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Address : 103 Dum Dum Road, Kolkata 700030
Contact :   +91 33 2548 2060
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St Mary’s provides education under the ICSE/ISC board, New Delhi and is run by the Congregation of Christian Brothers of Ireland. It has classes from the Nursery section up to +2 level ie Class 11 and 12 (Commerce section only). From the 2012 session admission of girls to the +2 level has started, breaking the school’s long-standing reputation of being a premier boys’ only school in Calcutta.

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• Auditorium
• Badminton court
• Basketball court
• Chapel hosting mass and other holy events
• Computer centres
• Digital Infrastructure
• Football fields - 2
• Laboratories
• Library
• Medical, Meals & Accessibility
• Parks
• Skating rink
• Sports
• Staff and Maintenance
• Swimming Pool

As the school was a residential school for orphans and the underprivileged till 2006, it has dormitories, a dining hall and a kitchen, along with servants’ quarters and the three main school buildings. However, the boarding closed down in 2004 and the school is now run as a day school only.

The Founder
Edmund Ignatius Rice, the Founder, (1 June 1762 - 29 August 1844), was a Catholic missionary and educationalist. He was the founder of two religious institutes of religious brothers: the Congregation of Christian Brothers and the Presentation Brothers.

Rice was born in Ireland at a time when Catholics faced oppression under Penal Laws enforced by the British authorities, though reforms began in 1778 when he was a teenager. He forged a successful career in business and, after an accident which killed his wife and left his daughter disabled and with learning difficulties, thereafter devoted his life to education of the poor.

Christian Brothers and Presentation Brothers schools around the world continue to follow the traditions established by Edmund Rice.

Edmund Rice was born to Robert Rice and Margaret Rice (née Tierney) on the farming property of “Westcourt”, in Callan, County Kilkenny. Edmund Rice was the fourth of seven sons, although he also had two step sisters, Joan and Jane Murphy, the offspring of his mother’s first marriage.

Rice’s education, like that of every other Irish Catholic of the day, was greatly compromised by the 1709 amendment to the Popery Act, which decreed that any public or private instruction in the Catholic faith would render teachers liable to prosecution, a measure that was not reformed until 1782. In this environment, hedge schools proliferated.

The boys of the Rice family obtained an education at home through Patrick Grace, a member of the small community of Augustinian friars in Callan. As a young man, Rice spent two years at a school which, despite the provisions of the penal laws, the authorities suffered to exist in the City of Kilkenny.

His uncle Michael owned a merchant business in the nearby port town of Waterford. In 1779 Edmund was apprenticed to him, moving into a house in the market parish of Ballybricken, entering the business of trading livestock and other supplies, and the supervising of loading of victuals onto ships bound for the British colonies. Michael Rice died in 1785, and this business passed to Edmund. He was an active member of a society established in the city for the relief of the poor. His  favourite charity was the Sick and Indigent Roomkeepers’ Association whose members visited the sick poor in their homes.

In about 1785 he married a young woman (perhaps Mary Elliott, the daughter of a Waterford tanner). Little is known about their married life, and Mary died in January 1789 following an accident, possibly by a fever that set in afterwards. The circumstances surrounding this accident are unclear, but she may have fallen off a horse that she was riding, or thrown out of a carriage by panicking horses. Pregnant at the time, a daughter was born on Mary’s deathbed. The daughter (also named Mary) was born handicapped. Edmund Rice was left a widower, with an infant daughter in delicate health.

Following his wife’s death, he began discerning a vocation to join a monastery, perhaps in France. One day, while discussing his vocation with the sister of Thomas Hussey, the Bishop of Waterford, a band of ragged boys passed by. She pointed to them, and cried: “What! Would you bury yourself in a cell on the continent rather than devote your wealth and your life to the spiritual and material interest of these poor youths?”

After settling his business affairs in 1802, Rice devoted his life to prayer and charitable work, particularly with the poor and marginalized of Waterford. In 1802, when he established a makeshift school in a converted stable in New Street, Waterford, he found the children were so difficult to manage that the teachers resigned. This prompted him to sell his thriving business to another prominent Catholic merchant, a Mr Quan, and devote himself to training teachers who would dedicate their lives to prayers and to teaching the children free of charge. Despite the difficulties involved, Edmund’s classes were so popular that another temporary school had to be set up on another of his properties, this time in nearby Stephen Street.

