Vellore Diocese



  • Renaissance and its effects
  • Origin -  Jesuit Missionaries
  • Missionaries of Paris Foreign Missions Society (mep)
  • Creation of Vicariates Apostolic
  • Formation - Salesians of Don Bosco (SDB)
  • The pioneer Bishops of the Diocese of Vellore

The salient aspects of political, religious and socio-economic spheres of the North Arcot district have been dealt with in the previous chapter. Here in this chapter we will study certain environments and backgrounds that helped to create the Christian religious history. No one had ever written Christian religious history of North Arcot. All what we have are some information's collected from parish chronicles and pamphlets. It is not possible with the above materials to give a scientific history of Christianity of North Arcot, and with this background an attempt has been made to provide certain points in chronological order to give a general picture of the history of Christianity of our field of study. Before considering the historical origin of the Church in the two districts of North Arcot (Vellore and Tiruvannamalai), we study a few aspects of the global climate that opened the door for evangelisation in this part of India.

Renaissance and its effects

The period of Renaissance (14th-16th centuries) changed the old face of Europe and brought fresh air in political, religious, educational. Socio-economic aspects of life. The word Renaissance is applied in the scientific analysis of history to indicate the phase of the life of the people of Western Europe in which they got acquainted with the stock of knowledge that had been developed by the people of the ancient Greece. Hellenistic and Roman civilisations had disappeared after the fall of the ancient Roman Empire in 476. That stock of knowledge was also called the old knowledge. The word 'Renaissance' is also used in the analysis of history to indicate the period of transition from the medieval to the modem. Due to this rebirth, Europeans became eager to explore to wider world and wished to know more about it. As a result, they undertook long voyages to discover new countries of the globe...

Geographical Discoveries and the Spread of Christianity During the Crusade (1095 -1271) the Europeans had established commercial contacts with the Arabian empire. Europeans traded with Arabs with spices and other commodities that brought wealth. Gradually for their commercial gains they tried to learn new routes to Eastern countries by reading Travels of Marco Polo, a book written by an Italian traveler of the same name. Portugal was the first country to find sea route to India. The Portuguese sailor Vasco Da Gama reached Calicut in 1498. The Portuguese soon. established their political authority in India. Along with the expanding of their commercial and political authority in the parts of the New world, the European Powers also spread their religion, Christianity, in the major world religion.

Due to the spread of Christianity in the world, the religious outlook of the Europeans too become broad. Even before this era, according to Aloysius Soares, India was privileged to be one of the earlies countries to receive the Gospel. That Christianity struck root in India in apostolic times is now documented.

Origin-Jesuit Missionaries

The Catholic Mission in North Arcot dates back to 1604. The following chronicles gathered from various sources will give some historical knowledge of this Mission, its foundation and development in the course of over 350 years. The last great prince of the declining Vijayanagar empire (now in Andhra Pradesh) Venkatapathy Deva Rayalu, conquered the kingdom of vellore in January 1604 and named it Raya Elluru. Elapuri or Elluru in Telugu language would mean city or town. Raya Elluru was ment a town conquered by the king Rayalu and thus the town was named after him-combination of two words Raya and Elapuri.

There were then some Jesuit Fathers at the court of King Rayalu at Chandragiri. He took them also to his new court at Vellore. The word Vellore derives from the Tamil word Vel' which means spear according to another conjecture there were idols of Tamil God 'Murugan' holding Vel in and around Vellore. Vellore was formerly called Velappadi (a place thickly surrounded by a particular tree called 'Velamaram) and for this reason and background the name Vellore came into existence. The Jesuits who had come with their followers here were allowed by the King to build a church within the fort itself, near his court. (This church, though destroyed in 1740, was built again and it is now with the Anglican Church). 

