Holy Ghost Forane Church
    
Parish History

Parish church is the realization of lifelong desires of a Christian. The Christian life begins in the parish church with the baptism. The church becomes the permanent dwelling place through death. Yes, the parish church is a place of happiness. Muttuchira church is such a place which provides the feel of bliss of the Holy Ghost.

The Muttuchira church is believed to be established in the 6th century AD. The Christians to this area were brought by the dependants of the then king Myal Pazhur Naboothiripadu and Mamalassery kymal. These land lords built and gave a church for them. The members of kallarveli family were the first Christians of this area. Many people came and settled here from different places later. This was a land suitable for the cultivation of ginger and paddy. The Muttuchira market came to existence slowly. It is said that Muttuchira had trade connections with Kochi in those days. The establishment of Muttuchira church believed to be taken place on the day of Pentecost on 25th of May, 550 AD. The first church was at a place called Kurisummood in Muttuchira market.

The cross in Kurisummood and the stone floor with lamps around the cross indicate its ancientness. The first church was with an arch madubaha in front of the cross and an altar blow the madubaha. As the number of the faithful increased the space was found insufficient and a new church was built by the 7th century. That new church was in the place of the present kochupally (small church) inside the church compound.

The church was damaged during the attack of Mukalan rulers in 9th century AD. The church bells were taken away by them. That church was renovated later and used till 12th century. It was renovated again in the 13th century. This church was in the name of the Holy Ghost. That church had the sacristy behind, verandas on both sides and the rooms for the priests to stay above those verandas. Denahathirunal was started in this church. It is written that ‘the first pontifical Holy Mass of Bishop Mar Parambil Chandy after his pontifical ordination was offered at Muttuchira church’.

A Persian cross was found inside the madubaha wall when the old church at Muttuchira was demolished. That cross believed to be of the 5th century. The archeology supervisor of Thiruvithamcor Govt. inspected that cross. His opinion is that the cross must be more than 1500 years old. The history tells us that the clerical heads were appointed in India from Persia. We can guess that one of the crosses, which were brought from Persia in those days, was placed in the ancient church at Muttuchira. The churches at Maylappur, Kadamattam, Angamali and Kottayam Valiapally also have such Persian crosses. The Persian cross was placed in Muttuchira church though the churches at Kuravilangadu and Kaduthuruthy were more ancient than Muttuchira church. The reason could be that Muttuchira was more important than those churches in those days. That Persian cross is placed close to the door inside the Valiapally (big church) now.

The historical documents mention that the stone cross in front of the church was built and donated to the church by Kallarveli Kurisungal Mathai Chacko in the 13th century. Muttuchira church was known as ‘Njayapally’. There was no place known as Muttuchira in those days. The paddy fields that we see today near the church could have been lakes when there was sea up to Muttuchira. The name Muttuchira must have come since those places were raised with bunds.

The present Valiapally (big church) and the presbytery were constructed during the time of Rev. Fr. Kuriakose Parambil, who was the parish priest here since 1859. This is a Forane church since 1890. The construction of the five storied bell-tower was started during the tenure of Rev. Fr. Ouseph Chakkalackal, who was the parish priest in 1901. There are three big bells on the fifth floor. The roof of the bell-tower has a cross on top of it. The total height of the bell-tower is 150 feet.  

The Pazhayapally (old church) was demolished in 1925 and the present Kizhake Cheriapally (small church at the east corner) was constructed in that place. The grotto in front of the church was built due to the efforts of Rev. Fr. George Kalappurackal. The parish hall was built by Rev. Fr. Joseph Periapuram in 1972. The cemetery Cappela was constructed by Rev. Fr. Augustine Perumattam in 2005.

The Muttuchira church has inseparable relation to Blessed Alphonsa. Alphonsamma from her 53rd day of birth till her entry into religious life lived in Muttuchira. Alphonsa received the Sacraments of ‘First Holy Communion’ and the ‘Confirmation’ in this church.

The Muttuchira Hospital was established as the result of the foresightedness of Rev. Fr. Devasia Pinakkattu in May 1954. This hospital, in the name of the Holy Spirit, was constructed in the church property for the people of Muttuchira by Rev. Fr. Devasia who took up medical service as his mission. We can be proud that this hospital, which goes high with modern facilities in medical field, was established by this parish. The schools, which are established for boys and girls separately by the parish, are the results of the constant efforts of our forefathers.

Muttuchira church was the first church established in the name of Holy Ghost in Kerala. Denaha is the main feast in this church. This parish, which grows in faith and spirituality, has 1170 families now.

‘Oh! The house of Holy Spirit, how blessed are these children, who are lucky to be born in you, live in you and thaw in you.’

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