St. Martin De Porres Church Palarivattom

A Glance into the Past

 

The spiritual needs of the Syrian Catholics in and around Palarivattom were basically met by the then Parish St.George Church Edappally and the Latin Churches of Palarivattom and Mamangalam. Cardinal Mar Joseph Parekkattil, then Archbishop of Ernakulam- Angamaly, a great visionary, realized the logistical importance of Palarivattom with great future potentials . in 1967 he instructed Rev. Dr. Antony Puthusserry, then Vicar of Edappally, to search for a suitable land to construct a new Church at Palarivattom, which, he knew, would eventually become the Eastern gateway to the city of Cochin. He considered this of prime importance because the Syrian Catholic population, growing in numbers by the day, had no Church of their own between St.Mary’s Basilica, Ernakulam and  St. George, Edappally.

The First Church

Rev Dr. Puthusserry did not lose any time to identify the land at Palarivattom owned by Kochaneth Balakrishna Kurup, Girija Kurup, and Kochanantha Kurup. The trustee of Edappally Sri. John Kattithara and his brother Sri. Francis Kattithara actively assisted Rev Dr. Puthusserry to effect the purchase the land on 26/3/1968. Expeditious action under Rev Dr. Puthusserry  resulted  in the construction of a temporary shed within 5 days, in which, the first Holy Mass was celebrated by Rev Fr Varghese Kavalakkatt, then Pro Vicar General of the Archdiocese , on 31/3/1968, Sunday.   A new Church, dedicated to St. Martin De Porres,  came up, which was consecrated on 16/11/1968 by His Eminence Joseph Cardinal Parekkatil.

Rev Dr Varghese Kattakkakathuttu, then Assistant Vicar, St.George Church, Edappally was appointed  first Vicar of the new Palarivattom Church. The first trustee of Palarivattam was John Kattithara and the first sacristan was Job Kattithara. The services rendered by Sri. John Kattithara and Sri. Francis Kattithara deserve special mention. Grateful remembrances  are due to the support and assistance extended by the Latin Catholic Community of the area.

 A ‘Kurisupalli’ was soon constructed in the land donated by Sri. Thomas Antony Valiyaprampil.

The Parish, which had its humble beginnings with just 17 Sro-Malabar Catholic families, grew from strength to strength day by day.  And so also the associated activities. 1971 saw the birth of St Martin Nursery school, followed up by St. Martin Primary School in 1973, when Rev. Fr. George Kuttipuram was the Vicar.  Cherupushpa Mission League  was the first devotional organisation, which flourished in 1975 under the guidance of Rev. Fr. Thomas Nettikkadan.

Tenth Anniversary

The Parish celebrated its tenth Anniversary in 1978 with Rev. Fr . Thomas Nettikkadan  as Vicar and Rev. Dr. Varghese Kalapparampath as Assistant Vicar. The membership of the Parish grew to 123 families by that time. Prominent among the organizers of the tenth anniversary celebrations was Justice Joseph Vithayathil, the father of Cardinal Varkey Vithayathil. The public meeting held in connection with the celebrations was graced, among other dignitaries, by the Minister Sri. K. A. Damodara Menon. A souvenir was also published on the occasion. 

 The Growing Parish

The invaluable services offered by the Loretto Bhavan (the Adoration Convent), and Anjali Sadan (CMC Convent) sisters in the spiritual, social and material growth of the parishioners are remarkable. They have been continuing and contributing in the same spirit in all the ensuing years to date.

The Parish Family Units, a big need of the growing parish , as a tool of physical, mental and spiritual communication among the members of the Units and centrally at the Parish level was a spontaneous offshoot , initiated in 1984 and guided by Rev. Fr.Mathew Kiolparampil . We started with 6 family Units initially, which grew to 16 and now stands at 21.

Several Organisations, including the Parish Council, were set up during the period of Rev. Fr. Kuriakose Eravimangalam as Vicar. ‘Marana Sahaya Nidhi’  and St. Martin Youth Organisation, which evolved to become K.C.Y.M , later on , count among these. He was also instrumental in renovating the altar of the ‘old Church’. Rev. Fr. Mathew Eraly’s  period from 1989-93  witnessed the formation of the St. Vincent De Paul Society and Women’s’ Welfare Services.

