Kelambakkam is a rapidly growing suburb of Chennai in Tamil Nadu, India. It is situated on the Old Mamallapuram Road (also known as the IT corridor/Rajiv Gandhi Salai) and is about 35 km from Chennai.
Christianity in Kelambakkam
There were ninety socially backward families, who realizing their powerlessness and social restrictions in 1939surrendered themselves to the parish priest of Covelong (Kovalam)Fr. Jeganthan, known as ‘Father of Covelong.’ These people became Christians. Kelambakkam which numbered one among the substations of Covelong was served by many priests including Fr. K.M. Joseph whose period is known as ‘Golden Period’ in the parish history of Covelong. Archdiocese of Madras joining hands with Swiss Charitable Agencyestablished the TICENO Farm for the people of Kelambakkam to provide various job opportunities and be freed from the clutches of the landlords. But, as the years went by, mismanagement, corruption and exploitation led to malfunction and thereby closing down of the farm. Fr. K.M. Joseph again registered thirty two acres of land for the purpose of cultivation by the parishioners of Kelambakkam. The farm known as Matha Pannai continued to support the parishioners economically till late eighties. Now the land is owned by the diocese of Chingleput.
MSFS in Kelambakkam
In 1996,Christ the Redeemer Parish, Kelambakkam was bifurcated from Covelong.MSFSdesignated Fr. Joseph Francis Britto as the first parish priest.This parish has two substations, namely Komanagar and Thaiyur. Fr. Britto imbued with the spirituality of St. Francis de Sales won the hearts of the people and planted the seeds of faith in them. He met with an accident in 1999and died a premature death.
This parish was entrusted to the MSFS in perpetuumin 1999 by the Archdiocese of Madras-Mylapore. Fr. A. Luckas, who succeeded late Fr.Britto, constructed the presbytery in 2000.Fr. P. Stephen continued the good works and constructed a chapel at Komanagar in 2002.He also initiated the process of constructing a new church in the main station. Christ the Redeemer Church campus had a major face-lift during the time of Fr. A. Edward, who completed the construction of the parish church in 2006. The church was blessed and inaugurated on 17 December. He also constructed the compound wall.The Parish has a catholic population of 3000 spread throughout Kelambakkam. The main parish has got around 400 catholic families.
During the period of Fr. A. Edward, due to various problems and disputes, the land of TICENO farm which was once managed by the Swiss Charitable Agency, was sold out and a little portion of the amount was distributed to the parishioners of Kelambakkam who once toiled in it. A major amount was also given to the parish by the diocese of Chingleput for various developmental works. With the co-operation of Assistants and a major financial aid from the diocese Fr. A. Edward was able to construct a new Parish Church, School Buildings, Community Hall and Boys Home. With his initiatives MSFS started a Nursery & Primary School in the church campus in 2009. Together with the parishioners he also managed to get two acres of land for the purpose of SFS School from the Matha Pannai land, once cultivated and benefited by theparishioners of Kelambakkam.
Succeeding him, Fr. R. Mathias brought about an order and structure in the administration of the sacraments and of the temporal goods. In order to give the people more spiritual nourishment, he opened an adoration chapel and began English Mass in the parish on Sundays.
The Fransalian Community, lay mission partners and parishioners together form a community of Christ centered and socially-committed families with preferential care for the children, youth and the poor through the guidance of Christ the Redeemer and St. Francis de Sales.
Christ the Redeemer Parish commits to do all things in the spirit of St. Francis de Sales with compassion, humility and gentleness: To provide meaningful celebrations of sacraments that would be pleasing to God and uplifting, relevant and applicable to everyday life. To encourage the parish members to share in the mission of Christ the Redeemer, in all that they say and do, to those they live and work amongst, for the sake of the Kingdom. To promote active laity participation and leadership while opportunities are sought to involve as many people as possible in the worship and activities of the church and extending a warm welcome to the newcomers. To attract more children of all ages as we allow more child/youth involvement in Church life to see Christianity becoming integrated into their lives. To be available and supportive to the needs of each person in our care and their families while respecting and promoting the dignity and independence of each person. To work for the alleviation of the poor and the sick from their plight and the evangelization of the unchurched while it upholds and prioritizes the establishment of BCCs and works for the sustainability of pious associations and social organizations. To live in the Christ the Redeemer community as one family, applying Christian values of love, kindness and understanding, irrespective of age, caste, race, colour, or creed.
|Fr. Joseph FrancisBritto||1996-1998|
|Fr. A. Luckas||1998-2000|
|Fr. P. Stephen||2000-2004|
|Fr. A. Edward||2004- 2010|
|Fr. R. Mathias||2010- 2012|
|Fr. J. Stephen||2012|
Assistant Parish Priests
Fr. M. Michael Selvans, Fr. L. Arul Sundaram, Fr. S. Vanathaiyan, Fr. S. Antony Raj, Fr. S. Jerald Abin, Fr. Z. Philomin Raj
INSTITUTIONS UNDER THE PARISH
- R.C. Primary School, Kelambakkam (Estd.1904)
- R.C. Middle School, Komanagar (Estd.1964)
- St. Peter Bentaneur Nursery & Primary School, Thaiyur (Estd.2006)
- SFS Boys Home, Kelambakkam (Estd.2007)
- SFS School, Kelambakkam (Estd.2009)
|Christ the Redeemer Church
Kanchipuram Dt 603 103
Tamil Nadu, S. India
Tel: 044 – 27475424
|PP. Stephen J, Superior & Parish Priest
Martin Anand K, Asst. P.P.
Aloysius Maria Bensiger P
|S.F.S. Matric. High School
S.F.S. Nagar, Vandalur Road
Kanchipuram Dt 603 103
Tamil Nadu, S. India
Tel: 044 – 27474747; 0091 9962047997
Medium: English, System: Matric
Students: 926; Class: LKG to IX
|PP. Stephen J, Correspondent
Aloysius Maria Bensiger P, Principal