Papal Seminary

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Papal Seminary, Pune, India
Emblem of Papal Seminary Pune
Motto "Filii tui India, administri tibi salutis"
Type Private
Established 1893
Chancellor Very.Rev. Adolfo Nicolas, SJ
Vice-Chancellor Rev. Edward S. Mudavasssery, SJ
Rector Jose Thayil, SJ
Academic staff
Students 200
Location Pune, Maharashtra, India
18°31′25″N 73°50′52″E / 18.5236°N 73.8478°E / 18.5236; 73.8478Coordinates: 18°31′25″N 73°50′52″E / 18.5236°N 73.8478°E / 18.5236; 73.8478

Papal Seminary, Pune, India, is a Catholic educational institute, primarily meant for the training of future priests of India. At the moment it caters to the formation of about 180 Seminarians from all over India.[1]

The original chapel in Kandy
The altar of the Papal Seminary Chapel in Pune

Pope Leo XIII[edit]

"Filii tui India, administri tibi salutis" (Latin for Your own sons, O India, will be the heralds of your salvation) These are the words with which Pope Leo XIII, a great visionary and a missionary, established the Papal Seminary for India, Burma and Ceylon in 1890. The task of exploring a suitable place for the Papal Seminary was entrusted to Msgr. Ladislaus Zaleski. Subsequently, Msgr. Zaleski became the Apostolic Delegate to India, Burma and Ceylon and took up residence in Kandy. After much travelling in India and Ceylon, he chose a place called Ampitiya (the present site) close to the town of Kandy, in central Ceylon, which is at an elevation of 2000 feet and overlooking a panorama of extraordinary scenic beauty across the Dumbara Valley. Zaleski insisted that the seminary be entrusted to the Jesuit Missionnaries of the Belgian province (at work in the Bengal Mission).[2]

The students were selected from dioceses of India and Ceylon, to be formed as future leaders of the Churches in their own countries. This was one of the first major seminaries to be supported by the Pontifical Society of St. Peter the Apostle. Opening its doors in 1893 under the rectorship of Rev. Sylvain Grosjean, then Rector of St Xavier's School, Calcutta, the Kandy Papal Seminary was empowered by Rome, in 1926, to confer Ecclesiastical degrees in Philosophy and Theology. History records that during its 62 years of existence in Kandy, over 700 students were ordained to the priesthood among whom 51 became Bishops and 3 Cardinals, to spearhead the missions in India and Sri Lanka. Servant of God Mar Varghese Payyappilly Palakkappilly was ordained a priest on 21 December 1907 in Kandy.

1955 - Transfer to Poona, India[edit]

The transferring of the Papal Seminary to India was a long felt need due to financial and traveling difficulties that arose with the time. The independence of India (1947) and the consequent political separation of India and Sri Lanka made it difficult for Indian seminarians to travel to Kandy. However the decision to transfer the Seminary to Poona (Pune) was implemented in 1955. The Papal Seminary which was in Kandy until then was shifted to Poona, India with the students and formators. Thus the uniquely beautiful setting of the Papal Seminary became the home for training of the future priests in India.[3]

Established in 1893 at Kandy, Sri Lanka, it moved to Pune in 1955.[4] 2015 it celebrates its diamond jubilee in Pune.

The original seminary in Kandy became the National Seminary of Our Lady of Lanka for the now independent Ceylon (Sri Lanka).[5]


  • 1893 Beginning of Papal Seminary (PS) at Kandy, Sri Lanka (3 May)
  • 1918 Silver Jubilee: 191 priests ordained till then
  • 1926 PS empowered to confer Degrees [6]
  • 1955 Transfer of PS to Pune, India
  • 1968 Diamond Jubilee celebrations in Pune
  • 1986 Pope John Paul II visits Papal Seminary (10 Feb)
  • 1993 Centenary of Papal Seminary: Mother Teresa’s visit (16 Dec; earlier on 24-02-1961)
  • 2005 Golden Jubilee of transfer to Pune, India. Training to more than 6,000 priests and religious till then
  • 2015 60 years in Pune[7][8]

Rectors of Papal Seminary[edit]

  • Rev Fr Bhausaheb Sansare SJ (Dec 3-17- )
  • Rev Fr Jose Thayil SJ (Jun,2010-Dec 2017)
  • Rev Fr Pradeep Sequeira SJ
  • Rev Fr. Ornellas Coutinho SJ
  • Rev Fr Joe Mathias SJ
  • Rev Fr Michael Alosanai SJ
  • Rev Fr Joe Thadavanal SJ

See also[edit]


  1. ^ For details see Directory, Jesuit Conference of South Asia, 2010 p. 35.
  2. ^ H. Josson: Le père Sylvain Grosjean, Louvain, Museum Lessianum, 1935, pp.209ff.
  3. ^ "Papal Seminary in Kandy". Archived from the original on 13 May 2008. Retrieved 17 June 2011. 
  4. ^ Carlos de Melo, The Papal Seminary of Kandy-Pune: A Hundred Years of History, Pune: 1993
  5. ^ Website National Seminary of Our Lady of Landa
  6. ^ Mervyn Coelho, Glimpses of the Final Steps "Ablaze ad Infinitum: 60 Years in Pune and Moving Ahead," S. Jayard, F. Gonsalves & VR George (eds), Papal Seminary, Pune, 2016m o, 14-16
  7. ^ Carlos de Melo, The Papal Seminary of Kandy-Pune: A Hundred Years of History, Pune: 1993
  8. ^ "Ablaze ad Infinitum: 60 Years in Pune and Moving Ahead," S. Jayard, F. Gonsalves & VR George (eds), Papal Seminary, Pune, 2016