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Kovilthottam church

Name of the parish: St. Andrew's church, Kovilthottam, chavara .

Geographical Features: The parish church is surrounded by the west the Arabian Sea, the east the T.S. Canal, the north K.M.M.L MS unit , the south IRE factory. Later due to increase in population people have shifted to adjacent places beyond T.S. canal towards the east. Kovilthottam parish is situated in Panmana � Chavara Panchayat of Karunagapally Taluk in Kollam District. Kovilthottam is a part of the great Christian heritage of Kollam. As per Bishop Benziger's records this parish was founded in 1398. In the history of this parish there is a reference to three Churches. The first Church at Kottankulangara in the name of St. Andrew was founded in 1398. Then there were about 35 Catholic families here. At that time the tradition is that this first Church was referred to as �Karunagapally Palli/Church�. Due to the movement of the Catholics to the north the first Church was shifted to another place, this Church was destroyed in a battle between the King of Travancore and the neighbouring state.

This Church was reconstructed in 1779 by the Franciscan missionary Fr. Yovaki. C. Santiago. Kovilthottam was then under Kodumgaloor Diocese. The beautiful present Church was completed part by part over a period of time.

History of the parish

It is stated in the Catholic directory that just before the advent of Portuguese in Kerala, one church in the name of St.Andrew was established at Kovilthottam in the year 1398. This church is the first in Karunagappally taluk. As such, the church is called �Karunagappally pally� . It is seen from the records that available, that the church is not actually situated at Kovilthottam but at Kunnakal Purayidom of Kottenkulangare a place near to Kovilthottam. Subsequently,due to some reason or other, the church was shifted to �palliyil Purayidom�. It is seen from the book �Franciscans � in India (Pg.82-830) written by Fr. Azehilles Misumam in the year 1943 that the administrative control of the 8 churches in Quilon were vested with Franciscan missionaries. Out of this 8, one church at Kovilthottam. Consequently, because of the war between kings in Travancore state, this church was destroyed by fire and all the records pertaining to the church lost. Hence the present church in the name of St. Andrew was constructed at Kovilthottam just before 1770 with the financial help of Franciscan missionaries under the supervision of Fr. Yovakim D. Sandiyago . It is seen from the records that the Kombria on the name of Virgin Mary, which is one of the oldest in Quilon Diocese, was established on this church on Nov 16 th in the year 1770.

Renovation : The extension of the two-side wing of the church built in the year 1892, and the side roof of the church built in the year 1912 by Fr. Francis Fernandez

Feast day: St. Andrew is one of the disciples of Jesus Christ and brother of St. Peter, who was the first apostle of the Catholic Church. He was martyred during the reign of Nero at Patras on Nov 30 th in the year 60 AD. Here in Kovilthottam we also celebrate the feast on the same day.

Vision statement of the parish: Focus on to the spiritual well being of the people of God. Education is the up most priority to be upheld. Social set up of the people is still to be upgraded.

Mission statement of the parish : To Join the Holy Spirit in exalting Jesus Christ as Lord, as we obey the commands of God's word.To obey the Lord in making disciples of every adult, youth and child for Christ.To encourage, train and equip each believer for their called area of ministry.

To build up and strengthen the members of Christ through prayer and instruction of His word. To join the Lord in connecting other's to the Body of Christ, building a church from house to house, city to city and nation to nation.

Administration of the parish: The administration of the church is vested on the parish priest. To assist the parish priest, the parish council is constituted, electing the members from the parishioners. The council is called � Ajapalana samithy �.

As per the guideline given by the diocese, BCC units are functioning in the parish. There are 61 units in the parish; consisting 15 to 20 families are in each group. The coordinator, who elected from the parishioners, is organizing the activities of the entire unit. In every unit, there is one Animator, one secretary and one treasurer. Animator of the unit has to co-ordinate the meeting. These units assembles once in a week in one of the family members house, in a rotation basis and conduct prayers as per the guide line published in the diocesan Magazine Viswadharmam . Each unit submits their report at he monthly animators meeting and gets approved by the parish priest.

A small contribution is raised in each BCC units, which is being utilized as marriages of the poor people, help at the time of demise in family members.

Adoration of Blessed Sacrament on every Friday evening and also Sunday mass being lead by one of the BCC units every week in a rotation basis. Just on the eve of Friday, parish priest visit that particular unit, bless all the houses of the family members of the units and give necessary instruction as to how to conduct the prayers at the time of Adoration on Friday evening and also Sunday mass.

