Our Lady of Grace Church, Mangudi-Meenachiapuram

Our Lady of Grace Church, Mangudi-Meenachiapuram

Our lady of grace church is under the Archdiocese of Madurai. This is one of the mission stations of Tamil Pallottines for the past 30 years. There are five substations under this parish as follows Christu Rajapuram, Nallamangalam, Arulputhur, Kallupatti and Puttur. The parish consists of 450 families that mostly depend on daily wages. As Pallottines, we engage ourselves in pastoral, educational, and social ministries. The major contribution of the Pallottines in the life of these people and surrounding is transforming their lives. They were for number of years engaged in fireworks such as, making match box and crackers which caused ill health. Our pioneers provided free tailoring courses along with sewing machine which enhanced their livelihood and their health. Consequently, we see a great progress in the life of the people in the field of education, employment etc.

The journey of Mangudi Meenachiapuram Parish is a testament to the faith, perseverance, and collaborative efforts of the Catholic community and the dedicated clergy who have shepherded the parish over the years.

Early Years

Before 1890: Mangudi Meenachiapuram village was home to Christians, with Ganapati alias Gnanaprakasam being the first Catholic Christian. In the early years of Mangudi Meenachiapuram, the Christian community embarked on a dedicated journey of faith, exemplifying their commitment to spiritual enrichment. In a testament to their profound dedication, the Christian families of Mangudi Meenachiapuram willingly undertook a remarkable pilgrimage every Sunday. Covering a distance of approximately 10 kilometers, they walked to Sundara Nachiapuram to participate in the Sunday Mass.

RC Primary School (1903): To provide education to the community, RC Primary School was established in 1903, gaining government approval in 1908.

Church Foundation (1982): In response to the growing Christian families, Fr. Arulrayan initiated efforts to build a larger church. The foundation stone was laid in 1982, and the church was consecrated by Archbishop Justin Dhiraviyam in the same year, dedicated to Our Lady of Grace.

 Parish Elevation and Expansion (1992)

Separation and Expansion: In a strategic response to the evolving needs of the Catholic community, Archbishop Arogyaswamy played a pivotal role in laying the foundation for a distinct parish, setting the stage for significant development. He undertook the acquisition of suitable land to provide a foundation for the envisioned spiritual hub. The foundation stone was laid in 1982, symbolizing the community’s commitment to a place of worship that could accommodate the expanding congregation.

Presbytery Foundation and Consecration: Acknowledging the importance of administrative and pastoral infrastructure, Archbishop Arogyaswamy directed the laying of the foundation for the presbytery in 1989 and was consecrated in 1992.

Parish Elevation (July 1992): With the completion of foundational elements, Mangudi Meenachiapuram was officially elevated to the status of a parish in July 1992. This elevation reflected the culmination of collective efforts toward creating a distinct spiritual community.

Declaration of Substations: Alongside parish elevation, villages such as Puthur, Nallamangalam, Arulputhur, Punalveli, Kallupatti, and Christurajapuram were designated as substations. This strategic move allowed for a more pastoral care, recognizing the diverse needs of the extended community.

Archbishop Arogyaswamy’s foresight and dedication to establishing a robust parish infrastructure laid the groundwork for Mangudi Meenachiapuram’s journey as a distinct and vibrant spiritual center.

Pallottine Leadership

The spiritual journey of Mangudi Meenachiapuram Parish unfolds through the dedicated service of various pastoral leaders, each contributing to the parish’s growth and holistic development under the Pastoral care of Pallottine Fathers.

First Parish Priest: Fr. Joseph Soosai Marian SAC took charge in 1992, initiating significant progress. Land was acquired, a new school, bell tower, and Marian Grotto were built. A church in Christurajapuram and a school in Nallamangalam were established. Fr. Joseph Soosai Marian SAC during his six years of service laid the foundation for the parish’s progress, overseeing its initial years of growth.

Subsequent Leadership: During Fr. Antony Britto’s tenure of two years, a significant milestone was achieved with the establishment of the Congregation of the Sisters of Charity in 1998. Their multifaceted contributions spanned educational, spiritual, religious, and social realms. Successive priests, Fr. Manuel Raj SAC, and Rev. Roc Gerald Majella SAC contributed their pastoral leadership during this period, fostering continuity and community engagement.

Fr. Amalraj’s seven-year term witnessed substantial infrastructural developments, including additional classrooms in Nallamangalam school, church renovations, and the construction of a beautiful church in Arulputhur. His dedication also led to the upgrading of the middle school to a high school in commemoration of the RC school’s centenary. Fr. Anto Vijayan Carloose SAC dedicated his service for two years. Under Fr. Lourdraj Ignacia SAC’s leadership, a new building for the primary school was constructed, enriching the educational landscape of the parish. Fr. Francis Sahaya Rajan Joseph SAC continued the developmental momentum, initiating the construction of St. Anthony’s Grotto in Mangudi and St. Michael’s Grotto in Nallamangalam. Fr. Rosary Pradeep Vensulas SAC contributed to the parish’s spiritual journey during his two-year term as the Parish Priest.

Present Leadership

Currently, Fr. Moses Savarimuthu SAC serves as the Parish Priest, with Fr. Antony Franklin Baskaran SAC as the Assistant Parish Priest. Their leadership reflects the ongoing commitment to the spiritual welfare and developmental needs of the parish.

The parish, propelled by the efforts of Pallottine fathers, noble sisters, and the unwavering faith of the community, remains on a trajectory of continuous development. The rich history of Mangudi Meenachiapuram Parish reflects the dedication of the clergy and the steadfast commitment of the Catholic community to spiritual, educational, and social progress.