Kokkada-Madikkeri Mission

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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.