THE GERMINATION AND BLOSSOMING OF A DREAM
The genesis of Andhra Loyola College signaled the return of the Jesuits to the Telugu Land and eventually laid a firm and solid foundation for the flowering of the lull-fledged Andhra Jesuit Province. The circumstances leading to the decision of the then General of the Society of Jesus Rev. Fr. Jansens, in the wake of earnest and insistent pleas of Bishop Ignatius Mummadi made to him, to permit a new college to be started in Andhra by the Madurai province have been chronicled by Fr. D.Gordon, himself one of the key figures involved in the whole process with a wealth of fascinating details. Suffice it to say that the long-felt need and longing of the people of Andhra for a Jesuit institution of higher learning found fruition in December 1953 when the foundation stone was laid by the Governor Trivedi.The significance of the event together with the excitement and enthusiasm that it ignited could be gauged from the fact the as many as six thousand people attended the function at a time when access to the site as well as transport facilities available then were not as developed as they are today. The exploratory and preparatory phase in the starting of the College was inextricably bound up with the names of Fr. Karnam Devaiah and his two able collaborators, Mr. K. Raghuramaiah and Mr. Parvathaneni Bhushaiah and later, by Sri Ramachandra Rao who are rightly named as the founding fathers of the College. The single-minded devotion with which they went about mobilizing resources both financial and material, the care and farsightedness with which they selected the site for the present location of the College, the persistence with which they succeeded in making innumerable friends and enlisted their abundant support and cooperation deserve to be inscribed in letters of gold. The formation of Vijayawada Loyola Sahaya Sangam comprising some of the important and influential personalities, including Sri Gogineni S Naidu who were to offer invaluable assistance to Fr.Devaiah marked a crucial stage in the process of taking a step forward in realizing the dream of setting up a new Jesuit college.
It was fortunate that Br. Gian Davide, the Diocesan Architect was entrusted with the task of drawing up a master plan as well as the design for the main college premises which eventually on its completion would be a perennial source of admiration to all the visitors and students for their imposing dignity, artistic elegance and pleasing novelty.
A PANORAMA OF A CAMPUS FROM THE PADDY FIELDS
The future generations of students will find it difficult to visualize the original looks of the site before it was transformed into a magnificent and extensive campus dotted with innumerable trees, impressive buildings and enviably large playgrounds. Fr. Devaiah and Fr.Papaiah had to live in a hut when the building was in progress. All of us today are grateful to those pioneering Jesuit community which consisted of Fr. Devaiah, Fr. B.J Coyle, Fr. T.AMathias, Fr. Y. Papaiah, Fr. G. S. Subbaiah, Fr. G. Foreau and Br. I. Joseph. Each one of these stalwarts made a vital and memorable contribution to the initial growth of the institution. Fr. Subbaiah would later recall the daily encounter they used to have with scores of scorpions every night before they retired to bed.
9th December, 2013 was a historic day for ALC as it was on this day 60 years ago that ALC was founded. The occasion marked a devout religious celebration commencing with the Holy Eucharist concelebrated by Most Rev Dr Gali Bali, Bishop of Guntur and Chairman of APBC, Most Rev Dr Govindu Joji, the Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Vijayawada and Most Rev Dr MD Prakasam, Bishop of Nellore and an illustrious alumnus of the College. Rev Fr P Anthony, our Provincial and Rev Fr Gorantla Johannes, the Provincial of OCD and President of APCRI graced the occasion at Fr Devaiah Memorial Auditorium. The Eucharist was well-attended by over a hundred priests, about 40 of whom were our alumni. This celebration was exclusively meant for the religious and the clergy alumni/ae of ALC along with the local diocesan clergy and the religious. Bishop MDPrakasam preached an inspiring homily during which he underlined the role of the divine Providence in shaping an institution like Loyola. As it was a thanksgiving Eucharist, rich tributes were paid to all the pioneering Jesuits, donors, well-wishers and all who were instrumental in founding the College and in bringing the College to such great heights. Fr BalaShowry with the scholastics from Sanjeevan Niwas and the College presented melodious singing during mass. The celebration was extremely devotional and heart touching. Meticulous arrangements were made by our community and the Christian staff. During the second part of the programme, the three bishops and the two provincials were felicitated. After a brief history of the College, ‘Recapturing the Glorious Moments’ by Fr G.A.P. Kishore, our illustrious alumni/ae, Frs Gorantla Johannes OCD, Fr Rayappa SDB, Fr Muvvala Prasad, Direct of Social Service Centre, Diocese of Vijayawada, and Sr Lavanya FMM recollected with nostalgia their association with Loyola. All alumni including Jesuits who attended the celebration were felicitated with a shawl and a memento. Fr. Rex Angelo conducted the session with the theme “Remember, Relive, and Recommit and he also offered occasional tit-bits about the Founders and the History of the College. The College students presented two colourful dances about the College. The invitees along with our staff were treated to a delicious dinner at the end of the felicitation ceremony. In the afternoon, there was a special function for the staff and students of the College near the Foundation Stone and floral tributes were paid to the Foundation-Trio, Fr Devaiah, Fr Gordon, and Fr Theo Mathias. Former veteran Telugu lecturer, Metta Venkateswara Rao, the first batch student, Sri Bala Showraiah, an eye-witness of the original Foundation Ceremony, Fr Satyananda from Diocese of Guntur inspired the staff and students with their spontaneous and emotionally moving sharing. The Ceremony witnessed the releasing of 60 tri-color balloons and fireworks to mark the occasion. Our staff and students presented a ‘burrakatha’ and a folk dance to entertain the audience. At the end of the day, all felt deeply indebted to God for His graciousness and loving guidance all through the history of the College. To add a spiritual dimension to the celebration, there was also a candle-light procession from the College Church to the Foundation Stone on the previous day.
Fr. Dusi Ravi Sekhar SJ is the Rector of the college from 6th June 2012. There are many institutions in the campus, namely Junior, Degree, PG and Engineering colleges, Kaladarshini ( An Institute Fr. Kothuru Naresh SJ is the present principal for Loyola College of Education. 2014).
Andhra Loyola College
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