MAKING A DREAM A REALITY
I am a parishioner of Our Lady of Snow Basilica, Pallipuram in the Kottapuram Diocese, which is more than 500 years old. I am a member of the Confraternity of the Most Holy Rosary and was inscribed as a member on 18/03/2013. Since then, I have come a long way in the devotion to our Blessed Mother. Now, my dream is to do everything possible to make this international association of the faithful popular here in Kerala and save thousands of souls for Jesus through Mother Mary.
Two years ago, I was really excited to get a green signal from Dominican Friars in establishing a Rosary Confraternity in this part of the world. I assured them that I will do everything possible to make this ‘dream’, a reality!
I was told that establishing a local chapter of the Confraternity is a bit complicated process. Also, as I understand, process of setting up a new chapter of the Confraternity in Pallipuram was little difficult, as there are no Dominicans nearby. So, to establish a local chapter of the same in our Parish, initially there were so many hurdles to overcome. The first one was to identify and get the permission of the diocesan bishop. The second one was to identify a Parish priest who was willing to be the local director and take the extra responsibility of the Rosary Confraternity.
Further, inspite of the fact that we received green signal to go ahead to ‘prepare the field to sow the seeds of the Great International organization, the Rosary Confraternity, I did not have any credentials to show that I was genuine and serious! This proved to be a big hurdle in my endeavour towards achieving the goal. It was a genuine concern for me particularly because I am a family man and I have to convince priests & bishops about the Confraternity.
However, under the guidance of the Dominican Fathers, we contacted Rt. Rev. Dr. Joseph Karikkassery, the Bishop of the Kottapuram Diocese of Kerala. He showed great interest and gave a whole hearted welcome to Rosary Confraternity in his diocese. He directed Rev. Fr. Prince Padamattummal, the then Rector of Our Lady of Snow Basilica to do the needful to establish the Rosary Confraternity.
So, according to the promoter’s instructions, we started preparing the Membership Register, Certificates for the members, etc. Each member was allotted one full page in the Register, showing his/her State, Diocese, Parish, Address, Age, Telephone No., Email Id etc. A beautiful laminated certificate was designed bearing the picture of Our Lady giving Rosary to St. Dominic and St. Catherine.
The Bishop of Kottapuram Diocese, Dr. Joseph Karikkassery asked me to draft a short description of Confraternity in a Curia Paper, showing the objectives, obligations of a member, spiritual benefits etc. which he had to place before a panel of priests. I was told that it is the formality when it comes to matters like this.
As a pre-runner of official establishment of the Rosary Confraternity Local Chapter, we decided to pray 20 decades of the Rosary after the 4.30 pm Mass in the Basilica every Saturday from 24/05/2014; and we are still following this tradition till date.
Then under the supervision of the Provincial, Rev Fr. John Kusumalayam, the one & only Confraternity of the Most Holy Rosary in India was formally established in Our Lady of Snow Basilica, Pallipuram on 22/06/2014. It was a new Rosary Confraternity, and yet first of its kind in India in the Basilica of Our Lady of Snow, Pallipuram. After the announcement of raising the Lady of Snow Church to the status of a Basilica, this was another feather in the cap of this Parish!
Rev. Fr. C.D. Thomas of the Dominican Order came to the parish for this purpose & handed over the Decree signed by the Master of the Dominican Order and the Provincial to the local director Rev. Fr. Prince. It was like a dream came true for us.
At the request of Dominican Friars, we started collecting information about the Confraternity from the website, St. Louis Montfort’s books, etc. for preparing Rosary Confraternity booklet in Malayalam. With God’s grace and Our Lady’s help, we completed writing the Confraternity hand book in Malayalam and sent it to Fr. John Kusumalayam on 20/3/2015. A couple of months later, I met Fr. Kusumalayam & handed over 1000 copies of the Malayalam Handbook of Confraternity.
