As a sizable population of Catholics were living in Kosakulam Pudur, which was in the territory of Our Lady of Dolours Parish, Fr. Endaline S.J. bought a piece of land in K. Pudur, on the very site where the present church stands, and built a small church of Our Lady of Lourdes, in 1920. In 1931 Fr. Gabriel Gomez, S.J. enlarged the church and brought the C.I.C. sisters to start a Primary School When in 1938 Madurai diocese was born and the Bishop’s house was built in K. Pudur, this church of Our Lady of Lourdes became important. The city expanded; transport facilities increased; more Catholic families came to settle down in K. Pudur. Fr. Pudumai who was in the Bishop’s House regularly went to cater to the spiritual needs of K. Pudur Catholics.
In 1951 K. Pudur was canonically erected as a new parish with Fr. M. T. Amalaraj, S.J. as its first parish priest. The rapid growth of the Catholic population necessitated the expansion of the church which Fr. M.T. Amalaraj undertook and finished in 1958. Christmas night of 1960 was especially a joyous night for this church as it was announced to be the Cathedral of the diocese, and Fr. Silverius, S.J. was the parish priest. Mgr. Diraviam took possession of the Archdiocese in the church on 29th June 1967, the same year Fr. S. Irudayam, the V.G. was the parish priest. But this privilege of being the Cathedral was shortlived. In 1970 Our Lady of Dolours church became the Cathedral and Fr. T,A. Michael took charge of the parish of K. Pudur, in 1972. A new flavour was added to the apostolate of the Archdiocess when on 24th September 1975 when the Salesians of Don Bosco took charge of K. Pudur Parish.
Fr. Vincent Durai Raj was the first Salesian Parish Priest. He had the privilege of celebrating the Silver Jubilee of the Parish and of starting Don Bosco Yourth Centre and building the upstairs of the parish house. During the time of Fr. Jeswanth in 1977, the building of the Don Bosco Youth Centre camp up, a place for cemetery was acquired, Sarvodaya building for girls was built, R.C. Primary School and Kadachanendal was raised to be a Middle School. Don Bosco Primary School was built at Quarry (Yanamalai) and dispensaries at Yanamalai and Mangalapuram were entrusted to the care of Leuca Sisters. When in 1980 Fr. Jeganathan became parish priest. St. Antony’s church was blessed at Kadachanendal, the Community Hall was put up in Sandanamada Street and Don Bosco Foot Ball and Volley Ball Tournaments were conducted for Youth in State level. Then came Fr. Christy in 1982, who was responsible for the women’s cottage industry at Lourdu Nagar. From 1985 Fr. A. T. James was is the parish priest.
Fr. Edward Xavier and Jeganathan were assistants. During his period the church of Mary Help of Christians was built in B.B. Kulam, Don Bosco Non-formal Technical School was put up and started functioning, Don Bosco Foot Ball and Volley Ball Tournaments were continued; for the help of poor children tuition centers were begun in four villages; occasionally Good News conventions have been conducted. The Catholics are making their Christian life fuller through associations like Vincent de Paul Society, Legion of Mary, Don Bosco Youth Centre, Charismatic Group etc. The Parish Priest is planning to build a High School for boys to renew the church building, to make the Sellur area into a new parish and to build houses for the poor.
Madurai – 625007.
Tel: +91 452 2568142
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Keyword: Lourdes Shrine K Pudhur Madurai, Lourdes Shrine Church, K Pudhur Church, Catholic Churches, Roman Catholic Churches, RC Churches, Churches in Madurai, Churches in Tamilnadu, Churches in India