The first Jesuits came to El Minia in 1886. They bought a piece
of public land from the Municipality in what was then the extreme Southern
boundary of the City. This consisted of a public green area
about 12,500 m2.
There they built their house and a school in 1887. The Fathers'
Residence was built around the church, so that on the outside one only
sees an ordinary rectangular building. For nearly a 100
years the fathers undertook long tours to visit their many village schools
scattered in Upper Egypt. They would come back, exhausted,
to the residence and its gardens which provided welcome relaxation, and
also some of their food.
By the mid 70's, most of their schools in Upper Egypt were satisfactorily looked after by an officially registered public Association, with its seat in Cairo They kept only the school on their residence grounds and a couple of others nearby. There was in that period a housing problem in Minia as the population of the city started growing out of control, so the Fathers thought of selling off most of their land. Their idea was to make this space available for popular housing. On second thoughts, and especially as they knew that there was the danger that land speculators might end up building housing too expensive for the ordinary people most in need of affordable housing, they decided upon a different course of action. If this land was to be really useful for the poor and the ordinary people of the area, let us keep it, but open it and create activities for them. The idea caught on. The Jesuits' and Brothers' Association was set in motion in earnest, and a new building rose up on the far side of the garden, with workshops, club rooms, a reading library, and a lot of space for receiving groups of holidaying children or Adults on formation sessions. The rest of the gardens were transformed into playing fields.
Since then more transformations have taken place, especially two more buildings finished only a couple of years ago, one for the handicapped and another for formation projects such as seminars and training courses. The Jesuit Residence complex in Minia enjoys the reputation of beeing a hive of activity. The Fathers of course carry on their various Spiritual tasks which still take them out to various villages around Minia and much beyond, as well as assure the Spiritual Animation of all the various activities at home. The Church is used as the local Catholic Parish. The School is among the best in Minia. The Youth House is the source of many youth activities organized by the "Jesuits' and Brothers' Association for Developement". The playing fields are always in use. The list is not exhaustive. (See the links below to find out more details in other pages, .)
No one, coming out of Minia Train Station and wishing to find his way to the Jesuit residence, has ever had trouble finding his way. All you have to do is ask anyone, literally, to take you to the "Deir al-Abaa' al-Yasouiyyin" ( = The Jesuit Fathers' Monastry ) and without further question you will be directed or led there: The Residence is a landmark known to one and all.
You may be interested to look up the following pages and links: