Padre Pio Ashram, Panamaram

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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.