Ashrams

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Alphonsa Ashram

The landed property was bought on 26th July 2011 by the then Provincial Br. Scaria Kalloor with financial assistance from the German and Swiss Provinces. The construction was completed and blessed by Mar Remigios Inchananiyil and inaugurated by Br. Thomas Karingadayil on 7th March 2015. It functions as a small Ashram and Media Center.

Media house Calicut was started in the year 2008 by Brs Xavier Vadakkekkara and George Valiyapadath as a concern of the province under Ember Society. It aimed at promoting value education in our society. In 2017 Media house had to be restructured into a new company named Pavanatma Publishers Pvt Ltd. Pavanatma publishers un- der the brand name Atma books has an extensive network of book supply in all the fourteen districts of Kerala.

60 book fairs including parish book fairs and secular ones were conducted in the last three years. Paramatma publishers is registered as a private limited company having its office at St. Alphonsa Capuchin Ashram, Parayanchery, Kozhikode.

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Alverna Ashram

The Provincial Chapter of 1975 requested the Council to extend Capuchin presence to the Malabar region. The Pro- vincial, Br. Hippolytus, entrusted the work of finding out a suitable place to Br. Alphonse. Br. K. T. James and Br. Thom- as Thumpeparampil helped him in this task.?

The foundation stone of the Ashram was laid by Rev. Fr. Jo- seph Plathottam, on 17th September 1975. The Ashram and the Chapel were blessed on 12th March 1978 by Rt. Rev. Dr. Jacob Thoomkuzhy, Bishop of Mananthavady, as a memo- rial of the 750th anniversary of the death of our Holy Father Francis. The initiation course started here in the year 1981 and was shifted to Portiuncula Ashram Kattappana, in the year 1986.

In 1992, A1vema Ashram became the centre of Orientation Course. A new building was erected for this purpose under the supervision of Br. George Mekkara and it was blessed on 18th June 1992. It was reconstructed again under the supervision of Br. Kurian Chirapurath in order to provide better facilities to the students. The work began in 2002 and the ground floor was blessed in 2003. The construction of the first floor was completed and blessed in 2004. The 2nd and 3rd years of pre-postulancy also were shifted to Alvema Ashram from Bharananganam in June 2005. Later in 2008, the seminary was bifurcated and the first year of formation was shifted to Amalagiri Minor Seminary, Payyannur.

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Amalagiri Ashram

Malabar is a long narrow strip of land divided into North and South. North Malabar was far away from our existing houses. The Thalassery diocese extended over to Karnata- ka State too. Hence, there was urgent need to have an Ashram in North Malabar for ministry as well as promotion of vocations to the Order.

Br. Raymond, the Minister Provincial, with the consent of the council approved the suggestion. Br. Alphonse was en- trusted with the task of finding a plot in North Malabar. Payyannur was found to be a good centre for us. And the present site was chosen by Br. Raymond, Br. Stephen Jairaj, Br. Gerard and Br. Alphonse on 15th October 1981.

The already existing building was turned into an Ashram. It is on the National Highway 17, 3 Kms. south of Payyan- nur town, on Thaliparampu Road. A new Ashram with a chapel was constructed under the supervision of Br. Jacob Kurisinkal. An extension of the existing building was done under the supervision of Br. Paul Kainikkal in 2004. In 2008 this ashram was converted into a formation house and on 6th June 2008, Minister General Br. Mauro Jhori inaugurat- ed the first batch of initial formation here. The Ashram was modified in February to June in the year 2017 and com- pleted in early 2018.

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Assisi Ashram

The initiative to start an ashram at Vadapuram was taken by Br. Francis Ponnumpurayidom. He has been at- Manavi, Karulai for quite a number of years. In view of living and serving as a fraternity, he, in consultation with Rev. Fr. Abraham Nellickal, the Vicar Forane of Nilambur, proposed to start an ashram at Vadapuram which could be the center of our life and ministry in the area of Nilambur. On wider consultation and considerations, Vadapuram was found to be a very good choice for the purpose. Hence the Vice-Provincial Councill decided to carry it out at the earliest. Accordingly, the Vice-Provincial, Br. Stephen Jairaj Koonthamattam, took up the matter with the diocesan authorities on 08/03/2005. Meanwhile, Br. Francis Ponnumpurayidom, in collaboration with the Forane Vicar and local Catholic Leaders were on the lookout for a suitable plot of land. The Vice-Provincial Councill visited Vadapuram and decided on a four-acre plot of land, which was found to be most suitable for our need. On 28th March Br. Vice-Provincial and Br. Francis Ponnumpurayidom negotiated with the owner regarding the price and other matters. Two acres of the property were registered in the name of the Vice-Province and the rest in the name of FCC Mananthavady Province on March 31, 2005. Mar Jose Porunnedom, the bishop of Mananthavady, gave his permission on 12/03/2005 to start an Ashram and a Sunday Mass Centre attached to it.

