A quarter of a century before the present St Xavier’s College began in 1860 in the discarded San Souci Theatre on Park St, by the Belgian Jesuits, an international group of Jesuits commissioned by the English Jesuit Province landed in Calcutta to look after the interests of the Catholics. The team was headed by Dr Robert St Leger.
* 1834: Opening of the College of St Francis Xavier at Moorghyhatta by Fr Chadwick, an English Jesuit.
* 1835: the institution is shifted to no.3 Park St.
* 1841: It is shifted to 22 Chowringhee, where the present day Indian Museum stands, to accommodate the increasing number of students, the same year Mgr Carew lands in Calcutta to take charge of the affairs of the Catholic Church.
* 1846: The closure of the College of St. Francis Xavier due to the feud between the Jesuits and Mgr Carew, and the Jesuits leave for their home shores.
Other names to be remembered: Joseph Mero (an Italian lay brother), Fr William Weld, Fr Moore and Fr Robert Johnson.
At the demise of Mgr Carew in 1855, Mgr Olliffe took charge as the new bishop.
An admirer of the Jesuits, and with the active support of lay people prominent among them being the Corneliuses, the O’Briens and the Cantophers, the Belgian Jesuits were appealed to come to Calcutta to look after the education of the Catholic community!
No. 10, the burnt out premises of Sans Souci theatre, was bought by Mgr Carew in 1850 to transfer St John’s college he had begun in Entally.. St John’s was transferred to No.10 but the experiment did not last.
In 1859 the Jesuits landed on the shores of the Charnock city, and made no. 10 Pk St their home, handed over to them by Mgr Olliffe.
On 16th January 1860, the college St. Francis Xavier incarnates as St Xavier’s College at 10 Park St. The leader and founder was Fr Depelchin. The college was granted affiliation by Calcutta University in 1862.
The present 30 Park St where St Xavier’s College is situated is an amalgamation of numbers 10 and 11 of Park St. No.10, where stood the remnants of Sans Souci, was bought by Mgr Carew with money received as a donation from Lackersteins, an investment company connected to East India Company. It was handed over to the Jesuits to start St Xavier’s College by the then bishop of Calcutta, Mgr Olliffe. The rich Anglo-Indians donated generously to the efforts of the Jesuits.
And with a donation from the home Province of Belgium, premises no.11 was bought for Rs 45,000.00 in 1864, by Fr Depelchen, the founder father of St. Xavier’s. For expansion work in terms of class rooms and to accommodate the Jesuits fathers, there was a paucity of funds.
A Christian Minority Educational Institution, St. Xavier's was founded in 1860 by a Catholic Christian Minority Religious body, the Society of Jesus, and was affiliated to Calcutta University in 1862. While preference is shown to the educational and cultural needs of the Minority community, admission is open to all irrespective of caste, creed and Nationality!
St. Xavier's College offers UG and PG courses under five faculties : Arts, Science, Commerce, Business Administration, and Education.
The medium of instruction is English. However, candidates coming from vernacular medium schools are offered facilities to improve their skill in spoken English.