Theni is one of the important markets in Tamil Nadu. The parish started in 1939 with Fr. Pujo S.J. as the first parish priest, has very few catholics at the centre; but there are more catholics in the neighbouring villages; Kottur village is half Catholic. Early missionaries used to come from Silukkuvarpatty and later from Periyakulam to Theni area, their main thrust being towards Pallers who are in a majority in this area. Fr. Pujo S.J. made this conversion movement successful thanks to the help of the dedicated Br. Alphonse, of the Sacred Heart Congregation. The original church Theni had been built by Fr. Susai Regis from the fund left by Fr. Munch S.J. around 1930 and the present enlarged church was built by Fr. Pujo around 1942.
The Presentation Sisters who were not satisfied with their work in Periakulam came to Theni in 1937 and started a school and a small medical aid centre under the trees. Now the school has grown into the Presentation H.S.School and the medical centre has become the present Holy Redeemer’s Hospital specializing in maternity cases. The parish priest is looking after two schools a Primary School and a High School for boys and girls in Theni and a Primary School in Kottur. The other parish priests have been Fr. Devasia, S.J., Fr. Burns S.J., Fr. Clayton, S.J., Fr. Kulandaisamy S.J., Fr. Ignatius, Fr. J. Pancras, Fr. Maria Pancras and Fr. S. Jeganather from January 1988-92. People still remember Fr. Clayton not only for his building churches in Uppukkotai, Andipatti and Bodinayakkanur, but chiefly for his love of poor women on whom he would lavish his daily alms and many of whom he sent to convents outside Theni.
Holy Redeemer’s Church,
Bungalow Medu, Madurai Road,
Theni, Pin – 625531.
For more information please visit: http://www.archdioceseofmadurai.org/parishes/