History

MANJUMMEL PROVINCE IN RETROSPECT

 

THE BEGINNINGS (1857 – 1910)

 

St. Pius X Manjummel Province of Discalced Carmelites has a century and a half history of its own. Its origin goes back to 1857, when Fr. Francis Kuruppachery with two of his companions began a community at Koonammavu, sanctioned by the Vicar Apostolic of Verapoly, Rt. Rev. Dr. Bernardine Baccinelli. This independent and indigenous Carmelite Religious Congregation, known as the Tertiaries of the Discalced Carmelite Order (TOCD), was a modest spiritual movement of the Latin Catholics of Malabar. However, this community at Koonammavu had to discontinue due to unfavourable circumstances.

 

After 17 years of unsteady existence, a community was formed at Manjummel, where a Monastery dedicated to Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception was built, in a period of eight years, by Rt. Rev. Dr. Leonardo Mellano, the Archbishop of Verapoly. On the day of its inauguration on April 26, 1874 the Archbishop gave religious habit to ten novices. Louis Vypissery, an already ordained priest, was one of them. Two brothers from Carmelite Community of Koonammavu also joined them on the same day. For 24 years they did not have any other monastery than that of Manjummel.

 

The Congregation had the first experience of its expansion in 1898, when the monastery at Koonammavu together with the parish and its property was entrusted to its care. In the same year, a community for the Aspirants was also realized in a provisory building near St. Albert’s High School, Ernakulam.

The history shows that the ups and downs are part and parcel of any institution. So also this Congregation had its dark nights during the time of Most Rev. Dr. Bernard of Jesus Arguinzonis, OCD, the Archbishop of Verapoly (1898 – 1919), when it was confronted with the threat of suppression. But the providential and timely intervention of Pope Pius X in 1910 saved the Congregation from extinction, paving the way for its onward journey and steady development.

 

THE OUTBURST OF VITALITY (1910 – 1957)

 

After this unique and miraculous work of grace, the Congregation began not only to spread far and wide through new foundations, but also to disclose its youthful vigour in a variety of apostolic endeavours. It is worth mentioning some of its achievements.

 

The emergence of the monastery at Manjummel began to attract more and more families. They came to settle themselves down around the monastery. To meet the growing needs of these people, a church was built in 1892, and later in 1911 it was made into a Parish. Attention also went to reorganizing and revitalizing the parish life of Koonammavu which they did so well for a long fifty years.

 

In 1930, with the blessing of a monastery at Perumpadappu, the Congregation set its feet on the re-established neighboring Diocese of Cochin; here in 1935 a house for the poor boys was founded. Monasteries at Alwaye (1945) andKodungalloor (1949) are the two far-sighted foundations within the Archdiocese of Verapoly during this period.

 

The future of a religious family rests on the incoming vocation and on-going formation; and so, attention was to be duly paid in providing suitable building and healthy atmosphere. Accordingly, house for Aspirants was built at Chittoor Road in 1933; a monastery cum Novitiate was temporarily arranged at Gandhipuram in the Diocese of Coimbatore in the year 1946, which, after seven years, was transferred to Podanur – a place more conducive to prayer and recollection.

 

To give vent to its missionary spirit, the Congregation took up two missions – one in Tamil Nadu and another in North Kerala. The first mission at Manalikarai in 1952 was in the Diocese of Kottar. Within a short period it was blessed with many conversions. In the same year, a mission parish at Kolayad was given over to us by the Bishop of Calicut. The people in this mission were new converts, poor, illiterate and neglected.

 

BECOMING CARMELITE FIRST ORDER (1957-1967)

 

Under the leadership of the then Prior General, Fr. Cyril Bernard Papali, the Congregation began its efforts to join the First Order of the Discalced Carmelites. The Order readily accepted this move in 1951, and appointed Fr. Zacharias of St. Teresa OCD as Commisary General. The members had to pass through a period of probation for three years from 1953 to 1956. In the following year, the Holy See allowed them to be amalgamated to the First Order. They were, then, placed directly under the General Definitory. Four fathers, who did not favour the amalgamation, were given the monastery at Kodungaloor where they settled themselves as an independent entity.

