Conventual Franciscan Friars
Chittady P.O.
Chotty - 686524
Kottayam DT.
Kerala, India
Tel: 04828 270430
Fr. Paul Pothanattuveliyil, Guardian
Friar Antu Pallippatt
Fr. Robert Vellachalil
Fr. Williams Pengiparamban
Nirmalaram at Chotty in Kottayam District, Kerala in the eparchy of Kanjirappally was canonically established on 15 March 1981 as the first Friary and Minor Seminary on four acres and eighty eight cents of land and was dedicated to the Immaculate Conception of the B.V.M. Fr. Samuel Chetcuti was appointed the first Superior. On 10 May 1981, Bishop Mar Joseph Powathil of Kanjirappally blessed the first small house, which was on the land and enlarged by the friars to welcome the first vocations to the Order. Fr. Joseph Cilia, Provincial Custos blessed it again on 22 June 1996 after its renovation and named it Arambha Bhavan (the house of our beginning).

On 8 December 1981, the foundation stone for the new building was blessed by Bishop Mar Joseph Powathil and laid by Fr. Ferdinand Mercieca, Minister Provincial of Malta. On top of the foundation stone, the statue of the Immaculate Conception was erected. The new building, which was constructed on the plans prepared by architect Fr. J.M. Stevens S.J. of Bangalore was inaugurated and blessed by Fr. Lanfranco Serrini, Minister General on 8 April 1984. Bishop Mar Joseph Powathil blessed and consecrated the new chapel. Fr. Sebald Reil, General Secretary for the Mission of the Order and the Major Superiors OFMConv of Asia and Australia were present to this occasion.

On 19 March1983, the Novitiate House was also established at Nirmalaram and it remained there until it was transferred to Kolbe Ashram on 28 March 1987. The first Novitiate began on 02 May 1983 under the direction of Fr. George Attard. Nirmalaram served also for the formation of the Pre-Novices until 1986 when the pre-novices started also their formation at Kolbe Ashram.

During the celebrations to commemorate the establishment of the Provincial Custody, on 29 January 1995, Fr. Joseph Cilia, Provincial Custos blessed the new statue of St. Francis in front of the Chapel.

Under Nirmalaram comes the Shrine dedicated to St. Francis of Assisi by the side of KK Road erected to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the Order’s presence in India, whichwas celebrated on 24 November 1990. Fr. Alfred Calleja, Minister Provincial of Malta, blessed the Foundation Stone of the Shrine on 9 June 1991. The Shrine was inaugurated and blessed by Bishop Mar Mathew Vattakuzhy of Kanjirappaly on11 February 1992.



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