ST. Lourd Annai Church, Punnai Nagar
Welcome To The Official page of Church Of Our Lady Of Lourdes, Punnai Nagar, Nagercoil
The Church of Our Lady of Lourdes was blessed and officially opened in 1953.
Our Lady of Lourdes is a title of the Blessed Virgin Mary invoked by Roman Catholics in honor of the Marian apparitions.
This is a Tamil Catholic RC church in Nagercoil, Tamil Nadu, India.
Today, the Church is used, up to a point, for the purpose for which it was built, i.e. as a worshipping place for Tamil Catholics. However, over the last decade, and in the interests of a multi-racial nation, it has welcomed Catholics of all races. Masses are held in Tamil and English.
The diocese of kottar was bifurcated from the mother diocese of Quilon comprising of Tamil Linguistic regions namely Kottar, Colachel, Mulagumoodu and Tiruthuvapuram vicariates by the then pope His holiness Pius XI on may 26th 1930. His excellency Lawerencee Perira belonging to Kollam diocese took charge as the first bishop of the diocese of kottar. At that time there were around one lakh catholics in the newly formed Kottar Diocese.
Panchavankaadu Kurusady St. Antony’s Church was an important church affiliated to vadakankulam parish in the diocese of kottar. This church was affliated to kottar St. Xaviers cathedral as a substation for quite some time. The people in and around Kurusady were using St. Antony’s church for their faithful and pious activities. As there were a number of small hamlets around kurusady this resulted in congestion during ceremonies. Due to this the catholics of around 22 hamlets around kurusady had an intention of forming their individual church in the respective localities. Their quest for a new church fruitified by the installation of St. Antony’s church Kurusady as a separate parish and the 22 hamlets as substations under the above parish. One among them was Punnakattuvilai Church.
During that period their were around 13 Joint Families in Punnakattuvulai. All the Catholics from the substations had to attend the parish church at Kurusady for Sunday Mass, Marriage Mass, the Sacrament of Ceremony and other liturgical ceremonies by walk. The Punnakattuvilai catholics due to their affection and attachment towards Mother Mary, especially Our Lady of Lourdes, intended to form a church. As a first step in between A.D 1939 and 1946 they formed a prayer cell in a thatched shed in the present campus. They regularly performed rosary and other prayers in the above shed. In A.D 1946 with the permission of king of Travancore, the Punnainagar villagers extended the prayer cell with a tile roofed church of their own hard work.
During the initial days, Water scarcity was an acute problem faced by the 13 Joint Families affiliated to the Punnainagar Church. They had to even walk upto kurusady for fetching drinking water. Hence they decided to desilte the existing well with more depth which was accomplished the help of the divan of the then Trivancore Kingdom. Due to the efforts of the then parish preist of Kurusady Rev. D.C. Antony and Parisheners the then bishop of kottar his excellency Bishop Dr. Agniswamy permitted to perform the first Holy mass in the Church of Our Lady of Lourdes in the morning of 22/11/1953. During this time the Parishners were charged subscription of 8 anas per year.
In 1962, a church bell of 150 pound weight was purchased and installed on a concrete bell tower. In the same year, it was decided to erect a holy flag mast of concrete and the same was accomplished in the year 1964 and it is being used till now. A primary school was functioning under the church with government grant at the Punnainagar junction where the St. Jude's Shrine is presently located. In the year 1964, the foundation stone was laid for the punnainagar R.C Primary School and the works were completed in 1969 and the school was shifted to the present location.
Since 1970 to 2007, Punnainagar Church was affiliated to Carmel Nagar parish as a substation. In 1976, the shrine of St. Jude's Shrine was constructed at the Punnainagar Junction and blessed by then Parish Priest Rev. Fr. I. Carmel. In 1979, an overhead tank for storing drinking water along with a 5 HP pump was arranged to solve the drinking water problem. In the same year the foundation stone was laid for the new church by his Excellency Dr. M. Arockiasamy, Bishop of Kottar. The above church was consecrated by the same Bishop on 30/5/1962. In 1991 the foundation stone was laid for the construction of shopping mall adjacent to the St. Jude's Shrine and opened to the public immediately after the construction was over in the year 1995. Also in the same year the foundation stone for the present priest’s house was laid by the then bishop His Excellency Dr. A. Leon Dharmaraj. The same was opened on 16/4/1999 by the then chancellor Rev. Fr. A. Michael Raj. During the same period a generator was purchased, and a room for the same, a new open air auditorium along with parish office were constructed .
Recently the parish council has been elected as per canon law and got the approval of the Bishop on 29/08/2008. As per the request of the Parishners the Bishop of Kottar has agreed for forming a separate Parish with Rev. Fr. A. Albert George Alexander as the First Parish Priest . The Bishop, Most. Rev. Dr. Peter Remigius also has installed the New Parish in a special Holy mass conducted in the evening 5.30 pm of 23/11/2008 and followed my grant a colourful celebration.
Now Our Parish in 620 Joint Families is there. 3200 Total Members are there in Our Parish. Now, 1700 Gents and 1500 Ladies is there. Our Parish is first 8 BCC's is there. Now, 13 BCC's is there in Our Parish.