 

The Belgium Missionaries, who had left Trivandrum in 1940, started a monastery in Margao in the year 1942 and another in Mangalore in 1947. When India became independent, Goa continued to be under the Portughese. This eventually created difficulty for the missionaries to keep contact with the members of these two monasteries. The survival of Mangalore monastery became an issue of importance. The Definitory found no other solution than to seek the good will of Manjummel Delegation. At the request of Flanders Province, Manjummel Delegation took over Mangalore Monastery in 1958 with all the liabilities and obligations (This is a fact of history which, more often than not, is overlooked). Later, when Goa was captured and made it part of India, the monastery at Margao too became within India’s territory. Then the Flanders Province decided to close down their mission and hand it over to Manjummel Province; this was done in the year 1964 – the year we became a Semi-Province. From these two monasteries, a group of 8 priests and 2 brothers came to join Manjummel. Thus, even before becoming a Province, Manjummel Unit manifested her enviable generosity towards the need of the Order.

 

On 8 December 1964, the Manjummel General Delegation became Semi-Province. After a period of three years, on 01 July 1967, it was officially raised to a full-fledged Province of the First Order, and thus, the First Discalced Carmelite Province in India. At this time, the Province had 82 priests, 16 brothers, 17 solemnly professed, 23 professed and 15 novices. As a grateful remembrance of the timely intervention the Pope St. Pius X had in favour of our Province at a time of its crisis, the Province took him as its Patron.

 

Our sincere gratitude goes to Rt. Rev. Dr. Joseph Attipetty, the Archbishop of Verapoly (1933-1970), who not only allowed the members of the Third Order to expand the Congregation outside his diocese, but also gave whole-hearted support, and in due time, permission for the amalgamation to the First Order.

 

As every year the number of students in Philosophy and Theology went on increasing, a separation between them became an urgent necessity. Hence, in a land purchased at Pius Nagar, within the diocese of Vijayapuram, the Philosophy College was built and the students moved into it in the year 1966.

In the same year happened other three important events: The Latin Students from Ernakulam were termporarily transferred to Sacred Heart Monastery, Alwaye. A new foundation in Mysore was realized. The Navarra Province handed over to us the Good Shepherd Monastery with its parish at Kottayam, and St. Joseph’s Monastery with its Parish at Kuttikanam.

 

OTHER CONTRIBUTIONS

 

The pioneers were men of outstanding personalities, endowed with manifold talents. They served the local Church with an indomitable spirit and left behind them traces of an admirable pattern of religious zeal for and the selfless dedication to the service of God and men. Here are a few examples;

Bro. Nicholaus Veroven, who had already a degree to work as Assistant Surgeon in the hospital, embraced the Carmelite life. It was he who founded St. Joseph’s Hospital at Manjummel in 1887. It has its own importance, because it was the first Catholic Hospital in Kerala, and the second in whole of India. Note well, during Brothers’ life-time itself, the hospital was taken over by the Archbishop, but was left to be managed by one appointed by the Manjummel Congregation till 1963. For his selfless and dedicated service, he was given award by two Maharajas of Tranvancore. Three well-known medicines manufactured by Brother were Droamar, Carmelite drops and Scala.

Being a prolific writer of the time, Fr. Louis Vypissery served Verapoly Diocese as an anonymous editor of the Diocesan Magazine, Sathanatha Kahalam, from 1876. In 1894, he published a monthly, Divya Darpanam, which was later called Thiru-hridaya Doodan. He was also the author of some important books as Marana Bheedhi, Su-mana-smarana, Veda-prasanga-sarani, Vyakula-prasangam and Parisudha Jananiyodulla Vanakam.

