The known Christian history of Karumathur intertwined with Usilampatty Mission starts from 1867. Rev. Fr. Isidore Prince, a Jesuit priest visited this place and his friendly approach helped the conversion of many people of “Piranmalai Kallars”. Followed by Fr. Isidore Prince, there came another Jesuit Preist Rev. Fr. Clement Montard as it was the Mission of Jesuit Misionaries. He is known as the ‘father’ of Piranmalai Kallar Community of this area. He provided education, arranged their employment opportunities, baptized them and blessed their marriages. He is fondly remembered even now by the people. Due to his serious illness, Rev. Fr. Montard went to Shenbaganur for rest. Then there was no follow-up for many years. The Catholic Christians were left all alone without any priest for a long time. There was a fall back of the Christians into their old faith. On 24th Oct. 1978, His Grace Most Rev. Justin Diraviam the then Archbishop of Madurai erected a new parish in this region named “Good Shepherd Parish”. He installed Rev. Fr. Mathew Njayarkulam cmf as the first parish priest of this parish. He struggled to re-evangelize them in faith. With the help of the Claretian Seminarians he revived the faith. The present parish church was constructed in 1990 and the presbytery was constructed in 1998. This parish is entrusted to the pastoral care of the Claretians in accordance with the contract made by both parties, the Claretians and the Archdiocese of Madurai.
St. Antohny Mary Claret Church is situated in Moonandipatti, 24 kilometers away from Madurai, and 17 kilometers from Usilampatti. It is situated on the National Highways no. 49 leading to Theni. The parish has got nine sub-stations. Two of the sub-stations namely Azhagusirai and Chekkanurani come under Thirumangalam Taluk, the other sub-stations namely Chellampatti, Valandur, Vadakanpatti, Ariyapatti, Kovilangulam Piraviampatti and Vikramangalam are in the Usilampatti taluk. The total Catholic families under this parish are 150.
Generally the people in this area are largely backward caste people and scheduled castes. The rate of literacy is low. Addiction to illicit liquor and female infanticide are the burning issues of this community. But a few of the Catholic Heads of the families of the parish are working as teachers, staff members in the offices and in other jobs because of hard labor and influence of the foreign missionaries.
SUBSTATIONS WITH CHAPELS:
Checkkanurani, Kovilankulam, Vadakkampatti, Piraviampatti,
Valandur, Chellampatti and Azhagusirai
St. Antony Maria Claret Parish,
Madurai dt – 625514.
Tel: +91 4549 287295, 287141
For more information please visit:
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