The turning point of Rice’s ministry was the arrival of two young men, Thomas Grosvenor and Patrick Finn, from his hometown of Callan. They came to him with the desire of joining a congregation, but had not decided which they would join. As it turned out, they remained to teach at Edmund Rice’s school, and formed their own. The subsequent success of the New Street school led to a more permanent building, named “Mount Sion”, where construction began on 1 June 1802. The Mount Sion monastery was officially blessed by Bishop Thomas Hussey on 7 June 1803. Since the school house was not yet completed, Rice, Finn, and Grosvenor took up residence but walked each day from Mt Sion to their schools on New Street and Stephen Street. On 1 May 1804, the adjoining school was opened and blessed by Hussey’s successor, Bishop John Power, and their pupils transferred to the new building.

A request made to the local Church of Ireland bishop for a school licence was eventually granted, thanks to the appeals of some of Rice’s more influential friends. By 1806 Christian schools were established in Waterford, Carrick-on-Suir, and Dungarvan.

The Christian Brothers
The Congregation of Christian Brothers (officially, in Latin: Congregatio Fratrum Christianorum; members of the order use the post-nominal “CFC”) is a worldwide religious community within the Catholic Church, founded by Edmund Rice (later beatified).

The Christian Brothers, as they are commonly known, chiefly work for the evangelization and education of youth, but are involved in many ministries, especially with the poor. Their first school was opened in Waterford, Ireland, in 1802.

This congregation is sometimes called the Irish Christian Brothers or the Edmund Rice Christian Brothers.

The congregation of Irish Christian Brothers spread to Liverpool and other parts of England. These new ventures were not always immediately successful. Two brothers had been sent to Gibraltar to establish an institute in 1835. However, despite initial successes they left in August 1837 on account of disagreements with the local priests. The school eventually flourished supplying education to the twentieth century. The “Line Wall College” was noted in 1930 for the education that it supplied to “well to do” children.

Brother Ambrose Treacy established a presence in Melbourne, Australia in 1868, in 1875 in Brisbane, Australia and in 1876 a school was commenced in Dunedin, New Zealand. In 1875 a school was opened in St John’s, Newfoundland.

In 1886 the Pope requested that they consider setting up in India, and a province of the congregation was established there.

In 1900 came the invitation to establish houses in Rome and in 1906 schools were established in New York City.

In 1940 Iona College was founded in New York, as a Higher Education College, facilitating poorer high school graduates to progress to a College education.

In 1955 Stella Maris College (Montevideo) in Uruguay was established.
In 1967, the Christian Brothers had a membership of about 5,000, teaching in around 600 schools.
The Christian Brothers’ teacher training centre has become the Marino Institute for Education which has trained lay teachers since 1972 and has offered degrees validated by the University of Dublin since 1974. In 2012 Trinity College Dublin became a co-trustee with the Brothers of the Institute.
The Brothers’ schools include primary, secondary and technical schools, orphanages and schools for the deaf.
A number of these technical schools originally taught poor children trades such as carpentry and building skills for which they could progress to gain apprenticeships and employment.

Up to the 1990s, the Brothers used to oversee the running of the school, and also take classes. From the 90s, the school started appointing specialist educationists as the Principal or Headmistress, starting with Mrs Paula Ghosh, who took over the running of the day school.

The Brothers focused on the orphanage and underprivileged sections of society. They could be seen walking purposefully through the long aisles and corridors of the school in their white cassocks. They also worked on overall administration of the school and social upliftment of the underprivileged, apart from running the NIOS section of the school.

St Mary’s Orphanage & Day School has also produced many notable alumni, including ace shooter Joydeep Karmakar, who finished fourth in the 50m prone rifle event at the London Olympics of 2012. The history of St Mary’s starts two centuries ago in the 1840s, when The Congregation of Christian Brothers (Missionaries of Ireland) founded the Calcutta Male Orphanage at Murgihata, Calcutta. The property at Dumdum was obtained to be a Retreat House when the Brothers arrived in India. The property at Dum Dum was purchased by Archbishop Carew in 1853 and handed over to the Calcutta Brothers. It was then known as St Xavier’s Retreat.

For several years the Brothers used it as a retreat house and for weekly meetings.  Under Br J B Culhane, then Provincial, the Villa was pulled down and the foundations for a two storeyed building were laid. They had begun building the first floor and preparations for roofing were going on. Unfortunately, in 1943, there was severe financial distress and the work came to a stop.