The first Catholic translation of the Gospels into Malayalam was published in 1896 by the Manjummel Fathers. Besides being the first translation, it was also unique in having a commentary along with it. Nine years later the translation of the Acts of the Apostles was also printed. Fr. Polycarp went from parishes to parishes propagating the Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus; also published a prayer book, titled Thiru Hridaya Vanakam, for the use of the faithful in the month of June.

 

To reach out to the common people through press apostolate, our predecessors started three magazines within a period of thirty years: Cherupushpam in 1924, Little Flower in English in 1936 and Kunju Maasika in 1954. Coupled with these attempts was the translation of the Book of Revelation into Malayalam, published in the year 1926. In eight years’ time, two printing press were opened at Manjummel and Perumpadappu in 1927 and 1935 respectively.

 

It was indeed a daring experiment to launch into the field of education. They constructed and managed two schools at Manjummel and Perumpadappu. At the request of the Diocese of Cochin, they accepted the management of St. Peter’s School and Boarding at Kumbalanghy from 1935; and at the request of the Archdiocese of Verapoly, the teaching post in St. Rita’s School at Ponnurunny and its management from 1941.

History of Manjummel Province during this period will be eclipsed if mention is not made about Bro. Rocky Palackal and Bro. Leopold. Bro. Rocky Palackal had been working in Vijayapuram Mission from 1880 to 1904. His concern for the poor and harijans of Mid-Tranvancore won for him the fame as the Apostle of the outcast. Bro. Leopold, as a writer, made remarkable contribution to the Church in Kerala. The following are some of his writings: Latin Catholics of Kerala, Anantha Nikshepam (7 Volumes), Ammayude Sammanam, Yuva Marga Deepam, Visudha Vaara Rehasyam, Adhylma Nikshepamand Anudhina Prarthana.

 

MANJUMMEL PROVINCE AS A FIRST ORDER

 

THE EVENTS FROM 1967-1980

 

A fact which is part of history that around Manjummel monastery arose many factories, and with them a great flow of workers from various parts of Kerala to in and around Manjummel. To meet their spiritual needs, the province had taken great pains to construct in 1967 a spiritual power house at Manjummel, known as Carmel Retreat cum Workers Centre. It is to be noted that the Pastoral Orientation Centre of the Kerala Bishops’ Conference had its inception in this centre and continued functioning there for nearly two and a half years. At present it is known as CRC (Carmel Retreat Centre); it was the first centre in Kerala through which the Charismatic Movement spread out and where some of the outstanding charismatic leaders were formed.

 

The Aspirants at Ernakulam were badly in need of a larger building on account of the increase in number. Hence, a new construction with better facilities was provided in the year 1970. In the course of time, especially after the Second Vatican Council with new thinking, it was found that the Philosophy College at Piusnagar has to leave its far away existence in the high ranges and come down to a new location somewhere near to the educational centres of the city. It was in 1971 that this idea was materialized, when the college was shifted to a new students’ block attached to the existing Sacred Heart Monastery, Alwaye. As a result the students of the Latin Course had to go in the same year to Piusnagar where they combined their Latin study with the PDC Course.

 

As the Province grew and its activities spread out to different states of India, its Head Office, so far functioning at Manjummel, had to find out a more suitable place. The old building of the Aspirants at Ernakulam got repaired and remodelled in which the Provincial House started functioning in 1973. Thus for some years, the Aspirants and the Provincial Community co-existed in the same premise.

 

1974 has seen two new foundations, one at Sion in the archdiocese of Mumbai, and another at Kottiyam in the diocese of Quilon. In 1977 Hanumanthampetty mission parish of Madurai Diocese was entrusted to our care. In the same year our Province received from Navarra Province, Spain, the gift of Belmont in the diocese of Ooty; which eventually turned to become a Prayer House in the year following. A foundation of monastery and parish at Kumbakonam, Tamil Nadu, was in 1978. In the next year, Navarra Province entrusted with us in writing the Carmelite Community at St. Joseph’s Pontifical Seminary, Mangalapuzha, was transferred to Manjummel Province as our fathers have been working there on the residential staff. (Such a decision was made by Navarra Province without previous consent of the Kerala Bishop’s Conference, and so it remained on the paper.)

