Sevasram, Melechovva

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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.