St. Xavier’s College, Ranchi is a Minority Educational Institution based on religion established and administered by the Ranchi Jesuit Province of the Society of Jesus. The College is registered by the Ranchi Province under the local title ‘Xaviers Ranchi’ under the Society’s Registration Act XXI of 1860.
St. Xavier College, Ranchi was started by the Ranchi Jesuits Society called (Society of Jesus) a Christian Religious Order founded by St. Ignatius Loyola in 1540. Since its foundation, the Jesuits have contributed in the field of education throughout the world. The vision drawn from the life and teachings of Jesus Christ gives Jesuit educational institutions a recognizable character and sets before their management, staff, students, parents and the community high ideals of life and service which will inspire them continuously to strive to meet the emerging needs and challenges.
Inspired by this vision the Jesuits in India has been active in the field of higher education serving the nation in the context of plurality of religions and diversity of cultures. Across the world, the Society of Jesus, is responsible for over 1,865 Educational Institutions in 65 Countries. In India, the Society of Jesus, runs 153 High Schools, 38 University College, 14 Technical Institutes and 5 Business Administration Institutes. While Jesuit educational work has always been at the service of the whole nation, irrespective of caste and creed, it recognizes a special responsibility towards the Catholic community.
The Ranchi Jesuit Province through St. Xavier’s College envisions the educational development of the Jharkhand state with special attention to the needs of the tribal students of the region.
St. Xavier’s College, Ranchi Intermediate Section Pre-University Programmes aims at an integral and personalized education of the young by providing well planned programmes. It strives to produce intellectually competent, morally upright, socially committed, spiritually inspired and nationally dedicated men and women in the service of India.
In the context of emerging global, national and regional concerns, there is an urgent need to work for social justice and respect for life and environment.
St. Xavier’s College commits itself to the promotion of justice, preservation of the integrity of creation, responsible use of information technology and mass media, fostering wholesome and simple life styles. It seeks, moreover, to nurture transparency and probity in private and public life and to promote national integration. It aims at empowering the powerless and less privileged particularly the tribals, backward classes, women and other vulnerable sections of the society
To translate the vision and commitments into action:
A) the college community will strive
1) to set and achieve high academic standards in an atmosphere of autonomy.
2) to develop Christian leadership of high calibre and integrity.
3) to preserve and promote the cultural heritage of the region.
4) to strengthen its own faith life.
5) to engage in research and extension activities related to the developmental issues of Jharkhand.
6) to accord priority to the education of Catholic as well as Scheduled Tribe and Scheduled Caste students.
7) to promote vocational and entrepreneurial education.
8) to involve parents, staff and students in fruitful interaction.
9) to function as a critique and conscience of society.
B) The College aims to enable the students
1) to set high standards for themselves in every field.
2) to seek and apply knowledge critically to the solution of contemporary problems.
3) to think in a creative, fearless and independent manner.
4) to value and responsibly use their own freedom and respect the freedom of others.
5) to appreciate and respect other faiths and foster religious harmony.
6) to be clear and firm on principles and values and act accordingly.
7) to contribute to the sustainable socio-economic development of the neighborhood, locality and region.
8) to be sensitive to those in need and unselfish in service.
9) to set themselves free from socio-economic, religious, caste and gender prejudices and act as catalysts of social change.
10) to protect, preserve and judiciously use the resources of the earth for the welfare of all.
JESUIT MISSION IN EDUCATION
ST. IGNATIUS OF LOYOLA – THE FOUNDER OF SOCIETY OF JESUS St. Ignatius Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus was born in 1491, as the last child of a large Basque family of Spain. The name of Loyola came from the ancestral castle that was the family heritage of St. Ignatius. According to the traditions of his family, Ignatius was trained to arms and to the etiquette of court life. He was badly wounded in a battle with France. As he lay convalescing at Loyola, he read the Gospel Narratives and the Lives of saints and was inspired to follow Christ by giving up all worldly ambition and trappings of power and embracing a life of poverty, sacrifice and service after the example of these saintly mentors.
He began his new life at the age of 31. He spent a year of severe penance and intense prayer in a solitary cave on the banks of the river Cardoner near the town Manresa. He recorded his experiences in the book of the Spiritual Exercises, which became the soul and centre, the rule and character of every Jesuit, who came after. Reflecting on the crisis in the Church of his time, he felt that the need of the hour was for the learned and holy priests, free of greed and ambition and ready to serve the poor and to give witness to the love of Christ for men.