 

PHILOSOPHY COLLEGE AT ALWAYE

 

As stated earlier the Philosophy College started at Pius Nagar could not be continued there and so finally it was established in Alwaye at our Sacred Heart monastery in a separate block constructed for the same. But for their studies, both the Theology and Philosophy students were frequenting the St. Joseph’s Pontifical Seminaries of Mangalapuzha and Carmelgiri. The Provincial Chapter of 1978 decided that a commission should study about the education and formation of the students after the novitiate. Basing on this report, the Provincial Council decided that we should have a Philosophy College of our own for our students, and they should follow, besides the ecclesiastical syllabus, the secular university syllabus and pass BA degree at the end of three years of philosophy course. And it was also decided that BA is obligatory for our students to get admission to theology course. Both these decisions were led to the growth of Sacred Heart Philosophy College on June 1,1979.

 

In 1994, the Sacred Heart Philosophy College open to all religious came into existence. In 2003, Atmadharsan, a multipurpose annex to Sacred Heart Monastery, was built on the bank of Periyar River.

 

JYOTIR BHAVAN: INSTITUTE OF THEOLOGY AND SPIRITUALITY

 

In the sphere of promoting charism and specific apostolate, the monumental contribution of the Province is the Institute of Spirituality, Jyotir Bhavan. His Eminence Cardinal Angelo Rossi, the then Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples erected this Institute on 3rd July 1980, on an official visit to Kerala. Formally the institute began to function on 1st August 1980, with the inauguration of the Institute by His Eminence Cardinal Joseph Parecattil in the presence of His Grace Archbishop Joseph Kelanthara, His Excellencies, the Bishops and eminent men. And then onwards the Institute served the Church of Asia and of India in particular by conducting the Diploma Course in Spirituality. In the year 1982, the Course was affiliated to the Pontifical Institute of Spirituality, “Teresianum” Rome.

 

In 1994, a four-year Theology Course (B.Th) was inaugurated and it was opened for religious men. After two years it was affiliated to the Pontifical Faculty of Theology, “Teresianum” Rome. In 1998, the B.Th Course, which was open to religious men, was opened to religious women too, and in 2004, to the educationally qualified laity as well. In 2004, began the process of aggregating Jyotir Bhavan to “Teresianum” in view of begining M.Th in Spiritual Theology. In 1999 began the publication of the Journal, “Jyotir Dhara: Journal of Religion and Spiritual Life.”

 

In 2004, Carmelite Study Center for Asia (CSCA) was inaugurated. The main aim of CSCA is to make known to the people of all walks of life and religions the rich heritage of the Carmelite way of life. This shall be carried out in three directions: A Diploma Course on Carmelite Spirituality, short courses and seminars, Publications and Promotion of Carmelite Library.

 

Besides all these, Jyotir Bhavan offers week-end course in theology (for all), one month lectures on Consecrated Life (women religious), two-year course on Consecrated Life on every Thursday (participants Novices) and modern language courses.The Institute has a publishing center which in 1985 was called Jyotir Bhavan Publications, in 1989 Jyotir Dhara Publications and in 1909 as Jyotir Dharma Publications. In its 25th year it has to its credit about 76 books. Every year Jyotir Bhavan has an average of 300 students in its various departments.

