St. Mary's Church, Dhali Road, Udumalpet

St. Mary's Church, Dhali Road, Udumalpet

Church Location

Rev. Fr. Joseph Felix A - The Parish Priest, St. Mary's Church, Dhali Road, Udumalpet P.o, Tiruppur- 642 126.


It was, historically, an important trading centre of the Sangam Age, with the Roman Empire. During the Vijaya Nagar Empire and then of the Nayakars of Madura, hordes of Telugu speaking people settled here. The Catholics, majority are of the Naidu caste ( Nayakars ) with a sprinkling of Agamudaliars and Vellalas, all old Christians. The Naidus are originally from Puliamarathupalayam of Palladam Taluk. But the origin of their Christianity is not certain. It is historically, an enigma that neither Pollachi nor Udumalpet, find any mention in the earliest Statistics available, of 1859, though Madathukulam is mentioned, as having 220 Catholics, a small chapel and a small residence. Hence, it is safe to conclude that, if there were Catholics- they must have been too few to get a mention they must have been looked after by the visiting priest from Dharapuram, during his visit to Madathukulam.

Anyhow, atleast from 1 879 onwards, a few Catholic families were living in and around Udumalpet who were looked after by priests from Pollachi and Dharapuram. In 1892, Pollachi had become one of the 23 districts (Priest’s residences and hence Udumaplet must have been its sub-station). By 1909, the Christians here, must have increased, hence Fr. Guerpillion, built a chapel here and also bought the land, on which later a row of houses and shops were built and thus became really a sub-station of Pollachi. The foundation was laid for the chruch on 17.08.1908 and was blessed on 27.07.1909 by Fr. Guerpillion.

As a parish, both Udumalpet and Pollachi seem to have had chequered history, sometimes the Priest, residing at Udumalpel and looking after Pollachi and vice versa. Thus, Udumalpet was a parish from 1908 to 1911, for the first time, and after a long interval, the second time from 1944 to 47 and the third time from 1955 onwards without a break. Fr. D.M. Antoninathar, during his tenure as Parish Priest of Pollachi (1918-1922 ) built the houses and shops for rental. In his time, there were fev new converts at Ammapet and Thenmangalam. Only one or two families are there now, most of them had apostatized later. When Fr. S. Savariar was the parish priest (1944), Madathukularn was detached from Dharapuram and attached to Udumalpet. Again when he was the parish priest for the second time he built the East-West compound wall. Fr. Andrew (1947 49 ) from Pollachi, renovated the portico of the church and also the presbytery. When Fr. Louis Pitchai was appointed as Parish Priest (1955 57 ) Udurnalpet became a separate parish for the last and permanent manner. Fr. T.C. Adaikalam (1957-1959) built a small portico for the church and with the help of the Diocese and the people, built the chapel at Amaravathi Nagar. Fr. James Savarimuthu (1961- 65 ) reparired the church ceiling.

An architecturally novel chruch, in the shape of an Aeroplane, was conceived and built due to the encouragement of Bishop Visuvasam, who was well known for his most modern views on church Architecture and was always known to encourage the personal initiative of the local parish priests. Fr. M.S. Michael, who was initially very reluctant to undertake such a gigantic project, finally undertook the challenge. The foundation for the new church was blessed by Bishop Visuvasam on 10.09.1978. This new church was consecrated by Cardinal Lourduswamy on 2O.12.1987.In the year 2002, a compound wall around the presbytery and fencing around the church was completed by Fr. Pius Savarimuthu. With regard to Amaravathi Nagar, before the dam was constructed across the River Amaravathi, as part of the chain of multiple dams of Parabikulam -Aliyar Project (for which TamilNadu ought to be eternally grateful to Chief-Minister Kamaraj. But unfortunately, as it usually happens, according to the adage. “ The human memory is the shortest when it comes to remember the good done by another”, even before the end of his life-long of self-less, dedicated political career, the people of TamilNadu proved the ancient adage to be true. There was a village called Amaravathi, after which, the river was called, where Kannada speaking Devangers lived and many of them were converted. But they dispersed to other places, when the Dam came up and they had to vacate their homes. The same way, Ammapet was also a Devanga community, converted to Christianity, but, for reasons unknown, they had apostatized. A convent and a hospital was started by the Presentation sisters there on 15. 11 .1972. The same congregation, started a convent at Udumalpet itself on 05.02.1973 and they had started on English medium school, which had developed into a Girl’s Matriculation Higher Secondary School, with a magnificent building some distance away from the town, on Udumalpet Pollachi Road. A new chapel was constructed and blessed at Ammapettai on 13.06.1990. A new presbytery was built and blessed on 27.12.2000.

On 24.06.1994 the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary (F.M.M.) in their search for more meaningful and post-Vatican II, methods of Evangelization, after much deliberation and with great trepidation evolved a novel method. Four of their sisters, rented a house, at Indira Nagar of Pallapalayam village and started a community on experimental basis, called “Anal” which means “Fire “or ‘Flame”, without exhibiting any of the usual outward Christian trappings, just living among the most down-trodden Madharis (cobblers community), sharing their life and bearing witness to Christian charity. No priest or religious is allowed to visit them, in their clerical or religious habits.

Main Station

Distance from the Cathedral Church : 70 Kms.

Total No. of Catholic Families both in the Main & Sub - Stations : 326

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

No. of Catholics in the Main station : 2000

Mass Timings

Weekdays : Mon: 6.30 a.m

Tue - Sat : 6.30 p.m

Sundays : 8.OO a.m

Religious Houses :

1. Presentation Convent

2. F.M.M Convent

3. ‘Annal’ of F.M.M.

Religious Institutions :

1. Stella Mans Mat. School

2. St. Antony’s Hospital

Patronal Feast : Our Lady of Nativity September 8th


1. Ammapatty

Distance - 25 Kms. Families - 1

No. of Catholics - 6

Mass Timings - Once in 15 days,

2. Amaravathy

Distance - 25 Kms.

Families - 25

No. of Catholics - 19

Mass Timings - Every Sunday 11.30 am

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