Br. Francis Ponnumpurayidom was proposed by the Vice- Provincial and was appointed by the bishop as the Priest in- Charge of the Mass-Centre with effect from April 25, 2005. Within a few days Br. Francis Ponnumpurayidom organized the local Catholic community and put up a temporary Chapel and two adjacent rooms. The blessing of the Chapel was on 12th May 2005 and the first holy Mass was celebrated by the Vicar Forane. The construction of the new Ashram is completed within an year. The church took around three more years to complete. It was blessed on 08/08/2010. Our church was constituted into a Parish of Mananthavady diocese on 07/03/2012.

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Calvary Ashram

The landed property measuring 4.4875 Acre was bought on 28-12-2018 by the then Provincial, Br. Thomas Karingadayil with partial help from the Calvary Province, U. S. A. The Provincial Chapter 2019 decided to name it Calvary Ashram in memory of the financial help given by Calvary Province, to buy the plot of land. After the Chapter, Br. Biju Joseph was given the charge of Calvary Ashram. The Provincial Council decided to sell 1. 5 acre of the property to CAPS+DASS Trust to construct Shanthi Bhavan, Home for the poor in it. The remaining 3.4875 acres is expected to become Calvary Ashram at Nellipoil.

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Gethsemeny Ashram

The Council meeting dated 9 November 2019 decided to buy 2 acres of land at Rayarome facing the hill highway. Br. Stephen Jairaj, the Provincial minster and members of the building commission visited the site and finalized the plan of the Ashram. Br. Biju Neelamthara was appointed to be the pioneer at Rayarome.

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Marymatha Ashram

Mar Lawrence Mukkuzhy, the Bishop of Belthangady has been repeatedly requesting our presence and service in the diocese for the past two decades. We have been serving the diocese whenever we could. Being the nearest Syro-Mal- abar diocese adjacent to our Province we always felt the need of helping Belthangady diocese. Several of our broth- ers have been rending pastoral service in the various par- ishes, such as Thottathady, Nelliyady, Sullia, Sampage, Arla etc. Sri Ganesh English Medium School has been run by a Hin- du Trust at Kokkada around 8 kilometers away from Nelli- yady. Since Br. Stephen Jairaj, as he was the parish priest at Nelliaydy was approached by the authorities of Sri Ganesh School with an offer to hand over the School with the landed property. Br. Stephen contacted CAPS+DASS Trust regarding the matter. The Board of Trustees visited Kokkada to study the offer etc. The Board decided to buy the School with con- sent of the Bishop of the diocese. In response to the request submitted to the bishop by Br. Jose Vattukulathil, Managing Trustee of CAPS+DASS Trust, the bishop granted permission to take over and run the school, to start a Home for the poor and to start a convent for Religious Sisters. A team of Clarist Sisters started to live in a rented house at Nelliyady and took charge of the School on 25th May 2016. Br. Stephen, since he has been the parish priest of the area functioned as the manager of Sri Ganesh School. Procedures were initiated to change the name of the School into St. Francis School. In a short time CAPS+DASS Trust obtained government permis- sion for St. Francis High School. Within a few months a new building for the school, a clarist convent and a Home for the poor were begun. A hostel for girls and boys were also added under the supervision of the Clarist Sisters. Meanwhile Br. Roy Joseph Puthenpurackal joined Br. Stephen Jairaj. They shifted residence to St. Francis School Kokkada. Meanwhile St. Francis School, presented the first batch of X class for the public exams. They came out with flying colours: all passed in I Grade with seven state level distinctions. Plus I and Plus II section is getting ready hopefully to begin in June 2020.

Meanwhile the Bishop was particular that we take responsi- bility for the Syro-Malabar Community of Madikkeri town. The Bishop in his letter dated 20/01/2018 requests us to start our presence and ministry at Kokkada and Madikkeri and to organize the Syro-Malabar faithful and start the necessary ecclesial structures and institutions to serve and build up the Syro-Malabar community of the Church. That the ne- gotiations with regard to our ministry beyond kerala has been in progress with the oriental congregation. After hav- ing consulted Br. Mauro Joehri, our Minister General, the Archbishop Secretary of the Congregation of the Oriental Churches His Grace Cyril Vazil S. J. wrote as follows:- It is appropriate that you be permitted to exercise pastoral activities in those Syro-Malabar eparchies outside Kerala wherever the eparchial bishops seek such ministry. You can certainly go outside the territory of your own circumscrip- tion in order to render such service. (Letter of the Oriental Congregation 5th February, 2011) We have been moving in line with these directions. Br. Shibu Neelamthara has been organizing the Catholic Community of Madikkeri, residing in a rented house. Br. Shibu has been quite successful to seek them out and start daily Holy Mass for them. In fact Brs. Roy, Shibu, Ebenezer and Sanu are constituted into a Diaspora fraternity giving pastoral service to Kokkada- Madikkeri Mission.

