De La Salle brothers

Congregation of



Congregation of




               The Two Indian candidates, namely Bro. Rosario and Bro. Albert, made their novitiate in Penang, Malaysia from 1963-1965. When they returned to India, there was no Indian Scholasticate and they were sent to Winona, U.S.A. to make their Scholasticate. The next three candidates namely, Brothers Selvaraj, Francis and Arulsamy joined the newly started novitiate at Mangalagiri, Tuticorin, in 1964 and after completing their novitiate they were sent to do their scholasticate studies at Mutwal, Colombo, in 1966.


In the initial stages the young Brothers made their Scholasticate programme by staying in various communities and going to different colleges for higher studies. There were no proper religious courses that could be organized on a systematic basis. The consequence of this failure to provide a proper continuing formation caused the majority of those who made their Scholasticate overseas to leave. Hence there was a great need for a separate Scholasticate in India. When the Junior Novices moved back to Tuticorin in May 1973, Benildus House became the first scholasticate under the Directorship of Bro. Calixtus Fernando, with two scholastics namely Bro. S. James and Bro. I. Sebastian, under his direction.


After Bro. Calixtus Fernando returned to Sri Lanka in 1977, Bro. Benildo Del Campo became the next director of Scholasticate.  He was an able director and he made a great impact on the scholastics. A search was made for a suitable house in Madurai that could be rented for the scholastics. In 1979 Bro. Benildo, along with the scholastics, occupied a rented house at K.K. Nagar, in Madurai.  As the majority of the scholastics were studying at Arulanandar College, Karumathur, a suitable house was then rented at Nagamalai, Pudukottai, under the directorship of Bro. Melchior. In January 1980, Bro. Thomas Fernando became the director of scholastics and in 1982 Bro. Patrick Minus replaced him. At that time there were fourteen scholastics staying in this rented house; they attended different courses in the nearby colleges.




       The rented house at Nagamalai, Pudukottai that was used for the Scholasticate programme was not spacious enough for the steadily growing number of scholastics, and the need for a larger house became dire.  The Brothers bought a piece of land on the main road in Nagamalai Pudukottai and the money was generously donated by Bro. Jose Pablo the then Superior General. After consulting all the communities a final layout was prepared by Bro. James Kimpton and the buildings were constructed in 1984 under the supervision of Bro. Patrick, director of scholastics and the Auxiliary Visitor. The new Scholasticate had five cottages with four rooms in each cottage, a chapel, a dining hall and a kitchen.  It was named St. Miguel Arul Thentral. Every opportunity was given to the scholastics to enhance their academic, theological and catechetical formation.


In 1985 Bro. Mariadass became the director of scholastics for just one year and Bro. Melchior became the director of scholastics in June 1986 as well as the Auxiliary Visitor. Bro. Amalraj became director of scholastics in 1988 for one year and again Bro. Melchior was appointed director of scholastics up to June 1990. Owing to a change of policy in the formation programmes when it was decided that aspirants for the novitiate should have already gained a college degree, the Scholasticate buildings became a centre for the accompaniment of aspirants from 1990 who followed degree courses. Apart from academic studies, they also received regular religious training courses to foster their desire to become De La Salle Brothers.


After their college studies the aspirants went to Boys’ Town for one year to make their Postulancy and later to the novitiate in the Philippines. After the novitiate the young Brothers (temporary professed) were placed in St. Joseph’s Boys’ Village for their two years post Novitiate formation since 1995. The Director of St. Joseph’s Boys’ Village animated them. They taught in R.T.U. schools for two years gaining quality teaching experience. The involvement of the young Brothers in teaching at RTU schools boosted the morale of all including staff and students there. Being model schools these young Brothers benefited greatly by the novel teaching techniques encouraged.


At the beginning when the Brothers arrived in Boys’ Town, India they began to look for young men to answer God’s call to serve in the Religious Life as disciples of St. De La Salle.  The aspirants who responded to God’s call were brought to Boys’ Town.  At the beginning four aspirants, under the care of Bro. Thomas Xavier started their Aspirancy programme there. The living conditions were very poor as they were for everyone there at the beginning. They stayed for two months in the store room near the Brothers’ residence at the farm site. Then they moved to a bigger room ½ km away from the farm which later came to be used as a saw mill. The Brothers and Boys’ Town boys had their first residences outside the present main gate that later became the pig farm. The aspirants had to walk up and down for their meals and prayers morning and evening. As there was no electricity hurricane lamps and sticks were carried along to protect them from snakes and even foxes and jackals.


On January 3rd, 1964, the four aspirants with their director, Bro. Xavier, went to Tuticorin and stayed in Our Lady of Snow Parish House. Fr. D. Almeida generously offered the upstairs rooms of the mission house to the Brothers on a temporary basis. During their stay, the aspirants gave a helping hard to get the novitiate building repaired at Mangalagiri. On 8th of March they moved to the novitiate building at Mangalagiri to continue their Postulancy programme.


In 1989, as per the new formation programme, a fresh group after completing Standard XII began their orientation course with Bro. John Fernando as Director and accompanied by Brothers Arul Joseph, Austin and Amalan. This Programme was conducted for just one year at Benildus House, Boys’ Town and then moved to St. Miguel Arul Thentral in 1990 for another two years. There was a special evaluation on an orientation programme. Based on that evaluation the Delegation Council decided not to have a separate orientation programme for one year, but to have the Aspirancy programme extended to three years and concluding with a degree. In June, 1992, Bro. Antony was appointed director of Arul Thentral with Brothers Amalan and James as community members. In 1993 Bro. Joseph Fernando became the director of the house and Bro. Amalan was appointed director of the Aspirancy. The following year Bro. Amalan became the director of both the house and Aspirancy programme.

Later when the number of candidates had increased considerably, Bro. Amalan with the help of SECOLI, constructed a community hall on top of the dining hall building. He provided many more facilities for the aspirants. Bro. Ferdinand became the director in June 1998 and he completed the construction of the fence around the property. In June 2001, Bro. Heldon became the director of the aspirants at Arul Thentral. He was replaced as Aspirancy Director by Bro. J. Felix in 2004.