Is it possible for a Catholic Priest to become the president of the Panchayat Board? It was possible in Sindalachery when Fr. Mathew Muttom S.J. was the parish priest (1960 to 1975) Sindalachery became a parish in 1924 during the Bishopric of Mgr. Faisandier. Fr. Audrian S.J. the first parish priest, built in place of the old small church, a bigger and better church and dedicated it to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Fr. Mares, S.J. started a school for boys and another for girls. Fr. Gonsalves, S.J. brought the Sisters of the Immaculate Conception and gave them the charge of the girls school. Another school was started in Thevaram thanks to the generosity of a chettiar; this school first run by sisters was later given to lay teachers. In 1956 Fr. M.A. Arulanandam built the present presbytery. 1960 to 1975 was the period of Fr. Mathew Muttom, S.J. which saw a considerable amount of development works. He started the Social Service Society. He dug 73 wells under the Food for work scheme of the C.R.S. providing pump sets for 53 of them. With the funds he got from Germany he constructed a flour mill, built a go – down and arranged to build houses. He constructed roads from Sindalachery to Kutchanur, to Kilasindalachery and Bomminayakanpatty. As all the wells in the village yielded only blackish water, Fr. Mathew with the help of the Government and the contribution of the people dug a new well which even to-day affords drinking water. He arranged also that the foundation for the overhead tank should be laid by the then Chief Minister Hon’ble Kamaraj on 28.04.1963. The dedicated life of Fr. Mathew was the inspiration for many to offer themselves to God’s service in priestly or religious life. He was unanimously elected first a councilor and then the President of the Panchayat Board. The other parish priests are Fr. S. Sebastian (1982-1988), Fr. Lawrance Xavier, (March 1988 – June 1988) and Fr. Sylvester D’Cruz (June 1988). During the period of Fr. Edward Francis (2003) the new parochial church was constructed and consecrated by Most Rev. Arockia Samy and Most Rev. Antony Pappusamy. The parish is being helped by the Amala Annai H.S.S, Amala Annai Primary School in Sindalachery, by St. Theresa’s R.C. Middle School, Thevaram and St. Patrick’s Community Health Centre and Tailoring Institute, Sindalachery.
Sacred Heart Church,
Pin – 625530.
For more information please visit: http://www.archdioceseofmadurai.org/parishes/