Br. Bernard Singh, SJ was an ‘exceptional Jesuit’ in many ways: though hailing from a Hindu family of Bihar that considers religious and caste identity as of supreme value, Baijnath Singh defied his family and caste-community and took baptism at the age of eighteen and became Bernard Singh. Though he was the eldest of nine siblings and so felt a strong sense of responsibility towards the family, he answered the call of Jesus and joined the Society of Jesus to offer his life as a Jesuit Brother. He was an accomplished teacher and an efficient hostel superintendent for ten years, but became a house-hold name among poor and marginalized communities of Bihar during his tenure of nearly two decades as Director of Sewa Kendra, Patna, the Social Service centre of Patna Diocese. He was the only Brother of the Province who served as Province Consultor. He gave an eloquent witness of joyful religious life from the wheelchair, to which he was confined to for almost a decade.
While studying as a student and residing in the hostel at Khrist Raja High School, Bettiah, Br. Bernard experienced Jesus in the Jesuit Fathers and Brothers there. He grew in the love of Jesus and decided to follow Him closely. He was ostracized by his family and faced threats to his life. But he dealt with everything with faith in Jesus and a courage born of that faith. Personal prayer and daily Eucharist nourished his intimacy with Jesus. Br. Bernard became an ardent devotee of Mother Mary and recited the rosary regularly. His love for the Church and loyalty to the Society grew continually. These spiritual sources bore the fruit of apostolic zeal and personal life witness of Br. Bernard.
Thank you Br. Bernard, for your heroic and exemplary Jesuit life. Intercede for us, your companions on earth.
Susai Raj, SJ