Ancient Jesuit documents show that among these Jesuits, there was one named Fr. Antonious Rubunus, a preacher and confessor, who was commuting between Chandragiri and Vellore. He was sent to Japan on 12 August 1642. On 22 March 1643 he was martyred at Nagasaki. The earliest pioneer of this district had thus, laid the foundation with his blood. In 1610, there was a general upheaval against the Jusuits. It was due to the dishonourable conduct of the Jesuits that their residences both at Chandragiri and at Vellore were suppressed by a Royal Order of the king Philip 111 of Spain and Portugal in 1611.

In a formal way, Christian faith came to the diocese of Vellore towards the last quarter of the 17th century from the Madurai Mission, Fr Andrew Preyre, S.J. seems to have been the first to evangelise Vellore. St. John de Britto and his disciple Fr. Francis Laynis visited Vellore in 1680 and 1683. Fr Francis Laynis, (later Bishop of Mylapore), founded in the year 1683 and 1691 the mission of Koratampet, the first one in the present diocese of Vellore-in the Taluk of Chengarn, North Arcot district-sorne 80 kms south-west of Vellore. In 1699, the first French Jusuit Missionaries settled down at Pondicherry, after closing the Mission of Siam. In 1700, a certain Fr Mandayat began the Jesuit Carnatic Mission at Puliyur, south of Uthiramerur, Chinglepet district like an Indian Sanyasi just as the Fathers of the Madurai Mission did in those days.

Vellore was surrounded by the Mughuls and was taken by them in the following year. 

  • In 1702, Fr. Mandayat founded the mission of Thakkolam (Arakonam Taluk), which was later placed under the care of Fr Varance Bouchet. 

  • In 1703, he was subjected to persecution and was arrested. Later, he was released by the Governor of the Province, Sek Sahib, at the intervention of Fr Pierre Martin. During the short time he spent at Vellore he decided to erect a chapel and residence under the patronage of Mary. 

  • Later, he and his catechist were thrown out of the city after being severely beaten. It was obvious that the Moghuls did not welcome the idea of Christianity getting established at Vellore.

  • In 1712, Fr De La Fontain, Superior of the Carnatic Mission intervened to bring to an end the persecution carried out by the Prince Dewan Hall. He approached the Nawab of Arcot through a Catholic Medical officer of the Nawab of Vellore. The Nawab of Arcot gave Freedom. 

  • In 1736, Fr. Jacques de saignes had two churches built at Vellore and at Arcot. He stayed for a month in these places. He was provided with meals from the Royal place.

  • In 1740, when the Maharaja moved from Vellore to Gingee, Fr. Joseph Trumbley was in charge of Athipakkarn (South Arcot) and Koratampet (North Arcot). He wrote that one of his churches was plundered, another burnt down. The church at the Fort of Vellore was destroyed. 21 villages in which the best portion of the flock lived were sacked. Many Catholics were murdered, and others were compelled to wander about in the woods and hills.

  • In 1748 the Nawab of Vellore granted one and a half acres of dry land to the priest, along the road, and another piece of land near the hill at Vellore. Two similar grants were made also to the priest at Arcot. In those days the Nawabs were dealing with the donaton of lands to priests because the Zamindars were not willing to do this. 

  • In 1774, when Punganur (Andhra Pradesh) was occupied by Hyder Ali, a group of Telugu Catholics were brought by Fr Henri Arnoult to Christianpet (North Arcot). Two families of Rajas from Rajampet in Cuddappah were baptized and, then, taken into the service of the Nawab of Vellore. Their descendants are now at Christianpet, 10km North of Vellore.

Missionaries of Paris Foreign Missions Society 

  • In 1777, the Fathers of the Paris Foreign Missions who were at Pondicherry were given charge of the former Jesuit South Indian Mission under the general name of Malabar Mission, which was also called formerly Carnatic Mission and formerly Pondicherry Mission. The Mission among Tamils was known as the Mission in the Province of Arcot. It fared rather badly. 

