Having personally and independently contemplated on the need for such a movement in the Syro-Malabar Church for several years, Mar Joseph Powathil, the then Eparchial Bishop of Kanjirapally, Fr Xavier Koodapuzha, a Professor of Paurastya Vidyapitham, Kottayam, Fr Quriaqos Elijah Vadaketh CMI, then member of the CMI novitiate house at Kapadu and Fr Varghese Pathikulangara CMI, a Professor of Dharmaram College, Bangalore, met together in 1983, discussed and meditated over the viability of such a spiritual movement, and finally decided to commit themselves to make it a reality.
On April 28-30, 1985 , they met together at Nallathanny near Murinjapuzha (Idukki Dist.), in the Eparchy of Kanjirappally, and prayerfully deliberated the details of this movement. In the course of discussion, they decided to start two independent, autonomous Monastic communities of the one Family, Mar Toma Sangham; one for the monks, and the other for the nuns. Towards the end of the consultation, they unanimously decided to start immediately the community for the nuns, as some candidates showed great interest in this new venture, encouraged and helped by some religious sisters belonging to various religious institutes. They also thought of starting the Ashram in the 15 acres of land generously offered for this purpose by the KPMC Trust, Nallathanny. Before they dispersed, the three priest members of the fellowship decided to summit a formal request to Mar Joseph Powathil, Eparchial Bishop of Kanjirapally, in order to get ecclesial sanction for this movement.
SST Ashram, Palamattom, Changanassery
|After continued discussions and consultations, on May 9-10, 1988, a vocation camp was organized by the four pioneers of the movement in the Spirituality Centre, Vidyanagar, Kottayam and selected a few candidates to the proposed monastic community. A similar camp was organized on June 1, 1988 in St Thomas Apostolic Seminary, Vadavathoor, and selected a few others.
In the meantime the pioneers contacted the Mother Provincial of SABS, St Thomas Province, Changanacherry and requested the service of Rev. Sr Roselit SABS, a veteran novice mistress in that community, for helping out and forming the new candidates at the initial stage. The pioneers are extremely thankful to the Mother Provincial for granting their request and the wholehearted co-operation.