St. Francis Xavier Church

St. Francis Xavier Church

Church Location

Parish Priest  : Rev. Fr. J. Paul


The Parish Priest, St. Francis Xavier Church, Aravakurchi P.o., Karur - 639 201.


The earliest historical reference toChristianity at Aravakurichi and Venkitapuram is that these old Christian villages were infected by the Goanese schism in 1 850 and that there were many schismatics. According to oral tradition, these communities of Adi-dravidar, had settled here from Dindigul area in th beginning of the 19th century and there was a small church a Venkitapuram (now Vengadapuram). These two colonies were sub­ stations of Dharapuram in 1859 and the Christians numbered 50 (many schismatic ). From 1884, these two were sub-stations of Karur and by that time, Pallapatty and Sendampatty (of the same community) were also mentioned as sub-stations,Karur (Pasupathypalayam ) was the head quarters of this area, with a priest and Chinna Dharapuram ( though not yet a parish ) was considered to be the center for these 4 sub-stations and there was a presbytery too. Since these sub-stations had a good number of Christians, the priest in charge was residing for 3 months at Karur and the next 3 months at Chinnadharapuram, thus alternating.

So the poor priest had to carry all his baggage and cooking utensils along with his cook, every three months! It is also reported tha these Christians were trained in handloom weaving as a source of permanent livelihood, since these areas were prone to draugh and famine. From the early days of this settlement, Aravakurichi consisted of two parts (North street and South street 1 k.m apart ). A chapel was built in 1855 at the Southern part( which still exists). The North street also had its own. When the Goan schism broke out here, the Northern part seem to have sided with th Goanese priests and the Southern street sided with the Propaganda” Priests (as the priests of the Paris Mission Societ where known in those days). In course of time the Norther Christians dispersed to other places, some also from the sout Street). An Elementary school was started in 1952. Chapels were built at Venkidapuram and Senthampatty by Fr. E. A. Chinnapan between 1940 -1945. The chapel was constructed at Pallapatty later. Bishop Visuvasm blessed the foundation stone for a new church on 3rd May 1975 at Aravakurichi and it was completed by Fr. Carmel Irudhayam and consecrated by Bishop Ambrose on 3rd December 1985. Fr. Maria lrudayanathan constructed a new housing-colony on the church land inl985. Aravakurichi was separated from Chinna Dharapuram as a separate parish on 30th June 1991 and Fr. P. Jayapaul became the first parish priest.

A new presbytery was built by Fr. Selvaraj and blessed on 5th July 1955 by Bishop Ambrose. Fr. Henry Daniel built a new building for the Elementary school in 1995. The church at Sendampatty was re-built in 1999 and a new chapel was built at Venkidapurm and blessed on 6th September 1994. The convent of Louis De Gonzaga was started on 16. 6. 1976 and they conduct a Nursery School, Tailoring Institute and Dispensary at Aravakurichi. A new bell tower was blessed on 3.12. 1992. It is a sad history of the past that both at Aravakurichi and Venkitapuram, there were some schismatics, who were misguided by the schismatic priests of Joachim of Ooty in 1851. The immediate cause for this seems to be the question of jurisdiction of the Goanese schism. During the interval between the suppression of the Society of lesus 1773 and the French foreign Missionaries, taking charge of these places left vacant by the Jesuits, some Goanese priests, sneaked into these places, as if to replace the Jesuits. When the French missionaries finally were able to take canonical possession of these centers, some of the locals, favored the Goan priests and others, the new comers (Propagandists). It is this quarrel between the Northern Street and the Southern street, became more pronounced, one street welcoming the French Propagandists and the othe supporting the Goanese priest (actually who supported whom is not clear). But the French Missionaries gained the upper hand and the Goan priest was expelled. But the quarrel did not end but continued for some years, because the minority Goan party called for a priest through joachim, who readily came! The schism continued upto atleast 1859. Ofcourse gradually the schismatics returned and some left to other places. But the enemity created between the two parties, seem to have continued even upto the beginning of the 20th century, according to Fr. C.S. Maria Arokiam, Lying dormant for longtime, but whenever some ticklish problems arose, the two parties once again, were on the war path street­ wise without knowing, what exactly was the real cause of theis quarrel, though both were of the same caste! He used to call these long standing feud as” quarrel over ‘sizing’ the yarn” ! Since the) all had becom hand loom weavers in those days, the ‘sizing’ proces of the raw cotton yarn being made fit for weaving, by dipping the yarn in the gruel of millet and for this process, a long stretch oi ground was needed. Since they were all weavers, there would have been quarrels over these grounds! But whatever be the actua problem, the ‘Northerns and the Southerns” would stick to theii own group, right or wrong! A real case of unconscioir feudal-enemity! Fr. CS. Maria Arokiam was the parish priest o Karur from 1928-1932, when Aravakuriehi and Venkitapuran were substations of Karur and hence he should have known tht local history very well.

Main Station

Distance from the Cathedral Church : 150 Kms.

Total No. of Catholic Families both in the Main & Sub - Stations : 235

Total No. of Catholic Families in the Main Station : 120

No. of Catholics in the Main station : 1,600

Mass Timings

Weekdays Mon, Tue & Sat 6.00 a.m

Wed & Fri 6.30 p.m

Sundays : 8.OO a.m

Religious Houses :

1. Sisters of St. Louis De Gonzaga

Diocesan Institution :

1. R.C. Primary School

Lay Association

1. Youth

2. Kolping

3. Altar Boys Association

Patronal Feast : St.Francis Xavier Dec 3 rd


1. Vengadapuram

Distance - 1 8 Kms.

Families - 70

No. of Catholics - 420

Mass Timings - Sundays 6.00 a.m

Lay Association - 1 . Kolping

2. Pallapatty

Distance - 8 Kms.

Families - 10

No. of Catholics - 50

Mass Timings - 1st Sunday 7.00 p.m

3. Sendampatty

Distance - 15 Kms.

Families - 18

No. of Catholics - 65

Mass Timings - 2nd Sunday 7 p.m

4. Seethapatty Colony

Distance - 25 Kms.

Families - 1 7

No. of Catholics - 60

Mass Timings - 3 rd Sunday 7.00 p.m

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