Aurangabad: Silver Jubilee of St. Paul’s English Medium High School at Paithan celebrated

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By Dr. Eugene DSouza, Moodubelle
Bellevision Media Network

Aurangabad, 01 March 2011: The Silver Jubilee of St. Paul’s High School at the historical town of Paithan in the Aurangabad District was celebrated on Saturday, 26th February 2011 with the solemn thanksgiving Mass at 11 am with Most Rev. Dr. Edwin Colaco, the Bishop of the Aurangabad Diocese as the chief celebrant and a grand function in the evening at 5.30 pm with Mr. Rajendra Darda, Minister of Education, Government of Maharashtra as the chief guest and attended by a number of dignitaries.



The Thanksgiving Mass was offered by Most Rev. Dr. Edwin Colaco as the chief guest along with Rev. Dr. Valerian Fernandes and other priests from the Aurangabad Diocese. The Bishop and priests were welcomed in a traditional manner. A large number of religious sisters, local people and relatives of Rev. Dr. Valerian Fernandes from Mumbai, Kuwait, Kundapur, Udupi and Bangalore and Fr. Louis D’Sa-parish priest of Mudarangadi and a cousin of Rev. Dr. Valerian Fernandes attended the Thanksgiving Mass as well as the evening function. In his homily, Dr. Edwin Colaco highlighted the contribution of Rev. Dr. Valerian Fernandes in establishing St. Paul’s Church and St. Paul’s English Medium School at Paithan and the progress that has been made by the school during the last twenty-five years. Following the Mass the Bishop and  Dr. Valerian Fernandes were honoured by the parishioners. A community meal was organized for all the participants after the end of the Thanksgiving Mass and the stage programme.


The grand Silver Jubilee function in the evening was presided over by Dr. Edwin Colaco. Mr. Rajendra Darda, Minister of Education, Government of Maharashtra was the chief guest of the function. Other guests of honour included: Former Minister-Anil Patel, MLC from Aurangabad-M.M. Shaikh, Ex-MLA-Bhausaheb Thorat, Retired Deputy Superintendent of Police and presently the vice chairman of the Minority Cell of the Maharashtra State-James Ambildhage, Director of Sant Eknath Sugar Factory-K.P. Zhargad  Mama and other local dignitaries were present for the programme.



Following the ceremonial lighting of the lamp, Mr. Rajendra Darda inaugurated  the Silver Jubilee Memorial Block with class rooms and the stage which was blessed in the morning by Dr. Edwin Colaco. The Silver Jubilee Souvenir was also released by Mr. Rajendra Darda. The minister and other dignitaries were felicitated by Dr. Valerian Fernandes. KP Zhargad Mama honoured Dr. Valerian Fernandes by tying the traditional Maharashtrian headgear ‘peta’.


In his address, Mr. Rajendra Darda complimented Dr. Valerian Fernandes on the occasion of the Silver Jubilee of St. Paul’s English Medium High School and congratulated the staff and students for their efforts in making the school a model not only in Paithan but in the whole of the Aurangabad District. He also spoke about the government policy on education and the need for the improvement of the training of the teachers in order to enable them in imparting quality education. He underlined the fact that citizens should help the government in identifying the children who are not attending schools so that provision can be made to enrol such students in the schools. Other guests of honour also spoke on this occasion and greatly appreciated the quality education imparted at the school and the vision of Dr. Valerian Fernandes and the dedicated work of the headmistress and the teachers.


The students of the school right from Lower KG to 10th standard presented variety entertainment programme in an excellent manner that regaled the guests and the audience who had gathered in large numbers.



On the previous day, Friday, 25th February 2011, prize distribution programme was organised at 10.30 am. Nearly 200 students from all classes who had shown their excellence in various curricular and co-curricular activities and competitions were given prizes by the guests-James Ambildhage, K.P. Zhargad Mama, J.C. Francis, Fr. Louis D’Sa, Dr. Valerian Fernandes and Sr. Rochana Fernandes (CSST)-Headmistress of the school.


