A Short History of St. John Nepumcian Church

South Paravoor – Down the Memory Lane
A new community of Christians migrated to South Paravoor during Thaliyathri reign in 5th Century B.C. History mentions that there were 64 Thalis in Kerala and the Lord of each Thali was called Thaliyathiri and it is believed that they were Brahmins of Vaishnava tradition. They were the pioneers who refined and renewed the Land of Paravoor. Since this land was in close proximity to the sea, it was called Paravoor. The word “Paravam’’ means Sea and “Oor’’ means Land. And this land of Paravoor was on the South. So the land came to be called South Paravoor. On 29th August 802 A.D, a certain faction of Christians from Pallipuram parish left and built a new small church here. The first churches in Kerala were all named after Our Lady. There were no churches in the the name of St. John the Baptist (M`mdana). (“M`mdhana” the Syriac word meant Baptist). So this new church was named after John M`mdhana. John the Baptist was the one who baptized Jesus. It is to be noted that due to the feast of St. John the Baptist of 24th June, the proceedings Diamper Synod were withheld in the year 1599 June. This episode attest to the fact that the parish feast of South Paravur had so much name and fame among the Catholic arena.
The original church was on the western part of the present Church where the present Holy Family School remains. There were beautiful mural paintings adorned the ancient church as per the narrations of the predecessors. That gorgeous edifice remained until 1895. There existed also an “Ecclesia Schola” a school. Historically it was the first educational institution of this panchayath. Under the leadership of Rev.Fr. Kammathuruthel Varghese the first church edifice was demolished in order to build a new school. On 1st January 1896 the foundation stone was laid for the new school building soon after the Morning Holy Mass.
The Cemetery was situated on the southern part and the southern precincts of the southern pillars of the church. In the year 1872 a chapel was constructed inside the cemetery. In 1802 the Church celebrated its Millennium Celebration.
The first parish church that got bifurcated from  this antique parish is none other than St. Francis Church Amballur in the year 1818. In 1846 a new church was consecrated in that area. Another noteworthy part of the history is that from 1866 onwards Fr. Yohannan Manickanamparambil served as the Vicar for 26 long years.
In 1892 the small church (Kochupalli) Udayamperoor Puthenpally (New Church of Diamper) was built in the Land bought from a person of Ezhava denomination for an amount of 90 Chakras.
The Church of Chethikode was also formed from this parish in the year 1916. In 1921 a small church in the name of Holy Family was established at Keechery. Later a new beautiful church was built after demolishing this small church.
On May 21st 1944, a new church named St. Sebastian`s Church, Prasadhagiri was formed from the parish of Keecheri.
Under the headship of Rev. Fr. Joseph Kattikaran the Old Church of South Paravur was demolished (built in the 10th Century) in the year 1911 and initiated for the building of a new church. In the year 1913 the Cemetery was transposed to the West Part at Pallikadavu. On 11 April 1934 when Rev.Fr. Yakob was the vicar, the then Metropolitan His Grace Mar Augustine Kandathil Consecrated the new church. One evening in the month of January 1934, the seven storied Bell Tower unfortunately was completely shattered.
The royal path was on the western side of the church in South North direction. This was made in the year 1904.
The Parish Council (Pallipothuyogam) held on Tuesday 25 February 1997 under the presidency of Rev. Fr. Paul Thenayan decided to demolish the Sacristy and they made a new façade affined to the Madbaha. On the Eastern side of the Church, a new chapel in the name of St. Sebastian was constructed. So presently this church has two façades. On 15th January 2000 Mar Thomas Chackiath blessed the new chapel and the new façade. In 2002 the 12th Centenary was celebrated with lot of fabulous ceremonies.
The absence of Mondola (precinct) which was common to traditional churches was built and that predicament was resolved by the efficient leadership of Rev.Fr.Joy Plackal by the year 2013. The new flag mast with a distinctive style is a striking sight to see. An auditorium (simple and unique) built in the nearby of the Holy Family School is a great relief for the parishioners social and cultural needs. The Main Entrance (Anavathil) and the side doors of the church built in architectural style attract everybody’s attention. The floors of the surroundings of the church are beautifully set with marble tiles. By the year 2014, the Church of South Paravoor got a new face. Thanks to the genuine support and generous collaboration of the people of goodwill of this parish.
The Stone Cross and the Chapels of the Catholic Church of S. Paravoor
1. The Stone Cross History says that there was a wooden cross on the Western coast (Padinjare Kadavu) of the Old Church. The present stone cross is centuries old and it was made from three rock pillars found from the church vicinity itself. St.Thomas Family unit members have modified the stone cross and maintains it beautifully.
2. Chapel of St.Antony`s
In 1900 this chapel was constructed facing west and in the year 1962 for convenient sake the chapel was reconstructed facing the East. In 2002 during the 12th centenary, the muddy road of this area was tarred and the road is currently known as centenary road.
3. The Chapel of St. Rocky 
This chapel is found on the western side of the Old Royal Passage known as Kurisupalli Parambu and this was constructed through the kind favour of Rev.Fr. Kuriakose Manikanamparambil in 1901. It remained until 1932. For the sake of constructing a new house it was demolished in the same year and re-established it near the Little Flower school facing the East.
4. The Chapel of Holy Family
The Karukapilly Family Unit built this chapel in 1977 and donated to the church. This is found 1 km away from St. John`s Catholic Church in the northern direction and is seen on the western side of the main Road.
5. St. George`s Chapel
In 1999, a chapel in the name of St.George was built on the eastern part of the Church facing the Road.
6. Poothotta Vailankanny Chapel
Near the Poothotta Boat Jetty and the Bus Stand, a chapel in honour of Our Lady of Vailankunnu (for St. Mary`s Church) was built. The procession from the Kattikkunnu Church goes unto this chapel. 
7. The Church of Kattikunnu
A chapel for the Veneration of Our Lady (Vanakka-masa-kappella) was built by 12 families (a Coconut Bamboo thatched shed) at Thoppilparambil Purayidom, on 1st May 1947. After two years, one small chapel was constructed here using wood and stones. The evening prayers were recited here by the faithful of this area. A request was made to the time to time vicars, to have Holy Eucharist at least on Sundays. But the request was never given a green signal. And later in 1966, when Rev. Fr. Xavier Cheruppallikatt became the vicar, this chapel was raised to the status of a filial church under the jurisdiction of S. Paravur Parish and started celebrating Holy Mass. During the Vicar-ship of Rev.Fr.Abraham Poochakattu, the then chancellor V. Rev.Fr.Abraham Karedan laid the foundation for this Chapel. On 6th June, 1986 Mar Antony Cardinal Padiyara blessed this Church during the tenure of the pastoral ministry of Rev.Fr.Paul Kariyatty. On 29th June 1986, the front side of the Church was destroyed due to a heavy tempest. The present church was built after two years. Rev. Fr.Joy Plackal reconstructed the altar. Mar Thomas Chakiath consecrated the church in February 2013. There are three family units (2 family units of Kattikunnu and 1 family unit of Pothotta) under this Church. There are about 75 families in this environ.

In Brief

Parish

:

Parappukkara

Forane

:

Parappukkara

Construction of First Church/Filical Church

:

Consecration of the First Church

:

Presbytery

:

Consecration of the renovated Church

:

School of the Parish

:

1

Convent / Religious House / Institute

:

1

Family Units

:

18

Catholic Families

:

290

Catholic Population

:

1450

Priests Parish

:

8

Religious Sisters

:

4

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