MAR TOMA SAHODARIKAL

Sisters of St. Thomas , Monastery Sui Iuris

Bet Toma Dayra

Palamattom, Kurumpanadom PO

Changanacherry

Kottayam Dist., Kerala, India 686536

The Pioneer Sui Iuris Monastery for women in the Syro-Malabar Church

A Dayra (Monastery) is the prophetic place where creation becomes praise of God and the precept of concretely lived charity becomes the ideal of human co-existence; it is where human being seeks without limitation or impediment, becoming a reference point for all people, bearing them in his heart and helping them to seek God…

(Orientale Lumen  9)

 The Monasticism has always been the very soul of the Eastern Churches. Realizing the need of the presence of monastic communities in Syro-Malabar Church the community of Mar Toma Sahodharikal (Sisters of St. Thomas) was founded on 3rd of July 1988.

 

MILE STONES IN THE HISTORICAL WAY OF THE FOUNDATION

Having personally and independently contemplated on the need for monastic communities 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 a member of the CMI novitiate house at Kappadu 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.

Founder

Mar Joseph Powathil

Pioneer Priests

Rev. Dr. Xavier Koodapuzha

Rev. Dr. Quriaqos Elijah CMI

Rev. Dr. Varghese Pathikulangara CMI         

From 28 to 30 of April 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 the discussion, they decided to start two independent and autonomous Monastic communities of the same Family, Mar Toma Sangham; one for the monks, and the other for the nuns, Sisters of St. Thomas. Towards the end of the consultation, they unanimously decided to start immediately the community for the nuns, in the land generously offered for this purpose by the KPMC Trust, Nallathanny. Before they dispersed, the three priest members of the fellowship decided to submit a formal request to Mar Joseph Powathil, eparchial Bishop of Kanjirapally in order to get ecclesial sanction for this movement.
  • After continued discussions and consultations from 9 to 10 of May 1988, a vocation camp was organized by the four pioneers of the movement in the Spirituality Center, Vidyanagar, Kottayam and selected a few candidates to the proposed monastic community. A similar camp was organized on 1 June 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.

Rev. Sr. Roselit SABS

  • On 1 July 1988 the first batch of candidates started their monastic life at Mar  Tomagiri, Nallathanny under the guidance of Rev. Sr. Roselit SABS. Two of the pioneers, Rev. Fr. Xavier Koodapuzha and Fr. Quriaqos Elijah Vadaketh CMI were deputed to give them right orientation. Under their guidance, the candidates made a recollection for making a definitive decision for monastic life on Dukrana day, 1988. After the recollection, five girls, Meyyamma Joseph Ninaparampil, Lillykutty Mathew Kavunkal, Lillikutty Chacko  Thennammackal, Jaisamma Augusty Nadukududil and Lizykutty Kurian Karakattu, in the pattern of the five wise maiden (Mt. 25, 2) in the Gospel, opted for the monastic life.
  • The first candidates with the founder, pioneers and the mistress

     (From Left) Rev. Sr. Roselit SABS, Lillikutty Chacko  Thennammackal, Meyyamma Joseph Ninaparampil, Rev. Dr. Quriaqos Elijah CMI, Rev. Dr. Xavier Koodapuzha, His Grace Mar Joseph Powathil, Rev. Dr. Varghese Pathikulangara CMI,  Jaisamma Augusty Nadukududil, Lizykutty Kurian Karakattu and Lillykutty Mathew Kavunkal,

  • On further reflection over an improved style of formation for the candidates, directly under the founder Bishop, the pioneers decided to transfer them to the MOC campus, Vidyanagar, Manganam, Kottayam – 686 018, within the territory of the Metropolitan Eparchy of Changanacherry. Accordingly, the community moved to MOC campus on 6 February 1989, the first day of the Great Fast, which is in fact, symbolic of this community’s life style.
  • On July 3, 1989 , the Dukrana day, this community was erected a Pious union with the name “Mar TomaSahodarikal” (MTS) by His Grace Mar Joseph Powathil, during a solemn celebration of the Holy Qurbana.
  • On 18 December 1989, the feast of Mar Toma Sliba, the first house of this community, Bet-Toma in the MOC campus, was blessed by His Grace Mar Joseph Powathil and the candidates moved into the new house.
  • After two years of intense preparation, on 29 November 1992, the first day of the liturgical year, the Founder and local hierarch Archbishop Mar Joseph Powathil officiated their consecration of vows in solemn celebration of Holy Qurbana. Since the consecrated life is the continuation of the Sacrament of Baptism they decided to be known by their baptismal names, Kochuthresia Karakattu, Mariamma Ninaparampil, and Kochuthresia Kavumkal respectively. Their final consecration of vows was on 29 November 1998, again on the first day of the liturgical year.
  • The First Consecrated Members with Founding Fathers and Formators

    • In 1993 a plot of 3.5 acres of land was bought in Palamattom, in the territory of Assumption Parish Kurumpanadom. On 17 February 1995 the existing house in the plot was blessed by Mar Joseph Powathil, the Founder and three members of the community moved to that house.
    • On 29 November 1994, the first day of the liturgical year, Archbishop Mar Joseph Powathil officiated the monastic consecration of vows of Mary Kottayil and Mariamma Nelliyanyi in solemn celebration of Holy Qurbana
    •  
    • On 29 November 1998, the first day of the liturgical year, Archbishop Mar Joseph Powathil officiated the monastic consecration of vows of Elizabeth Kochumadathil in solemn celebration of Holy Qurbana
    • On 3 June 2001, on the feast of Pentecost, Archbishop Mar Joseph Powathil officiated the monastic consecration of vows of Kochuthresia Chelakunnel and Roselin Aravackal Puthuparampil in solemn celebration of Holy Qurbana
    •  
    • On 8 September 2003, His grace Mar George Kocherry, the Apostolic Nuncio to Ghana, laid the foundation for a Daira building in the land bought in Palamattom. By divine providence and the strong financial support from the Archdiocese of Changanassery and well-wishers, mainly from Germany, the construction was completed in a short period. On 11 February 2005, His Grace Pedro Lopez Quintana, the Apostolic Nuncio to India blessed the Daira building and the Founder, His Grace Mar Joseph Powathil, Metropolitan Archbishop of Changanassery, consecrated the Daira Chapel and Mar Joseph Perumthottam led the solemn Qurbana, celebration.
    • On 14 January 2015 – Bet Toma Dayra at Nallathanny was blessed
    • Dayra community with the Founder His Grace Mar Joseph   Powathil
    • HISTORICAL MILE STONES

      • 3 July 1988 – First candidates started monastic life at Mar Toma Giri
      • 6 February 1989 – Community moved to Manganam.
      • 3 July 1989 – Erection of the community as ‘Pius Union’
      • 18 December 1989 – First house Bet Toma Dayra, Manganam was blessed
      • 29 November 1992 – First candidates made their consecration of vows
      • 11 February 2005 – Bet Toma Dayra, Palamattom was blessed
      • 18 December 2013 – Erected as Monastery Sui Iuris
      • 14 January 2015 – Bet Toma Dayra, Nallathanny was blessed
      • Bet Toma is grateful to their Ex-Diretors who guided the community in their growing stage

      •   
      • Rev. Dr. Xavier Koodapuzha
      • Rev. Fr Mathew Mattam
      • Rev. Fr Jose P. Kottaram

      •   
      • Rev. Fr Luke Peediekal

      • Present Director

      •  Rev. Fr. Mathew Mullaserry

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