  • In 1784, the persecution of Tippu Sultan dispersed several Catholic communities from the ancient Carnatic Mission in Rayalaseema. Some groups went to Vellore under the protection of the British. The Mudali Catholics of Pudur moved of Koratampet and Telugu Reddies and Kavarais settled at Kaniyambady, 12 km South of Vellore.

  • In 1801, there were about 2,000 Catholics in the region of Vellore. In 1806, Fr Arnoult died. Fr Manenty died on 25 May 1812. Fr Jean Austruay of the Paris Foreign Missions took charge of the Catholics of Vellore region. 

  • In 1817, a church was begun at Kortampet. In 1834, Mgr Bonnand, as co-adjuster to the Prefect Apostolic of Pondicherry, came to Vellore for his first pastoral visitation. A church was built then at the foot of the western hills.

Creation of Vicariates Apostolic

When the Vicariates Apostolic were created in 1832, Vellore and Southern part of North Arcot district formed part of the Vicariate Apostolic of Pondicherry under the Paris Foreign Missions. The North and North Eastern parts of the district, beyond the Trunk Road of Madras Bangalore, namely the three taluks of Arakonam, Walajapet and Gudiyattam came to form part of the Vicariate Apostolic of Madras and it was entrusted to Mill Hill Fathers.

In 1841, the church at Koratampet was completed. It measured 60 ft. by 15 ft. In 1846 the mission of Vellore had 3,341 Catholics, mostly from the depressed outcaste people. They were served by a Priest catechists, one school. a main church and 8 chapels.

Arcot contonment had 484 Catholics, of whom somewere in the light cavalry; Kaveripakkam had three or four Catholic families; Alapakkam about 100 Catholics and Christianpet 13 Families. As the old church a Vellore was too small and in a miserable condition, the site of a local tank bed was bought for RS. 200/ 1847, and the foundation was laid for a new big church. In 1850, Fr Moncourrier of the Paris Foreign Missions built a church and presbytery at Adakambarai on a site given by two Catholics.

On 9 February 1854, the new church at Vellore was solemnly blessed by Mgr Bonnand. After 100 years this church was found in a very bad condition and needed heavy repairs. With a sum of one lakh of rupees it was repaired, extended and remodeled. It served as the Cathedral church of the diocese of Vellore from 1952 Again, this church was further extended with two wings with new concrete slab structure and was consecrated on 3 January 1988 by Cardinal Simon Lourdusamy the prefect of the Congregation for Oriental Churches when Fr. A Nambikairaj was the Parish Priest.

In 1884, the Catholic population numbered 3,376 at Vellore; 1429 at Kortampet; 2,473 at Polur; 2,546 at Koviloor and 15,751 at Chettupattu and Arni. Archbishop Joseph Morel of Pondicherry (1909-29) and Archbishop Mederlet (1928-34) of Madras were those who played a great role in the formation of the diocese of Vellore in the initial stage.

Among the missionaries of Pondicherry the one who laboured and toiled most indefatigably was Fr Francis Darras who is also called the Apostle of North Arcot. He welcomed into the Church 30,000 persons and founded, several parishes in North Arcot district during 1876-1916. He built the Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes at Chethupattu in 1896 and a chapel on the hill nearby in 1880. It is now the Shrine of Our Blessed Lady and the biggest center of pilgrimage in the diocese of Vellore.

Arrival of Salesians of Don Bosco

In April 1928, the mission of North Arcot with nine parishes, which were under the French Fathers, was consigned by the Holy See to the Salesians of Don Bosco. After three months, Fr Eugene Mederlet, the first Salesian parish priest of Vellore, was made Archbishop of Madras to succeed Bishop Aelen John (1911 1928). The Archdiocese of Madras was entrusted to the Salesians of Don Bosco, and the Salesian mission of North Arcot and the three taluks of Palmaner, Tiruthanni and Chittoor in the civil district of Chittoor were added to the territory of the Archdiocese to Madras.

