Sacred Heart Church, Gobichettipalayam

Sacred Heart Church, Gobichettipalayam

Church Location

Parish Priest                   : Rev. Fr. S. Maria Antony Paul

Address :

The Parish Priest, Sacred Heart Church, Gobichettipalayam, Erode - 638 452.


Gobichettipalayam seems to have gained importance only after the British Government took control of these areas, after Tippu’s defeat and in their civil organization Gobi became the Taluq headquartcrs, after 1820. No earlier reference to its existence is found. Hence Gobichettipalayam, as a parish headquarters is of very recent origin. It was on 27.01.1973 when the old parish of Kottupulam Palayam (known alo as Kottampalayam with its substations of Gobi Palayam and Valliam Palayam was amalgamated with Gobi along with Karatadipalayam of Kolapalur parish to form this new parish. It got its prominence not because of its catholic population, but more due to its importance, as the Government Taluq head quarters and its location as more centrally located to the surrounding and more ancient Christian centers.

The histories of these ancient churches (now mere sub­ stations) are indeed an eye opener. Already in 1650 Kottampalayam was mentioned as one of the 10 important centers of the Sathy mission, started by Fr. de’Costa S.J., in164-3. It was a part of Kodivery residence till the arrival of the Paris Foreign Missionaries in 1803. FL de’Costa and his Successors FL Martinez, FL Arcolini, converted these Catholics Thus these Christian villages were among those flourishing centers of Kaikolar community of weavers, included in the 150 Christian villages with 23 central churches, in 1666. The famous catechists Saveri Rayan and Dairiam, the constant companions of FL de Costa, must have instructed them. They certainly had to face all the trials and persecutions faced by the Sathy mission (later shifted to Kannuvakkari) their fervour piety and fearlessness against persecutors; well recorded by the early Jesuit missionaries. They must have suffered, as the rest of the area, due to the constant wars between Mysore, Madura and latter Tanj ore and worse the persecutions during the reign of Tippu Sultan. All the Christian churches were destroyed by Tippu. All the Christians were scattered, but by 1 S00, they must have returned to their villages, for in the Annual Statistics of Coimbatore, by then a Vicariate Apostolic, of 1855, we find: Kottampalayarn (120 Catholics and a church ),Gobipalayam( 85 Catholics and a church) and Valliampalayam (70 Catholics and no church) mentioned as Christia1n villages, belonging to Kodivtry district (one of the ten Ecclesiastical districts). According to the letters of the Jesuit Missionaries two of these centers must have ha4 their own churches, just built with mud and thatched roofing, built by the local Christians only and besides they had to contribute for the maintenance of the main church. Whenever the missionary visited their village, they had to provide food and shelter for the priçst and his catecbists. It is to their credit that these Christians willingly complied with these regulations, inspite of their own poverty. These three villages were made as a separate parish in 1940 with Kottampalayam as the head- quarters. Fr. L. Antony Samy ( 140 - 1945 ) wasthe first parish priest. He bought half an acre of land, adjoining the church for the presbytery and builtit. He also started in 1940 St. Theresa’s Elementary Séhool at Gobi Palayam. A permanent building was constructed.: But between 1947 to 1952, it was attached to Kodiveri and then to Kollapalur. Againit got a resident priest from 1952. On 27.01.1973, the new parish of Gobichettypalayam was established with Kottampalayam, Gobipalayam and Valliampalayam as sub-stations and also Karratadipalayam was attached to Gobi. These ancient Christian villages got de-populated even from the beginning of the 20th century by migration. Because these remote and interior villages, situated in the well-irrigated area, must have faced scarcity of cotton and yarn for their handloom indus&y. and the newly industrialized towns of Coimbatore, Karur Erode, etc., must have lured them to migrate to these towns. The only incident to mar the glory of this most ancient Christianity was the physical atfack on a priest, by the church Maniakaran of Kottampalayam in 1967 due to some dispute.

At Gobi in 1961, half an acre of land was bought for constructing a church by Bishop Ubagara Samy, behind the Taluk office (Katcherry) during the time Fr:John Pittchai. Fr. Manthra built the church and it was blessed by Bishop Savarirnuthu on 03.02.1962. Keeping in mind the growing population of Christians, Bishop Visuvasam induced the Presentation Sisters to buy 7 acres of land at Gandinagar including one acre for the new church and the rest for the their convent and English Medium School. Fr. Pius Savarimuthu played a vital rcile in this. The Convent was started in May 1974 and it has grown into a Matriculation Higher Secondary School. on 17.10.1993 the foundation for the new ohurch was laid at the new site and it was consecrated along with the new presbytery on 14.06.1996 by bishop Ambrose. A community hall and a grotto were blessed on 5.1 .1993. Fr. John Joseph (Junior) constructed both.

Karattadi Palayam :

It was evangelized by Fr. Chervier and Fr. Audiou between 1934 1940. from Kollapalur. Fr. L. Antony Samy (1942 - 1946) continued their work an4 a small chapel was built there in honour of St. Antony. A large piece of land was bought there. The Novena in honour of St. Antony wa drawing many devotees along with the growing population and hence a new spacious, elegant church was constructed by Fr. Oubagarasamy and consecrated on 4.3.1991. by Bishop Ambrose. Fr. Audiou, the pioneer, even after his return to Paris, first as procurator of his Society and then in retirement, during his annual visits to India, never missed the opportunity to visit all the mission centers, born out of his blood and sweat. He has gone to his eternal reward in the January 2005 at Paris. May his soul rest in peace.

Main Staion

Distance from the Cathedral Church : 72 K.Ms.

Total No. of Catholic Families both in the Main & Sub- Stations 375

Total No. of Catholic Families in the Main Station 126

No. of Catholics in the Main station : 258

Mass Timings :

Weekdays Mon, Wed, Fri, & Sat : 6.00 p.m

Thur: 6.45 a.m

Sundays : 8.30a.m

ReligiousHouse :

1. Presentation Convent 04285 - 222505

Religious lnstitutiofls :

1. St.Theresa’s Primary School 04285 -223318

2. Amala Mat. Higher Secondary School. 04285 - 222548

Lay Association :

1 .Legion of Mary (2)

2 .Altar Boys Association ( 2 )

Patronál Feast : Sacred Heart of Jesus


1. Karatadipalayam

Distance - 3 K .Ms
Families - 175
No. of Catholics - 650
Mass Tir1ngs - Tue 7.45 a.m & Sun 7. 15 p.m

2. Kottampalayam

Distance - 10 K.Ms
Families - 7
No. of Catholics - 25
Mass Timings - Sunday 6.15 p.m

3. Gobipalayam

Distance - 7 K.Ms
No. of Catholics - 50
No. of families - 10
Mass Timings - Once in a year

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