Nirmalaram Franciscan Ashram (1981)

Address

Nirmalaram Franciscan Ashram
Conventual Franciscan Friars
Chittady P.O., Chotty 686524
Kottayam, Kerala, India
Tel: 0091 484 270430

Members

Guardian & Rector
Fr. Angelo Chully

Members
Fr. Thomas Uzhuthuval
Fr. Shibin Malayil

History

Nirmalaram at Chotty in Kottayam District, Kerala in the eparchy of Kanjirappally was canonically established on March 15, 1981 as the first Friary and Minor Seminary on four acres and eighty eight cents of land and was dedicated to the Immaculate Conception of the B.V.M. Fr. Samuel Chetcuti was appointed the first Superior. On May 10, 1981 Bishop Mar Joseph Powathil of Kanjirappally blessed the first small house, which was on the land and enlarged by the friars to welcome the first vocations to the Order. Fr. Joseph Cilia, Provincial Custos blessed it again on June 22, 1996 after its renovation and named it Arambha Bhavan (the house of our beginning).

On December 8, 1981 the foundation stone for the new building was blessed by Bishop Mar Joseph Powathil and laid by Fr. Ferdinand Mercieca, Minister Provincial of Malta. On the top of the foundation stone the statue of the Immaculate Conception was erected. The new building, which was constructed on the plans prepared by architect Fr. J.M. Stevens S.J. of Bangalore was inaugurated and blessed by Fr. Lanfranco Serrini, Minister General on April 8, 1984. Bishop Mar Joseph Powathil blessed and consecrated the new chapel. For this occasion Fr. Sebald Reil, General Secretary for the Mission of the Order and the Major Superiors OFMConv. of Asia and Australia were present.

On March 19, 1983 the novitiate house was also established at Nirmalaram and it remained there till it was transferred to Kolbe Ashram on March 28, 1987. The first Novitiate began on May 02, 1983 under the direction of Fr. George Attard. Nirmalaram also served for the formation of the Pre-Novices till 1986 when the pre-novices started their formation at Kolbe Ashram.

During the celebrations to commemorate the establishment of the Provincial Custody, on January 29, 1995, Fr. Joseph Cilia, Provincial Custos blessed the new statue of St. Francis in front of the Chapel.

Under Nirmalaram comes the Shrine dedicated to St. Francis of Assisi by the side of KK Road erected to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the Order’s presence in India which was celebrated on November 24, 1990. Fr. Alfred Calleja, Minister Provincial of Malta, blessed the Foundation Stone of the Shrine on June 9, 1991. The Shrine was inaugurated and blessed by Bishop Mar Mathew Vattakuzhy of Kanjirappally on February 11, 1992.