After the death of the Archbishop Mederlet on 12 December 1934, Bishop Louis Mathias was transferred from the See of Shillong to the Archdiocese of Madras, and he took charge of it on 20 July 1935 and governed it till 1965. One of his outstanding achievements was the formation of the dioceses of Vellore and Thanjavur in 1952 and the amalgamation of Madras- Mylapore Archdiocese.

Favourable Factors for Christianity in North Arcot

The Portuguese had control over coastal areas of Tamilnadu and San Thome (Mylapore) in the 16th and the first half of the 17th centuries. Whenever the Portuguese exercised any authority or influence, it was always favourable to the spread of faith. The interior of Tamilnadu was influenced by Mughal ruler Akbar with his friendly attitude to all religions, and similarly by Tirumala Nayak and Queen Mangammal of Madurai and the Kathirava Narasmiah Raj Udayar of Mysore. They all allowed the Christian priests to preach freely in their territories and Christianze the people. The last great prince Venkatapathy Deva Rayalu of vijayanagar conquered the kingdom of Vellore in 1604 and as we mentioned earlier, he kept two Jesuit priests in his court. first at Chandragiri and later at Vellore, and allowed them to build a church at Vellore fort. Unfortunately the first Portuguese Jesuits were called back by king Philip lil for their scandalous life and this hindered evangelizing process. Fr. Rubino wrote to the Jesuit general "The Missionaries must adapt themselves to Indian customs". The Period of Renaissance created a spirit of conquest among the Europeans. The period of Reformation certainly helped cleansing the Church structures the clergy, religious and similar organizations from corruption of every kind. Naturally, missionaries who entered India after the above period, were known for their life witness and it was equally a strong factor for Christianity to take solid root in the district of North Arcot Above all, the Master's promise. "I will be with you always, to the end of, the Ages" (Mt. 28:20), was the strongest guiding force for evangelising endeavours of the missionaries of the area.


1.Most Rev. Paul Mariaselvam SDB - First Bishop (1953-1954)

By the Apostolic constitution 'Ex Primaevae Ecclesiae' of 13th November 1952, when the Archdiocese of Madras and the Diocese of Mylapore were amalgamated and made into the Archdiocese of Madras - Mylapore, the southern portion of the Diocese of Mylapore were erected as the Diocese of Tanjavur, while North Arcot District (excluding its two taluks of chengam and Tiruvannamalai which were still under the Archdiocese of Pondicherry), a part of the District of Chittoor i.e the two taluks of Palmaner and Chittoor and the Taluk of Tiruthanni (at present in the District of Chinglepet) were detached from the old Archdiocese of Madras and created as the 'Diocese of Vellore.

The new diocese of Vellore was entrusted to the Salesians of Don Bosco. According to the same constitution. The Most Rev. Paul Mariaselvam SDB, of sacred memory, was appointed the first Bishop of the Diocese of Vellore. He was consecrated on 19th of March 1953.

In the newly erected diocese, many were the difficulties that confronted him. He did not even have a residence to stay. He had to be in a rented house. Practically all the catechists of the diocese had to be paid; new chapels and presbyteries had to be built. The finance was at very low ebb, However, Mary Help of Christians was his guiding Star. With Zeal he set to work. He visited most of the mission stations. His first and foremost attention was to bring a renewal in the teaching of Christian doctrine to the school children and to get good and efficient catechists for evangelization. One could say that he was burnt up by the zeal for souls His premature death on 25th June 1954, was a severe blow to the 'Infant Diocese' and its flock. Within the short span of 15 months as Bishop of Vellore, he endeared himself to all. His mortal remains were placed at the sanctuary of the Assumption Cathedral, Vellore on 26th June 1954.

