Jesuit Father Carl L. Dincher, a former Maryland Province Jesuit who became a Jamshedpur Province Jesuit, passed away on October 10, 2016, after serving the poor in India for more than 50 years. He was a pastor, retreat organizer and a spiritual mentor of St. Teresa of Calcutta. He was one of three remaining Jesuits from the Maryland Province still in Jamshedpur. Fr. Dincher was 89.
Fr. Dincher was born on September 22, 1927. He entered the Society of Jesus in 1945 and was ordained in 1957 in De Nobili College, Pune, India. He came to India from the Maryland Province in 1952.
While studying in the U.S. he applied to go to the Philippines as a missionary because his uncle, Fred Dincher, was working there. However, he was sent to India where the Maryland Province had started a mission in Jamshedpur in 1948.
Over the years, Fr. Dincher worked as a pastor in the major parishes of the dioceses and much loved, especially the poor. He worked in parishes in Jamshedpur, the Chaibasa area, Purulia and Dhanbad. He was a great builder, and wherever he was posted he built a church, convent or school. St. Xavier’s Church in Chaibasa is one of the finest churches of Jharkhand and a visible edifice of his dedicated work.
He worked as rector of De Nobili School and director of branch schools for several years. His life can be divided into two halves. For the first half he worked as a pastor and educator, and for the second half he worked as retreat preacher and spiritual counselor.
He also served as socius to the provincial in the mid-70s for two years and spent a few years in Bhubaneswar. He spent a good part of his of life in Jesu Bhavan, Mango, as superior and director of the retreat house.
Over the years, Fr. Dincher became a popular retreat preacher for all walks of people, especially priests, religious and laity all over the country and abroad. He preached several retreats to Mother Teresa sisters and Mother Teresa was present during several retreats.
In 1961, he met Mother Teresa and he was impressed by both her compassion and by her wisdom. He worked as her advisor. He had helped Saint Mother Teresa to revise her constitutions and sat with her for several hours over several days and finalized them before sending them to Rome for final approval.
He was bestowed “The Most Outstanding Catholic Individual Award” by the Cardinal L T Picachy Memorial Committee on December 2, 2001.
In Fr. Dincher’s own words “I have found my happiest days in India were in the villages. I came to love the people there very much and have found that though they were extremely poor, they would share whatever they have. I love the people in India. I get homesick for them. The mission work hasn’t been easy, but it has been a joy.”