Shapers 1844 – 1850

1. Fr.MARION BRESILLAC Melchior Marie Joseph ( 1844 – 1846 )

     Fr.Bresillac was born at Castelnaudany on December 2, 1813. He joined the seminary of MEP in 1841. Fr.Bresillac was appointed as the first rector of the seminary. There were 89 students in the seminaire of which 20 were ecclesiastical students aspiring for priesthood. He had a team consisting of a European priest, an Indian priest and a number of lay professors and supervisors to assist him.

The first prize distribution function in the history of Petit Seminaire was held in January 1845. The august assembly included eminent persons like the Governor, the Bishop and the elite of Pondicherry. Fr.Marion, in his report, appealed to the parents, “You have to get accustomed to seeing your sons educated by others than you. Your children have to get good habits of study. We can not replace you at home. Please do not swallow the petty complaints of your lazy children. Come and speak about it with us.” The appeal provides an insight into the nature of the problems the first administrators had to face.

A new building what is known as St.Joseph’s block, was built and was inaugurated on March 19, 1846 at a cost of Rs.9000/-

Fr.Marion was made the Bishop of Prush and later he became the provicar of Coimbatore. He returned to Europe in 1853 and founded the Society of African Mission at Lyon. He died on June 25, 1859 at an early age of 46.

2. Fr.GODELLE Joseph Isidore ( 1846 – 1850 )

Fr.Godelle was born on March 7, 1806 at Hannapes ( Ardennes). He was ordained priest on June 1, 1833.

Coming to India he served in Tanjore, Kovilur in Dharmapuri District, Tranquabar and also in Karaikal. He became the rector of the Petit Seminaire in Pondicherry and served for five years from 1846 to 1850.

Time and again the Seminaire came to grief on account of reforms which touched the customs of the people and it made the students leave the seminary, leading to the closure of the seminary.

The caste catholics had viewed the decision of the Pondicherry Synod with regard to the admissions to Petit Seminaire as a veiled threat to the caste system. Tamil news papers from Madras carried letters and articles condemning the acts of the priests. The seminary authorities declared indefinite holidays and the seminary was closed.

Normalcy returned only in April 1847 with the intervention of Mgr. Bonnand.

Foundations were laid for a separate grand seminary which had been sharing the new building with Petit Seminaire college since 1846. The new building for grand seminary was completed in September 1850.

Later Mgr.Godelle became the administrator of Coimbatore and then Apostolic Vicar of Pondicherry in 1861 and he was called for his eternal reward on July 15, 1867.