2. Bishop S.David Marianayagam SDB-Second Bishop (1956-1969)

After the demise of the first Bishop of Vellore, his Vicar General Msgr.S.David Marianayagam SD8 became the Administrator of the Diocese of Vellore from June 1954 onwards. He was appointed Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Vellore. This was informed to the councilors on 14-10-1954. On 5th July 1956 he was nominated as the Bishop of Vellore. His consecration took place on the 9th September 1956. The Most Rev. Dr. Louis Mathias, SDB, Archbishop of Madras-Mylapore, being the Principal Consecrator Bishop.

During the thirteen years of his bishopric, with the motto, 'Let Jesus and Mary Reign', he gave his heart and soul to his flock. He gave new look to the Assumption Cathedral; drew up a programme for the social uplift of a widespread nature. Many catechists were appointed to help in the work of evangelization. Besides, he was responsible for the construction of 7 churches, 50 chapels, 9 presbyteries and 7 convents; he renewed and remodeled many churches and institutions; he saw that a sum of money was given to each parish for social work. All this good work shows his zeal for the spreading of Christ's Kingdom on earth. But on i Wednesday, 16th July 1969 at 3.30 p.m. he died of heart failure in the Bishop's House of Kumbakonam Diocese. The funeral service took place in the Assumption cathedral, Vellore, on Friday, 18th Jul 1969 at 5.00 p.m.

3. Bishop Rayappan Antony Muthu -Third Bishop (1971-1980)

The See became vacant and Msgr.S. Lazar, SDB, as Vicar Capitular, administered the Diocese tƐ ably for 21 months. In an effort to bring the diocesan boundaries in line with the civil district the Taluk of Tiruthani in the District of Chingleput belonging to the Diocese of Vellore was detached from it and added to the Archdiocese of Madras - Mylapore, and the Taluks of Tiruvannamalai and Chengam in the District of North Arcot till then still belonging to the Archdiocese of Pondicherry-Cuddalore were detached from it and added to the Diocese of Vellore. (Decree Prot. No.404/69 1st September 1969 of the Sacred Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples).

On 6" March 1971, The Most Rev. Rayappan Antony Muthu was nominated as the Bishop of the Diocese of Vellore. Was consecrated Bishop on 21st April 1971. In his efforts to help the priests, his co-workers in the parishes, and for the good of souls, he contacted many congregations of sisters and established not less than 24 convents in the Diocese of Vellore. To crown them all he succeeded in getting established Perpetual Adoration Monastery of Sisters of Poor Clare at Rangapuram, Sathuvachary where prayers are offered 24 hours a day for the Diocese. He also erected 17 new parishes. He also saw to the needs of the retired priests in getting a house constructed at Sathuvachary, Vellore.

To provide for the needs of the people who are sick, he built about 21 dispensaries. He also developed the economic condition of the people by providing them with sewing machines, bulls and milch cows and goats and sheep.

Mother and child welfare programme was well organized with the help of C.8.5. it is during his time, by a Decree Prot, No.218/75 dated 20th January 1975. Of the Sacred Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, that the five taluks of the civil district of Chittoor, namely Chittoor, Palmaner, Kuppam, Bangaupalam and Satyavedu belonging to the Diocese of Vellore were detached from it and added to the Diocese of Nellore, Andra Pradesh. From now on the old civil territory of North Arcot district which is now Vellore District and Tiruvannamalai District comprise the Diocese of Vellore. After his untiring work of 10 years, Bishop Antony Muthu of sacred memory was called to eternal reward on the 19th of December 1980. The next day the Diocesan Council met and elected Very Rev. Msgr. 5.T. Ignatius, the then Vicar General of the Diocese to the Vicar Capitular. The Diocese was ably administered by him for 7 months.

