St. James

St. James


St. James’ Church
Tuticorin Dt
Pin : 628 601.
Ph.No : 04630-255274.

Brief history:

As an ancient pilgrim center, Srivaikumdam has been attracting pilgrims for the past 400 years. After St. Francis Xavier Jesuits who had been serving the coastal parishes with Punnikayal as the center, came into the interior places for evangelization. In the 1600s they built churches at Thirukaloor dedicated to St. Matthew and Srivaikundam dedicated to St. James. This church was fashioned in the form of cross with 3 passages. There was also a cross of stone at one of the sanctuaries. Hence, it began to be known as “Cross church” and in the interior area, this is the first church of this type. On the 24th of July, 1600, the Provincial Superior of the Jesuit province of South India Rev. Nicholas Pimenta blessed and consecrated this church. In 1644 this church was part of the parish of Thirukaloor, which was the center of all the interior parishes. A Jesuit residing at Thirukaloor took care of this pilgrim center. Fr. Andrew Lopez in the Jesuit Report of 1644, mentions that most of these people were paravas who had moved in from coastal area and involved in dry fish business. When the Society of Jesus was suppressed in 1774, Syrian rite priests from Cochin diocese and priests from Goa diocese served at St. James Church. As the Society of Jesus was reestablished, Jesuits of Tholoos province in France came to serve in Madurai Mission. One of them Fr. Louis Thurange took charge of this church. People called him “Small Priest” or Michaelnather. He was buried in the church. As the first church was very small, a big tiled hall was built for the convenience of the pilgrims.

On the 31st of December 1938, Bishop Roche established Srivaikumdam as an independent parish with Fr. D. Gnanapragasam as the first parish priest. In 1989 when the golden jubilee of the parish took place, Fr. Cedric Peries renovated St. James church and put up a nice vestibule. The golden Jubilee of the new church was celebrated on the 24th of July 1992. On this occation Fr. Cedric Peries built a Calvary grotto in the old “Cross church”. The cross which had been worshipped for a long time is fixed the back wall of the grotto.

Parish Priests:

Fr. Victor M.G. 1997

Patron Saint : St. James Church
Feast of the : Flag hoisting July 16; Feast July 25


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