The Church of Our Lady Of Velankanny is a Passionist Parish belonging to the diocese of Kottapuram, Kerala. It is situated at the shore of Arabian Sea, having 430 families, comprising of Fishermen Community. We took over this poor parish 20 years ago and the people are very loving, kind and deeply rooted in their faith.
The Parish Community consists of three Priests, Fr. Einstein Thyparambil, C.P.as Parish Priest and Fr. Rajan, C.P and Fr. Mejo Nedumparambil, C.P. as Assistant Parish. Personal relationships with one another, Prayer life, support to one another in ministry and respecting the limitations of one another are the key factors in our community life which enables us to grow as good, loving brothers and Passionists.
Our Prayer life is minimal due to Parish activities. The Parish mass is in the morning and we have morning and evening prayer at our chapel and our living together and unity and understanding among ourselves is a witness to Parishioners and our happy community life enables us to engage happily in the Parish ministry.
The Sacramental ministry in the Parish keeps us engaged in day today life. The parishioners’ unshakable faith and their Participation in the church activities boost our faith and adds tremendous meaning to our Priestly life and brotherhood. Our involvement in the sacramental ministry and animation of Basic Christian communities every month helps us to learn more and more about human life and their sufferings. Being the proclaimers of the Cross and our Passionist Charism enables us to be one with them in their sufferings and bring message of hope, courage and strength and comfort to them. The growth of Basic Christian Communities and their active role in the Parish and diocese levels secured the award of best Parish in the diocese this year.
The basic Christian Faith formation is given through Catechism and we have about 470 children studying catechism and the catechism department secured prizes both in Holy Childhood Programmes and Skit competition in the diocese level.
The Construction of the new church was begun in October, 2006 and was completed in September, 2010. With the Support of Koch foundation, Propaganda Fidei, Vicariate and local people’s contribution we were able to complete the construction of the Church and this project brought a sense of belonging and unity among the Parishioners. Today the parishioners are proud of their church and many miracles are happening with the intercession of Our Lady of Velankanny which attracts others parishioners and Hindus to attend Novenas on Saturdays.
The Parish has various groups like;
All these groups are very active and contribute to the spiritual well being of the Parish in every level.
Lay Passionist Movement was started in the Parish three years ago and it plays a vital role in the spiritual growth of the parish. Every month they have classes on Passionist Spirituality, Christian understanding of Suffering, Lentern Programmes and outreach to the poor and abandoned of the society. Various camps like Blood Donation camp, Cancer detection camp, Eye camps, Awareness and safety programmes for fisher men, Donation of eyes after death in collaboration with Little Flower Hospital were organized in the Parish in the last years and Lay Passionist Movement was instrumental in the successful organization of these camps.
As an outreach to the poor, the Parish had a clinic and it was professionally run by the Visitation Sisters for many years. But with the development of roads and Super specialty hospitals in the nearby towns the patients to the clinic was reduced drastically. In the year 2011, in consultation with Visitation sisters the clinic was closed down and sisters have begun a kindergarten for children in 2012.
The clinic building is converted to Sleeha Retreat Centre and the first retreat was conducted for our Minor Seminarians in April, 2013. Various religious groups are coming for retreats in the coming months. The retreat centre is also used by AA group and Charismatic Prayer groups.
The tailoring school building is converted to Sleeha religious articles stall which brings some income to the parish.
Passionist presence is very much appreciated by the people here and the parish gives us enormous opportunities for pastoral ministry. Lack of Education, Alcoholism, Drug addiction seems to be the major problems in the parish and our creative ways of tackling these issues may bring forth changes and a better society in the future.
Altogether it is a happy community and Parish and it provides us an opportunity to grow in our religious life fully and to give ourselves fully to our community and to the Parish.
Fr. Einstein Thyparambil, C.P.
Fr. Rajan, C.P.
Fr. Mejo Nedumparambil, C.P.
OUR LADY OF VELANKANNY CHURCH
MUNAMBAM BEACH PALLIPORT P.O