Poothathil Thommiachan I Fr Thomas Poothathil I poothathilthommiachan.org

 

Welcome to the official website of poothathilthommiachan.org.aite will be inaugurated on 26th Jan 2009 at Kottayam Christhuraja Cathedral

VISION

It was his vision that there should be certain women for the care of the physically disabled women and management of the Asylum and they should fully dedicate themselves for this purpose and later they should live like a congregation and they should be different from that of the congregation in Kaipuzha. Around 1927, there was a small community that lived like a congregation in the Asylum. So Father Thomas submitted application for approval for the establishment of a congregation on 14th May 1927 to Mar Alexander Chulaparambil. In the letter he stated that there were many women who wished to join the convent but they hesitate as it lacks an official name and approval of the ecclesiastical authority. He further stated that “I have reverence to the saints but I have more reverence to Saint Joseph.” (Pithrupadham, P. 106). So he requested the Bishop to give the name St. Joseph to the new congregation. The interested women who wished to join in the convent also requested to the Bishop and they also wished that their community to be elevated and erected as Congregation. One year later the request of Father Thomas, with the approval of the Bishop, two sisters come from the Visitation congregation to the Asylum 3rd April 1928 to give formation and training to the aspirants. They were Sister Katrina and Sister Johanna. With this the Bishop issued a letter on 15th June 1928 to begin a congregation in the name of St. Joseph on an experimental basis. On 3rd July 1928, after eight days of retreat, five members received vestition from Mar Alexander Chulaparambil. They were sisters: Josepine, Thomassia, Ignatia, Kochuthressia and Magdelena.

It was his last desire that his body must be buried in the convent chapel at Kaipuzha. Since the work of the chapel not complete, the bishop did not give permission to bury his body there. At his funeral service more then twenty- five priests and a notable number of Sisters and a large crowd tood part. Father Malayil Chackochen, the best friend of Father Thomas Poothathil gave the funeral oration. His body was buried at Kaipuzha Church, southern side of the altar. Later, Mar Kuriakose Kunnacherry, the Bishop of Kottayam permitted to transfer what remains from the tomb from the Church to the convent chapel at Kaipuzha on 4th December 1983 on his fortieth death anniversary. On the same day, his remains was officially placed in a copper box and again buried in a special tomb made in the convent chapel at Kaipuzha in the presence of the members from the congregation and of his family relatives by Father Jacob Kottarathil, the then Vicar of Kaipuzha Church. 

Indeed, his memory is held in holy veneration not only in the congregation of St. Joseph but also outside among large number of faithful. Quite a large number of faithful believe that the person in question had achieved a high degree of sanctity (fama sanctitatis) and intercedes for them in God’s presence. Many faithful come to his tomb to parry to him in their various and intercedes in their personal or family life; in their various needs and necessities. It is the firm faith that he is actually in heaven and now enjoys the beatific vision of God-Father, Son and Holy Spirit or in other words he has joined with the heavenly communion of saints and can intercede for us before the Father. In the houses and institutions of the congregation, his picture is regularly exhibited as the founder. Many narrate stories of miraculous healing obtained through his intercession; some sick persons tell of their healing through his mediation.

The time has come to collect and submit “the testimony of others of different walks of life,” to the official judgment of the Church. Indeed, further delay may end in the loss of valuable testimony of living witnesses, whose number is fast decreasing while their age is steadily advancing. Since it is a little bit older cause, we do not have much eye witnesses. Nearly sixty-four years have passed after his death; this delay is not due to “fraud or deceit on the part of the petitioner” (Normae Servandae, 8 b).

Positively, there are chiefty there foci of interest on the cause of the Servant of God Father Thomas Poothathil. First of all, there is the St. Joseph’s congregation, of which he is the foundly. Secondly, there is the St. Thomas Asylum, of which he is the founder; the idea of Asylum in Kerala for the fist time originated through him. Thirdly, the Archeparchy of Kottayam, of which he was a priest cumulatively for forty-six years. 

With the beatification of Father Thomas Poothathil the Syro-Malabar Major Archiepiscopal Church as a whole and the Archeparchy of Kottayam in particular will be able to propose especially to its eparchial priests an inspiring example of a holy priest fully dedicated to God and the service of others especially of handicapped women. His life of prayer can remind priests of the source of priestly spirituality, which is personal union with Christ through prayer. His obedience and submission to Church authorities, especially his bishop, can recall priests to the promise they made at their priestly ordination. As a saintly and a man who felt compassion on the pitiable condition of others, he is an example to those eparchial priests, who are engaged in pastoral ministry. Finally, it will be a matter of great satisfaction and joy for the St.Joseph’s Congregation to see their founder raised to the honours of altar. His life and works will thus be deservedly better known in the wider Catholic Church to the greater glory of God.