St. Joseph’s Church, Pechipparai

St. Joseph’s Church, Pechiparai 

    A Tranquil Oasis in the Lap of Western Ghats 

                                  Nestled amidst the picturesque hills of the Western Ghats, Pechiparai stands as a haven of natural beauty, adorned with serene lakes and captivating landscapes that allure tourists seeking tranquility. This hidden gem, situated on the border of Kerala and Tamil Nadu, unfolds its charm in the heart of Kanyakumari District. At its spiritual core lies St. Joseph’s Church, a beacon of faith and a significant mission station in the Diocese of Kuzhithurai. The lush greenery, untouched forests, and the seamless blend of Kerala and Tamil Nadu’s cultures make Pechiparai a unique destination. Visitors are drawn to its pristine beauty, where the tranquility of nature meets the spiritual aura of St. Joseph’s Church, creating an atmosphere of peace and reflection. As tourists explore the region, they are captivated by the harmonious coexistence of nature and spirituality. Pechiparai, with its rich natural heritage and the spiritual embrace of St. Joseph’s Church, continues to be a sanctuary for those seeking solace in the lap of the Western Ghats. 

Genesis of St. Joseph’s Church: A Testament to Faith and Miracles

                                 The inception of St. Joseph’s Church in Pechiparai traces back to the visionary Mr. Hambri Minchin Alexander, a European engineer instrumental in the construction of the Pechiparai Dam in 1894. Inspired by a profound sense of spirituality and compassion for the workers engaged in the dam’s construction, Mr. Alexander harbored a dream of establishing a space for prayer. In 1894, amidst the construction fervor, a humble prayer shed was erected using bamboo sticks. This modest structure became the sacred ground where a handful of Catholics gathered for prayer. Word of this prayer space spread, drawing more people to join in this spiritual enclave. Recognizing the growing need for organized worship, Mr. Alexander sought the assistance of Rev. Fr. Antony OCD, the parish priest of Mulagumoodu.

                                 The pivotal year of 1899 marked a period of tribulation as a dreadful disease swept through the community, affecting both humans and animals. In the face of this calamity, the community turned to St. Joseph, the patron saint of workers, imploring divine intervention. Miraculously, the prayers were answered, and the community witnessed a miraculous recovery. Grateful for this divine intervention, the church was dedicated to St. Joseph, immortalizing the patronage of the saint who had interceded in their time of need. Thus, the origins of St. Joseph’s Church in Pechiparai stand as a testament to faith, compassion, and the miraculous power of prayer, echoing the enduring spirit of the community through the years.

 Milestone Years in the Growth of St. Joseph’s Church, Pechiparai  

                              The evolution of St. Joseph’s Church in Pechiparai has been marked by significant milestones, each contributing to its spiritual and communal growth. In the year 1960, under the guidance of Rev. Fr. Charles Boromeo, a visionary leader, the church took a monumental step forward. Ten cents of land were acquired, laying the foundation for future developments. The year 1962 witnessed a concrete manifestation of this vision—an event that would shape the destiny of the church. A small but significant church, adorned with a tiled roof, was erected, providing a sacred space for worship and community gatherings. The subsequent year, 1963, saw the establishment of Kulasekharam as a parish, reflecting the expanding spiritual landscape. With a growing awareness of the spiritual needs of the Pechiparai community, the priests initiated the practice of conducting Holy Mass thrice a week, fostering a deeper connection with the divine.  

                             The turning point arrived in 1978 when Pallottine fathers commenced their spiritual presence in Pechiparai. Recognizing the importance of ensuring their safety and convenience, Rev. Fr. Susaiyan Sathiyanesan SAC took the initiative to build a parochial house, providing a residence for the priests engaged in the spiritual care of the community.  By 1983, the Pallottine fathers assumed complete charge of Pechiparai, marking a new chapter in the church’s history. This transition solidified their commitment to the spiritual well-being of the community and laid the groundwork for continued growth and prosperity. The years from 1960 to 1983 represent a transformative period in the history of St. Joseph’s Church, with each step reflecting the dedication of its leaders and the evolving spiritual needs of the Pechiparai community. 

Parish Independence and Expansion (1998)

                                        A significant chapter in the history of St. Joseph’s Church, Pechiparai unfolded in 1998 when the church attained independent parish status, symbolizing a newfound maturity and self-sufficiency. This pivotal moment marked the culmination of years of spiritual growth and community development. With its elevation to an independent parish, St. Joseph’s Church in Pechiparai embraced a broader responsibility for the spiritual well-being of its community members. The newfound status came with the establishment of four additional Sub-stations, each serving as an extension of the parish to cater to the diverse needs of the growing congregation. 

Christ the King Church – Kodaiyar

   One of the newly established Sub-stations, Christ the King Church in Kodaiyar, became a beacon of spiritual guidance for the faithful in that region. This expansion aimed to reach out to a broader community and strengthen the roots of faith in the surrounding areas. 