All the major activities of the church are conducted under the full cooperation of the BCC unit with the help of animator and also with coordinator

As a routine manner, confession is given on 1 st Friday and also other weekdays. Baptism is given on every Sunday after mass. First communion is given to children on all the important feast days except otherwise it is warranted. Last confirmation was held in this parish on�

The religious status of the parish: It is only a parish church. The people closely associate with spiritual activities. Attendance of the church for the daily mass is praise worthy and on Sundays full involvement of the parishioners is there. Apart from this, the parishioners take active part in various other activities like Bible group study and also youth movements like KCYM, Jesus Youth, Vincent De Paul society etc.

Number of families, the socio-economic and cultural features of the parish: There are about 1500 families affiliated to this parish church. Fishing is the main occupation of the people. Economically the people are poor and most of them are comes under poverty line. Some are servicing people and rest is retired hands.

Activities of the church .: Daily mass, Sunday classes, activities of different groups. Important church activities are: To instill religious bindings on the people as community. To propagate the preaching of Jesus Christ among them. Devotional societies like, CLC, Franciscan order, Vincent De Paul Society, KCYM, Jesus Youth etc are functioning in the parish. Formation of children and Youth: Apart from the Sunday Classes conducted to teach the children, there are few youth organizations like KCYM, Jesus Youth, Vincent De Paul etc. are functioning in the parish

Feasts of the parish

The feast of St. Andrew, the patronof the parish is celebrated on Nov 30 th in every year.
The confraternity feast of Virgin Mary is celebrated on the last Sunday of September in every year.

The feast of St. Sebastian and the feast of Lourde Mata also celebrated in every year.

Apart from this, an annual retreat is being held in every year.

Socio pastoral priorities of the community: coastal security �samathy' is functioning under the patron of the parish priest to safeguard the interest and welfare of the people. The president of the samathy is the ward member of the panchayat. All the political parties including representatives of the parishioners construct the samathy.

Important activities and main projects of the parish presently undertaken: Renovation of the church is going on briskly, as the church is very old and in a dilapidated condition. At present the Mass is being done in the community hall adjacent to the church, which cannot accommodate the entire congregation.

Institutions subordinate to or in the locality of the parish

St. Legory's LP school and LKG unit are working under the control of the parish priest.
A convent by name Lourde Matha is functioning in the parish with their Higher Secondary English Medium School.

Historical data of the chapel: At Kulangara Bhaghom a shrine was constructed in the name of Velakkanni Matha under this parish church, and the people used to assemble there to pray. For due course the number of devotees increased and the shrine was raised as a chapel. Consequently, permission was accorded to the parish to offer evening Mass on every Wednesday and subsequently Sunday Mass also at the chapel.

Vocations in the parish: By the Grace of Almighty God the vocational calls are in good number. Priests from the parish are working in Quilon diocese and in different congregations. Besides this a number of nuns belonging to the parish are also working in different convents under the Quilon Diocese and other parts of the country and abroad.


Fr. Dionysius C. Antony,St. Andrew's church,Kovilthottam,Chavara (PO),Kollam

Tel- 0476-2686208
Former pastors of the parish:

Fr. Yovachim D. Santhiyago 1770-1879

Fr. Peter Moris 1911-1912

Fr. Francis Alvarus 1779

Fr. Francis Fernandez 1912-1913
Fr. Luves Ker Netto 1818
Fr. Jerome Fernandez 1913-1914
Fr. Mathew Nelluveli 1881-1883
Fr. John A. Netto 1914-1917
Fr. Michael Netto 1883-1884
Fr. Lean Miranda 1917-1919
Fr. John 1884-1887
Fr. George Karikuzhi 1919
Fr. Thoma 1887-1899
Fr. Bernard Fernandez 1919-1923
Fr. John A. Netto 1899-1901
Fr. Simon S. Gonsago 1923-1936
Fr. Michael Jackson 1901-1905
Fr. Mark P. Fernandez 1933- 1934
Fr. Joseph Piris 1905-1910
Fr. Marcilin Moris 1934-1939
Fr. David Fernandez 1910-1911
Fr. Bernard Benjamin 1939-1946
Fr. Vallarian M. Fernandez 1946-1956
Fr. Andrew Eugene 1990-1992
Fr.Michael M. Netto 1956-1968
Fr. Sebastian Sefernose 1992-1997

Fr. Elias Varghese 1968-1972

Fr. John G. Fernandez 1997-1999
Fr. Christopher Moris 1972- 1983
Fr. Hubert Fernandez 1999
Fr. Joseph Moris 1983-1984
Fr.Antony John 1999-2003
Fr. Christy Daniel 1984-1987 Fr. Joseph Detto 2003
Fr. Jesudas K.J. 1987-1990
© 2005 ++ Quilon Diocese++. All rights reserved

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