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   Chronology of Spiritual Growth


   The missionary activities in the region were started in the 16th century by a group of French Missionaries. This small village was known as Ganapathyvattom in those days. It was the invasion of Tippu Sulthan that changed the name into Sulthan’s Battery. Tippu converted a Jain temple in the locality into his battery resulted in the metamorphosis of Ganapathyvattom into Sulthan Bathery.
   Camping in a thatched hut, the missionaries offered holy mass and attended to the spiritual needs of the tribal communities near the Punchavayal tribal settlement at Koliyadi. The white planters wholeheartedly assisted the missionaries in their missionary activities. Later the missionaries shifted their base to a temporary church built to the West of the Ganapathy Temple on a hillock. The British government later allotted the land free of tax for the church in 1928. When the colonial planters shifted their focus from Sulthan Bathery to other parts of The Nilgiris district of Tamil Nadu, the activities of the French missionaries also came to a grinding halt.
   After a lull, the activities of the church were resumed in 19th century. The French missionaries from the Diocese of Mysore offered holy mass in a small hut, a Church in the name of Holy Mother. Once in a while they came to Sulthan Bathery all the way from Mysore for celebrating Holy Mass and administering Holy Sacraments to the faithful. In 1928 (July 23) in an order, the revenue settlement officer of Kannur allocated 4.83 acres of land exempted from tax to the Roman Catholic Church.
   In 1932 the Diocese of calicut was erected and the Jesuit fathers bought the Kuppamudi Estate. Once in a while the Jesuits from calicut visited Sulthan Bathery and attended to the spiritual needs of the people in the locality.
   The services once again interrupted after the sale of Kupppamudi estate. Later the priests from vythiri church attended to the needs of the people.Fr. L M Sookkol and Fr. Aloyi De Silva catered to the varied spiritual needs of the believers on Sundays apart from offering the Holy Mass.
   After the Second World War, the large scale migration of settlers from Central Travancore to other parts of the state started. The intensity of the migration increased many fold when the region was allotted for the rehabilitation of ex-servicemen after independence. As the number of Catholics increased at Sulthan Bathery a special memorandum was submitted to Bishop Pathroni of calicut, for a priest exclusively for the Sulthan Bathery parish in September 1948. His excellency visited the parish in the same year and appointed Rev. Fr. Sarghese, a Carmelite priest, as the first vicar of Sulthan Bathery. It was the selfless dedication of the early settlers and their matchless faith in God that resulted in the endless progress of the Assumption Church at the heart of Sulthan Bathery town.
   With the formation of Thalassery diocese in 1953 Sulthan Bathery came under the jurisdiction of the diocese under the great leadership of late Bishop Sebastian Valloppally,popularly known as the’Moses of malabar’. Later the Assumption Church came under the Mananthavadi diocese since its formation in 1973. Under the able patronage of Bishop Mar Jacob Thoomkuzhy (1973), Mar Emmanuel Pothanamoozhy (1997) and the present Bishop, Mar. Jose Porunnedam, the parish could withstand odd times it faced during its long decades of existence and could form into a spiritual community.


   Signs of Growth



   Considering the year’s long demand of parish members from Moolankavu, for a church and Sunday school complex a land was bought at Moolankavu in 2006. The construction of the church complex was started in 2007and Rev. Mar Jose Porunnedam consecreated the church in 2008.    The Assumption High School and U.P. School, St. Sebastian’s chapel at kottakunnu, St.Jude’s shrine at Moolankavu town, Assumption shrine in front of the Assumption Church in the town, the beautiful presbytery , Assumption shopping complex and assumption family quarters are some of the institutions that symbolise the hard toll of our ancestors.  There are three monasteries, nine convents and one provincial house of a congregation that exists in the parish. Various church organizations are functioning for the spiritual, cultural, and social well-being of the local people. Today, Assumption Forane Church stands as one of the prominent christian pilgrim centres in Kerala state. The Feast of the Holy Mother has become a 10-day long mega event in the district. The feast is celebrated at the end of January every year. The most attractive part of the feast is the solemn procession, carrying the sacred relics of the saints and Holy Mother. Adding to the beauty of the procession as many as 1000 children in colourful display to the tune of different musical instruments and bands would enhance its solemnity. Unburdening their sufferings and tribulations in the feet of Holy Mother, crossing all religious barriers, thousands of believers from all faiths would kneel down in prayer in front of the shrine of Holy Mother during day and night without interruption. The devotees flow from every nook and corner of the district during the ten days long parish feast. Sneha virinnu- food -also would be served for the believers on the final day of the feast.