Maltese Jesuits Overseas

[Archived items: Chilimpur, India - October 2011 ; Fr Eddie Mercieca sj, Rome - November 2011; Fr Joseph Mizzi sj, Cairo - December 2011; Fr Tony Calleja, Burundi - January 2012; Fr Paul Aquilina, India - February 2012

MALTESE JESUITS ABROAD - May 2012 - This time, we bring you news from the Dumka-Raiganj Province in India. Fr Paul Aquilina SJ writes:


Sr.Emanuel renewing her vows along with two companions, Srs Skolastika and Pushpita, both of whom celebrated their Silver Jubilee of religious life, while Sr.Emanuel celebrated her Golden Jubilee

Though there are a number of  Maltese Sisters  belonging to the Congregation of the Sisters of Charity of Sts Bartolomea Capitanio and Vincenza Gerosa, perhaps few know that these Maltese Sisters came to know of the Congregation thanks to the Santal Mission of the Maltese Jesuits in India.

It was in 1958 during a promotional visit to Malta by the Regional Superior of  the Santal Mission, Fr.Joseph Portelli  SJ that some young ladies conceived an ardent desire to work among the Santals of India and consequently sought admission into the Institute of Sts Bartholomea and Vincenza. Among the four young ladies who proceded to Italy to begin their postulancy and novitiate were Joan Borg and Mary Gauci.

In 1960 the Sisters of Charity celebrated the centenary of their presence in the Mission of Bengal, India, of which the Santal Mission formed a part. Two of the novices, Srs Emanuel Borg and Ignatius Gauci, much to their surprise and delight were sent to India as a centenary gift to the Bengal Province.

In 1965, Sr.Emanuel, having finished her university studies at Calcutta, was assigned to the mission of her dreams, the Santal Mission. She proceded to St.Paul’s Convent at Dudhani, close to Dumka , the capital of the district of Santal Parganas, and she has remained there ever since.

The Convent and St.Teresa’s School were  established in 1936 by the Sisters of Charity at the request of Fr.Benjamin Cauchi  SJ, the pioneer of the Mission in Santal Parganas  for the education of girls and the formation of women, Sr.Emanuel was appointed Headmistress of St.Teresa in 1969 and continued till her retirement in 1997.

Her obvious care for and love of the students endeared her to many families. Her retentive memory remembers generations of  students of all ethnic groups. Her concern and effort to help one and all to receive a decent education  and secure a good job gained her a place in many a heart. Sr.Emanuel on 28 April celebrated her Golden Jubilee of religious life. The affection shown by many ladies towards her was complemented by the envelopes that some slid into her hands requesting her to help other children in need. It was a way of  saying ‘Thank You’.

After retirement , she remains ever active visiting families, especially those in any spiritual or material need , to counsel, comfort or encourage as the case may be. Her eldest brother Fr.Joseph Borg SJ, now in Malta,  worked for many years in Santal Parganas and has left his mark there as well.

Blessing of the foundation stone by Bishop Julius Marandi of Dumka with Fr.Provincial Nirmal Raj sj on his right and Fr.P.Aquilina sj,  on his left

Girls’ Hostel for a University College

The Jesuits of Dumka-Raiganj Province in India, the successors of the Maltese pioneer Jesuits,  last year opened a university college with the well-known name of St.Xavier’s.

On Sunday 20 May 2012, Bishop Julius Marandi of Dumka blessed the foundation stone of a projected hostel for girl students.

Bishop Julius was flanked by Fr.Provincial Nirmal Raj SJ and by Fr.Paul Aquilina  SJ. At the start of the ceremony, the Provincial informed the gathering that the hostel for girls will be an important contribution to the tertiary education and formation of girl students especially of the disadvantaged.

He praised and thanked MISSION FUND of Mosta and their benefactors for undertaking this wonderful enterprise. Bishop Julius Marandi who has at heart the education of his flock, mostly Santal, expressed very much the same sentiments  and invoked God’s blessing on the undertaking.  

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