 

ERECTION OF KARNATAKA – GOA PROVINCE

 

As the number of monasteries and institutions grew up, the number of vocations too rose up. Until 1980, the Province had extended itself to six States of India, having 18 houses within the territory of 16 Dioceses. As vocations from Kerala, Mangalore, Goa and Tamil Nadu have been thriving, Manjummel Province could not but think of taking the first steps towards the formation of a new geographical circumscription. In a span of 17 years, the small band of 8 priests and 2 brothers who had joined Manjummel Province from the Flanders Province did increase to 51, thanks to the tireless and selfless efforts of the members of our Province. Foreseeing the possible growth and expansion in Karnataka-Goa Region, the Province felt the need of giving the members of the Region legal autonomy, initiative and responsibility to channalize its resources in right way and at right time. Thus, after due consultations, the Region was given the status of Provincial Delegation on 15 November 1979. We could give only three monasteries of Goa, Mangalore and Mysore. Whatever financial assistance the Province could provide at that time was given towards future foundations in Bombay and Bangalore. Within a short period of seventeen months, the Delegation was canonically erected as a Province on 12 March 1981. Then the new Province had 35 priests, 5 lay brothers and 11 scholastics.

 

TAMIL NADU GENERAL DELEGATION

 

In the 1981, took place the formation of the Tamil Nadu as a separate entity in order to settle those members who were separated from Malabar Province. The General Definitory, in April 1981, legally established Tamil Delegation out of Manjummel and Malabar Provinces. As far as Manjummel Province was concerned, it was an unforeseen event. The contribution, at this juncture, from the part of Manjummel Province was 24 members (7 priests, 8 lay brothers and 9 scholastics) and two monasteries (Kumbakonam and Hanumathanpetty). The decision to hand over Podanur Monastery and Manalikarai Mission was postponed to a later period because of the insistence of Fr. General who held strongly that Manjummel Province has to have another Novitiate built on the one hand, and on the other, the members of the Delegation, at this initial stage, would not be able to run efficiently the Manalikarai Mission with its multiple institutions. Ten years had to pass for the Generalate to decide that the time has come to hand over these two entities to Tamil Nadu Delegation.

 

Manalikarai Mission is an example of the dynamic missionary endeavour. Apart from many conversions, the Mission had many developmental projects realized in a period of 30 years. Besides 15 churches, the missionaries built a cluster of institutions for the people without any distinction of caste and creed. A huge Higher Secondary School, a Central Government Recognized Technical Institute, Carmel Hospital with hundred beds and modern equipments, Boys’ Home, etc. are some of the achievements ever to be remembered. In 1991 Manalikarai Mission, Novitiate House and Monastery at Podanur etc were handed over to Tamil Nadu General Delegation.

 

ST. JOSEPH’S HOSPITAL, MANJUMMEL

 

With the majority opinion of the superiors, heads of institutions and delegates from each community, expressed in a consultation meeting held in July 1991, the Provincial council decided to take over the St. Joseph’s Hospital of Manjummel, founded by our Bro. Nicholaus Veroven in 1880 and blessed by his presence. His Grace Dr. Cornelius Elanjikal, Archbishop of Verapoly, gave back to Manjummel Province the St. Joseph’s Hospital with all its assets and liabilities on March,1992. In 2007, St. Joseph’s Hospital began Ayurveda Treatment.

 

TERRITORIAL DIVISION: MANJUMMEL & SOUTH KERALA

 

The territorial division between Manjummel Province and Verapoly Delegation (now known as South Kerala Province) was decided once and for all by the Definitory on June 1, 1992. It was agreed in a joint meeting of both jurisdictions that St. Joseph’s Monastery and parish at Varapuzha with all the institutions under them would be given over to Manjummel Province; instead Manjummel Province would hand over to South Kerala Delegation St. Aloysius Monastery (Kottiyam) and Bethsaida (Trivandrum). The mutual handing over was done, as was agreed, before 16 July 1992. In this connection, 2 priests and 3 scholastics from our Province joined South Kerala Delegation. The territory of Manjummel Province in Kerala thenceforward is reduced to the Dioceses of Kochi, Varapuzha, Vijayapuram, Kottapuram, Calicut, Kannur and part of Alapuzha from the northern side of Savakottapalam.

