Parish Name:     Church of Our Mother of perpetual Help

Address:            5/1-6A, First Street, Anjal Nagar, Madurai-625018.

Telephone No:   0452-2661232

Website:             www.cssrchurchmadurai.in

click here to see some early photos (1968 - 1990)

 

 

The Redemptorists arrive in Madurai

In the year 1968, Archbishop, Most Rev. Dr. P. Justin Diraviam invited the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer (the Redemptorists) to the Archdiocese of Madurai. Rev. Fr. James Connolly CSsR, was the Vice-provincial superior. Initially the Redemptorists took up residence at Thirunagar, in a rented house, with Fr. A. J. Francis C.Ss.R as the first Rector, Frs. Stanislaus Mellet and Zacharias Kanjooparampil as the other members. The community was inaugurated on the 2nd of August 1968 (the feast of St. Alphonsus Liguori, founder of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer) with the name "Arulaham" (House of Grace) with St. John de Britto as its patron. In 1969 Fr. J.C. Morgan C.Ss.R took over as the rector and in 1970 Fr. S. Santiago C.Ss.R joined the community at Thirunagar, Madurai.

Redemptorists in Thirunagar, Madurai

The house in Thirunagar became the new centre from where the Redemptorists continued their work of parish missions and retreats all over Tamil Nadu which, otherwise they were doing from Bangalore. However, the Catholics of the locality, part of Rosary Church parish then, were organized as a quasi parish with the help and cooperation of the Sisters of the Congregation of the Immaculate Conception (CIC) and the Sisters of St. Charles Borromeo (SCB). The hall of the Amala Pethannal Montessory School was used for Sunday Masses.

Shifting to Anjal Nagar

The Redemptorists accepted the plans of the Archbishop to shift their residence to the developing area on Palamedu road and to begin a parish under the patronage of Our Mother of Perpetual Help. (Initially the redemptorists were contemplating of having a Resurrection Church). Accordingly the Redemptorists purchased part of the present property at Anjal nagar and built a residence (now known as "Saints Clements"). In 1972 the Redemptorist Community (Arulaham) shifted to the new residence from Thirunagar.

Early Redemptorist Presence/Ministry in and from Anjal Nagar

On 14th January 1973, Pongal day, the new residence at Anjal Nagar was formally blessed and opened by Archbishop Justin Diraviam. This area was part of the Gnanaolivupuram parish but the Redemptorist Community, under the leadership of Fr. Kenneth Britto CSsR, with Frs. Zacharias Kanjooparampil CSsR and Alfred Edwards CSsR, organized this area as a quasi parish with the cooperation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Lyon (Fatima College). At the same time, this Redemptorist team was going all over Tamil Nadu and other parts of the country and Sri Lanka for Parish Missions and retreats to various groups. Later, in 1974, the team was enhanced with the arrival of three more members in Frs. Arul Lucas CSsR, M.S.Antony CSsR and John Theodore CSsR.

Erection of the Parish

On 19 January 1975, this parish was erected and entrusted to the care of the Redemptorists. Fr. Kenneth Britto, CSsR, the Rector, was the first Parish Priest. In September the same year, Fr. S. Santiago, CSsR took over as Rector and Parish Priest.

Geographical area

In the 1960s and the 70s there were hardly any residences beyond Thathaneri and beyond the Bye-pass Vaigai bridge on the Dindigul road. After Fatima College, the first residential area was Vilangudi village and after Thathaneri the first residential area was a (then) small village called Sikkandar Chavadi. This whole area (till 2010) came under the Vilangudi Panchayath.