4. Bishop S.Michael Augustine-Fourth Bishop (1981-1992)

On the 10th July 1981, Most Rev. Dr. S.Michael Augustine, till then Auxiliary Bishop of Madras Mylapore, was nominated as the fourth Bishop of the Diocese of Vellore. The Installation service took place on 24th July 1981 at 6.00 p.m. in the Don Bosco Middle School Campus at Vellore. Bishop S. Michael Augustine was the Bishop of Vellore for 10 years and 11 months. During his tenure of office about 100 (churches and chapels) were built; 7 new parishes were erected. 6 convents and dispensaries and 3 High Schools were opened. 5 Elementary Schools were upgraded to middle schools. He noticed that Catholics do not hold high positions. To achieve this, He started summer coaching classes for the students who finished school final. This coaching classes helped many people to go for medicine, nursing, engineering and technicians, He has also established a scholarship fund for professional studies. The children should have strong foundation in their education. So he started coaching classes for High School children. The coaching classes were conducted for a month. The whole expenses were met by the projects and Diocesan contributions.

The future of the Diocese depends upon the priests we get. To foster local vocations, he started a minor seminary at Pathiavaram. As the Tamilnadu Bishops decided to have the college education as minimum qualification for major seminary admission, a seminary was started at Koviloor. The students attend Sacred Heart College, Tirupathur. At present, the minor seminary is at Veppoor. Only students who have finished their plus two studies are admitted. After two years of minor seminary course the students are sent to Tirupathur College for degree course. 

“Home for Homeless”. With this view he built houses for the poor people. A loan scheme called Bishop Michael Augustine Teachers Housing Scheme (BMATHS) was started to help the teachers to build their houses. About 650 teachers have benefited by this scheme. With the help of Austrian youth, 4 dispensaries were started in interior villages. A Retreat House is started by 'Foyer de Charite. This is one of the Power Houses. Several Retreats and Seminars are conducted here. The separated brethren too come here for their spiritual renewal. He was transferred as Archbishop of Pondicherry-Cuddalore on 24th March 1992. He remained administrator of Vellore Diocese till 25th June 1992.

When Bishop Michael Augustine took charge of Pondicherry Archdiocese, the Diocese of Vellore became vacant. The Diocesan Consultors had their meeting and elected, Very Rev. Msgr. A.Nambikairaj as the Administrator of the Diocese of Vellore. The diocese was ably administered by him for 20 months.

5. Bishop A.M.Chinnappa SDB-Fifth Bishop (1994-2005)

After 18 months of vacancy, Very Rev. Fr. A. Malayppan Chinnappa SDB, M.A. B.Ed., from K. Pudu Madurai Archdiocese was appointed Bishop the Diocese of Vellore. This good news was announced on 16th December, 1993. He is the fifth bishop of Vellore and 3rd Salesian Bishop. The Episcopal Ordination was held on 25th January 1994. Simon Cardinal Lourdusamy was the main consecrator. All the Bishops of Tamilnadu were present. More than 400 priests were present. A good number of Sisters Religious and lay people were present for the Episcopal Ordination.

When he was appointed Bishop of Vellore, his main priority was "Education for everybody." He tried his best to educate all children, raised funds by scholarship, sponsorship etc. and put up good buildings for the schools. He also upgraded several schools that the children may study in the local school. This has helped to reduce the dropouts.

To cater to the needs of more people in rural areas, 17 new parishes and 2 mission station with resident priests are erected. In 1997, his Sacerdotal Silver Jubilee was celebrated. At that time, the Tamilnadu Bishops' Council meeting was held in Vellore. As remembrance Rs.25/- Lakhs were collected and the interest is used to help as medical aid to the poor people. Widows receive proper care. Care of souls are done with Pastoral Plans. Administrative and Cultural buildings are put up. In 2001, He defended a thesis at Madras University-Chair of Christianity and obtained a Ph.D. (on the Pastoral Methods of missionaries especially Paris Foreign Missionaries and the Salesians of Don [3osco) To provide opportunities for higher education he has invited Sisters of Immaculate Heart of Mary to start University Study Centre, Carmelite Sisters to similar work and the Sisters of Conzaga to start Teachers Training College in different parts of the diocese. Priests, Religious and Laity do receive periodical animation programmes. To cater to the socio economic developments of the people one more Social Service society is established at Tiruvannamalai.