To achieve this objective, he set himself in earnest to study from grammar school to college and university in the various Spanish centres of learning, and finally took his Master’s Degree from the Sorbonne University, Paris. At the same time, he won over a group of brilliant and like-minded university men one of whom was St. Francis Xavier (the patron saint of India), moulded them by the Spiritual Exercises and welded them into a religious fraternity which became the Society of Jesus. The followers of St. Ignatius popularly came to be known in the course of time as Jesuits.
It was St. Francis Xavier who began the educational work of the Society of Jesus in India. St. Xavier’s College, Ranchi is named after this great saintly scholar – St. Francis Xavier. This College was established by the Jesuit Fathers of the Ranchi Province on July 3, 1944. Though there are about 93 schools and 17 Colleges in India run by this world-wide Religious Order, St. Xavier’s College, Ranchi was established to provide higher educational opportunities primarily to the Catholic Tribal boys and girls of Jharkhand.
The Society of Jesus proclaims that the service of faith through the promotion of Justice is the mission that must be integrated as a priority into each Jesuit work.
Our purpose in education, then, is to form men and women “for others”. The Society of Jesus has always sought to imbue students with values that transcend the goals of money, fame and success. We want graduates who will be leaders concerned about society and the world in which they live. We want graduates who desire to eliminate hunger and conflict in the world and who are sensitive to the need for more equitable distribution of the world’s goods. We want graduates who seek to end sexual and social discrimination and who are eager to share their faith with others.
In short, we want our graduates to be leaders-in-service. That has been the goal of Jesuit education since the sixteenth century. It remains so today.
What do we mean by Jesuit education? To answer that, to establish Jesuit identity, we must look to St. Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus. We must link our work in education with the Ignatian Spirituality which inspires it.
Jesuit education is value oriented. There is no aspect of education, not even the so-called hard sciences, which is neutral. All teaching imparts values.
A value literally means something which has a price, something dear, precious or worth-while and, therefore, something that one is ready to suffer or sacrifice for, which gives one a reason to live and, if need be, a reason to die.
Values, then, bring to life the dimension of meaning. Values provide motives. They identify a person, give one a face, a name and character. Without values, one floats, like driftwood in swirling waters. Values are central to one’s life and define the quality of that life, marking its breadth and depth.
Values are anchored in the “head.” I see reasons why something is valuable and I am intellectually convinced of its worth.
Values are also anchored in the “heart”. The language of the heart tells me that something is worthwhile. I am able to perceive something as of value. I am also affected by its worthiness.
Values are also anchored in the “hand”. When the mind and the heart are involved the whole person is involved. Values lead to actual decisions and real actions-and necessarily so.
Each academic discipline, when honest with itself, is well aware that the values transmitted depend on assumptions about the ideal human person and the ideal human society which are used as a starting point.
It is here especially that the Jesuit mission of the promotion of Justice can become tangible and transparent in our educational works. For this mission must guide and inspire the lawyer and the politician, the manager and the technician, the sociologist and the artist, the scientist and the author, the Philosopher and the theologian.
Our institutions make their essential contribution to society by
embodying in our educational process a rigorous, probing study of
crucial human problems and concerns. It is for this reason that Jesuit colleges and universities must strive for high academic quality. We are speaking of something for removed from the facile and superficial world of slogans and ideology, of purely emotional and self–centered responses, and of instant and simplistic solutions.
We have learned to our regret that mere appropriation of
knowledge does not inevitably humanize. One would hope that we have
learned that there is no value-free education. But the values embedded in many areas of life today are presented subtly, often by assumption. We need to discover ways that will enable students to from the habit of reflecting on values.
Habits are not formed only by chance occasional happenings. Rather, habits develop only by consistent, planned practice. The goal of forming habits of critical reflection needs to be worked on by teachers in all subjects in ways appropriate to the maturity of students at different levels.
This habitual reflection should be applied to the human sciences students learn, the technology being developed, and the whole spectrum of social and political programs suggested by both prophets and politicians.
