This central area of the Diocese seems to have been lef untouched, by any serious missionary efforts till 1930s, perhaps due to the policy of evangelizing the higher castes by the earlyJesuits of Madurai and then of Mysore Mission. But as early as 1904 a mission to evangelize the Aclidravidas and later other scheduled caste with the center at Kollapalur was started by Fr. Tignous. But for unknown reasons it did not fructify. Active evangelization started only in 1930 by Fr. Chrevier and continued by Fr. Audiou, the Apostle o Kolappalur area. Fr. Audiou who built a church there in 1935 with mission funds converted Mariapuram (in those days known as Merkupathy) in 1935. After the take over of the diocese by the native clergy the missionary work was continued. At Koneripuram, 20 Vallayar families were converted by Fr. S. M Royyapan from Avinashi. Fr. L. Antony Samy had continued to look after the Christians of Mariapuram and also converted some Valayar families a Kalliampudur: On the first of January 1951, Mariapuram was erected as a new parish, and Fr. M. lrudayam (1951 -52) (Heart Irudayam) was the first parish priest but he stayed in a house bought by the diocese at Kunnathur (later rented out to the Police Station) and from there he looked after the Christians. Earlier through Fr. S. M Royyapan’s effort (before separation from Avinashi and Kollapalur) 6 acres of land for R.s 3500 was bought at Kunnathur, in the. time of Bishop Ubagarasamy.
Fr. A. Muthusamy (1952 - 54) was the first parish priest to reside at Mariapuram itself. There was no presbytery yet and so the sacristy itself was used as residence infact until 1976. He made an effort to convert a few families of Valayas at Sedapalayam near by. He started an Elementary School at Maria puram. Fr. Ignatius M. Irudayam (1954 - 1956) arranged to obtain from the government a piece of land at Konarpuram for a church. Fr. P. Irudayam brought back some families who had become Protestants and rectified many marriages.
Fr. 5: M. John Xavier (1958 - 1961 ) converted some families of Valayars at Appiapalayam and built a chapel there. He did the electrification of the parish church. Fr. S. Marianather dug a well and arranged for water supply to the village. Till then the priest had to get water from a neighboring Gounda because of cast considerations. He built a chapel at Konarpuram with the help received from the diocese and started a cooperative society of Charka Spinning, thus enabling many of the new Christians to get jo opportunities. He introduced the goat-scheme to help the Christians at Thottipalayam.
Fr. Oubagara Maria Xavier developed these Christian economically. At long last a separate, comfortable presbytery was built by him in 1976 and blessed by Bishop Vissuvasam. Fr. Mariadass built a convent. A dispensary was built and blessed by Bishop Ambrose on 26.4.1992 during the time of Fr. Vincent Paul Raj. On 10.07.1986 a new church at Kalliampudur was built by P. Maria Joseph and was blessed by Bishop Ambrose on 18.08.1981. The Golden Jubilee of the parish church was celebratçd by Fr. P. Maria Joseph. The church was renovated and Bishop Ambrose consecrated a new altar on the same day. A new church at Kalliampudur was blessed and Bishop Ambrose blessed a new two storied building for the school, now raised to Higher Elementary School. A Memorial Arch at the entrance of the village was artistically built due to the efforts of Fr. Amalra on 14.10.77, blessed and opened by Bishop Visuvasam. The 6 acres of land just outside Kunnathur town was lying idle and the parish priest had lots of problems to protect it. Fr. Maria Oubagaram an his predecessors built a house cum chapel; a bore-well with a motor pump set was put up and planted with coconut trees. There is also plot of land on the other side of the road there. Fr.John Xavier gave some sites to the Mariapuram people but it was stopped by the diocese because of some disputes.
Distance from the Cathedral Church : 70 Kms.
Total No. of Catholic Families both in the Main & Sub- Stations : 251
Total No. of Catholic Families in the Main Station: 200
No. of Catholics in the Main station 1200
Weekdays : 6.30 p.m
Sundays : 7.30a.m
Religious Houses :
1. Presentation Convent 0421 - 2350934
Diocesan Institutions :
1. St. Mary’s Primary School 0421 - 2350934
2. St Joseph’s R.C Middle School 04924- 242935
Lay Association :
1. Legion of Mary (2)
3. Puduyugam Group
4. Altar boy’s association
5. Youth group
Patronal Feast : Our Lady of Lourdes
SUB - STATIONS
Distance - l8 Kms
Families - 35
No. of Catholics - 90
Mass Timings - 9.30 a.m
Distance - 5 Kms
Families - 6
No. of Catholics - 20
Mass Timings - First Monday 6:30 p.m
Distance - l0 Kms
Families - 10
No. of Catholics - 25
Mass Timings - Friday 7.OO p.m
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