Nagars and Colonies on Palamedu Road

In the late 60s and the 70s, as Madurai city was getting more and more congested, peoples started moving out of the city. Various groups of peoples got together, bought land, divided them into house plots and started building houses for themselves, as it was relatively easy to get building plans approved in the Panchayath. These groups generally gave the names of the company or the department where they worked, to the new colonies which they formed. Individuals also got into the real-estate business and created some colonies with different names. Thus sprang up, on the Palamedu Road, the LIC colony (Shanthi Nagar), Railar Nagar, RMS colony, Anjal Nagar, and NGO colony, now better known as Koodal Nagar. Later, the whole area beyond the railway bridge (then level crossing) came to be known as Koodal Nagar, particularly since the new railway station was named Koodal Nagar. Appadurai Nagar and Chockalinga Nagar were also developing colonies in the 1970s. Ashok Nagar, Sangeeth Nagar, Sanjeevi Nagar were later additions and the Nagars and colonies keep growing. Apart from these, the Tamil Nadu Housing Board also developed colonies near Railar Nagar and Anayur. Since the Redemptorist residence and the Church are situated in Anjal Nagar, the parish is commonly known as Anjal Nagar Parish.

Nagars and Colonies on Dindigul Road

In the 1960s and 70s, the following residential areas developed on the Dindigul Road, apart from Karisalkulam village and Vilandudi village which were already existing. The new residential areas were: CAS colony (a project of the Catholic Association Society), Sengol Nagar (a project of Madurai arch-diocese) spearheaded by Rev. Fr. Sengol, Anna Nagar, Vincent Nagar, Soosai Nagar, IOC Nagar adjoining Karisalkulam village, Income Tax Colony and many other nagars and colonies, all of which were originally part of Anjal Nagar parish. Now (2013) all the areas to the north of Dindigul road belong to this parish and the areas to the south of Dindigul road belong to Christ the King parish.

Some important early events of the parish

1972

The arrival of the Redemptorists in Anjal Nagar and beginning to function as a quasi parish

1973. January 14

Blessing of the Redemptorist residence at anjal nagar.

1975, January 19

Erection of the parish of Our Mother of Perpetual Help in Anjal Nagar, with Fr. Kenneth Brito, CS
sR as the first parish priest.

1976, February 15

Laying of the Foundation stone for the Church, when Fr. S.Santiago CSsR was rector and parish priest. The construction of the parish church began. The Church was designed by Fr. J.M. Stevens SJ and constructed by Germanus Construction Company.

1976 March 13

Inauguration of the Perpetual Novena, By Fr.A.J. Francis CSsR when Fr. S.Santiago, CSsR was parish priest.

1976 February 15

Parish News Letter, " Namadhu Pangu ", Later (2009) Revived as "Sahaya Anjal" was launched

1977

The land adjoining the palamedu road was purchased by the Redemptorists, and the main entrance to the campus was shifted to the eastern side on  to the palamedu road.

1978 January 26

The new church was blessed and opened on 26 January 1978, by Archbishop Justin Diraviam: Fr.S.Santiago was the Rector and parish priest.

1972 -1978

The Redemptorist provincial of that time (1972 - 1978), Rev. Fr. Bernand Pereira CSsR, who later took over as the Rector of the Arulaham Community, was very much interested and involved in developing
Redemptorist presence and Ministry in Madurai.

 

Catholic Population then and now

When the parish was erected, the Catholic population was only about 150 families, most of whom came from Sengol Nagar and CAS Colony, now part of Christ the King Parish. But with the rapid growth of residential colonies on both sides of the Palamedu Road and Anayur area, the Catholic population of this parish today (October 2013) stands at 685 families registered as parishioners with 2257 members.

Bifurcation - Christ the king parish

From the beginning, the Catholics of Sengol Nagar and CAS Colony wanted a parish to be established in their area. Finally in May 1994, as the population of the parish increased steadily, it necessitated the birth of a new parish, in the form of Christ the King Church at Income Tax Colony, Vilangudi. The Dindigul road was taken as the boundary line between the two parishes. Frs. Arul Lucas CSsR, A.Joseph CSsR, Joseph Gnanam CSsR, C.S.Lucas CSsR and M.S.Antony CSsR have worked hard in creating that parish.

Lands and Constructions

1971

Buying part of the present property.
(where the church, residence, the roundanam and Saint Clements are located (Fr. J.C.Morgan,CSsR: -   Fr. Peter Ward CSsR was the Provincial)

1971 – 1972

Construction of Arulaham, Redemptorist residence
(Fr.J.C.Morgan CSsR: - Fr. Peter Ward CSsR was the Provincial) - now renewed and renamed as "Saint Clements."

