St. Aloysius R.C.Church

St. Aloysius R.C.Church

Church Location

Rev. Fr. Kanagaraj VF - The Parish Priest, St. Aloysius R.C.Church, P.W.D office opposite, Dharapuram T.K., Tirupur Dt- 638 656.


It is certain that Dharapuram is one of the earhest Christian centers of the Coimbatore mission. As early as 1608 a church was existing here and Fr. Robert de Nobile (Thatthuva Podagar), on the way to Madurai found Christians here and he is reported to have instructed a native prince by name, Saravananathan and converted him. Hence it is certain that Dharapuram and other neighboring Christian centers were looked after by the Jesuits from Madurai ( Dindigul ) till Dharapuram was attached to the newly erected Mysore mission of the Jesuits in 1685. As for the Christians, there were groups, the earliest Adi-dravidar from Trichirapally, Dindigul, then the Padayatchies of Tan] ore and much latter Thevars from Madura (Marava country ) as garrison of the famous Dharapuram fort!. In 1710 Dharapuram was one of the ten main residences of Sathyamangalam mission. A large, grand church was constructed at Naniam Palayam in1733 during the time of Fr. Louis de Rocha from Karumathampatty and two catechists were in charge to look after the Catholics. A pious old man, was a pattern of virtues, pious, charitable and humble with miraculous power of healing. When the society of Jesus was suppressed in 1773, out of the 1 5 jesuits who were working in the south, only two remained that is Fr. Pierre Licchetta ( Fr. Rayanandunather) and Fr. Pavone (Amurthanather).They received the shocking news of the suppression of the Society by the Pope while they were at Dharapuram on 16.05. 1774 and Fr. Licchetta continued to work at Dharapuram, while Fr. Pavone went to Malabar. During the time of the wars of Tippu Sultan, Dharapuram area was ravaged, the churches were destroyed and the Christians dispersed. Tippu’s soldiers, who mistook him for a spy, in 1790, killed Fr. Lichetta accidentally. He was proceeding to the fort to meet the General to plead for the Christians. He lies buried at the place where he fell and along with three other British soldiers.

The General was sorry for this accidental killing and built a iriemorial over his grave, which exists till today and is considered as a place of pilgrimage both by the Hindus and the Christians. Now it is the cemetery for the Christians. The church was however razed down later by Tippu and the Non-Christians had occupied that land. After Tippu’s death the British annexed Dharapuram and Coimbatore territories and Dharapuram was the capital of civil the district of Coimbatore till 1816. Between 1820- 1825 a small church was built perhaps by one of the Indian priest who accompanied Abbe Dubois at the present site. Msgr. Bonnand Vicar-apostolic of Pondicherry, in whose jurisdiction Sathyamangalam mission had come, made pastoral visit in 1842. Dharapuram was one of the centers, where he administered the sacrament of Confirmation, and he mentions that he found a small church and a presbytery in a very sad condition. After Coimbatore became a separate Vicariate- Apostolic in 1845, one of the first native priests Fr. Assirvathapper, started the construction of the new and beautiful church (which existed till 2003). Which wai completed and blessed by Fr. Percival in 1853. Unfortunately soon after Fr. Percival died of Cholera and he lies buried inside the church. In the same year Dharapuram was made a parish. In the first official Statistics of 1859, after Coimbatore became a Pro­ Vicariate with Mgr. de Bresillac as the first Pro- Vicar Apostolic Dharapurm was one of the District headquarters of the 10 District (parishes). It had 210 Christians, a new church and a decent house Thalavaipattinam: 53 Catholics; Chinnakalpalayam: 31 Catholics: In 1873, Dharapurm had to face the “Kattumanam” (cx. communication from the caste) of the Non - Christian Goundan& In 1892, Dharapuram had 726 Catholics, one Boys’ school witt 32 students. In 1909 Fr. Tour started two schools, one for boy and another for girls. Fi-. James Arputham raised the Girls schoo, to Higher Elementary School in 1944 and to High school in 1946 Homes for boys and girls (specially for the children of the ne converts) were started in 1953 by Joseph Vattapalli. A new presbytery and a bell tower were built in 1939 by Fr. Jame! Arputham. Fr. Joseph Vattapally, one of the 20thcentur Missionary par-excellence, of Coimbatore diocese startec missionary work among the Gounders from 1946 - 1964 and more then 800 were converted. Between 1949 and 1964 he built chapels at Porulur, Goundampalayam, Seelanayakampatty and Alangayam. In 1961 he raised the Elementary School at lrudayapuram into a Higher Elementary School. Due to his frail health yet with great enthusiasm in his mission, Bishop Savrimuthu supported him with giving him 3 assistants.

