Ranchi Jesuit Province is a unique province which has two Apostolic Schools of its own at the High School level namely, St. Ignatius Apostolic School, Gumla (Est.1955) and St. John Berchmans Apostolic School, Samtoli, Simdega (Est.1969). The purpose of running two Apostolic Schools is to help the students develop a taste of Jesuit way of life. The students who wish to be Jesuit Priests in the future are admitted to these in standard 7th and stay there for their High School studies till class 10th.
Having completed their matriculation they move to St. Aloysius Apostolic School, (College Section) Ranchi for their 10+2. Staying there they complete their Intermediate from St. John’s Inter College, Ranchi. In two years they become more familiar with the works and apostolate of Jesuits.
The aspiring candidates, then, go to Jeevan Deep Khunti for their Pre-Novitiate which lasts for 10 months. The Pre Novitiate gives the aspirants a base for their English language. It builds their confidence in writing and speaking English language.
The qualified Pre-Novices are sent to Ashirvad Novitiate Namkum for two years of Novitiate. They join the Novitiate on 20th June. The Pre-Novices learn the importance of prayer, meditation, work, service and games. In the Novitiate they understand themselves deeply and strengthen their vocation. This stage of formation moulds the novices and helps them grow in their various virtues like commitment, responsibility, sincerity, availability etc. Having completed their two years of Novitiate they pronounce their First Vows (perpetual Simple vows of Chastity, Poverty and Obedience and a vow to persevere to final profession and ordination) and become Scholastics (entering onto the path of priesthood) or a Jesuit brother (temporal coadjutor). The Scholastics and the Brothers of the Society of Jesus have different courses of study, although they often overlap.
The main focus of the classical Juniorate is to polishes the Hindi and English languages of the Jesuit Juniors. The duration of the Juniorate is ten months. It provides them with the facilities of computers to equip them with the modern technology. Then they move to the next stage of formation that is college studies in different universities.
The Scholastics of Ranchi Jesuit Province are sent to different places for their secular studies. For the bachelor degree they are sent to colleges like, St. Xavier’s College Ranchi, St. Xavier’s College, Ahmadabad, Loyola College Chennai and Loyola College Vijayawada . The Province decides which subjects to be taken by them.
Seeing the increasing need and the requirements in our different institutions the Ranchi Province is sending the Scholastics for their higher studies to the colleges mentioned above Ranchi Province has been promoting its men for the higher studies after bachelor’s degree. It has been preparing men for tomorrow and therefore Scholastics have been sent for their higher studies on the regular basis, besides this some brethren have been upgrading their degrees from some private institutions. The province is open to it as well.
Philosophical studies are very important in the Society of Jesus. The Province sends its Scholastics to Jnana Deepa Vidyapeeth (JDV) Pune and Sacred Heart College, Satya Nilayam for this study soon after they complete their college studies.
Regency is the next stage, wherein the Scholastics live and work in a typical Jesuit community. They are engaged full-time in ministry which is traditionally teaching in a secondary school. It may be any ministry Jesuits are engaged in. The Regency lasts for 2 years. In two years the Scholastics get the exposure to different types of situations in the course of their regency.
Theology is the stage for Jesuits immediately preceeding ordination. Ranchi Scholastics are sent either to Tarunoday, Regional Theologate Centre or Vidyajyoti for their theological studies. At the end of the theological studies they are ordained as deacons. Becoming deacons they are sent to any parish for the diaconate ministry for six months. Ordination to the priesthood follows, and the new priests receive a ministerial assignment or they are sent for further studies in any academic field according to the need of the province.
The last stage of formation is the Tertianship that takes place after a few years of ordination to priesthood or after a number of year’s works for brothers. It is like a third year of novitiate. After their first few years of experience of ministry as a priest or brother, the Jesuits complete the final stage of formal formation by revisiting the essentials of Jesuit life which they learned as a novice: once again, they study the history and Constitutions of the Jesuits. They make the Spiritual Exercises and participate in experiments like serving the sick and poor.
The Final Vows for the fully professed follow upon tertianship, when Jesuits pronounce perpetual solemn vows of poverty, chastity, obedience, and the Fourth Vow, unique to Jesuits, of special obedience to the pope in matters regarding mission, promising to undertake any mission laid out in the Formaula of the Institute the pope may choose.
In Ranchi Province the vocation for Jesuit Brother is not very good; however, there are a few of them who are trying to promote vocation for Jesuit Brothers. The stages of formation for them are the same as for the Scholastics up to Juniorate. After the Juniorate it depends on their aptitude. According to the needs of the province they are sent for further training or studies.