St. Vincent Pallotti Church – Valiayela

   Valiayela saw the establishment of St. Vincent Pallotti Church as a Sub-station, bringing the divine presence closer to the hearts of the local residents. This expansion exemplified the church’s commitment to extending its spiritual embrace to various communities.  

St. Michael’s Church – Alamparai

   Alamparai emerged as another vital Sub-station, with St. Michael’s Church serving as a spiritual hub for the faithful in the region. The presence of a church in Alamparai aimed to foster a sense of community and provide a sacred space for worship.  

Chittar and Kallar:

   Recognizing the diverse geographical and spiritual needs of the community, Sub-stations were established in Chittar and Kallar. These locations played a crucial role in ensuring that the spiritual services of the parish reached even the remotest corners of the region. 

                                This period of expansion and independence marked a significant stride in the journey of St. Joseph’s Church, solidifying its role as a center of faith, community, and service in the Pechiparai region.

Dedicated Leadership and Development Initiatives 

                            The vibrant history of St. Joseph’s Church in Pechiparai is intricately woven with the visionary leadership of its parish priests, each contributing to the growth and welfare of the community. Here are the remarkable initiatives undertaken by the successive parish priests: 

1. Rev. Fr. Sathiyanesan SAC

   – Initiated the formation of V.D.S (Village Development Society) to raise funds for the benefit of the underprivileged.

   – Acquired 50 cents of land, collaborating with the Kottar Diocese, and allocated it to the sisters for their sustenance.

 2. Rev. Fr. John Paul SAC

   – Established the Jubilee Memorial Hall, providing a dedicated space for community gatherings and events.

   – Procured a vehicle, with diocesan support, facilitating travel to Sub-stations.

   – Pioneered the creation of six Anbiyams (Basic Christian Communities – BCC), fostering spiritual growth within the community. 

 3. Rev. Fr. John Christopher SAC

   – Expanded the Anbiyam (BCC) initiative, starting three additional groups for enhanced spiritual engagement.

   – Acquired a new generator for the church, ensuring a continuous and reliable power supply.

 4. Rev. Fr. Moses Savarimuthu SAC

   – Instituted an evening study center for economically disadvantaged children, supported by generous donors.

   – Secured 75 cents of land for the parish’s use, furthering the physical infrastructure of the church.

 5. Rev. Fr. Packiaraj Chinnapan SAC

   – Upgraded the parish vehicle by replacing the old, under-repair vehicle with a new one, ensuring safe transportation.

 6. Rev. Fr. Gnanasikamani Pilavendran SAC

   – Envisioned the construction of a new church, demonstrating a commitment to the spiritual growth and infrastructure development of the parish.

   – Dug a well to provide a reliable water source for the community.

 7. Rev. Fr. Thomas Kurusappan SAC

   – Transformed the existing hall into a church, optimizing the available space for worship.

   – Established St. Joseph’s Hall, contributing to the expansion of facilities for community events.

 8. Rev. Fr. Lourduraj Ignacia SAC

   – Erected a stage, enhancing the parish’s ability to conduct various programs and events.

 9. Rev. Fr. Veevin Richard SAC

   – Collaborated with the parish council to initiate a fundraising campaign, aiming to purchase land for the church.

   – Reorganized the audio system, enhancing the overall worship experience for the congregation.

 10. Rev. Fr. Ashly Vinoth SAC

    – Successfully organized a raffle ticket campaign in collaboration with the community, raising substantial funds for the church’s development.

 These initiatives collectively underscore the dynamic and progressive spirit of St. Joseph’s Church in Pechiparai under the thoughtful guidance of its dedicated parish priests. Each effort has left an indelible mark on the parish’s journey of growth and service.

 Endearing Mission of Sisters in Pechiparai Parish 

                          The spiritual and educational landscape of Pechiparai Parish has been enriched through the dedicated service of ICM sisters. Their contributions have played a vital role in nurturing the faith and educational development of the community. Here are the key milestones in the involvement of sisters in Pechiparai:

 CM Sisters’ Early Contributions

   – In the initial stages, the ICM (Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary) sisters visited Pechiparai, imparting religious education through catechism classes.

   – Their presence significantly contributed to the spiritual growth of the community, fostering a deepened understanding of the Catholic faith.

 Arrival of Sisters of Charity (1997)

   – In 1997, the Sisters of Charity responded to the call to serve in Pechiparai Parish, extending their mission to other Sub-stations as well.

   – Their service encompassed various aspects, including education, healthcare, and community development, creating a positive impact on the lives of the parishioners.

 The continuous commitment of sisters has not only strengthened the fabric of faith within the parish but has also extended into the broader community. Their educational initiatives, compassionate care, and spiritual guidance have left an enduring mark on the holistic development of Pechiparai and its surrounding areas. The collaborative efforts of the sisters and the parish community reflect a shared commitment to the values of love, service, and education.