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Nazareth Ashram

The Provincial council in its meeting Dated 4th July 2019 decided to buy a plot of land for an Ashram between Manjeshwaram and Mavumkal in Kasaragod District. Finally, in its meeting on 15th September 2019, the provincial council decided to buy the plot of land at Ambalathara facing Kanhagad-Panathady Road, adjacent to Snhalayam.

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Padre Pio Ashram

It was in October 2002 the then Bishop of Mananthavady, Mar Emmanuel Pothanamuzhy, requested us to start a Ca- puchin Ashram attached with a parish at Panamaram. Br. Provincial deputed Br. Stephen Jairaj Koonthamattam to find a suitable plot of land at Panamaram. After a great deal of search with the help of Br. Martinian and others, they fi- nally located the present plot of land as the best available plot in the given topography of Panamaram. The sale deed was executed on 3rd July 2003. Due to the untimely demise of Mar Emmanuel Pothanamuzhy, the project could not be further followed up effectively. The Vice-Provincial took up the matter with Mar Jose Porunnedom, the successor of Mar Emmanuel Pothanamuzhy. On March 12, Mar Jose Porunnedom gave us the written permission to establish a Capuchin Ashram at Panamaram and recognized it as a centre for Sunday Mass and pastoral ministry for the peo- ple of the locality. Accordingly, on April 6, 2005 Br. Mathew Elampachanveettil was appointed the Guardian of the Ash- ram. The first meeting of all the solemn professed brothers at Iritty unanimously decided to call Panamaram Ashram as St. Padre Pio Ashram. The two brothers moved to our plot of land at Panamaram on 2nd May 2005 and put up a small temporary Chapel and Ashram in collaboration with the local people. Very Rev. Fr. Jose Kochara, Vicar General of the diocese of Mananthavady, blessed and inaugurated the Chapel and the Ashram on July 3, 2005 with a well-attend- ed solemn liturgical celebration. It is a very beautiful little Ashram, surrounded by a river on three sides and the road to Nadvayal on the fourth side. Br. Kurian Chirapurath su- pervised the construction of a new building for the ashram. Its foundation stone was laid on 15t January, 2009 and it was blessed on 30th Jan. 2010 by Mar Joseph Porunnedom, Bishop of Manathavady. In the year 2012 Br. Paul Kainickal started the construction of Padre Pio Shrine. It was com- pleted and blessed on 2nd February, 2013. Later a building for the sale of religious articles etc. was constructed by Br. Mariadas in the year 2017.

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Padua Ashram

The need to facilitate our ministries in the northern part of Kerala called for a new foundation. In the year 1978 Br. Claude, the then Provincial, entrusted the task to Br. Alphonse. After a long search, the present site was chosen by Br. Alphonse, and Br. Stephen Jairaj. The already exist- ing building was turned into an Ashram. Later, a temporary Chapel, and a Social Centre were built by Br. Gerard. As a response to the repeated appeals from the local public, especially since they had already secured permission from the state Government for an English Medium Primary School, the Provincial Council decided to start an English Medium Primary School in the compound of Padua Ashram in the year 1984. The Provincial Chapter of the year 1987 directed the Provincial Council to hand over the School to someone else. The Chapter was of the majority opinion that English Medium School is not in keeping with the Capuchin charism. Hence ownership of St. Francis School with the newly built building along with the site was handed overto the F. C. C. Sisters of Kozhikode Province in 1987.

A chapel cum hall was constructed under the supervision of Br. Jacob Kurisinkal and it was blessed on 17th January 1993. Our Ashram Church was raised to the status of a parish and was inaugurated by his Excellency Mar Paul Chittilap- pilly, Bishop of Thamarassery during the Eucharistic celebration on 17th January 1999. The ashram building was reconstructed under the supervision of Brs. Mathew Puthoor and John Chollanickal in the year 2004. The church was further expanded in the year 2018 in view of accom- modating the growing parish.

