According to an eye-witness account about Coimbatore in the beginning of the 2O’’ century, the town then was not even one tenth of its present size and, to the east, Race Course and th hamlets around the Central Jail, Anuparpalayam and Uppilipalayam were the boundaries” But as the city grew later, the area o Upplipalayam came to be known as Kattoor, but still today ‘Kattoor’ is not popular, but only Llppilipalayam (as Uppilipaiayam bustand, bus-stop etc.) is popular and it is practically a new ‘township’; well-to-do Catholics settled down in the area, and specially the Anglo-Indian community formed an important group of this area. Mrs. Simon, the owner of a Tannery at Ukkadam, (The couples’ grave, with a huge cupola stands as a monument in the in the Sungam Cemetery, though in a dilapidated condition) had donated a large piece of land for a church on theJail Road (the present site). As the Catholic population increased, in 1931, a temporary chapel was constructed and mass on Sundays and on some week-days were started, with a view to detach the sprawling area into a new parish, comprising the present Gandhipuram and R.S.Puram. In 1934, Rev. Fr. R. Beyls, who was the procurator of the Diocese then, undertook the construction, partly with th funds raised by Fr. Tignous in Europe and America and partly with diocesan funds, at a total cost of Rs. 74,000! It was blessed b Bishop Tournier on 27-10-1935. It was bificurated from th cathedral parish, as a new parish and at the same time a new presbytery was constructed. Rev. Fr. Chervier was appointed a its first parish priest (1935-1 940), who tirelessly worked to build up this new Parish. In 1941, the Sacristy was constructed by Rev. Fr. M. Savarimuthu (later Bishop) during his short tenure as Parish Priest for 6 months: (June 1940 Jan 1941) Rev. Fr. A. Laza (1 941-1 950) undertook many improvements. The Calvary Grotto was constructed as a remembrance of the first Mission by the .edemptorists. He constructed a balcony for the choir and bought :he grand Pipe-organ (the only one of its kind in the South). The -nain altar with its elegant hack-drop was constructed with marble tones, with the donation of Mr. Maria Pragasapillai and the altar was consecrated by Bishop Ubagaraswamy in 1944. Because the annual scourge of plague, so frequent in those days, a special chapel Ln honour of St. Sebastian was constructed, behind the church. He laid the foundations for the twin Belfries and partially constructed the Southern belfry, which was completed by his successor, Fr. S. Amidham, (1950-54). He also started the construction of the Lourdes Grotto, at R.S.Puram. He built two shops for rental. The unique pipe-organ whose melodious and reverberating music, used to enthrall all the Worshipers, after the death of Mr.Dias, as there were no one who knew to play it, had to be disposed of later! What a sad loss!
Rev. Fr. Amridham; completed the Southern bel-fry and paved the sanctuary with marble stones. He also erected the side- altars in honour of Our Lady and of St. Joseph. He set up th sound system. Fr. James Arpudham, organized a committee of the Parishioners to collect funds for the northern bel-fry. He constructed the parish Hail in memory of MrRs. athina Manickammal, behind the church (which had served as temporary shelters, for the Carmelites of Manjunel (in 1946) and then as permanently from 1982, to the Capitanio Sisters.He also constructed some shops on the Northern end. Fr. F.A. Chinnappan (1958-64) constructed the northern bel-fry, the Grotto of St. Sebastian, and 4 more shops. It was in his time, the then ver popular Novena of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour was started, the frist in our diocese. People used to throng for the Novena from all parts of Coimbatore, on Wednesdays, but as time passed, all the city parishes, started the same Novena one by one in their parishes, and thus its uniqueness was diminished. [The same fate befell all the successive popular Novenas such as St. Martin de pores, St. Jude, Our Lady of Vellankanni, InfantJesus of Pragut and the recent one, in honor of the Divine Mercy-the onl exception being the ever- increasing popularity of the Novena ir honor of St. Antony of Puliakulam fame. The Golden Jubilee of the Church was celebrated on 24-11 -1985. The Parish Hall was extended with donations from the Parishioners, and blessed in 1984. The One thousand and five Hundredeth Novena of Perpetual Succour was celebrated on 21-01 -1987. The new extension of the presbytery and the adjoining Sayaga Annai 111am, were built by Fr. F.M. Antoni Mathu, wasbiessed on 30-08-1987. The reconstructed Grotto of St. Sebastian was blessed on 26-01-1988. The first floor was added to the presbytery by Fr. Maria Mudiappan in 1992. A special celebration to commemorate the 2000th Novena of Perpetual Succour was celebrated on 4-7-1999 and a new granite Altar was erected in Her honour and blessed inside the church on 4-7-1999. The Novena of Divine Mercy the first one in the Diocese, was started in 2001 by Fr. Melchior and then popularized by Fr. Aruldas. He also undertook the complete renovation of the church, with concrete plat-forms running all around the church and metalling of the road around in 2001 and completed by January of 2003. In the year 2001, he also started the construction of a new Community Hall, demolishing the existing one, with his unique architectural-style of having also an under-ground Hall in it. Bishop Thomas Aquinas blessed and opened it on 23-2-2004. To round off his tenure he constructed a three dimensional grotto of Our Lady of Vellankanni, facing the main Road and got it blessed by, Bishop Thomas Aquinas on 15-5-2004.
St. Antony’s Higher Elemantary School was started in 1892 and St. Antonys’ Girls Elemantary School was started in 1912, later management was given to the Presentation Sisters. Recently, it was closed due to lack of sufficient number of students. Though most of the Anglo-Indians have migrated to other countries, the special Mass in English on Sundays, draws a large crowd of people from all over the city, thus preserving the Anglo-Indian Flavour of this Parish. Gandhipuram was detached from Kattoor in 1955, and R.S.Puram became a separate parish in 1963. Besides, the recent attraction for the people to seek, peace and tranquility away from the noisy, crowded inner city, in the ever-expending suburbs had also affected the Catholic population of this parish. The Ceylon Tamil Refugoes’ camp at Puluvappatty was attached to this parish. The Jail ministry is also a part of its service as the CentralJail is situated within its boundaries. The unique feature of this church is that it is built on the pure Gothic style of architecture; just as the cathedral was planned by Bishop de Bresillac is an example of pure Romanesque Architecture! But as in the case of Music, dance etc., these classical forms of church Architecture, has no takers now a days!
Distance from the Cathedral Church : 1 K.M.
Total No. of Catholic Families in the Main Station : 450
No. of Catholics in the Main station : 1800
Weekdays : 6.30 a.m & 6.30 p.m
Wed : 11.00 a.m & 6.00 p.m
Sundays : 5.30 am, 7.30 a.m 9.30 a.m (English) 5.30 p.m.
The Novena of Divine Mercy :
3 to 4 p.m from first Friday to 9 consecutive days of every Month.
Religious Houses :
1. Capitanio Convent
Diocesan Institution :
1. St. Antony’s Middle School - 0422 - 2234520 Con
Religious Institutions :
1. Capitanio Convent Nursery School. - 0422 - 2232923
2. Capitonio Convent - 0422 - 2232923
3. Capitanio Convent Tailoring Institute - 0422 - 2232923
4. Capitanio Convent Computer Center. 0422 - 2232923
Lay Association :
1. 3rd Order of Francis of Assisi
2. Prayer Group
Patronal Feast: Christ the King ( November last Sunday)
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