Vellore Diocese

Legion of Mary

With the immense blessings of the Blessed Mother Mary, the Legion of Mary was started in the year 1940 with a Presidium at Vellore.  With the active participation of the Legionaries, similar Presidiums were started in several Parishes.  In the year 1970, the Presidium in Vellore Parish was elevated to the level of Curia, governing all the Presidiums in the Diocese.  With the steady progress and enthusiasm that prevailed among the Legionaries and with the dynamic guidance of the parish priests who are the Spiritual Directors of the Legion in the respective Parishes, Vellore Diocese saw the elevation of the “Curia” as “Committium” in the year 1977.  Late Most Rev. Dr. Anthonimuthu, the then Bishop of Vellore inaugurated the Commitium with Rev. Fr. D. Maria Joseph, the then Spiritual Director and late Rev. Fr. M. Arokiasamy, as the Cathedral Parish Priest.   

Growth: With the appreciable involvement of the office bearers, particularly late Bro. Harry Antony, a long-standing President and the devotion and the love shown by the Legionaries,  Diocese saw a radical growth under the spiritual guidance of the successive Bishops, particularly the present Bishop Most Rev. Dr. P. Soundararaju and the spiritual directors of the Legion.  At present, the Diocese is flourishing with the Legion of Mary Commitium in Vellore, Cathedral Parish, 11 Curia in Parishes like Arakkonam, Thiruvannamalai, Ranipet, Katpadi, Chetpet, Vettavalam, Vandavasi, Santhavasal, Tirupattur, Polur and Mazhuvankaranai and a total number of 75 Presidiums functioning in Parishes, including 12 Presidiums directly attached to the Committium.

Aim: The motto of the Legion of Mary is purely in spirituality aimed in “Self Salvation and Salvation for others”.  With Mother Mary, as their Leader, the Legionaries arm themselves with prayer and service and practicing the virtues like obedience, humility, mortification, chastity, love for God and others, patience, faith and serve for the Kingdom of Lord Jesus.  The Legionaries do appreciable service in Parish level and render full co-operation to the Parish Priests on various fields both spiritual and day activities like visiting patients in hospitals as well as in residences, teaching Catechism, preparation for communion and marriages, taking leading parts in Basic Christian Communities (Anbiyams) and Parish Councils, conducting festivals at Parish level etc.

Functioning: Every Presidium is conducting a meeting every month at Parish level, and the office bearers are attending a meeting at Curia level and the office bearers of the Curia are attending a meeting held in the second Sunday by the Committium at Diocesan level.  Parish Priests, who are spiritual directors, attend these meetings at various levels, regulating their activities.  The office bearers of Committium and Curia visit the Presidiums in their respective areas and guide the Legionaries and encourage them in their services.  The Presidiums are sending reports to the respective Curia on quarterly basis and the Curia are sending reports to the Commitium once in four months.  These reports on their performance are scrutinized and instructions are given if necessary.  


  • May Devotion in all the parishes is animated and organized only by Legionaries. Each day in the month of May, there will be decorated Car Procession of our Lady around the village with recitation of Rosary, public reading of Marian miracles, Litany of our Lady and followed by solemn mass at the Grotto. 
  • The First Saturday of every month is celebrated in honour of our Lady and the Legionaries largely participated in the procession and Mass 
  • Legionaries visit families and pray rosary in the Month of October
  • In the month of November, Legionaries gather at the graveyard of the parish, and offer rosary for the departed souls. In a special day, they would invite the local parish priest and celebrate mass at the graveyard for the departed souls.
  • In every Lenten season, Legionaries would undertake a Lenten Pilgrimage in which they would visit 14 churches, shrines in various parts of Tamil Nadu. The 14 stations of the Way of the Cross would be meditated at 14 churches. It would culminate in Diocesan Way of the Cross at Our Lady of Lourdes Shrine, at Chetpet in the 5th Sunday of the Lent.
  • Sunday pilgrim is undertaken by each Committium and Presidium occasionally in which Legionaries would visit a parish, especially village parish and visit all the families
  • Holy Hour is often conducted for Legionaries separately
  • Renewal training for Legionaries is organized periodically to renew their commitment
  • Legionaries of the particular presidium would gather once in week and visit the patients in the nearby hospital and houses with recitation of rosary. They also assist local parish priest in distributing communion to sick on Fridays.
  • Legionaries would take part in the funeral and burial of parishioners without fail
  • In many parishes, Grotto to our Lady has been built with the material help of Legionaries. 
  • Every Presidium, Curia and also the Committium is celebrating the “Annual Day” coupled with Rosary and Holy Mass.
  • Every Presidium, Curia and the Committium is celebrating the `Access Festival’ every year during which the Legionaries renew their vows to our Lady, followed by Holy Mass.
  • Legionaries take special interest and responsibility in conducting the “Popular Mission” Retreat by the Vincentian fathers in their parish.
  • Every Presidium, Curia and also the Committium is celebrating the “Annual Day” coupled with Rosary and Holy Mass.
  • For the welfare of the destitute widows in the Diocese, the Legionaries organize `Welfare Fund for the destitute widows’ and help widows through parish priest.
  • Qualified Legionaries help parish priests in teaching `Catechism’ to students on all Sundays after Holy Mass.
  • Legionaries have assisted the `Easter Blessing’ of residential houses every year, after Easter in their respective residential areas. 
  • Legionaries help parish priest in the preparation of children for First Holy Communion and Confirmation. They also help in rectification of marriage.
  • Legionaries distribute Rosaries and Holy Pictures of our Lady to the families both Christians and Hindus besides teaching them how to say Rosary.