A value-oriented educational goal like ours-forming men and women for others-will not be realized unless it is infused within our educational programs at every level. The goal is to challenge our students to reflect upon the value implications of what they study, to
assess values and their consequences for human beings.
THE IGNATIAN WORLD VIEW & THE CHARACTERISTICS OF JESUIT EDUCATION
It is world – affirming : [For Ignatius, to know the world better is to know God better. There can be no contradiction between human knowledge and faith. At most, there can only be a failure in understanding. Ignatius’ sense of the goodness and beauty of all things also leads a person to be a responsible steward of creation.]
It is Comprehensive : [There is a call to a genuinely humanistic education – literature, history, arts, science, philosophy, and theology in addition to professional studies. In the Ignatian view, to become more fully human is to become more fully divine.]
It faces up to sin, personal and social, but points to God’s love as more powerful than human weakness and evil.
It places emphasis on freedom : [Liberated from the constrains of ignorance, prejudice, limited horizons, and distorted values and desires, a person, with God’s help, is free to develop a positive set of values.]
It stresses the essential need for discernment : [A person must know the world, examine attitudes, challenge assumptions, and analyze motives. In this way, one may discern God’s loving desire and select values which become the basis for principled decision-making.]
It is altruistic : [Adopting the mind and heart of Christ, a person is called to compassion, to concern for others, and to the work of justice.]
It gives ample scope to intellect and affectivity in forming leaders: [Ignatius calls for the development of the whole person, head and heart, intellect and feelings. The purpose, however, is not centred on the development of the self alone. Rather, the purpose is to develop leaders who are committed to ideals and values to such and extent that they will work to change society.]
Jesuit education is World affirming:
• It considers every element of creation worthy of study and contemplation and creates a sense of wonder.
• It focuses on the total formation of the individual.
• It promotes dialogue between faith, culture and science.
Each person is personally known and loved by God:
• It insists on individual care and concern for each individual
• It encourages life-long openness to growth
• It is value oriented.
• It encourages knowledge, love, acceptance of self.
• It forms the student’s social & cultural analysis.
The world-view of St. Ignatius is centered on the historical person of Jesus. Hence Jesuit Education :
• proposes Christ as the ideal human life.
• provides pastoral care/spiritual guidance.
• celebrates faith community/prayer/worship.
“Love is shown in deeds not words”
• It is active life commitment.
• It forms men and women for others.
• It shows concern for the disadvantageous.
• It shows special concern for the poor.
For St. Ignatius the response to God’s call is made in and through community:
• It serves the human community.
• It promotes spiritual values.
Repeatedly, St. Ignatius insisted on the ‘magis’, which means “more”, Jesuit motto is “excellence” in any work.
• Therefore building Self confidence and Commitment in life and society is important.
• Stress is given to social/cultural events, Creativity of students, Serious planning/team work, which is supported by the adult members of the community.
St. Ignatius shared his experience and attracted companions who became ‘friends’ in the Lord. Hence Jesuit education
• stresses Lay-Jesuit collaboration and mutual enrichment.
For St. Ignatius, decisions were made through a process of individual and community discernment. Hence Jesuit education:
• adopts means to achieve its prime objectives.
• Is a system of schools with a common vision.
• Encourages and assists on-going formation.
Five factors of the paradigm.
CONTEXT : The teacher becomes conversant with the life experience of the student.
EXPERIENCE : Cognitive and effective knowledge of the matter.
REFLECTION : Grasping the significance more fully, which is a formative and liberative process.
ACTION : Internal human growth and its external manifestation.
EVALUATION : Evaluation with student’s all round growth.
The Five Basic Truths of St. Ignatius Word View:
• God has a purpose in creating human beings.
• Their fall from grace is through sin.
• Their “moksha” by which Christ restored mankind through his life, passion and resurrection.
• The destiny of mankind is eternal salvation.
• The full development of each person’s talents and spiritual growth through the correct and judicious use of the freewill, and building of this world to be a better place in anticipation to eternal bliss in the other world.
Through these efforts, St. Xavier’s College, Ranchi aims at making effective contribution to the transformation of prevailing social conditions so that values enshrined in the Constitution of India:- social justice, equality of opportunity, democratic freedom for all, tolerance and respect for all religions may be brought closer to realization, opening up to our people greater possibilities of fuller human existence.