As soon as the new St Joseph Province Kottayam came into existence in the year 1978, there started some attempts to develop a mission region around Madurai in Tamil Nadu. The purchase of a plot of land (about 16 acres) near the town of Theni on the Cumbum-Madurai High way was the first step towards this end. It was Fr James Aerthayil, Provincial and Fr Lukose Parayaruthottam, Secretary for finance, who purchased the land. They were helped by Fr Mathew Athiyamkulam and Fr Sebastian Mampuzhackal. Fr Mathew Anthyamkulam, who served as Director of the Centre for six years, did some useful work in the field of Social Service planning and implementing a housing project, known as T-Light 2000. The growth of our work in Theni, especially in the field of education, was set in motion by Fr George Edayadiyil, Secreatry for Education and Fr Joshy Thadiyananickal, Prefect of the house. It was they who started the now famous Mary Matha School in 1999. The second phase of the development of the school started when Fr Johny Anappara served as prefect and principal. Recognition of Standard X and XII was obtained during his tenure. Inauguration of the new school building was a big event presided over by Paneer Selvam, a prominent political leader of Tamil Nadu. A hostel was also started by Fr Johny Anappara. His service covered a period of four years. There has been a steady increase in the number of the students in the past few years due to the quality of education we have been imparting. Our school now holds the first rank in the district. The strength of the students stood at 1650 in June 2009. The faculty has 76 and the non-teaching staff has 35 members. They are doing an outstanding job under the guidance and leadership of Fr Michael Anakkallumkal, Principal, and Fr James Aerthayil, Director. A state-of-the-art kindergarten school and first storey of the boarding house, which can accommodate 100 students, were blessed by Fr Sebastian Elanjickal, Provincial, on 15 June 2009. The new auditorium was inaugurated on 15 July 2009.
The purchase of a 40 acre plot of land, 30 kilometers to the east of the town of Theni, is an important event of the Theni Mission. It is a valley between two hills in the forest, an ideal spot for solitude and prayer, so it was aptly called “Thapovanam”. The land was purchased on the initiative of Fr Joseph Thondipura when Fr job Vallippalam was the Provincial. Fr Kurian Perumppallikunmnel lived here as a hermit for three years. He built three strong cottages, sank a deep well for irrigation and planted some trees and nurtured them. When Fr James Aerthayil and Fr Lukose Parayaruthottam became Provincial and Secretary for finance respectively in 2005, they decided to make full use of the land for cultivation. About one thousand mango and as many coconut saplings were planted. In 2009 a good number of mango trees bore fruit.
Fr Joseph Ayathamattam, Director of VIKAS Social Service Organization, began to buy some plots of land in Theni for the society from 1993 onwards. By 1997 the society was in possession of 125 acres of land. Fr Ayathamattam had cashew and tamarind trees planted. The society sold the land to St Joseph Province, Kottayam for a reasonable amount of money and deposited it in its own account. Situated near the Medical College and by the side of the High Way, the property is a valuable asset and an ideal site for construction.
The purchase of a college ( Jayaraj Chelladurai College) in Periyakulam, on the Theni-Kodaikanal High Way, near the town of Theni, is an important milestone in the progress and development of our Theni Mission. Fr james Aerthayil, Director and Fr Michael Anakkallumkal, Principal, Mary Matha Higher Secondary School, held negotiations with the owner(s) of the college. The price was fixed in the negotiations presided over by Fr Sebastian Elanjickal, Provincial, in March 2009. On 29 May 2009 sales agreement was signed by Fr Provincial. Apart from the strong college building with all the equipment and 15 acres of land, hostel building, chapel, two residences also come under the purchase. Fr Isaac Puchamkulam who was serving as lecturer at Kristu Jayanti College, Bangalore, was appointed principal of the college. Fr James Aerthayil is the correspondent. The fund for the purchase was made available by Kristu Jayathi College, Bangalore through the Bodhi Nikethan Trust. The generous co-operation and timely help of Fr Jose Parekkattil, superior and Fr Josekutty Padinjarepeedika, Principal, Kristu Jayanti College, have been decisive in the whole transaction. The P.G courses proposed to start in Periyakulam College are of Kristu Jayanthi College. When all the formalities are over, the name of Periyakulam College is going to be changed to Mary Matha College.
Copyright © CMI St.Joseph Province, Kottayam 2017. Designed & Developed by Claveland Technologies Pvt. Ltd.