By Matters India Reporter
Patna, August 24, 2022: Father John De Mello, a former Patna Jesuit provincial and renowned spiritual director, passed away on August 24. He was 89 years old.
The death occurred at 7:30 a.m. at Xavier Bhawan in Digha Ghat, a western suburb of Patna, where Father De Mello was living a retired life.
A funeral has been scheduled for August 25 at 4 pm at the XTTI Chapel, followed by burial in a nearby cemetery, according to a message from Jesuit Father Jose Thiel, social worker of Patna Province Curia.
Father De Mello was a Jesuit for the past 65 years and a priest for 56 years.
He was born on 14 December 1932 in the city of Nagpur in central India. He joined the Patna Jesuits on June 20, 1957 and completed his inscription from Vinayalia, Bombay. After philosophy at De Nobili College Pune in 1960, he studied theology in 1963 at West Baden and the Bellarmine Schoff of Theology in the United States.
He was ordained a priest on June 9, 1966. He became a full Jesuit on 26 January 1977.
He completed his secondary education from St. Francis de Sales High School, Nagpur in 1949 and higher secondary from Jalgaon in 1951. He did his Masters in Business Administration from Notre Dame University, USA in 1968.
He began his priestly ministry in 1968 as an administrator of St. Xavier’s School in Delhi. He was appointed administrator and vice-principal of St. Xavier’s School, Patna in 1970. He became the Principal of St. Michael’s School in Patna in 1972 for one year. He was appointed administrator of De Nobili College Pune until he was appointed Rector of Sacred Heart College Shambagnore, Tamil Nadu in 1976.
After six years he returned to Bihar and served as a parish priest in Muzaffarpur for a year. He was then elected Patna Jesuit Provincial in 1983, a post he held for six years.
He then served as Rector of XTTI during 1989-2019. He also served as Administrator and Coordinator of Kirji Holy Family Hospital during 1996-2019. He was then posted at St. Xavier’s Patna in 2020 and after two years he came to Xavier Bhawan for rest.