Society of St. Vincent de Paul

  • Vellore Central Council consists of Vellore and Thiruvannamalai districts. Before 1978, in Vellore Diocese only 3 conferences of this society were functioning.  
  • On 11.11.1985 with 11 conferences a separate administrative society of St. Vincent De Paul was began. In 1990, a separate administrative society in Tiruvannamalai with 13 conferences, and in 1992 a separate administrative Society in Chetpet with 10 conferences of this society were started. 
  • With the best efforts of Bro. Rhangaraj and Bro. Joseph Pandian the former national Presidents of this society, with 32 conferences, Vellore central council came up on 10.12.1995. 
  • The former Bishop of Vellore, Most Rev, A.M. Chinnappa SDB appointed Bro. Anthony Kempuraj as the first president of this central council. After that many conferences were started. For better administration 5 Vicariate councils were started in 2003.   
  • At present totally there are 8 Vicariate councils: Vellore Tiruvannamalai, Chetpet, Tiruppatur, Katpadi, Polur, Vettavalam and Thanipadi. Total number of councils – 89, Twinned councils 41.


  • Vincentians help the local parish priest in various pious and social activities of the parish. Their contribution is much appreciated by our diocesan priests in many parishes.
  • They adopt few families in each parish help them in many ways like construction of house, sponsorship to the children, material help to the sick.
  • For the growth of adopted families, many small scale projects are going on in rotation like rearing of milk cows and goats, giving material support to put up petty shop, vocational training centres like Tailoring, Typewriting, Embroidering and computer based trainings.
  • Text books and uniforms are given to poor children through local parish priest in the month of June. Tuition fees of some poor students are met by Vincentians in some parishes.
  • They organize a separate scheme for the livelihood of poor Widows
  • They also meet the medical expenses of poor patients in the parish. An Out- Patients’ lodge in memory of Doctor Van Reiter has been launched in Vellore central council. The approximate estimate of this project is Rs. 25,00,000/- with nine rooms in this house. Poor patients who came to Vellore can stay in this house with less rent and get treatment as out-patients. 

Anbiyams (Basic Christian Communities)

Almost all the parishes of our diocese have Basic Christian Communities (BCC) which periodically gathers for sharing of faith experience. These are the main centres to impart Christian formation, Christian morality and teachings of Magisterium. People with their children gather together in a common place in their living place and share their faith experience.

Youth Movements

  • Diocesan Youth Commission comprises of Young Christian Students (Y.C.S.) movement, Young Students’ Movement (Y.S.M.). These are the two groups established to impart Christian faith in the minds of young boys and girls. The Secretary of the Youth Commission who is a full-time minister for youth apostolate, animate these movements. He goes in round regularly visiting the schools and parishes. 

Almost all the Diocesan and religious Higher Secondary and High Schools have one or more YCS/YSM units under the able guidance of a religious brother or sister as its animator. These units are well coordinated and they have regular meetings or seminars. Besides, the school-going children, the rural youth are also being taken care of through motivation meetings and employment schemes.