(Extract from Souvenir, Golden Jubilee)
In India, St. Francis was instrumental in guiding the youth for the Holy Vocation and spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ. The Jesuit fathers further took up the mission of spreading spirituality and education and began working in the field of education in Pune and Belgaum.
Many parents from Kolhapur sent their children to Belgaum, since Belgaum was near to Kolhapur and they found the institution run by the Jesuits a Modern source of education. Keeping in view, the need of such education in the historical place of Kolhapur, some prudent citizens of Kolhapur took up the initiative to approach the Jesuit Fathers working in Belgaum to start an English Medium School based on their knowledge and experience.
In 1956, at the request of the Kolhapur Rotarians, a few Jesuits Fathers from Belgaum visited Kolhapur. The Fathers, who came to Kolhapur, stayed at the Padma Guest House and held a meeting with the Rotary Club Members of Kolhapur. The decision to begin an English Medium School in Kolhapur by the Jesuits overwhelmed everyone. A whopping 200 admissions were registered on the first day itself.
And thus, in 1957, started the journey of St Xavier school in Kolhapur. Rev. Fr. Cajetan Coutinho and Bro. Erc De Silva were the 1st Office Holders of this new school. The school begun with 350 students (boys and girls) from Marathi medium.
The School was named as Shanti Vidyalaya and was housed in “Gharicha Bangla” (Mudholkar’s bungalow). In 1958 the Mudhokar house and the surrounding grounds of over 10 acres were bought. The name of the school was changed at this stage from Shanti Vidyalaya to St. Xavier’s High School on demand from the local people.
The first Principal of the School, Fr C.C. Coutinho, painstakingly brought the first batch of dedicated teachers from Belgaum. Soon the School became famous for its discipline and many rushed to get their children admitted into the school. The first batch of boys and girls from Std. VII appeared for the SSC in four years’ time in the English medium and as expected the School delivered a 100% result. It was, indeed, a feather in the cap. Not only in academics but the students were showcasing winning spirits. The prominent features of the school were Teams coming back home with trophies, the band of music, sports day celebration of over all these years.
Rev. Fr. John Miranda took up the construction work of the School’s new building. Many generous people of the town came forward to help the school willingly. Fr. Miranda worked selflessly for 11 years and got the new building of the high school up and ready. His footprints are evident all over the school that tell us that someone has walked before us, paved a path for us, and holds out a guiding hand to help us face adversities.
Classes from Ist to Xth commenced with zeal and enthusiasm. The objectives for running the school were established. The school aimed at imparting integral and personalized training to students through integral Pedagogy and the 4 Cs of Ignation teaching that is – be competent, compassionate, committed and conscientious.