Around this time a Redemptorist, Father Greene preached a Retreat to the students of St Joseph’s College, Calcutta. He heard of the problem and suggested that a Mass be offered in honour of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour with a promise to rename the school after our Lady.
Miraculously, from the day the Mass was offered, everything worked out smoothly.  The United States Army, then newly arrived in Calcutta, was approached, and the Engineering section agreed to start the work at once and finish the building according to the plan. They asked that the premises be available for their use during the war and for six months after the cessation of hostilities.

The halted work began in full swing and the US Army troops took up residence in August 1943. As many as 1,200 men were housed in the school at various times. The School had the appearance of an armed camp.  The property was handed back to the Brothers in 1946 after the war. Credit for the plan and execution of the major portion of the work goes to Br J B Culhane assisted by Br P F McCarthy who spent two strenuous year in Dum Dum. Both had the satisfaction of seeing the building completed according to plan. In 1947, coincident with the year of Indian Independence, the old Catholic Male Orphanage from Murgihata (estd. 1848) was transferred to the Dum Dum site.

Renamed to St Mary’s Orphanage and Day School (SMO) was established as a Christian Brother Institution educating boys who had lost their parents, and those who came from broken and marginalized families. To answer the growing needs of society, day scholars were admitted subsequently. The school particularly serves the northern and eastern part of Calcutta and North 24 Parganas District.

NIOS and Mary Rice Centre for special education
With the boarding closing in 2004, there was a lot of extra space. The genesis of Mary Rice Centre began in the year 2005 with two Autistic children and one Special Educator. There being no Special School / Centre for special children available in North of Kolkata. On the request of the father of an autistic boy the Mary Rice Centre was started. Today we have 36 students in the age group 4 – 18 years.

On the Staff we have 4 professional Special Educators, one Vocational Instructor and 2 care givers. Mary Rice Centre caters to the needs of children with Mental Retardation, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Hyperactivity, ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), Sensory problem, Down’s syndrome, Learning Disability and Slow learner. In fact, we take all children needing special attention.

Aims and objectives of Mary Rice Centre
To create an awareness and opportunities for integrated education as per the capabilities of each child

Preparing for vocational training for the future rehabilitation / supported employment

To provide a strong support and parental guidance to parents and siblings to accept the reality of the child’s problems and encourage them to make their child as independent and self reliant as possible. Special educators are encouraged to plan innovative and flexible programs, which cater to the needs of each child individually

According to the situation and background the children are divided according to their age and cognitive level. Thus we have:  Care group, Class KG, Grades I, II, III, IV and Pre-Vocational students. Every child is tested by a Clinical Psychologist to get an idea of the psychological profile and also later to monitor their yearly progress. We provide integrated education as per their capability. Individual training as well as group activities are given to the students. We also provide different activities like Life Skill Training, Activities of daily living, Domestic skill, Physical exercise, brain gym, Mediation, Behaviourial management therapy and Basic computer application. Frequent small evaluations and twice a year elaborate evaluation and examination are done in a child friendly manner.

Keeping in mind that we have a large number of students with Learning disability, autism, ADHD, Down’s Syndrome etc we have to set up Occupation Therapy (OT) / Sensory Integrated Therapy (SIT) room. This will be operational shortly. At present we refer them to an outside agency of Occupational Therapy but many of our children could not avail of it due to distance and high cost. Hence it was decided to open one of our own which would benefit all our students.

We hope that this therapy will help the students for better development of:
Cognitive development / gross and fine motors development
Problem behaviour will be reduced
Speech will be developed faster
Will help to integrate education
Self-confidence and their potentiality to develop at a faster rate

Class 11 & 12 NIOS
St Mary’s Orphanage & Day School
In January 2004 the orphanage housing over 300 boys in St Mary’s Orphanage and Day school had to be closed due to various reasons. During this time it was decided that the Brothers with the help of a staff member, Mr George A Rozario, would look beyond school and thus conduct Open Schooling classes for the boys of the orphanage. Since our sister concern, St George’s school, provided free school upto NIOS Class 10, a good number of the orphans in the school were accommodated there. However there was a need to provide scope to those who wished and also capable to study at the next level. Thus the Brothers along with Mr Rozario began classes preparing boys for the NIOS Class 12 Open School System as well as teaching them two Vocational Courses.

The NIOS project is totally managed by the Brothers. Presently there are three Brothers involved as part of the teaching staff in the NIOS section. We also have Mr George who acts as the coordinator and another volunteer who takes regular classes for the students. Last year we have appointed an additional teacher as part of the teaching staff in the NIOS with the hope of having greater choice of subjects for the students.