There were five catechists managing five centers to help him. He died in 1964 and was buried in front of thcehurch. Unfortunately many of the converts, especially young men, when it comes to the question of choosing the bride, easily fall away because of the dowry ailurements. Rev. Fr. Soosai also a missionary par-excellence in the tradition of the great French missionaries of the 20th century, Fr. Tignous (1895-1930), Fr. Chervier and Fr. Audiaou toiled hard to keepup the flock. He built chapels or renovated the existing ones at Alangayam (1982), Kodangipatty (1985) Assirpuram (1987) Kallipalayam (1989), Koneripatty (1982), Valavanthanpatty (1988), Poluvarpatty (1991), Issakampatty (1991), Chinnakampatty (1991), lrudayapuram (1992), Chinamanpatty, Kovil Palayam (1992) and Pathonpathampatty (1992). He opened a home for the aged in 1990. He brought the Sisters of Louis de Gonzaga in 1976. The hundred and fifty year’s old church of Fr. Percival was replaced by a new one by Fr. Maria Selvam and consecrated by Bishop Ambrose in the year 2002.

A new spacious presbytery was blessed by Bishop Thomas Aquinas on 1.08.2004. The parishes of Karur in 1884 (Chinm Dhrapuram from Karur 1944, and Aravakurichi from Chinm Dharapuram in 1991 ), Poruir in 1983, were the daughter an grand daughter parishes of Dharapuram. The brothers of St. Michael have been doing yeomen’s service in mission work. especially looking after the new - converts from the year l95i and also in-charge of the boy’s home.

Main Station

Distance from the Cathedral Church : 82 Kms.

Total No. of Catholic Families both in the Main & Sub - Stations : 483

Total No. of Catholic Families in the Main Station : 300

No. of Catholics in the Main station : 1200

Mass Timings

Weekdays : Mon, Tue, Thur, & Fri : 6.15 am

Wed& Sat : 6.00 p.m

Sundays : 6.15a.m & 8.OO a.m

Religious Houses :

1. Presentation Convent ( 3 Communities)

2. St. Louis De Gonzaga

3. Michael’s Brothers

Diocesan Institutions :

1. St. Joseph’s Boys home

2. St. Xaviers Girls home

3. St. Joseph’s home for the aged

4. St. Antony’s Middle School

Religious Institutions :

1. St.Aloysius Girl’s Higher Secondary School

2. St. Avila Eng.Medium School

3. St. Antony’s Middle School

4. St. Joseph’s Home for the aged

Lay Association

1. Legion of Mary

2. Altar Boys Association

3. Youth

4. Thaimar Sabai

Patronal Feast : St. Aloysius (June 21)


1. Alangiam

Distance - 1 2 Kms.

Families - 1 2

No. of Catholics - 50

Mass Timings

Tue 7.00 p.m

2. Assir Puram

Distance - 10 Kms.

Families - 52

No. of Catholics - 250

Mass Timings - Sun 6.15 a.m

3. Irudayapuram

Distance - 2 Kms.

Families - 54

No. of Catholics - 225

Mass Timings - Sat 7.00 p.m

4. Kalipalayam

Distance - 9 Kms.

Families - 12

No. of Catholics - 50

Mass Timings - Sunday 10.00 a.m

5. Pallipatty

Distance - 22 Kms.

Families - 5

No. of Catholics - 20

Mass Timings - 3rd Sunday 11.00 a.m

6. Chinnamman Kovil Palayam :

Distance - 28 Kms.

Families - 11

No. of Catholics - 30

Mass Timings - Every 1st Sun 7.00 a.m

7. Chinnakampatty

Distance - 20 Kms.

Families - 1

No. of Catholics - 4

Mass Timings - 1st Wed 7.00 p.m

8. Goundampalayam

Distance - 30 Kms.

Families - 6

No. of Catholics - 30

Mass Timings - - 3rd Thur 7.00 p.m

9. Allampalayam

Distance - 18 Kms.

Families - 3

No. of Catholics - l2

Mass Timings - 2nd Wed 7.00 p.m

10. Koneripatty

Distance - 1 2 Kms.

Families - 4

No. of Catholics - 12

Mass Timings - 4th Mon 7.00 p.m

11. Mulanur:

Distance - 25 Kms.

Families - 8

No. of Catholics - 25

Mass Timings - Every Sunday 11.00 a.m

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