Back in 1947, a new mission was started in Jamshedpur, India and assigned to the Maryland Province Jesuits. Six Maryland Jesuits arrived to serve the poor and oversee a new Loyola school with 300 students. Today the school has over 3,200 students, and the Jamshedpur Mission is now a Jesuit Province of its own with more than 200 Jesuits - keeping the light alive in this area bordering some of the poorest communities in the world.
The Jamshedpur Jesuits carry on the pioneering spirit of the Maryland Province, continually expanding ministries and educational opportunities. The new Socius for the Jamshedpur Province, Fr. Jerome Sequeira, SJ, wrote a letter to our Maryland Province Socius, Fr. Vince Conti, SJ, honoring the Maryland Province for its work in Jamshedpur and updating him on the three remaining elderly Jesuits still serving there from the Maryland Province. Here are excerpts from that letter:
Peace of Christ!
Warm greetings from Jerome Sequeira, the Socius of Jamshedpur Province. I know this is my first message to you after taking over as the Socius of the Jamshedpur Province. I am learning things and looking forward to finding myself in this job. I spent almost ten years in frontiers of Afghanistan and Syria and this is going to be another new experience being at the center.
Jamshedpur Province is a gift from the Maryland Province to the Society of Jesus and today we are almost 220 in the Province, including three veterans, pioneers and great Missionaries from the Maryland Province, including Fr. Edward H. McGrath, Ed, (93), Fr. Carl L. Dincher (89) and Fr Richard A. Kenna, Richie, (90). These three gems of the Province continue to inspire us.
Fr. Ed McGrath, one of the pioneers of the Jamshedpur Mission is in a wheel chair due to his leg pain. He is still very humorous and entertains the community. Except for leg pain, he enjoys good health and leads a normal life.
Fr. Ed McGrath, SJ, still enjoys greeting the young students in Jamshedpur, India.
Fr. Richie Kenna, a holy man, had a fall a few months ago and had broken his hip. He was hospitalized for some time and now back with his angelic smile. Even during those painful days he did not give up that beautiful smile. He continues to be an inspiration for all, even to his care taker.
Fr. Richard Kenna, SJ, on the left with two fellow Jesuits on his 90th birthday.
Fr. Carl Dincher, a great pastor, retreat preacher and spiritual Father of St. Mother Teresa, is ill and hospitalized. He is diagnosed with pulmonary embolism and unable to eat or drink and is surviving on I.V. fluids. Kindly keep him in your prayers.
Fr. Carl Dincher, SJ, is at top right with Jamshedpur students and other Jesuits and teachers. (Fr. McGrath is sitting in the middle).
Fraternally yours in Christ