 

JUBILEE YEAR

 

The year 2007 marked the 150th year of the origin of Manjummel Carmelites, the first indigenous religious congregation in Kerala. The Jubilee Year was inaugurated at Manjummel on 23 November 2006. We projected a theme for the year: “Nourished By The Tradition And Transformative For The Future”.The aim of the year was to concentrate on the personal renewal of the members of the Province rather than on external celebration. We commemorated the exact date of our Foundation at Koonamavu, the birth place of the native Carmelite Congregation. The Jubilee Year concluded with Marian Convention held at Perumpadappu Monastery. With our Blessed Mother, the Queen and Beauty of Carmel, we thank Almighty God who protected us, guided us, made us grow and give birth to new provinces.

 

SAINT FRANCIS XAVIER PROVINCE OF ANDHRA PRADESH

 

In 1972 the Manjummel Province, with an agreement between the Bishop of Warangal (Alfons Berita) and Provincial (Jerome Payapilly), intiated the Mission of Andhra Pradesh. This embraced a territory of 13,000 sq. Km. and about 300 centres of rural population. Our Andhra Mission was growing fast and, as a recognition, it was made a Provincial Delegation in 1978. It became a Regional Vicariate in 1989. Then it had three monasteries (Kothagudem, Vijayawada and Tallada), 11 parishes, 71 substations and 180 out-stations (which spread out to 292 villages) and 21 institutions (schools, technical schools, boys homes, homes for the aged, leprosorium, etc.). Taking into consideration all these developments, was raised to a Commissariat in 14 November 2005. Its recent final canonical establishment as a Province under the patronage of St. Francis Xavier was on 8 June 2011. The new Religious Province includes all the civil state of Andhra Pradesh, with the exclusion of the Syro-Malabar diocese of Adilabad. It currently has nine Houses; Kothagudem, Palvoncha, Sathupally, Eluru, Thallada, Tenali and Vijayawada, all canonically erected, plus foundations in Pendurthy and Hyderabad.

 

COMMISSARIAT OF INDONESIA

 

Responding to the call of Divine Providence, two missionaries set out for Indonesia in 1981, and took up a parish in Bajawa of the Archdiocese of Ende (Flores). In 1984, the first monastery was founded at Bogenga not far from Bajawa in a 15 acre land. Novitiate was built there in 1991 and the formation of Novices commenced. Though their study of philosophy was planned in the SVD Seminary at Maumere and the building was ready, it had to be shifted to Kupang, due to an earthquake in 1992. The students go to the Diocesan seminary for their philosophy. In 1995 the Mission was raised to Provincial Delegation, and in 1999 Regional Vicariate. Since then the Vicariate initiated the following foundations: Theology House in Yogyakarta in the island of Jawa in 2000, Aspirancy and Postulancy at Maronggela (Flores) in 2001, and a community in Manado in 2002.

 

On 8 June 2011 the General Definitory established this Regional Vicariate as a Commissariat under the patronage of St. Joseph. It includes the whole of Indonesia and has 8 Houses: Bajawa (2), Kupang, Jogyakarta, Maronggela, Manada, Denpasar and Sumba.

 

REGIONAL VICARIATE OF ODISHA

 

The Mission in Odisha started on 20 July 1993 with the blessing and inauguration of the first house, Carmel Bhavan, at Sindirappilly in Chatrapur. It functioned as monastery cum Boarding Home for the education of boys from Elementary to Plus 2. Later another Boarding house was built at Ramba 20 kms away from Chatrapur. In the year 2002, the Mission received the status of Provincial Delegation.The candidates to Carmelite life got their formation in Kerala starting from Initiation up to Theology. On 19 February 2006, Theology Students’House in Sambalpur was inaugurated. The students frequent the Regional Seminary Kristo Jyothi Mohavidyalaya for their theology study. When in the year 2007 a separate Boarding house for boys was built, it was possible to begin the Initiation Course of the Aspirants in the monastery building at Chatrapur.

