, jeeps, scooters as though nothing had happened. It is no wonder then that the Society so deeply appreciates all the sacrifices Br Oscar has made – limping along like Ignatius of Loyola; struggling against so many odds – but always with an open heart, a big smile…
On the occasion of his Golden Jubilee in the Society five years ago, Father General Peter Hans Kolvenbach had this message conveyed to him; “What is most appreciated about you is not so much what you did which is truly considerable and valuable, but the spirit of generosity, combined with spontaneous joy that you manifested in every little detail of your ministry and service”. With such glowing words flowing from Father General, what more can we add, except to say “Wah, Oscar, wah!”
(Extracts from Homily given by Fr. Eric B Cassel, SJ, at Br. Oscar’s funeral (9/12/2011) at Jesu Bhavan, Mango)