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The Catholic Health Association of India (CHAI) has been awarding annual scholarships since 1992  to religious sisters who are pursuing their studies in the field of medicine and allied areas.  These Scholarships are made possible from the munificence gifted to CHAI by late Fr Joseph E A Victoria, a priest of the Archdiocese of Bombay.  Fr Victoria bequeathed his wealth in favour of CHAI for providing scholarships to women religious for medical studies “in order to encourage them to alleviate the sufferings of poor, ailing women and children”. 

Fr Joseph Victoria, the Good Samaritan

Joseph Emmanuel Annunciation Victoria was born on 25 March 1905 at Poona, Maharashtra.  Joachim Victoria and Josephina Victoria were the parents.  His sisters Mrs Cecilia D’Costa and Miss Mary Victoria — live at Lobo Mansion, Christ Church Street, Byculla, Mumbai.  After graduation, he joined the Society of Jesus.  Bishop Ferdinand Perrier SJ, Archbishop of Calcutta, ordained him a Priest on 21 November 1938 at St Mary’s College, Kurseong, Darjeeling.  He held various positions in the Society of Jesus and he left the Society in April 1947 and joined the Archdiocese of Bombay, where he continued his ministry till 1970.

Retiring from official service, Fr Victoria had been living at the Clergy Home, Bandra (East) Mumbai, helping several parishes with his selfless service.  When he had an attack of stroke, he was shifted to Holy Spirit Hospital, Andheri, where he breathed his last.  He entered his eternal rest in Lord at the age of 71 on 15 January 1976.  His funeral was at St Andrew’s Church attended by Bishop Winibald Menezes, Bishop Longinus Pereira, and a large number of priests, nuns and lay people.  His Eminence Cardinal Gracias presided over the funeral obsequies.

Fr Joseph Victoria was a friend to princes and paupers and he felt at ease with sinners and saints.  He took upon himself the mission entrusted to him by the Lord with due seriousness and served the poor and needy with humanity and concern.  He was amply endowed with gratitude.  He was always supremely grateful to God, to people, strangers, friends and servants.  And he had that supreme gift of the spirit of joy and laughter.

A fellow missionary and a friend of his, Fr Roger Lesser, remembers Joe (he was Joe to friends): “With his charity, gratitude and joy he was always giving himself to any work and to any people who needed him as far as possible.  Few knew that he helped more than one struggling through his studies.  And not all of them were Catholics.”  He always believed that deeds are better and useful than words when people need help.  He lived up to what he believed by doing many things to people.  He was always concerned about others, never about himself.

The Catholic Health Association of India (CHAI) gratefully remembers Fr Joseph Victoria for his munificence in helping hundreds of Sisters from different Religious Congregations to pursue higher studies to equip themselves to serve the poor and the needy.  The Father Victoria Memorial Scholarship instituted in his name continues to render financial assistance to hundreds of our religious sisters of our member institutions.  Scores of such beneficiaries of his munificence as well as the people whom they serve bow their heads in reverence and in prayer.  May his soul rest in peace.

The Scholarship

(a)  Scholarships are awarded as follows only to the deserving religious sisters for studies/training in India in the following field of Health and Medicine:

 S. No.

 

Course

Maximum Amount

per year

           Rs.

Maximum No.  of years

(as per the course)

1

MBBS/BHMS/BAM (Degree/Diploma/ Certificate course in Allopathic, Homoeopathic/ Naturopathy/Ayurveda system of medicine

10,000.00

4

2

BSc Nursing

PC BSc Nursing

5,000.00

5,000.00

4

2

3

General Nursing

5,000.00.

3

4

PGDHA of CHAI

10,000.00

1

5

ANM/Multipurpose Health Workers’ Course

4,000.00.

2

6

Para Medical Courses (Degree /

Diploma in Audiology, X-ray Technology, Laboratory, Physiotherapy, Anaesthesiology etc and special training in TB and Leprosy)

4,000.00.

4

7

Community Health Workers’ Training

4,000.00.

1

 [Post Graduate/Specialised courses in the above mentioned fields of study are not given priority]

(b)  Scholarship will be made available on the basis of funds position and the number of applications received.  This is not a meritorious scholarship.  Normally only one scholarship per Congregation (Region/Province wise) per year will be given, so as to assist deserving candidates of all Congregations.  Except for renewal of scholarship, candidates from the same Congregation will not be assisted in consecutive years.  Exceptions may, however, be made again on the basis of the availability of funds and the number of applications received.

(c)  The filled in applications are to be forwarded through the Provincial/Regional Superior of the Congregation concerned.

(d)   On successful completion of the academic year for which scholarship is given, scholarship for the next academic year will be considered.  To secure renewal of scholarship, the candidate will have to complete and send through her Provincial/Regional Superior to CHAI the prescribed renewal application form.

(e)   Scholarship will not be granted for courses/academic year already completed.

(f)    Scholarship, if sanctioned, will be released only after the candidate secures admission (xerox copy of the admission letter is to be sent to CHAI as a proof).
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