Silver Jubilee celebrations

The Silver Jubilee celebrations of the Parish commenced in 1983 during the tenure of Rev. Fr. Joy Ayiniyadan, who took great initiative to ensure the successful conduct of the several programmes of interest to the Parish Community as well as the neighbouring society. Inter-religious seminar was a special attraction. The valedictory function was held on  2nd January 1994 under the guidance of Rev Fr Mathew Earaly , the new  vicar. A  jubilee souvenir  ‘RAJATHAREKHA’ was also published. The  Parish Hall constructed as a Jubilee memorial was named ‘Jubilee Hall’. The stalwarts behind the colourful celebrations included Prof; George Chakkungal, Sri. P.D. John, Sri. Chacko Mullankuzhy, Sri. Anto Chandy, Dr. Peter John, Sri.P.D.Mathew, Sri. P.J.Pappachan, Sri.Joy Tharayil, Smt. Katherine Chacko, Sri. T.D.Joseph, Sri.Joy Palackan, Sri. Sunny Keekkarikkat  and several others. A host of dignitaries including H.E. Antony Cardinal Padiyara, Mar Jacob Manathodath,Sri. K.M.Mani, Sri.P.P.George, Sri. K.V. Thomas, Sri. K.Babu, Sri.George Eden, Adv. Kurian Joseph and others graced the Jubilee celebrations.

The New Church

The  need for construction of a new Church was felt very badly by 1995 with the ever-increasing community being squeezed for space in the old Church. The seeds were sown during the tenure of  Rev Fr Jose Ozhalakkatt . The seeds sprouted and a formal decision was taken under Rev Fr Zacharias Paranilam as vicar. Under the vibrant and untiring leadership of  Rev Fr Joseph Kuncharath the decision materialized and the foundation stone for the new church was laid on 6th March 2005. The huge project called for hard work and sleepless nights. Fr. Kuncharath and the various Committees were equal to the task.  

A major constraint was to build a Church for the future in the paltry 60 cents land. The problem was negotiated by housing  the church on the first floor on cantilevers stretching outside the building. The church building spreads on  a total area of 21240 sq ft resting on 104 piles . This includes 7250 Sq ft church hall and 5060sq ft parish hall. The doors and windows are of high quality Nilambur teak wood. The 39ft high roof affords free air circulation offering a natural cooling effect to the church interiors. Most of the total construction cost of  Rs. 235 lakhs was met by contributions from the Parish Community.

The new church was constructed , as stated earlier, under the able guidance of  Rev Fr. Joseph Kuncharath. His untiring efforts with restless days and sleepless nights call for special mention. He was ably assisted by the active and sizzling Fr. Mathew Kilukkan. The huge and tireless contributions of  General Convener , Sri. Mathew Mundatt ,  trustees S/S. George Kaithakkary and Joy Kezheeth, Vice-Chairmen, S/S James Veettuvelikunnel and Markose Vasthuvelil, Architect Shri Santhosh Paul Manvettom, Structural Engineer Sri. Francis Kalassery,  Conveners and in- charges of  various Committees S/S George Chakkumkal, Joseph Pannappara,  Davis Poovathumkal, Paul Vadakkumpadan, John Parampel,Sunny Jacob Pazhuvakkalam, Sri Antony Paduva, Jose Thomas Palathinkal, P.D. Joseph Perayil,John Kolara, Mathew Kannampuzha, Thomas Ettiyil, Roy Panamkuzhackal,Antony Vadakke eravimangalm,Vakkachan Kattithara, Anto Parakkal, Shri P.D Mathew deserve special mention. The entire Parish is indebted to them for their sincere contributions that created a sort of history by completing the assigned work within a minimal time-frame of 22 months. The new Church was consecrated  on 20th Jan 2007 by Major Arch Bishop  Cardinal Mar Varkey Vithayathil . A souvenir was also brought out to commemorate the occasion. Sri. Sabu Jose was the editor.

The Vincent De Paul Society, St Martin Charitable fund, Legion of Mary, Womens’ welfare Society,  CLC, Kerala Catholic Youth movement, Catechism department, All Kerala Catholic Congress, Charismatic prayer group, Teams of Our Lady etc are some of the organizations functioning under the church. 

