Port.814 /Gen.Sec.2018(3-b-10/CBCI-GC 22 August 2018
Rt. Rev. Joseph Minj ,17.10.1932 – 16.08.2018
The Obituary has been prepared by Rev. Ignatius Tete, Vicar General of the Diocese of Simdega.
Most Rev. Joseph Minj was born on 17.10.1932 in Tholkobera village of Rengarih Parish in Simdega District of Jharkhand state. Then Rengarih parish was under Ranchi Catholic Archdiocese and Ranchi was the district headquarters. He was the eldest son of Mr. Leo Minj and Mrs. Julia Salomi Minj. He has two younger brothers and one sister.
His primary Education began in the parish school. He was very good in studies under the guidance of the Belgian Missionaries. He completed his high school studies in St. Mary’s High School Samtoli, Simdega and joined St. Xavier’s College Ranchi for Intermediate of Arts. He completed two years of Intermediate successfully and joined St. Albert’s College Ranchi for priestly formation. He studied Philosophy for three years and achieved Bachelor degree in Philosophy. He was sent to Barve High School, Chainpur now in Gumla Diocese for Regency and after one year he came back to St. Xavier’s College, Ranchi for Bachelor of Arts degree. Brother Joseph then was sent to Leuven University, Belgium for the theological studies. He was ordained priest in Leuven on 10.08.1960 and continued his studies till he achieved the Doctorate in Educational Psychology.
Fr. Joseph Minj came back to India after his ordination and after obtaining the degree of Doctorate in educational Psychology. He was appointed Headmaster of St. Joseph’s High School Torpa now in Khunti Diocese by Archbishop Pius Kerketta S.J. Fr. Joseph Minj spent most of his priestly life in Torpa. He constructed a new high school building in Torpa. He also started St. Joseph’s Intermediate College and Degree College in Torpa. For some time he helped Ranchi Archdiocese as Diocesan Treasurer. The diocese of Khunti and in a very special way the faithful of Torpa are very grateful to him. He will always be remembered for his missionary zeal, and love and for the service he rendered to the people of Torpa.
After retirement from college Fr. Joseph Minj was appointed as the first Bishop of the newly erected diocese of Simdega carved out from Ranchi Catholic Archdiocese on July 1, 1993. He was consecrated as the Bishop of Simdega Catholic Diocese on August 24, 1993 by Most Rev. Telesphore P. Toppo the Archbishop of Ranchi. Most Rev. Joseph Minj had a great responsibility and challenge to form the diocese of Simdega as the body of Christ. “Let Christ Increase” (Jn.3:30) was his motto. The faithful of Simdega had great expectations from their shepherd and accordingly he took the great steps of holistic development of the diocese. Faith formation, Economic development, Health and Education all these areas were focused. He established new parishes in Besrajara, Bhitbuna, Bindhaintoli, Bongera, Dhingurpani, Dumardih, Jaldega etc. He was an Educationist, and in 1994 started the St. Pius X Intermediate College, Rengarih and St. Dominic Intermediate College, Lachragarh in 2001. He started new Catholic schools in many interior places of the diocese in order to light the lamp of education among the poor tribes. He started two apostolic schools one in Rengarih and other in Banki in order to promote youth towards the priesthood. A number of health centers are running in the diocese to provide the primary health care. He established a social development center in Simdega known as Vikas Kendra which is providing plenty of opportunities for the development of the people.
After retirement on 11th February 2008, he spent his time in different hospitals. He had diabetes, Kidney and heart problems. Finally he was admitted in Shanti Bhawan Medical Center, Biru, Simdega on August 3, 2018 where on August 16, 2018 at 7.30 a.m. he breathed his last at the age of 85 years and 10 months. Most Rev. Vincent Barwa the priests and Religious and the faithful of the diocese express their heartfelt gratitude and homage to the beloved shepherd Joseph Minj. May the compassionate Father grant his soul eternal rest in Heaven!
Yours sincerely in our Lord,
Bishop Theodore Mascarenhas, SFX.
Secretary General, CBCI