1976 – 1977

Buying the other half of the property; the  land in front of the church adjoining Palamedu Road. 
(Fr.S.Santiago CSsR:  -  Fr. Bernard Pereira was the Provincial)

1976 -1978

Construction of the Church (Fr. S.Santiago,CSsR, Rector and Parish Priest: - Bro. Alphonsus was the supervisor; Fr. Bernard Pereira CSsR was the Provincial) Fr. J.M. Stevens SJ was the architect and Germanus Construction Company were the builders.

1983

Building the Kurusadi of St. John de Britto, (now in Christ the King parish) (Fr.A.Joseph  CSsR)

1985 An open-air stage was built by Fr. Joseph Gnanam, in the grouds over-looking to the east. (Cultural programmes were very frequent those days).  This stage was later shifted and given the name "Liguori Arangam".
1988 Laying the foundation stone for Christ the king Church, Sengol Nagar - Fr. Joseph Gnanam was parish Priest.

1989

Construction of the present Arulaham building including the parish Office.        
(Fr.Thomas Jayaraj CSsR: -  Fr. Peter de Sousa was the Provincial)

1994

Building shrines at the main entrance to the campus
(Fr.M.S.Antony CSsR)

2001

Perpetual help shrine in the campus (Fr.Paul Jeyakumar CSsR)

2003

Woodern shrines for the Tabernacle and Mother Mary in the Church (Fr.T.Robert CSsR)

2006

Constructing the compound wall (Fr.Sengol Raj CSsR -  Fr. Paul Pazhangattu was the Provincial)

2009

Renewing and renaming the original residence as "Saint Clements" on the Centenary of the  Canonization of St.Clement Mary Hofbauer CSsR (Fr.Clement Joseph CSsR / Fr. S.Santiago CSsR)

2010 -2013

Construction of "Perpetual Help" shopping complex (Fr.Clement Joseph CSsR / Fr. S.Santiago CSsR: -  Fr. Paul Pazhangattu was the Provincial)

2010 -2015

 

 

 

Liguori Arangam (Stage), Adoration chapel, Shrine-Tower at the entrance, church campus face-lift (roundanam, lawns, paths, paver blocks) Path-way around the Church, Shrine of Michael the Archangel at the back.  (Fr.S.Santiago CSsR)

 

Some Important Events

Perpetual Novena:

Inauguration: 13.03.1976

The 500th and 600th week of the Novena was celebrated in October 1985 and September 1987 respectively when Fr. Joseph Gnanam C.Ss.R was parish Priest.

The 200th week of the Perpetual Novena was celebrated on 27th

september 2014.  It was on this day that the multi-storrey Shrine-Tower,

built at the entrance to the campus, was blessed and dedicated to the

memory of the pioneer Fathers of the Madurai foundation (Arulaham).  The

pioneer Fathers are: J.C.Morgan, CSsR, A.J.Francis CSsR, Stan Mellet

CSsR and Zacharias CSsR.

 

Anbiyams

Anbiyams were formed in the parish in the year 2003 by Fr. T. Robert CSsR. Now there are 27 Anbiyams, including one for the English speaking parishioners, and more are in the making.

Silver Jubilee of the Church

The Silver Jubilee of the opening of the Church was celebrated in 2003 when Fr. T. Robert CSsR was Parish Priest.

Sri Lankan Refugees in the Parish

From the early 1980s refugees from Sri Lanka started flowing into the country. The Government established 2 refugee camps within the territory of this parish: one at Anayur and one at Koodal Nagar. The influx was at its height in the mid 80s when Fr. Joseph Gnanam was parish priest. Fr. Joseph Gnanam and the parish team organized a make-shift school and cultural prgrammes so that the pain of being driven out of home could be lessened. For over 30 years the refugees are here fending for themeselves and educating their children in regular Schools and Colleges.

Among the refugees there are some 100 Catholic families in two camps. Each camp has a Kurusadi and weekly masses are celebrated and annual feasts are also celebrated. In the parish they are organized as three Anbiyams. They enjoy all the rights and privileges as parishioners. They contribute to the organization and the vitality of the parish.



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