I request the readers to go back to the articles
KAMUTHY- A NOSTALGIC NOTE and MORE ON KAMUTHY – HISTORICAL AND NARRATIONAL. published in GLOBAL PARAVAR already on April 10 , 2012. and on February 1, 2013 .
In these two articles I dwelt on KAMUTHY ,the village its people, customs and manners, habits and as I observed when I was young . I also delved deep into some records pertaining to Kamuthy in the archives of Jesuits in Kodaikkanal and deciphered that the Paravas of Kamuthy are migrants from south and had a church for themselves as early as 1755.and had seen and shared the rise and fall of Jesuits .
I feel I should leave the reader to read and see for himself what the Jesuits dispatches mention about Kamuthy. I am not giving all that I noted, but what is relevant for the time being. Here it is.
‘’ Kamuthy is the headquarters of a vast Pangou on the borers of marava land and Tinnevely.50 miles long from east to west and nearly 30 miles from north to south.’
The paravas who form the majority of Catholics come from South 150 years ago . the church itself 100 years old. [Circa 1755]
‘’It is a strong building – without style and façade not much ornamental.’’
‘’The catholic Parava community of Kamuthy complying with the decree of Pope Gregory XVI submitted at once to the vicar apostolic. It was visited by missionaries from Pondicherry then . After arrival of the Jesuits ,by several of our fathers. Among them —Frs Canoz, Fr. Puchchinelli and Fr Sartoria, the latter died in Kamuthy of cholera. His tomb ,an Indian monument is in the south east corner of the church. Old Christians say that he died after residing for a fortnight on 10 th March 1854. of cholera.’’
From 1855 to 1863 the church was attached to Rajakambeeram Pangou. It was entrusted to Fr. Trincal from 1863. In 1873, Fr. Lapport took charge of Kamuthy and tended the flock till 1879. ‘’
This 260 year old church, in my memory, had two aisles and a nave and was in the form of a cross, with a baroque non descript façade that had a statue of Mother Mary in a central alcove. The church was expanded in 1940s with a spire and an unfinished Mandapam by Fr. PaulViaux. Later the Mandapam was roofed with broad wall pillars which were later reduced to stone chiseled pillars. Later in 1980s the church was again renovated and re strengthened .
Now it is getting a facelift. A generator is available. The old foot pedal harmonium has gone. A new key board is available. Re-roof has been done. False roofing is in place. Plenty of buried lights are fixed in the false celing. Windows have been re furbished.. two triangular facades have come in, centering the existing spire. Marble floorings and marble wall cladding have been done. A new alter has been constructed with granite topping. The rear of the alter is being done in wood. The pedestals for St. Antony and Sahaya Madha have been granited and wooden canopied.
Father Parish Priest was mentioning that we need to do up the grotto also. I asked him are there not any of the parishioners to do the KARASEVA. Promptly he replied there was none available to do such chores. Further he added that mostly women only attend mass. I wondered then why we should do up the church.
We really need to pray and ponder.
by A,X. Alexander.