St. Mary's H.S. School, Madurai

The following features have added to the growth and development of the mission of St. Mary’s High School and the Jesuits in Madurai City during the last 50 years.


First among these, is St. Mary’s Church, established in 1842, which has been all along serving the needs of the students and local Community. Rebuilt thrice in the majestic Gothic Style, this church enjoys the status of the Cathedral of the Archdiocese of Madurai since 1969. Under the management of the Parish, the 159-year-old primary school is equipped with ample infrastructures including Computer-lab. The Tailoring and Type-Writing Institutes, attached to this parish serve the needs of the locality.


Next comes Britto hostel, which is the home for more than two hundred boys, hailing from the nearby region. Actually, it is an amalgamation of three different hostels that has sprung up during the last 150 years:


i) “Valavan Illam” originally known as “the Children’s Home” and meant only for the poorer sections of the suburbs of Madurai, was started in 1853-54. Fr. Savarimuthu, one of its first prefects, could be called the Father of the Orphanage. It is stated that the entire blessing showered on St. Mary’s was due to the extraordinary service rendered by this institution.


ii) Besides this home of love a regular boarding for Catholic students was started in 1905. It was rightly named after the great De Nobili. Later on, it took the name of St. Britto, ‘the martyr of the Maravas’.


iii) In 1959, `Beschi Home’ was started by Fr. Vattathara specifically meant for Non-Catholic Students. But of late, it was felt that all three homes, should be merged into one in the spirit of human solidarity and for apostolic efficiency. At present, all students irrespective of their social and religious differences are living under one roof and studying together in one hostel, St. Britto.


Another landmark is the `Apostolic home of St. Francis Xavier’ started in 1918. It was originally known as `Little Knights of St. Francis Xavier’ and was the brain club of Frs. Joly and Turlan. Till recently it was the nurturing ground of vocation for the entire archdiocese of Madurai beginning from Cauvery till Cape Comorin. Now it serves the prospective candidates of Jesuit Madurai Province studying in XI and XII classes.


In June 1984 there emerged the Integrated Education Implementation Committee (IEIC, registered under the Indian Societies Registration Act) under the presidentship of Fr. Henry Amirtharaj. From a small beginning of 3 resource teachers in 1984-85, we now have more than 55 such teachers educating 622 blind and other disabled boys and girls. IEIC was fortunate to enjoy the patronage of the Christoffel Blinder Mission in the beginning. But as the needs and areas of this education expanded UPAHAR MADURAI was formed in 1998. It is gratifying to note that this scheme is functioning very well for the last 18 years in seven districts of Tamil Nadu.


The vitality and awareness St. Mary’s to cater to the needs of the School and Community at large is revealed in the establishment of Computer Academy in 1997 and Jubilee Basket Ball Court in 2000.


The school has all along enjoyed a remarkable line of leaders like Fr. G. J. Simon, S.J. Fr. J. Planchard, S.J., Fr. M. Amalorpavam, S.J. Fr. J. Mahe, S.J. Fr. X.M. Adaikalam, SJ, Fr. P. Irudayasamy, S.J. and Fr. K.S. Arulanandam, S.J. to mention only a few among them. St. Mary’s has had sterling Superiors and Managers, talented Head Masters, a legion of teachers and a mighty phalanx of students. `Truly the Lord God Almighty has showered on us His Choicest blessings in rich showers’.


We pray and hope that St. Mary’s faithful to the charism of the Society of Jesus to work for the Greater glory of God (A.M.D.G.) and following the motto sketched by the founding Fathers `By Light To Life’ will in the footsteps of De Nobili and Trincal, take the torch of knowledge and freedom and lead Madurai City and its Suburbs into the Third Millennium.