 

In the year 2007, the Bishop of Berhampur Diocese erected a parish at Laighuda with 38 villages in Rayagada District and handed it over to our Mission. For a community to minister to the parish, we bought a land at Nuaguda and built there a monastery, Avila Bhavan. A unit of V-Guard, manufacturing stabilizer, was inaugurated at Chatrapur in the year 2008. It provides job opportunities for girls around the area. In 2009, Mano Ranjan Mallik, the first native candidate, who had his basic theology studies in Rome, was ordained priest at Laighuda parish. In the same year, the Initiation Course is transferred temporarily to Sambalpur and Chatrapur house became formation house for Plus 2 students. In 2011, a new initiation house was started at Tikona, Puri. On 8th June 2011 the General Definitory declared the Provincial Delegation of Odisha a Regional Vicariate, dependent on the Manjummel Province. It now has 6 communities: Chatrapur, Sambalpur, Rambha, Nuaguda, Tikona and, Kuchinda.

 

THE FOUNDATIONS POST- 80s

 

Carmel Niwas at Sukhdev Vihar- Okhla in the Diocese of Delhi was inaugurated and blessed in March 25, 1984. St. Jude’s Monastery at Eramalloor in the Diocese of Cochin was inaugurated and blessed by His Excellency Rt. Rev. Dr. Joseph Kureethara on Wednesday August 15, 1984, at 3:00 p.m. San Juan Bhavan at Unichira was blessed in 1985, and it became the study house for Plus Two Students. Infant Jesus Monastery at S.N. Puram was blessed in the Diocese of Alleppey in 1986. In 1988, the Novitiate House at Annamanada in the Diocese of Kottapuram (Kerala) and an Ashram at Maruvakad in the Diocese of Cochin was inaugurated. In the year of 1991 Our Lady of Mount Carmel Monastery and School was started at Gwalior in the Diocese of Jhansi. In 1996, the Pushpadaan Monastery in the Diocese of Calicut was founded.

 

In 2004, Ave Maria Home at Tiruvalla in the Diocese of Vijayapuram was built and canonically erected. In the same year Avila Sadan Monastery at Karaparambu in the Diocese of Kannur was founded. St.Antony’s monastery at Illichuvadu at Kara in the Diocese of Kottapuram was inaugurated on 13 June 2006. In response to the Provincial Chapter of 2006, a monastery, Carmel Mount, was built at Vythiri within the District of Wayanad, in the Diocese of Calicut; and it was blessed on 24 September 2008. A community was found necessary at Gothuruth in the heart of the Diocese of Kottapuram. This was realized in a house renovated and blessed on 27 September 2008.

 

COLLABORATION WITH THE UNIVERSAL CHURCH

 

Fr. Cyril Bernard Papali lived in Rome and served the Church and the Order from 1950 to 1972 as Professor of Hinduism in Urbanianum and Teresianum and Peritus on Laity in the Vatican II. He is the author of many books of value. Archbishop Daniel Acharuparambil was serving the Archdiocese of Verapoly (Kerala, India) from 14 Jun 1996 to 26 October 2009. He taught in Urbanianum for 25 years and was Rector Magnificus for two terms. He has also some writings to his credit. Fr. Benedict Kanakappilly is occupying the seat of his predecessors since 1996 and lecturing in Urbanianum and Teresianum. In 2000, we served the parish-sanctuary at Cerro in the diocese of Fabriano and in the year 2009, subsequent given up the parish due to certain clauses of agreement. In the year following, we accepted the care of a diocesan parish of St. Valentine at Terni for a period of six to twelve years. The Diocese assigns job for four priests in the parish.