GOLDEN JUBILEE CELEBRATIONS

The golden Jubilee celebrations were kick-started with the formation of a 23 member Core Committee  and eight co-ordinating Committees in November 2017. All the Parish Council members, Central Committee members, office-bearers  of the various Units and devotional organizations all formed part of the different Committees. The Core Commiittee consisted of the Vicar, Rev. Dr. George Nellissery, Asst. Vicar, Fr. Dibin Meempanthanath, General Convener , Sri. Mathew Mundatt, Mother Superiors, Rev. Sr. Tessy SABS and Rev. Sr. Suguna CMC,  Trustees Sri. Anto Parakkal and Sri. Sebastian Kochukudy, and Conveners and Jt.Conveners of various Committees, Sri. Thomas Madathumpady,Sri. John Parampel, Sri. Sabu Jose, Sri. Sony Madathil, Sri.Joy Palakkan, Sri. Mathew Kannampuzha, Sri. George Chathoth, Sri. Jebin Jose, Sri. Baby Chittilappily, Sri. Tony Thomas Karippapparampil, Sri. Anto Kundukulam, Smt. Reena Thomas, Sri. Antony Puthenangady, Dr. Margret Lukose , Sri. Jolly Kattithara and  Sri. Sebastian Kattithara.

The inaugural function held on 10th December 2017 was blessed and inaugurated by Mar Sebastian Adayanthrath. Sri. K.V.Thomas  M.P,  Smt. Soumini Jain, Mayor, Dr. P.S.Ajitha were among the dignitaries who graced the occasion. A new building scheme for the poor, a new palliative care centre for attending to the needs of the bed-ridden patients in the nighbouring areas, and SMART , a new initiative by the Parish to train aspiring CA students were launched as landmark programs of the Jubilee. The activities of the Jubilee Year was not limited to celebrations but more so for charity activities. The assistance rendered by the Parish to provide shelter camp for the hapless victims of the flood and to rehabilitate them set great examples of Christian values. We were able to extend solace to the flood victims in the affected areas by supplying food, cloth and other essential  materials.  We also undertook the task of building a new house for a poor family, whose  house was totally destroyed by the floods ,at Thuruthippuram, N.Parur.  House for a poor family in the Parish was also constructed and handed over  at the scheduled date. So also was the reconstruction of another house in Palarivattom. These works of charity were at a cost of Rs. 16 lakhs. Free dialysis porgams amounting to Rs. 3 lakhs was also implemented.

The ecumenical confluence, inaugurated by Major Archbishop Cardinal Mar George Alencherry, with the Patriarchs of almost all the denominations of the Christian Community  in Kerala participating, was another highlight. The Parish day inaugurated by Justice Abraham Mathew was very colourful with arts of all shades presented.

The Couples’ Meet was notable by the valuable instruction address by famous Psychologist Dr. C.J.John.

The first Holy Mass, celebrated by Fr. Kensy Mammottil, our Parishioner, was a very solemn occasion, fervently and enthusiastically attended. In fact it was a momentous celebration.

‘Thrive-18’ presented by KCYM with cine-star Sijoy as the lead guest was enthralling. The Seniors’ meet  ‘Mazha Kazhiyum Mumpe’ was an honour to the elder members of the Parish.

The former Vicars,  Asst. Vicarsand Mother Superiors were invited to the Parish and the ‘ Anugraha Samagamam’ was indeed a blessing. it was an occasion to honour and thank all the consecrated, who had immensely contributed to the well-being of the Community .

The Cultural-Sports festival organized on the occasion was a great hit with almost the entire Parish participating in one event or other. The programs were so designed to include the newborn infant to the oldest member of the Parish.

The ‘Maha Sammelanam’ was indeed a great event not only its name but also in content. The function was graced by Mar Jcob Manathodath, Apostolic Administrator , Ernakulam- Angamaly Arch-diocese  with eloquent speakers Sri. K.N.A Khader, M.L.A and Dr. Dharmaraj Adatt Vice- Chancellor , Sanskrit University, rendering a display of their oratory and knowledge skills. During this meeting all the past and present leaders were remembered and felicitated. It was indeed a nostalgic event where the stalwarts of the Community from the beginning to the present, even the departed, being fondly remembered and honoured.

The  ‘Remembrance Day’ in honour of the dear departed was set in a solemn ambience, most suited to the occasion.

The Parish Festival of St.Martin De Porres was celebrated by the Parish itself, being the Golden Jubille Year. Parishioners and devotees flocked in devotion and celebration in the most befitting manner.

The valedictory Function was graced and blessed by Major Arch-bishop Cardinal Mar George Alencherry. The key for the newly constructed house at Thuruthippuram was handed over to the beneficiary by Sri. P.T.Thomas M.L.A .the Jubilee Souvenir was released by Dr.Sabu Thomas, Vice-Chancellor, M.G.University. Tresa Mathew I.R.S. the first parishioner to clear the IRS exam was befittingly felicitated on the occasion.

