Array History – Lourdes Matha Church Mammood

History

Lourdes Matha Church has a history which is slightly different from that of other churches. Usually schools come up after the churches are established. Here reverse was the case. St. Shanthal’s school was established in 1922. Palakkunnel Vattammakal Ninan Cheriyath donated two and a half acres of land to establish a school, convent and a church at Mulanthanamkunnu on the request of Rev. Sr. Shanthal, a founder member of Adoration convent, Mallappally. Though the school could be started immediately, the other two conditions in the document could not be implemented then. Later, on receiving complaints from the Palakkunnel family, His Excellency Mar James Kalassery directed the then school manager, Rev. Fr. Sebastian Kalaripparambil (“Vaidanachan”) to build a church. Thus the first Holy Mass was celebrated in the make shift chapel by Rev. Fr. Ambrosis, son of Vattammakal Ninan, a member of Syrian Carmelite congregation; and Rev. Fr. Sebastian Kalariparambil. But a strong wind destroyed the chapel in 1935.

 

Cheriyath Annamma, wife of Ninan Cheriyath, donated her “Kunukku” (ear rings worn by Syrian Christian Women of kerala) to construct a strong chapel. Later cheriyath George (Kochikochan), the youngest son of Ninan Cheriyath, donated one more acre of land. The foundation stone for the new church was laid by His Excellency Mar James Kalassery, then Bishop of Changanacherry, on December 8, 1938. the church was consecrated by celebrating the pontifical mass on December 23, 1943. 64 families joined as members of the parish at that time.

From its mission church statues, Lourdes Matha Chruch was elevated to the status of a parish church on 10th March 1960 by the order of his Excellency Mar Mathew Kavakattu. Rev. Fr. Mathai Pallippurathussery was the vicar at that time. The old parsonage was built during his time. During this time Mr. Ninan Xavier donated land for cemetery. Vattammakal Cheriyath George (Kochikochan) was generous enough to spend money for the construction of the cemeteries chapel.

Rev. Fr. Mathai Pallippurathussery spent his later years in “Sneha Bhavan” which was built by him on the land offered to him by Sri. Jacob Joseph, Pallivathukkal. He is laid to eternal rest in the cemetery chapel.

The present church was renovated during the tenure of Rev. Fr. George Koodathil. The foundation stone for the reconstruction of the church was laid on 15th August 1985. and His Grace Joseph Powathil consecrated the new church on 15th February 1986.church was laid on 15th August 1985. and His Grace Joseph Powathil consecrated the new church on 15th February 1986. a chapel was constructed at Mammoodu Junction during the time of Rev. Fr. James Kattiparampil on the land donated by Sri. P.C. Thomas Vattammckal Rev. Fr. Joseph Kalyil set the altar in the oriental tradition.

Rev. Fr. Antony Mannila built a parish hall in connection with the diamond jubilee celebrations of the church, and it was blessed by His Grace Mar Joseph Powathil in 1996. Rev. Dr. Issac Allenchery, the vicar, built a parsonage and christened it “ Lourde Bhavan” and it too was blessed by his Grace Mar Joseph Powathil on 25th May 2000.

The foundation stone for the construction of new cells in the cemetery was laid by Rev. Dr. Issac Allenchery on 10th January 2003, and it was blessed by His Excellency Mar Joseph Perumthottam on 6th July 2003.

St. Shanthal’s school, mammoodu, which celebrated its Platinum Jubilee, was established in 1922 and it received government recognition as a vernacular middle school in 1925. Rev. Sr. Shanthal was the first manager of the school. A nursery for children was started in 1978. mother of the Adoration convent Mammoodu, is the local manager of the school. St. Sebastian’s School, which was started exclusively for boys by Rev. Fr. Sebastain Kalaripparampil, was later handed over to Changanacherry Corporate Management. The Vicar, Lourdes Matha Church, is the local manager of the school.

“Our lady of Sacred Heart” which was blessed by His Excellency Mar. James Kalassery in 1938 and “St. Joseph’s Novitiate House” (built in 1969) are the two convents of the Adoration Church in the parish. Both are located near the church. Mother Anna convent (Daughters of St. Francis De Sales) which was set up in 1975 is another convent in the parish which aims at the character formation of students who wish to join the religious contravention. Rev. sisters who belong to these congrations give active leadership in the activities of the church including catechetic instruction, teaching at the school, conducting fraternities of families at the parish level and undertake social welfare programmes.