Ambazhakad Church and Its History

The history of Nadavaramba St. Mary;s Assumption Church traces back to 1883. As a small community of 34 The history of the parish of Ambazhakad traces back to the early centuries of Christian presence in Kerala. Ambalakad later known as Ambazhakad was the chief locus of the early Christian Community formed by the evangelization of St. Thomas the Apostle of India. Imbibed by the Spirit of faith from St. Thomas, the fore-fathers of this vicinity intensely desired to have a church of their own for divine worship in the 2nd Century A.D. But due to the unhelpful and contrary circumstances, the construction of a Church became a distant reality. However in the year of the Lord 300 a church was constructed in the land which was donated by a Namboodiri (an Upper Caste Hindu) of Ambazhakada Mana. During the Coonan Cross Oath (1653) this church was under Kodungallur Archdiocese.
In 1663 due to the Dutch Invasion Portughese Empire declined. Soon the Jesuits transposed the Vaippicotta Seminary to Ambazhakad (Sambalur). A house of Jesuits, Vidyapeeth (St. Pauls’ College) and besides these institutions a seminary for Christians of St. Thomas were started by the Jesuits. Arnos Pathiri (John Earnest Hangsildon from Hungary) was an inmate of this institution. He received his ordination and wrote his famous poems and Astrological studies while he was here. Many early important works in Tamil and Malayalam were printed in the Press (Achukoodam) established here.
Forane
In the year 1944 Mar George Alappat erected Ambazhakad Church as a Forane bifurcating from the Chalakudy Forane. Obviously some churches that belonged to the part of Chalakudy Forane became the part of this Forane.
Reconstruction of the New Church
The long straight Fort from Krishnankotta to Pazhukara was built by King of Travancore. The Church of Ambazhakad was adjacent to it. This caused a great fear in the minds of the parishioners. In the year 1789-90, the Ambazhakad Church and the Seminary was destroyed thoroughly by the invasion and the intrusion of Tippu Sultan. After this miserable incident a new Church was reconstructed. The three stone crosses built in connection with this reconstruction remains as the lively memory of the traditional faith of the people here. After 200 years again, the Church was reconstructed under the leadership of Fr. Joseph Kizhakkumthala. On 13th March 1971, the New Church was consecrated. In the year 1995, under the leadership of Fr. John Aricatt the Altar and the Madbaha were renovated and blessed. In 2009 under the leadership of Fr. Anto Thachil the renovation work was done. The present modified and beautified Church with more conveniences was re-consecrated on 26th September 2009. Puthenchira, Chalakudy, Koratty, Mala parishes were once a part of this parish. Therefore one can very well conclude about the antiquity and richness of the tradition of the parish.
Religious Houses
The St. Theressian CMI Monastry of Ambazhakad (Kottackal Koventha) established in the year 1868 and CMC Carmelite Convent at Vynthala started in the year 1897 were the important religious houses of this parish. Now the CMC Convent is under Vynthala Parish.
Santhome Samaritan Convent
Santhome Convent on the Eastern side of the Church belonging to the Congregation of Samaritan Sisters was blessed by His Excellency Mar James Pazhayattil on 26th May 2004. The Nursery School which was at foundation was run by the parish and is now under the administration of Reverend Sisters. A Social Centre is also under their construction. Their service is very beneficial for the parish.
School
The L.P. school formed in the year 1903 is under the management of the parish. Mar James Pazhayattil blessed the reconstructed school on 8th December 2008.
Chapel
The old Chapel which belonged to the St. Antony’s Bala Bhavan was given to the parish in 1981. Later it was renovated by Kanichai Jose Trust. We can also see the Cross Statues in the different parts of the parish.
Bala Bhavan and Sanjo I.T.C.
St. Antony Bala Bhavan established in the year 1925 imparts education and training to 150 poor students.
The Nursery School which was founded in the year 1970 under the auspices of Bala Bhavan is an institution to care the kids. In 1985 Sanjo ITC which was established under the Social Action Forum of the Eparchy of Irinjalakuda is in this precinct.
Nazareth Retirement Home
Understanding the needs of the times the Udaya CMC Province started a home for the Retired persons. The following types of persons are admitted in this home. The married or unmarried female Catholics or those who cannot move ahead their lives due to the deplorable situations in the family are admitted here. Their age should be above 55 and their conduct and character should be good. For such women they provide a calm and serene situation to lead a peaceful life. For food and lodging, the inmates are requested to pay a determined amount as capital fee.
On 15th August 1984 the foundation stone was laid for this edifice. On 15th August 1985 Mar James Pazhayattil blessed this home. On 9th March 1999 foundation stone was laid for a new building. On 31st July 2000 Mar James Pazhayattil blessed this house.
St. Joseph Aged Home
On 14th January 1932, the then Bishop gave permission to build an old age home for the poor people. The work progressed under the leadership of Fr. Thomas Thattil Chettupuzhakaran, an upright personality who was the chaplain of the Carmelite Sisters (CMC) of Vynthala. It was constructed in memory of the sacerdotal Silver Jubilee of Mar Francis Vazhappilly. The Bishop gave permission to build an orphanage for the old people on the southern side of the Convent and he himself laid the foundation stone. The Reverend Chaplain with his own funds completed the work of this house. On 14th January 1933 the Bishop blessed the old age home. For convenience sake in 1974 the building was shifted to Puliyilakunnu. Fr. George Chittilappilly the Forane Vicar gave the lead for the construction work and on 15th December 1975 Fr. Joseph Kundukulam blessed this edifice.

In Brief

Parish

:

Ambazhakad Forane

Forane

:

Ambazhakad Forane

Construction of First Church/Filical Church

:

AD 300

Consecration of the First Church

:

AD 300

Presbytery

:

.

Consecration of the renovated Church

:

13.03.1971

School of the Parish

:

1

Convent / Religious House / Institute

:

3

Family Units

:

31

Catholic Families

:

1200

Catholic Population

:

5210

Priests Parish

:

15

Religious Sisters

:

70

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