Eradication of Casteism is one of the land marks. The diocesan synod was celebrated between 9-13 September 2003 with "Building relationship in Dialogue" as the main theme In 2002-July 10, one of the Diocesan Priests Most Rev. Dr.L.Thomas Aquinas was appointed bishop of Coimbatore. This is the first one to be raised from the Vellore Diocesan clergy to the Bishopric. His Episcopal Ordination was well attended by the Priests, Religious and laity. The new Assumption Cathedral (as said earlier) stands as historical and architectural monument.

Bishop A.M.Chinnappa SDB was promoted as Archbishop of Madras - Mylapore on 01.04.2005. He took charge of the Archdiocese on 22.05.05. On 23.05.05 the college of consLilters had a meeting in the Bishop's House, Vellore and chose Very Rev.Msgr. M. Joe Lourdusamy, the chancellor, as the Administrator of the diocese. The diocese was ably administered by him for 15 months.

6. Bishop Soundararaju Perianayagam SDB Sixth Bishop (2006-2020)

On 11.07.2006 Most Rev.P.Soundararaju SDB was nominated as the Bishop of Vellore. At the timed appointment he was the Rector at Don Bosco, Gandhi Nagar, Vellore. He is from Peria Kolappalur Parish of the diocese of Vellore. He had been the principal of Sacred Heart College, Tiruppathur. At the time of nomination he was also a member of the college of the consultors of the Diocese of Vellore.

His Episcopal ordination was at Assumption Cathedral campus, Vellore on 24.08.06. In his  Episcopal Ministry, new Churches were constructed in the following parishes: Vettavalam, Peria Kolappalur, Ambur, Nammiandal, Arakonam Arokiamadha-substation. The New Bishop's House was also built as a remembrance of the sacerdotal Silver Jubilee of His Excellency Most Rev.Soundararaju, bishop of Vellore.. Chapels and schools were also opened. 2 new Nursing schools, Loyola College at Vettavalam, B.Ed. College were started. Scholarships were given for the needy students. 38 priests were ordained for the diocese and good number of priests were ordained for various Religious Congregations. Though there is financial difficulty, the work continues with the help of Divine Providence.

Various Diocesan celebrations were held during his period Such as: Year of St.Paul with sound and light programme, Year of the Eucharist, Year of Priests celebrated in Poondi with all the Diocesan and Religious priests. Year of youth and Diamond Jubilee convention were celebrated in a grand manner. Relic of St. Don Bosco was received with devotion by big crowd uf people in many parishes. As the new Code of Canon Law underlines the important place and the role of Vicar Forane, various meetings were held for the Vicars Forane and the consultors who in turn animated the priests and the people at the vicariate level.

A new Presbytery is built at Chetpet Madha Hill and was blessed on 01.05-2008. At present 5 priests are staying there to cater to the needs of pilgrims. Every mouth on full moon day about 15000 people from various places come as pilgrims. Evening mass Procession around the Hill and whole night adoration are held. The vicariate priests also come and help.

Every year, during 5th Saturday of the lent, Diocesan way of the cross is conducted. People, Priests and Religious from all over the diocese participate in it. Bishop leads the way of the cross and Holy Mass concluders the day celebration. About 20,000 people participate in it. It is a Sign of witnessing our faith. The annual feast of our lady Lourdes is celebrated in the month May. Our Bishops is present. People from neighboring diocese also participate in it.

Every year, the feast of St John Maria Vianney is celebrated on 4th August at Madha Hill, Chetpet. All the priests participate in it. Games and competitions are conducted, A Concelebrated mass presided over by our Bishop followed by lunch concludes the feast. Sometimes the senior priests share their experiences of the missionary life.

On the view of our Priests…

Rev. Msgr. A. Nambikairaj

Rev. Fr. Dr. S. Lourduswamy