St. Paul’s English Medium School that was founded 25 years ago by Rev. Dr. Valerian Fernandes, who hails from Halehalve (Pius Nagar) near Kundapur is the first English medium school in that region that has been responsible in providing quality education through English medium that has enabled a number of students in that region which has been considered as a backward area to have access to higher education and even some of the students from the school have gone abroad for specialized education. During the last 13 batches of SSC, 9 batches secured 100 per cent results and remaining 4 batches 98 per cent.


Rev. Dr. Valerian Fernandes:



The journey of pastoral mission and achievement of Fr Valerian Fernandes from Kundapur to Aurangabad has been quite challenging and interesting. Fr Valerian was born on August 10, 1950 in the distinguished Fernandes family in the parish of St Pius X of Hanglur (Piusnagar) near Kundapur. His parents were the late Julian Fernandez, a well-known school-teacher affectionately referred as ‘Jillu Master’ and Pauline Fernandes. He was 6th in the large family of 14 children, five brothers and nine sisters.


Valerian had his lower primary and higher primary education in St Joseph’s Convent School, Kundapur and St Mary’s Parish School, Hanglur respectively.  Thereafter he completed high school studies from the Government High School, Koteshwar.


Being born and brought up in pious surroundings, young Valerian fulfilled his dream of dedicating himself to the service of the Church and society by joining the seminary at Lucknow after completing SSC. He chose Aurangabad diocese for his pastoral work and was ordained a priest on December 4, 1979 by Bishop Dominic Abreo, the first Bishop of the Aurangabad diocese.


Fr Valerian’s first appointment was as an Assistant Parish Priest at St Francis De Sales Cathedral, Aurangabad. Meanwhile, he was also assigned the additional responsibility of supervising the administration of the Little Flower School at Aurangabad.


Realizing his ability to mobilize people and galvanize them in faith, a couple of years later, Fr Valerian was sent to the mission centre at Bidkin. Besides reviving the spiritual life among the faithful he took up measures to improve the socio-economic conditions of the people in general through education and social service.


Appreciating Fr Valerian’s dedication to mission work, innovative practices and leadership qualities, the diocesan authorities assigned to him the mission centre of Paithan, a place of historical importance around 56 kilometers from Aurangabad.


St. Paul’s English Medium School


Paithan is a Taluka city in Aurangabad District that is part of Marathwada region of  the Maharashtra state. Paithan is located at around 56km south of Aurangabad city on the banks of Godavari River. It known in the ancient times as ’Pratishthan’ and was the capital city of the Satavahana empire and major hub of commerce at that time. Paithan is also the birthplace of Sant Eknath - one of the greatest saints of Maharashtra. The Jayakwadi dam that was built on the Godavari river is located at Paithan and a huge garden on the model of the Mysore Udyan has been developed near the dam.


Paithan became the chief centre of Fr Valerian’s pastoral mission work for over two decades. During this period he not only revived the dwindling faith of the Catholics but also started an English medium school named after St Paul which gradually developed into a full-fledged secondary school imparting quality and value-based education with consistently good results and grades at the SSC.


In order to enable children from distant regions to attend the school, Fr Valerian constructed two separate hostels for boys and girls attached to the school in which 225 children from distant regions reside and study in the school. St Paul’s High School at Paithan is the living testimony of Fr Valerian’s dedication to the promotion of education among backward communities with a view of improving their socio-economic conditions.
In order to enable the Catholics to attend regular church services, Fr Valerian took initiative in setting up mission centres in different villages of the Paithan taluka. These include: St Paul’s Mission Centre and St Anne’s Church at Paithan, A church and presbytery at Dorkin, church in honour of Our Lady of Fatima at Kharaj Kheda, Our Lady of Lourdes Chapel and presbytery at Padoli and St Pius X Church and presbytery at Gavrai-Basi.


In spite of his busy schedule in pastoral service and other socio-economic and cultural activities, Fr Valerian strived to achieve excellence in learning and knowledge. While being immersed in pastoral mission work, he acquired M.A., B.Ed., and Ph. D. degrees from the Aurangabad University. His Ph.D. thesis “A Study of Catholic Missionary Institutions in Vidharbha and Marathwada: 1846-1996” is an in-depth and meticulous research work that enabled him to formulate and implement a number of measures for the improvement of Catholic missionary institutions in the Marathwada region.


