History of Thevara Church

Ernakulam was initially known as Anjikaimal. The northern border was Vaduthala and the southern border was Thekkumthala. Later on it became Thevara. There is also a tale that Thevara is the ‘Land of Thevar’. There is no tangible proof as to how Thevara became populous. It is believed that when the land in different parts of Cochin was acquired for the purpose of development, people started moving in to Thevara area as there were already some Christian families inhabiting the area. Since, most of the migrants were also Christians, Thevara became predominantly a Christian dominated area. During those days Thevara area was under the Venduruthy parish. Irrespective of Latin – Syrian rites, people used to attend the church at Venduruthy on Sundays and other important functions. As Venduruthy church was not accessible by road easily, people used to travel by canoes to attend the ceremonies.

Building of assemblage – Shrine

In those days, there were no places for worship other than a ‘Cappella’ ( Shrine) built by the Syrian Catholics in 1899 and another one built by the Latins at Mattammel Junction in 1908 in the name of St. Antony. In Malayalam year 1099 (1923) a small statue of St. Antony was obtained in the floods at the spot where the present Shrine is situated, by the local residents, and they in turn built a small shed and started with the ‘Prayer without Sleep’ program. There is also a tale that, one person tried to steal the ‘lamp with the chain’ and he wrapped it up in a piece of cloth and tried to carry it on his head and get away, and he could not do it until next morning. At that time, Late K.G Jacob, son of Varu Kuttamparambil, donated the land and the Shrine was built. Rev.Fr. Pinhero initiated the novena in the beginning. In 2008, the Shrine was renovated to accommodate more people to join the novena services.

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Building of the Church

Thevara Old Church
Old Thevara Church

When the population increased and the Syrian Catholics built the Lourde Church in 1910, the Latin Catholics also thought of building a separate church. Thereafter, in 1924, <strong>Kuttamparambil Chakku Sowryar</strong> donated the land for the church and cemetery. It was completed in 1925 and the first Holy Mass was offered.In 1947, St. Joseph’s Church, Thevara, became an independent parish and <strong>Rev. Fr. Joseph Thattarasserry</strong> was appointed as the first Parish Priest. While Rev. <strong>Fr. Vincent Pinhero was the Parish Priest</strong>, the work had started to build a <strong>Shrine for St. Jude</strong>, in the front of the church. At the time of Rev. Fr. Sebastian Mulloor, in 1961, the work of the Shrine was completed and the novena to St. Jude started. And thereafter. it did not take long to become a pilgrimage centre of the faithful.

During the period of Rev. Fr. Sebastian Mulloor, 3 houses were constructed and given on rent, to increase the revenue of the church. This land was donated Ayyappankattu Manayath Sowrikutty. In 1996, during the time of Rev. <strong>Fr. George Vettamparambil</strong>, the Parish Hall was built. In 2001, When Rev. <strong>Fr. Antony Cheriyakadavil</strong> was the Parish Priest, another Shrine was built in the name of <strong>St. George</strong>, near U P Bridge in Thevara South. This land was donated by Antony Joy Kuttamparambil. Under the present Parish Priest, Rev. Fr. Antony Titus, a master plan was made for the upliftment, as well as the building of 30, 000 square feet commercial complex and 14 grottos depicting the Way of the Cross. When the church is celebrating the golden jubilee of 50 years of novena service to St. Jude, it is at the helm of development in the field of spiritual as well as material.

Priests who have served St. Joseph’s Church, Thevara as Parish Priests

  • 1944 – 1952 Rev. Fr. Joseph Thattarasserry
  • 1952 – 1960 Rev. Fr. Vincent Pinhero
  • 1960 – 1965 Rev. Fr. Sebastian Mulloor
  • 1965 – 1972 Rev. Fr. Jacob Thundathil
  • 1972 – 1973 Rev. Fr. Thomas Nedumparambil
  • 1973 – 1977 Rev. Fr. Joseph Symenty
  • 1977 – 1979 Rev. Fr. Antony Lopez
  • 1979 – 1987 Rev. Fr. George Arackal
  • 1987 – 1993 Rev. Fr. Rocky Kalathiparambil
  • 1993 – 1997 Rev. Fr. George Vettparambil
  • 1998 – 2002 Rev. Fr. Antony Cheriyakadavil
  • 2002 – 2005 Rev. Fr. Thomas Pulickan
  • 2006 – 2011 Rev. Fr. Titus Antony Kurisuveettil
  • 2011 – 2017 Rev. Fr. Zacharias Pavanathara
  • 2017 – Present Rev. Fr. Joji Kuthukatt

The Present Church

st joseph Church Long View
The present Joseph & St Jude Shrine Church

The Church went for an major renovation during the period of Fr Zacharias [2011 – 17], the church was transformed to have better occupancy and all the devotees could view the ceremonies without obstruction. The church was also equipped with modern amenities and a large parking area during this period.