As stated earlier, we presently have basically only one paid staff member and one volunteer apart from three Brothers (teaching gratis) who take regular classes for the students.

In class 12 we have 30 students of which 17 are gentlemen and 13 are ladies.
In class 11 we have 30 students of which 16 are gentlemen and 14 are ladies.

The NIOS class 12, has played a big role as it improves their learning experience plus having a class 12 certificate has greatly enhanced their job opportunities. Also because of the soft skills and career guidance, the students’ knowledge of spoken English and their self-confidence increases. All of these play a big role esp. in the hospitality industry and BPO centres where most of our students hope to get gainful employment especially due to the knowledge and fluency of spoken English.

Enrolment comes mainly from our sister concern, St George’s free school. It is wonderful to find so many wanting to better themselves by continuing on with their education. Most of the students take up vocational courses and the two areas we concentrate on is Catering and Hospitality. These help them to get jobs that can sustain them and their families. A few go for higher college studies.

Deserving and hardworking students are helped with sponsorship to follow professional catering and hotel management courses and quite a few of them have got excellent jobs in the airlines industry, and in 5-star hotels. Some have also managed to get placements abroad and on International Airlines. Apart from regular contacts and monetary assistance, they are also helped in improvement of their linguistic skills, esp. English and guided on how to face interviews and prepare themselves for the various entrance exams and secure job through various contacts and good Samaritans known to us.

Evening Feeding Program
The school is located just outside the municipal limits of the city of Kolkata. Dum Dum is a junction where not only local trains stop but also a junction through which many outstation trains pass through. It also is the main hub for the city metro train services. Thus it attracts a whole lot of people from the rural areas even as far as Bangladesh. This is especially when the rural areas face problems, wherein their normal means of earning a livelihood is rendered impossible, especially due to the failure of the monsoons, floods or various other economic factors. The city of Joy is a wonderful city where literally everybody is accommodated. We have all sorts of people in the city, from the very affluent to the very poor. Dum Dum station which is situated just beyond the boundary of the school and being on the peripheral boundary of the city proper is a place where the unwanted of society and the rejects in society often find themselves.

Over the years the Brothers have looked beyond their borders and tried to help these vulnerable people, especially the very young and elderly women. A few years ago, we had the “platform project” wherein children who had run away from home for various and varied reasons and come into the city eventually finding shelter at the Railway Station were helped. The “platform project” was an attempt to try and get these children to come to St Mary’s and give them a basic education and a means to earn a livelihood. It also provided them a space where they could be themselves especially on the football field. After rendering this service for many years the project was closed due to lack of Brothers in the community to sustain the project.

However in 2005, a new venture was started to help the old and destitute people who are found in and around the area. Some were disabled or too old to manage a living by begging on the streets and on the platform. The project started with 20 people but today we are providing a decent evening meal for around 130 people, mainly old, a few women and a couple of kids as well.

The main objective of this project is to provide these people with at least one decent meal a day especially so that they do not have to go to bed hungry.

This project started because with the orphanage closing, the need was felt to reach out to those who lived lives of quiet desperate just beyond our walls. It was noticed that the old and the very young, the most vulnerable section of society were hard pressed even to get one decent square meal a day and since the Brothers were busy in school during the day, the evening feeding program was decided upon by the community when the Brothers were relatively free.

The project was started with the funds coming from the school. It is still sustained with the help of the school funds and from sponsors and donors.

Local people who are aware of this feeding program occasionally want to be a part of the program. Hence on a big occasion like birthdays, wedding anniversary, or death anniversary etc, they would sponsor the feeding program for the day; at times they give money which covers the feeding cost for the day and even at times for more than a day.

It is encouraged that those who have sponsored the meal for the day to be present. Some also bring an additional sweet meal which serves as a desert for the people. The feeding program includes children, mostly migrants from outlying villages who have no support in the city and are left to their own devices to make a living and get enough to eat at the end of the day.

The people who are fed everyday look forward to getting a good decent meal each day. This can be seen by the number of people who wait at the gate each day for their meal. Quite a few line up outside the gate, an hour or more before the feeding program begins.

There is no great benefit of this project other than it being a pure Christian Charity. If it weren’t for the project, many of these people would go to bed hungry. The project at least ensures that they have some solid food, especially those among them who are weak and can’t manage to earn a living or are just too old and weak.

Once a month, in collaboration with the Missionaries of Charity Brothers, who visit the site with their ambulance, basic medical treatment and medicines are also provided for those suffering from basic ailments or pain.