Fr.  Valerian’s dedicated mission work in pastoral, educational and socio-economic spheres was recognized and appreciated by the Church and civil authorities. Various organizations and Government bodies honoured him with a number of awards such as Ideal teacher Award, Eminent Educationist Award, Rajiv Gandhi Shiromani Award and the prestigious the Catholic Priests’ Conference of India(CPCI)National Award for Excellence (2008).


Realizing the ability and managerial capacity of Fr Valerian, the Bishop Edwin Colaco of Aurangabad diocese appointed him as the Vicar General, Chancellor and Procurator of the Aurangabad diocese in 2007. With vast experience and knowledge in various spheres of mission work, Fr Valerian earned the trust and confidence of the Bishop by streamlining and improving the overall activities of the Aurangabad diocese. Within a short period he revitalized the Basic Christian Communities (BCC) in each parish of the diocese, improved the functioning of the educational institutions and strengthened the finances of the diocese.


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Comments on this Article
Dnyaneshwar kharat, Jalna Mon, June-8-2020, 7:43
I studied here 12 years..really it had an impact on my life be it values or education...It played an very important role in acheiving my milestone..and bcoz of it I m here serving Society being a doctor.. Silver jubilee function was grand celebration and I had not seen such a large function in my 12 years of education in this school. In this function I took part as Chief Anchor and I thank all who supported me ,guided me and for providing such a big platform for showing our skills.
Vijaykumar Eknathrao Sonawane, Manjari,tal. Gangapur,Dist.Aurangabad Thu, August-8-2019, 12:54
I thanks respected rev. Fr.Valerian Fernandes for supporting me to be a part of your excellent school. Thanks once again.
sandeep babasaheb khatal, anandwadi tq beed dist beed Fri, August-8-2014, 1:20
really I am proud to a member of st pauls school
Kate shivprasad, Jalna Fri, October-25-2013, 3:01
Realy proud to be a member of St Pauls family. Enjoyed school days much. Thanks to Fr. Valerian. Best silver jubile wishes.
Pravesh mishra, Paithan Fri, June-14-2013, 5:45
I really enjoyed my school days..! , , , i will never forget my school life... , , , i am really Missing father and specially all my friends...
Rameshwar Harde, Ahmednagar Sat, March-2-2013, 12:20

I am really glad to say to be a student of this school...I really miss all those days...thank you father from bottom of my heart..!!!

Praveen nair, Mumbai Mon, November-19-2012, 7:34
I am glad to being the part of st pauls school . Dr valerian fernandis gave ne encouragememt for my studies in the future . Father i want your hands on my head as your blessing . Thank you father .
Rahul, Latur Sat, August-18-2012, 4:23

Father we all miss u... thanx for d creating a excellent school for us..

Athira Nair, Kerala Tue, February-21-2012, 2:18
I miss my school. I startd my school days here bt unfortunately i went to Kerala. FATHER I wish all the sucess in future also. Nw im doing nsg final year. I mis alice mam.and my best frnd Ektha rai.
Jaideep balte, paithan Wed, August-31-2011, 5:24
I miss my school days..... i love to be again a part of it..... Rev. Dr. Valerian Fernandes i miss u father...thanks for creating a school for children like me.....once again i thanks to you.. my school which give me everything to achieve my the last i wish congrats for the Silver Jubilee of St. Paul’s High School thanks.........
Vivek Gupta, Jaipur ,RAJASTHAN Tue, August-16-2011, 3:34

Respected sir, congratulation for Silver Jublee of our school.With your blesslings i did my B.Tech from IIT Madras and now i study in IIM A.

Ganesh Kharat, Jalna Thu, August-11-2011, 9:20

I miss my school days..... i love to be again a part of it..... Rev. Dr. Valerian Fernandes i miss u father...thanks for creating a school for children like me.....once again i thanks to you.. my school which give me everything to achieve my the last i wish congrats for the Silver Jubilee of St. Paul’s High School thanks..........

Dr Prashant Bandal, paithan Tue, March-29-2011, 10:53
Excellent function and nice images of my nephew.
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