St Benedict

St Benedict

Address:

St. Benedict’s Church
Pattinathapuram
Tuticorin Dt
Pin : 627 116.
Ph.No : 04637-232150.

Brief history:

One of the ancient missions in the southern part of Thoothukudi diocese is Vadakangulam known as “Little Rome”. One of its substations had been Pattinathapuram which is situated in the southern part of Tirunelveli district 5 k.m to the east of Vadakangulam. Historical notes prior to 1889 indicate that the present twin villages of Pattinathapuram and Sivasubramaniapuram are the dwelling places of people who had come from Ramalingapuram. Ramalingapuram was located to the west of Pallavilai which is 1.5 k.m. to the east of Pattinathapuram. The Hindus and Christians of Ramalingapuram suffered poverty because they could not pay tax for their lands. So, they became bonded laborers of the land lords. At that time Fr. William Puje S.J., of the Madurai Mission was the parish priest of Vadakangulam from 1873 to 1874 and then from 1882-1894. He was known as Pattinathar. Realizing the dilemma of these people, he bought the present dwelling place of Pattinathapuram people from Mr. Peria Poomi Azhantha Perumal Nadar in 1888. On the 26th of August 1889 he brought 10 Christian families from Ramalingapuram and 2 families from Koliangulam to settle at Pattinathapuram. This village was named after Fr. Pattinathar. Because Hindus and Christians of Ramalingapuram settled in Pattinathapuram and Sivasubramaniapuram, the former ceased to be a dwelling place. As population increased, the Jesuit priest Fr. Hadrien Causanal laid foundation for a church in 1914. In 1917 Fr. Causanal celebrated the first mass. The church was dedicated to St. Benedict because the foundation was laid on the feast of St. Benedict. Also the then Pope was Pope Benedict XV. In 1921 Fr. Benor established the Eucharist in the church. Fr. Ignatius set up the Stations of the Cross in 1933. In 1937 Fr. Mariadas registered the land in the names of owners. In the time of Fr. Joachim in 1974 commenced the Eucharistic procession. Fr. Maria Gnanam laid foundation for the church on the 26th of November 1969. When Fr. M.S. Antony was the parish priest, Bishop Irudayaraj of Palayamkottai consecrated the church on the 9th of July 1974. A primary school has been since 1917. In 1937 Fr. Mariadas put up another building to the south of the school and put Brother Thomas of the Sacred Heart Brothers in-charge of the school. On the 4th of January 1944 Fr. Joachim built a school to the north of the church and this was enlarged by the priests who succeeded him. Fr. M.S. Antony upgraded this school into a middle school on the 11th of July 1978 and built a new school building. It was blessed by Bishop Ambrose on the 11th of July 1980. By that time 200 families lived at Pattinathapuram. People of Pattinathapuram requested the parish priests of Vadakangulam and Thoothukudi Bishop to make Pattinathapuram as a parish and gave Rs. 1 lakh to maintain the future parish. In the time of Fr. Theophilus a rectory was built. Bishop Peter Fernando bifurcated Pattinathapuram from Vadakangulam and made it into a parish on the 22nd of May 2002 with Fr. V.V. Solomon as the first parish priest. Keelkulam and Chithambarapuram became its substations.

Parish Priests:

Fr. Solomon V.V. 2002-2003
Fr. Mariadas 2003

Patron Saint : St. Benedict
Feast of : July 11

Substations:

Keelkulam
Church constructed in: 1920-2002
St. Antony Church

Chidambarapuram
Church constructed in: 1935-2000
St. Antony Church

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