The Carmelites of Discalced (1st Goder) hold the record of being the first Religious Order of men to establish their monastery in our Diocese. Though the Jesuits were the first Religious Order (men) to labour in our Diocese, but they did not establish any of their house, inspite of working for over 150 years! Bishop Ubagaraswamy invited them in 1946 and after residing in temporary houses, they bought their own land at Mettur, Podanur and built up their Monastery in 1950. Since, many were settling to the east of the Railway lines, at Mettur, Amman Pudur, Ishwar Nagar, Carmel Nagar, Asbestos colony etc, they planned their church in such a way, that it could also be easily accessible to the people and named it in honour of their Patroness, Our Lady of Mount Carmel and it was blessed by Bishop Sowarimuthu on 25-03-1954, built as a Memorial of the First Marian year! Rev. Fr. Stanislus the first Tamilan to enter their Order, was chiefly responsible for the construction of the monastery and the church. It was established as a Parish only on 23-10-1972 by Bisho Visuvasam and entrusted to the Carmelites.A church was constructed at Othakal Mandapam, blessed by Bishop Visuvasam on 16-03-1975.
In 1986, the ever expanding SIDCO Housing area of Kurichi was attached to this parish along with Othakalmaridapam an Kinathukadvu as substations, There is a natural Grotto of Our Lady at Pillaiarpuram, on the western side of the Housing unit and attracts many devotees. The Carmelites of Manjumel Provinc (Kerala) were for long, managing the Parish. But when the newl formed Tarnil Nadu Province was born on 14-3-1991, it w attached to it. A plot was bought by the Diocese at Sidco and new Church was constructed in honour of the most Holy Trinity and blessed by Bishop Ambrose on 27-02-2000. A new church in honour of Divine Mercy was constructed at Kuniamuthur and blessed by Bishop Ambrose on 21-10-2001. The Samaritan Sisters were the First Religious (sisters) to function in this parish with a Home for the Aged (St. Joseph’s); the Carmelites Sisters of St. Theresa came in 1982. They have started the Mount Carmel Mat.Hr.Sec.School here. The Presentation Sisters have started a Presentation Matriculation Hr. Sec. School at Kurichi along with their convent.
The Christian population of this parish (of Mattur , Podanur) are either those who are Railway Employees or the Employees of Asbestos company or Anglo Indians who have settled down. The Anglo-Indian population is decreasing due to emigration to Austraila and other foreign Countries. The Tamil Catholics hailing from different parts of Tamil Nadu and are settling down in the numerous Hosing colonies. Yet it is to the credit of the Carmelites Fathers, that they have succeeded in welding the disparate Congregation into a parish community and have spread the Devotion to St. Antony of Padua, though he did not belong to their Order! The Shrine that they have constructed in his honour in 1954, still draws devotees from surrounding parishes on Tuesdays! For the common people, whoever is seen wearing the brown habit, must belong to their Order! They do not notice that the Capuchins wear a white cord around their waist, while the Carmelites instead wear a leather black belt! They attach a special sanctity (atleast used to) to the brown habit! The first Carmelite from our diocese is Rev.Fr.Alexis OCD (Arokiaswamy of Karumuthampatty Pudur, who after completing his B.A. 60- years ago when it was a rarity that a Tamil Catholic completes his graduation from home! In the same way the first one to join the Carmelites of the II order, at Puliakulam was also a Graduate daughter of the Retired. DI.G. Mr. Savarimuthu of Savariarpalayam! What is certainly a common strange coincidence in both these first vocations to the Discalced Carmelite Orders is the part played by the late Fr. John Pitchai of happy memory who was the inspirer of their vocation.
Weekdays: 6.30 p.m
Tuesdays: 5.30 p.m Mass & Novena to St. Antony
Saturdays: 5.30 p.m
Sundays: 7.00 a.m (English), 8.00 a.m & 5.30 am (Tamil)
Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel,
Carmel Nagar, Podanur – 641 023.
(Estd 25-3-1 954 – Area 5.5. Sq. Miles)
Phone No. 0422 -2413317
For more information please visit: http://www.coimbatorediocese.org