 Parish Demographics and Active Involvement

 The vibrant community of Pechiparai Parish reflects a tapestry of faith, diversity, and active participation. Here is an overview of the parish demographics and the extensive engagement of the community:

 Parish Composition

   – St. Joseph’s Church in Pechiparai proudly comprises 270 families, fostering a close-knit community centered around faith and shared values.

   – Christ the King Church in Kodaiyar contributes with 20 families, while St. Vincent Pallotti Church in Valiayela has 15 families.

   – St. Michael’s Church in Alamparai enriches the parish with the presence of 10 families.

 Anbiyams and Pious Associations

   – The parish boasts a total of 10 Anbiyams (BCCs), serving as focal points for spiritual gatherings and prayers.

   – In addition to Anbiyams (BCCs), the parish thrives with the active involvement of 15 pious associations, each contributing to the spiritual and social fabric of the community.

   – Four organizations within the parish play a significant role in organizing and participating in various programs and initiatives.

 Community Outreach

   – The parish community demonstrates a commendable spirit of outreach by visiting tribal areas, including the dwellings of the ‘Kanikars’ in the dense forests around the lakes.

   – Services are extended to the tribal community, reflecting the parish’s commitment to inclusivity and support for those in need.


                    The diverse composition of families, coupled with the active participation in Anbiyams, pious associations, and organizations, creates a dynamic and engaging parish life. The commitment to outreach initiatives emphasizes the parish’s role as a source of support and solidarity, reaching beyond its immediate boundaries to embrace the broader community. This collaborative spirit contributes to the overall vitality and richness of Pechiparai Parish.

 Parish Activities Schedule – Pechiparai

 The spiritual life of Pechiparai Parish is enriched through a range of activities and dedicated Mass timings. Here is a detailed schedule of the parish’s religious events and special celebrations:

 Mass Timings
Sunday Mass

   – 7:00 am at St. Joseph’s Church, Pechiparai

   – 9:00 am at St. Vincent Pallotti Church, Valiyela

   – 11:00 am at Christ the King Church, Kodaiyar

 Daily Mass

   – Monday: 7:00 am at the Convent

   – Tuesday: 6:30 am

   – Wednesday: 6:30 pm (Novena to St. Joseph)

   – Thursday: 6:30 am

   – Friday: 6:30 pm (Novena to the Sacred Heart of Jesus)

   – Saturday: 6:30 am

 Special Mass Events

   – 2nd and 4th Thursday: Mass at Aalamparai

 Special Events

First Friday of the Month

   – Celebrated with Holy Mass, Adoration, and Healing Prayer, fostering a deeper spiritual connection within the community.

 Every 22nd of the Month

   – Novena to St. Vincent Pallotti is observed, providing an opportunity for focused prayers and devotion.

 Annual Feast

   – Celebrated on May 01, the Annual Feast is a grand occasion for the parish, marked by special liturgical celebrations and community festivities.


This meticulously planned schedule ensures regular opportunities for communal worship, spiritual growth, and engagement within the parish. The inclusion of special events and novenas reflects the parish’s commitment to fostering a vibrant and deeply connected faith community in Pechiparai.


Anbiyams (BCC) and Timings

Name of the Anbiyams (BCC) Timings- saturday
Punitha Vincent Pallotti 3.00 pm
Punitha Anthoniyar 4.00 pm
Jebamalai Matha 6.30 pm
Punitha Slphonsa 6.30 pm
Velankanni Matha 4.00 pm
Punitha Thomaiyar 4.00 pm
Punitha Bartholomeya 5.00 pm
Punitha Panimaya Matha 5.00 pm
Punth Lourdu Matha 5.00pm
Punitha Annai Theresa 5.000m


Pious Associations and organizations


No Name timing
1 Parish Pastoral Council 1st Sunday 3.0 0 pm
2 Finance Committee 1st Saturday 6.30 pm
3 Anbiya Orungkinaiyam 1st Sunday 4.00 pm
4 Liturgy Committee Every Saturday 5.30 pm
5 Catechism Teachers 3rd Sunday 4.00pm
6 Choir Every Saturday 5.30 pm
7 Young Christian Students ( YCS) Every Sunday 9.15 am
8 Youth 1st and 3rd Sunday 9.30 am
9 Altar boys Every Sunday 2.00pm
10 Children (Balar Sabai) Every Sunday 9.15 am
11 Kids ( Kuzhithurai integral Development Service) 1st Monday 5.30 pm
12 Legion of Mary – Men Every Sunday 10.00 am
13 Legion of Mary – Women Every Thursday 6.30 pm
14 Vincent de Paul Every Wednesday 7.00 pm
15 Christian Workers 2nd and 4th Sunday 8.30 am
16 Kolping 3rd Sunday 8.30 am
17 Family Welfare Committee 1st Tuesday 6.00 pm
18 Kaigal ( for Widow) 2nd Thursday 5.30 pm
19 Women Association 3rd Sunday 8.30 am
20 Parish Finance Development Group 3rd Sunday 6.00pm