 

It was agreed with the Bishop of the Diocese of Stockton, California (USA), that a community of three fathers “ad experimentum” take care of St. Patrick Parish at Angel’s Camp for a period of two years, commencing from June 2009. The Provincial Council at the end of 2008 has decided to terminate the agreement at the end of the stipulated time. Our friars in USA are rendering their service in the dioceses of Los Angeles, Stockton, Fresno, Houma- Thibodeaux, Orlando and Palm Beach.

 

A community of three priests was inaugurated at Basel, Switzerland, on 28 October 2007. The community is known as “Geistliches und Interkuturelles Zentrum, Basel” (Spiritual and Inter-cultural Centre, Basel). The purpose of its existence is to bear witness to the prayer life in community, to give spiritual guidance to those who approach and to give pastoral help to the neighbouring parishes. While two of the friars are engaged in the studies, one is full-time in charge of the Centre and is committed to the inter-religious dialogue.

 

A community of three, settled down at Kupferdreh-Dilldorf in the Diocese of Essen, Germany, is at the service of the local church from the year 1997. There is a standing invitation from the Archdiocese of Cologne to start a community of three in the forth-coming years. In view of it, three of our priests render pastoral ministries in three neighboring parishes from 2007.

 

COLLABORATION WITH THE ORDER OUTSIDE INDIA

 

Fr. Augustine Mulloor was elected as the third Definitor General, at Fatima in the year 2009 with the Portfolio of Formation and Ongoing formation, and regions of India and Sri Lanka come under his care. Fr. Johnson Perumittath is in the Generalate working as secretary of the Department of Formation. Fr. Benedict Kanakappilly is appointed as Dean of the Department of Missiology in Urbanianum. Fr. Jose Anty holds licentiate in Christian Anthropology from the Faculty of Theology at Teresianum and Diploma in Library Science and Archival Studies from the School of Vatican. Since October 2008 he is conventual in the permanent community of Teresianum and does his doctoral studies in Anthropology. Fr. George Padamattumel worked as secretary to the Pontifical faculty of Theology at Teresianum. Late Fr. Antony Pinheiro was appointed as collaborator to the General postulator, served the Order six months. It is to be remembered that Fr. Athanasius D’Almeida served the Order as Definitor for six years, Brothers Clement, Titus, Maurice and Pius rendered their service to the international community of Teresianum

 

Collaboration with other Provinces abroad started from the year 2002. California-Arizona Province from the United States was the first to enter into a five years’ contract with us. The request was that we offer three priests on a loan for a period of 5 years; this we did.At the request of Catalonia Province (Spain), we entered into a mutual agreement of collaboration. We accepted to send friars who will be conventuals in their communities for seven years, rendering pastoral and spiritual ministries of the Province. During this period, each one, if so desires, is supported by their Province to do higher studies in Barcelona. Five of our members are already there. It is desired that these friars are so well prepared that they take up eventually one of their monasteries and run it by themselves. Five Friars are on a loan to Australia Province and they render service in their Retreat Centre and in the diocese of bunbury. The two of our fathers are in Bavarian Province, Germany, among them one is a loan to them and work as a Chaplian and the other is a priest-student. And another priest-student is on a loan to Austria Province from October 12, 2009.

 

CONCLUSION

 

The pages that rolled back have enabled us to recognize and appreciate the contribution our Province has been rendering to the dynamism of the Church and to the growth of the Carmelite Order. A retrospective glance at the past reveals that there are heights still to be scaled, depths to be dived into, and terrains to be explored. The goal is clear but the path to be trudged is long. Trusting in the Providence of God and clinging to Him with unflinching hope and optimism, the Province strives to live its ideal as envisaged by our Holy Parents to the full through the intercession of Mary, the Mother of Carmel.

THE HISTORY OF ITS VISION AND MISSION

Zelo zelatus sum pro Domino Deo exercituum

"With zeal have I been zealous for the Lord God of hosts"

(1 Kings 19: 10)