History of St. Mary Church, Kothanur
In 1992-1993, 8.5 acres of land was purchased by Rev.Fr. Jose Valiyamattam (belonging to the Carmelites of Mary Immaculate of St. Joseph Province, Kottayam) from the natives of Narayanapura and Nagenahalli village. The motive behind purchasing this land was to establish an educational institution and bring about a possible transformation among individuals, families and society at large.
The need to enhance and deepen the faith life through regular ecclesial life based on the Word of God is vital. To encourage the participation of the lay faithful in the celebration and worship of the Eucharist as a true exercise of faith and of the baptismal dignity, Rev.Fr Jose Valiyamattam CMI, initiated Holy Mass.
Primarily Holy Mass was celebrated in English as the families attending the Holy Mass hailed from different linguistic background. In a couple of months, the number of the congregation grew exponentially to approximately 50. Gradually Mass was conducted in both Englis and Malayalam. The first Mass in Latin rite in English was at 7:20 a.m. This was followed by the second Mass in Syro- Malabar rite in Malayalam at 9 a.m. Though Catechism classes in English were taken care of, after the mass by the brothers, who came to assist Rev.Fr Jose Valiyamattam, it was not regular. Catechism classes were re-introduced effectively from July 3rd 2005, under the competent guidance of Fr. Isaac Poochakulam CMI. Divine Providence miraculously guided and strengthened the community to carry out the salvific work of Christ and at present mass is conducted in the auditorium of the college and Holy mass in English is celebrated daily at CMI chapel.
The priestly ministers of Jesus Christ, invested with the character and grace of the Sacrament of Orders, voluntarily embarked on to serve the laity in the Church. The mantel of leading the community moved from Rev.Fr. Jose Valiyamattam to Fr. Isaac Poochakulam CMI, Fr.Augustine George CMI, Fr.Lijo Thomas CMI., to the present vicar Fr.Emmanuel Poovathinal CMI. All the Fathers and brothers of the CMI Ashram led by Fr.Josekutty P.D. CMI wholeheartedly helped from the inception to sculpt the Eucharistic Community to its present form.
Initially, the Eucharistic Community functioned as a substation of St. Francis Assisi Lingarajpuram Bangalore. Our parent parish showered a lot of support to nurture this community and we are thankful for the guidance and support they provided.
To enable the Eucharistic Community to give an outstanding example of community apostolate- the liturgical celebrations in the church are focused on the mystical nature of the liturgy. Family prayer is the first place of our prayer education. Introduction to faith and prayer at home is emphasized through Homilies and Catechism classes. Family book and Family directory initiated by Fr.Augustine and by Fr Lijo respectively is still maintained to identify the demographic details of the community.
The community was elevated from a Eucharistic community to an independent parish in 2017 by His Excellency, the bishop of Mandya, Mar Antony Kariyil in a multihued auspicious ceremony. The event was welcomed by parish members and garnered wide participation.
As the community grew in fellowship, the need for having a place of worship gathered momentum. Keeping in mind the religious aspirations of the parishioners to buy a plot and construct a church, an earnest effort was initiated, during Fr. Augustine's time and this gained impetus during Fr. Lijo’s tenure as the vicar.
In 2016, when Fr. Emmanuel took charge of the parish, the discussions gained further thrust and various committees worked together with the parish trustees to identify a land very close to the Ashram. The location was unanimously approved by all the parishioners. The plan, elevation, selecting architects and builder was agreed after lengthy, efficient deliberations.
Isaiah 28:16, ‘therefore this says the Lord God: 'Behold, I lay in Zion a stone for a foundation, a tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation.’ As we usher in 2021, we are indeed grateful to our Lord Almighty for blessing us with a wonderful spiritual guide in the form of our vicar Fr. Emmanuel Poovathinal CMI (Manu Achan) under whose leadership we have as a community successfully built a place of worship.
The blessing ceremony of our church will be held on 13-Feb-21.
Let us pray and work so that our community as a catalytic channel, may continue to be living, loving, worshipping and a witnessing church..