SAINT JOSEPH JESUIT SCHOLASTICATE IN PICTURES
SMALL CHAPELS IN THE ADMINISTRATION BLOCK
JESUIT PROVINCE’S LIBRARY NEARBY
DORMITORIES AND PRIVATE ROOMS
ROOMS FOR VISITING PROFESSORS
REFECTORY AND KITCHEN
EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES (YOUTH CARE)
(DIALOGUE WITH BUDDHIST MONKS)
Saint Joseph Jesuit Scholasticate was inaugurated in 1989 to provide theological formation for the scholastics of the Vietnam Province of the Society of Jesus and the scholasticsof a number of other religious orders.
Saint Joseph Jesuit Scholasticate traces its origin to St. Pius X Pontifical College which was founded on 25th January 1957. Since the school year 1967-1968, young scholastics of the Vietnam Region had taken courses at St. Pius X Pontifical College instead of going to Baguio, Philippines. The first house of studies for Jesuit scholastics was a villa at 10 Huyen Tran Cong Chua Street, near Du Sinh, Dalat City, under the responsibility of Fr. Cesbron-Lavau. The villa was located at the foot of a pine hill. Though being tiny, it was sufficient for a small community of scholastics coming from both inside and outside of the country.
After 1968, the Region acquired another house at 9 Co Giang, larger and more presentable. This house was constructed in 1939. It used to be a military hospital for former king Bao Dai’s royal guards. It later was under the possession of Mr & Mrs Covassi, Italians. The Bishopric of Dalat bought the house and gave the Region the right to use it. The area was around 2000m2. The house was hastily repaired and expanded. In the school year of 1969-1970, Jesuit scholastics moved to the new house with the new name: Saint Joseph Scholasticate.
Fr. Joseph de Diego was the Rector, Fr. John Motte was Minister and Fr. Paul Deslierres was Spiritual Director. Aside from Jesuit scholastics in philosophy and theology, the Scholasticate accepted also several priests who came to study Vietnamese at Alliance Center run by the Protestants in Khe Sanh. The following school year, Fr. De Diego was nominated Rector of St. Pius X Pontifical College to replace Fr. Joseph Raviolo. And Fr. Felipe Gomez became the new Rector of the Scholasticate. In its most prosperous time, the Scholasticate had 14 members. The majority of the Jesuits of the first two generations of the Viet-Thai Region got their formation in this house. During this period, the members of Saint Joseph Scholasticate took philosophical courses at the University of Dalat and theological courses at St. Pius X Pontifical College.
In August 1975, all foreign professors were expelled from the country. Fr. Nguyen Ngoc Tien became the superior of the Scholasticate. In face of sudden change, the scholastics made discernment together and decided to live Jesuit vocation in whatever situation. More concretely, everyone would use 50% of his time for work and 50% for studies. The new lifestyle in new situation was difficult but was not in lack of joy.
On August 11, 1986, the Scholasticate house at 9 Co Giang Street was passed over to the government and became the Traditional Medicine Hospital of Lam Dong Province. The members of the house were sheltered by the brothers of the Salesian Community at 4G Bui Thi Xuan Street, Commune 2, Dalat City. The year of 1989 marked the end of Saint Joseph Scholasticate of Dalat, but actually, the scholastics had already been involved in many social activities and had been dispersed before that time. Thu Duc became the new formation location for our Jesuit young scholastics and brothers.
At the end of 1989, the Region realized the need to gather dispersed brothers in order for them to retake and finish up their studies. Scholastic Pham Huu Lai was nominated to be in charge of the Formation during the period 1989-1992. When he was nominated Regional Superior, Fr. Nguyen Cong Doan took over this responsibility from April 22, 1992 until June 13, 1996, with Scholastic Pham Thanh Liem as his Assistant. Not until 1994 the complementary program of philosophy and theology ended.
During this special period, teaching staff were professors coming from both inside and outside the country. For philosophy there were Frs. Nguyen Trung Kien, Pham Huu Lai and Vu Kim Chinh. For theology and other fields there were Frs. Do Quang Chinh, Dinh Van Trung, Ngo Van Vung, Nguyen Ngoc Tien, Nguyen Cong Doan, Felipe Gomez, Nguyen The Minh, Khuat Duy Linh, Brendan Byrne and Schl. Pham Thanh Liem, Nguyen Cao Sieu. Besides, during the time the scholastics stayed in Da Lat, there were also professors coming the Diocese of Dalat: Bui Van Doc, Vo Duc Minh, Tran Dinh Quang, Tran Cong Du, CM, Vu Phan Long, OFM.
Fr. Rocus Dinh Van Trung replaced Fr. Nguyen Cong Doan as Rector of the Scholasticate (1996-1999). Then Fr. Joseph Do Quang Chinh was nominated both Rector of the Scholasticate and Superior of Theologians (1999-2001). Fr. Joseph Hoang Van Tinh was superior of the philosophers (1998-2000), then Fr. Joseph Le Quang Chung replaced him in this position (2000-2001). Fr. Thomas Vu Quang Trung was in charge of the Scholasticate from July 31, 2001. Fr. Anthony Nguyen Cao Sieu was Rector from October 3, 2004 until 2010. During this period, philosophers took courses at the Scholasticate with professors coming from both inside and outside the Region. Theologians took courses at Nguyen Van Binh Inter-Congregational Theology Center.
In 2006, due to the ever growing number of scholastics, the Region started to build a new infrastructure for the Scholasticate. In July 2007, the Jesuit Region of Vietnam was elevated to become Francis Xavier Province. Since the school year 2007-2008, the Scholasticate has accepted into its program several students of other religious congregations.
Since 2010 up to 2016, Fr. Pham Van Mam was the Rector of the Scholasticate with two academic assistants: Fr. Nguyen Hai Tinh for philosophical studies, and Fr. Pham Van Ai (then replaced by Fr. Pham Tuan Nghia) for theological studies. When Fr. Pham Van Mam was nominated as new Provincial, Fr. Nguyen Hai Tinh, SJ, was in charge of the Scholasticate as acting Rector and Dean of theologial studies. Since March 19, 2017, Fr. Pham Tuan Nghia has been the Rector and Dean of theological studies of the Scholasticate. Besides Jesuit scholastics and brothers, there are also members of 8 other religious congregations currently studying philosophy and theology at the Scholasticate.
The current Statutes of the Scholasticate has their origin from the draft made in 1999 by Fr. Nguyen Van Loc, Dean of the Scholasticate at that time. Several revisions have been made since then. This new form of the Statutes is drafted in view of the Scholasticate’s affiliation with Loyola School of Theology, Quezon City, Philippines.