The Jubilee Celebrations spread over a year from 10th Dec 2017 to 16th Dec 2018 was grand gala affair, participated and enjoyed by all concerned. What is given above is only a glimpse of the activities. The dynamic, efficient and visionary leadership and guidance of Rev. Dr. George Nellisserry, the Vicar, whose strictures to stick to the target dates in all the Projects undertaken witnessed a mammoth project being executed with excellence and brilliance. The able support rendered by Fr. Dibin Meempamthanath is praiseworthy. The efforts of the General Convener Sri. Mathew Mundatt, the Trustees Sri. Thomas Madathumpady, Sri. Anto Parakkal, Sri, Sebastian Kochukudy, the Conveners, Secretaries, the Parish Council, the Central Committee, the Unit office-bearers and the entire Parish Community deserve great applause for a well-planned, superbly executed and worthily conclude Golden Jubilee Celebrations. The souvenir ‘Suvarnika’ brought out on the occasion was an instant hit, drawing applause from all corners.

Thanks be to God.   

Former Vicars of St Martin De Porres Church, Palarivattom
#NameYear
1 Rev Fr. Varghese Kattackakathoottu 1968-1969
2 Rev Fr Jose Naalpattu 1969-1971
3 Rev Fr Joseph Thekkinetathu 1971
4 Rev Fr Dr. Jose Thachil 1971
5 Rev Fr Sebastian Shankoorickal 1971- 1973
6 Rev Fr George Kuttippuram 1973- 1974
7 Rev Fr Joseph Makkothakkattu 1975
8 Rev Fr Thomas Nettikkadan 1975-1980
9 Rev Fr Mathew Koyilparampil 1980-1986
10 Rev Fr Kuriakose Eravimangalam 1986-1989
11 Rev Fr Mathew Eerali 1989-1993
12 Rev Fr Joy Ayiniyadan 1993-1994
13 Rev Fr Jose Vayalikodathu 1994- 1995
14 Rev Fr Jose Ozhalakkattu 1995-2000
15 Rev Fr Dr. Zacharias Paranilam 2000-2002
16 Rev Fr Joseph Kuncharathu 2002-2008
17 Rev Fr. Dr. Paul Thenayan 2008-2012

18

Rev Fr Paul Manayampilly

2012-2017

19

Rev Fr. Dr. George Nellissery

2017- 2020

20

Rev Fr. John Painumkal

2020 - 

Assistant Vicars of St Martin Church, Palarivattom
#Name
1 Fr Joseph Kannampilly
2 Fr Jose Edassery
3 Fr Joseph Kodiyan
4 Fr Paul Ambooken
5 Fr Biju Perumayan
6 Fr Mathew Kilukkan
7 Fr Rijo Cheerakathil
8 Fr Renson Thekkinezhthu
9 Fr Juby Kalathiparampil
10 Fr Joyson Puthussery
11 Fr Jerin Palathinkal
12 Fr Anil Kochumethikkalam SJ
13 Fr Raju Augustine SJ
14

Fr Tomy Appanchira

15

Fr. Rajesh Vayalumkal

16

Fr. Emmanuel Thevarkunnel (Upto 2/2/2018)

17

Fr. Stephen Meembamthanathu (Dibin) (2018-2019)

18

Fr. Joseph Kalapurackal (Abin) (2019-2020)

19

Fr. James Panavelil                     (2020-     )

        TRUSTEES of St. Martin De Porres Church, Palarivattom

1.

Sri John Kattithara

2.

Sri.M.J Chacko Mullankuzhy

3.

Prof George Chakkungal

4.

Sri.Joseph Pannappara

5. Sri.Thomas Ettiyil
6. Sri.Paul Vadakkumpadan
7. Sri.Abraham Kurisummoottil
8. Sri.Sebastian Vazhekkatt
9. Sri. Jose Thomas Palathingal
10. Sri. George Mathew Kaithakkari
11. Sri. Joy Joseph Keezheth
12. Sri. John Manikkath
13. Sri. John Parampel
14. Sri. Anto Parakkal
15. Sri. Mathew Vattakuzhy
16. Sri. Jose John Malayil
17. Sri. Anto Kundukulam
18. Sri. Thomas Madathumpadi
19.   Sri. Anto Parakkal
20. Sri. Sebastian Kochukudy 
21 Sri. Anto Kundukulam
22 Sri. Antony Puthenangady
23 Sri. Pauly Kannukadan
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