Dirnberger Niketan, Sonada

  • Founded in: 2009
  • Location: Sonada, Darjeeling Dt., West Bengal
  • Diocese: Darjeeling
  • Demographics: Semi-Urban
  • Ministries: Philosophy Study House


The house at Sonada was founded in 2009 to facilitate candidates obtaining a secular degree (bachelorate) together with the mandatory specialization in philosophy. The house was named after late Rev. Fr. Franz Dirnberger, CMF, a German Claretian who made India his home, lived and died in India, tending to the young Indian Claretian foundation in its infancy and childhood, and hence, is fondly called “Grandpa” by the Indian Claretians. Since 2009, twenty three students have passed through the portals of Dirnberger Niketan. Currently there are 15 students across three years of study. The students do their studies in Salesian College, Sonada.

During this Stage, students continue to discern their vocation through personal reflection, conferences, and study of Claretian Charism, while also care for their personality development through the activities of various cells and associations.



  • The extreme cold and wet weather of the place makes it a difficult place for academics and outdoor activities.
  • The high cost of living and academics
  • Lack of optimal resources for spiritual direction
  • Need for scholarships and endowments for the residential and academic formation of candidates.