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Sevasadan

The property at Sevasadan was originally donated to the Capuchin Order by the Archdiocese of Kottayam in perpetuum, since we had taken over the responsibility for Prathyasa Bhavan and Amala Bhavan, Homes for the Poor. It was part of the agreement between the Archdiocese and St. Joseph Province. There was already a small house in it. The house was further built and expanded for our use at the expense of the archdiocese in the year 1997. Br. Stephen Jairaj was appointed Director of the Homes for the poor and started to reside in the house on 9th September 1997. It was named Sevasram and was blessed on 11th March 1998 by Mar Kuriakose Kunncherry, the Bishop of Kottayam.

We handed over the house and property to Krist Jyothi General Vice Province with the understanding that Br. General will provide a substitute house and property for Pavanatma Province at Melechovva. The General Vice Province named it Sevasadan.

However, it was not realized even after quite a few years. So the house with the property was returned to Pavanatma Province after some years. From 2012 onwards it continues as an Ashram of the Province with the existing name Sevasadan.

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Sevasram

Sevasram has its origin on 6th September 1997 with the sign- ing of a contract between the Bishop of the diocese of Kot- tayam and Br. Provincial of St. Joseph Capuchin Province, Kerala. Br. Stephen Jairaj has been ministering as the Vicar General for the Malabar region of the diocese of Kottayam. During his term of office, he had started Prathyasa Bhavan and Amala Bhavan for the destitute, wandering beggars both men and woman. When he resigned from the office of Vicar General, the Bishop expressed his desire to have the continued service of the Capuchins in Malabar region and he offered to hand over Prathyasa Bhavan and Amala Bha- van to the Province. The Province has taken upon itself the ministry among the poorest of the poor wandering beggars, victims of HIV / AIDS etc. and the Diocese has handed over in perpetuity 6.21 acres of land distributed in 2 plots, for the service of the poor.

The Provincial Councill appointed Br. Stephen Jairaj on 9th September 1997 as the Director of Prathyasa Bhavan and Amala Bhavan in Kannur. He took charge of these Centres of the Province on 23rd September 1997 and started to re- side in the existing small house at Pallikunnu. It was named Sevasram. After having completed the construction of a few more rooms, Sevasram was formally blessed as an Ashram of the Province on 11th March 1998 by Mar Kuriakose Kun- nachery, the Bishop of Kottayam. The Ashram, along with Prathyasa Bhavan, Amala Bhavan and St. Francis School are established in the Diocese of Kottayam.

We started a home for the abandoned victims of HIV / AIDS in a small house. Since our Province did not have the finan- cial resources to run these centers for the poor by ourselves, it was decided to register a public charitable Trust to enlist the co-operation of the Public. All these services are done in collaboration with Franciscan Clarist Sisters and the gen- eral public and in the name of Capuchin Social and Devel- opmental Action Service Society (CAPS+DASS), which is registered as a charitable trust on 8th December 1997.

After handing over the house at Pallikunnu to Krist Jyoti General Vice-Province, new house at Mele Chovva, retain- ing its name Sevasram, was established and blessed in the archdiocese of Thalassery on 26th September 2001 by Mar George Valiyamattam, Archbishop of Thalassery, and the brothers moved into the new house. Under CAPS+DASS Trust we have the ministry of Prathyasa Bhavan and Amala Bhavan giving shelter to over 150 destitute men and 120 women respectively. Jeevodaya provides a home for about 30-40 HIV / AIDS patients. St. Francis Home for Children takes care of 20-30 babies and children, either total orphans or children of mental patients or HIV / AIDS patients. St. Francis English Medium School provides education for the local people and functions as a contact point with the local elite. CAPS Special School at MeleChovva gives special education to hyperactive and differently-abled children. Franciscan Clarist Sisters, Nazareth Sisters, and Lay volunteers help us to take care of these brothers and sisters. CAPS+DASS Trust runs a medical diagnostic lab and a counseling center at Mele Chovva. CAPS+DASS Trust also maintained a mobile unit for conscientization against the social evils of alcoholism, drug abuse, HIV / AIDS, induced abortion, suicide, communal violence, etc.

On January 7, 2005 the General Council raised the Capu- chin presence in North Kerala to a Vice Province. Sevasram became the Vice Provincialate as decided by the brothers of Pavanatma Vice Province. When the Vice Province was raised into a Province on 3rd December 2009, Sevasram continued to be the Provincialate of Pavanatma Province. St. Francis Church, attached to Sevasram, was already in the year 2004 declared as a parish of Thalassery Archdio- cese. The construction work of a new church began on 10- 03-2007. The work was completed in the year 2009. It was blessed by Mar George Valiamattam, Archbishop of Thal- assery on 21-11-2009.

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