Sacred Heart Cathedral
Pin : 628 001.
Ph.No : 0461-2325711.
Pope Gregory XVI erected madurai as an apostolic vicariate on the 8 th of June 1836 . The pearl fishery coast which formed part of this diocese was entrusted to the Jesuits, from the diocese of Toulouse , France . The priests who came to serve in Tuticorin realized the necessity of a church for their ministry because Our Lady of Snows church had been under the control of priests from Mylapore diocese, belonging to the Portuguese mission. Hence, Fr. Castanier, the superior of the Jesuit province of Palayamkottai , under whose jurisdiction was the pearl fishery coast, with the intention of building a church, bought the land in which the present cathedral is situated, from Mr. Viagula Motha, and built a thatched church. In 1849 Fr. Canos became the new superior. He planned to build a big church in Tuticorin. Complying with his wish, Fr. Cori, who was serving in Tuticorin, laid the foundation of the new church. After he had been transferred to Trichy, Fr. Piccinelli who succeeded him, continued the work. Fr. Canos became in-charge of Madurai vicariate on May 22 nd 1848 . He consecrated the church built by Fr. Picinelli on the 5 th of January, 1849, and dedicated the same to the Sacred heart of Jesus and the Immaculate heart of Mary. Pope Pius IX presented the relics of the Martyr Fidelis to this church. Fr. Canos installed solomnly these relics in a separate altar. Since then St. Fidelis became the patron saint of the city of Tuticorin.
As the construction of the church had not been complete, even after its dedication, a Jesuit architect named Bro. Lamoth worked for three years and in 1864 completed the work. Fr. Martin extended the sides of the church in 1909. This beautiful church was elevated as the Cathedral of the new diocese of Tuticorin in 1923. The first Bishop of the diocese, Bishop Roche in 1948 constructed the steeple. In view of the platinum celebrations of the diocese, the altar was totally renewed. To symbolize the fact that Jesus is the precious pearl of the Pearl fishery coast, the tabernacle is placed as a pearl in a shell. The altar depicting the breaking of the bread was consecrated by Bishop Amalnather, on the 6 th of June 1997.
Rev. Kirubakaran 2001