In addition, to coordinate the working of the Confraternity and to give a boost to the devotion to Our Lady, Rev. Fr. Saju Kochuparambil and Fr. Sunil Martin D’Souza came on a visit to our parish on 16/01/2016. During their visit, we met the Parish priest, Rev. Fr. Einstein of Our Lady of Velankanni Church by the sea shore and he gave his verbal consent. Arch Bp. Dr. Francis asked the Rector Rev. Fr. Joseph Thannikott of Our Lady of Ransom Basilica at Vallarpadam, which is under the Arch Diocese of Verapoly to initiate the process of establishing a Rosary Confraternity in order to help people to share the spiritual benefits of Rosary Confraternity in his diocese as well. In many of my ventures, Mr. Regi Antony has been a great motivating companion to me.
Infact, there were many suggestions to make the Organization more popular. The prominent one was to make a CD on the different aspects of the Rosary Confraternity. After evaluating all the suggestions, we hope to adopt a working plan to achieve the milestone of attaining 2000 memberships by the end of this year. These suggestions are definitely going to yield positive results.
We take this occasion to extend our sincere thanks to the Dominican Order. We humbly request each and every member of Dominican Family to help us to make our dream a reality. May our Blessed Mother guide us to win more souls for Jesus through the Confraternity!
AVE MARIA !
By Mr. Jacob Acharuparambil
Rosary Confraternity in Kottapuram Diocese
Since 15th century, Rosary Confraternities have been established throughout the world under the guidance of the Dominican Friars. This centuries old Catholic Association promotes devotion to Mother Mary through the recitation of Rosary and was popular mainly in Europe.
In India, we started working with the goal of establishing a local Chapter of Rosary Confraternity in our Parish, Our Lady of Snow Basilica at Palliport (Pallipuram)
Basilica of Our Lady of Snow, Palliport
under the Diocese of Kottapuram. Though there were many hurdles to overcome, surprisingly we got encouragement from all quarters. Under the guidance of the Dominican Fathers, we approached Dr. Joseph Karikkassery, the Bishop of
Dr. Joseph Karikkassery
Kottapuram Diocese. He gave us a whole hearted support to initiate the process of establishing a Local Chapter of the Confraternity of Most Holy Rosary in the Diocese. Fr. Prince Padamattummal, the Rector of the Basilica of Our Lady of Snow, Pallipuram also showed great interest & offered all help.
Fr. Prince Padamattummal
As, Fr. John Kusumalayam, the Prior Provincial of the Dominicans was eager to see the Local Chapter of the Rosary Confraternity established in India, we did all the necessary formalities for the same in a war footing. Eventually our effort gave us result. The year 2014 added a golden page to the history of the 500+ years old Basilica of Our Lady of Snow. On 22nd June 2014, the Local Chapter of the Rosary Confraternity, the first of its kind in India was established in our Parish. It was like “a dream came true” experience for all of us.
Fr. C. D. Thomas, O.P. came to the Basilica to formally establish the Confraternity of Most Holy Rosary. Fr. Prince Padamattummal, the then Rector of the Basilica was appointed as its Local Director. After officially establishing the Rosary Confraternity, the Dominican Fathers continued to visit the Basilica offering us help.
Almost two years now, we are proud to say that there are about 1000 members in the Rosary Confraternity of the Basilica of Our Lady of Snow Pallipuram.
We have formulated many programmes to enroll more members into this unique and one of its kind Catholic association in the world which offers numerous spiritual benefits.
We are proud to say that by this initiative in Pallipuram, we could prepare a Hand Book on Rosary Confraternity in Malayalam, which we hope is going to help thousands of the Malayalam speaking Community in the coming years.
As Fr. Prince got transferred to another Parish, we have a new Local Director, Fr. Joseph Olattupuram, who is
Fr. Joseph Olattupuram
Rector in charge of the Basilica as well. He is very keen to enroll more members to the Confraternity and we take his advice on all the matters concerning the same.
As part of promotion of the devotion to Mother Mary through Rosary, every Saturday, there is recitation of all the four mysteries of Rosary in the Basilica after the 4.30 PM Mass.
The only Christian Association which retains the membership even after death is a good enough reason to be a member of this great Catholic Association. If you are still not a member of the Confraternity of the Most Holy Rosary, please enroll as a member today!
Mr. Jacob Acharuparambil
(Mr. Jacob Acharuparambil has been a great instrument in formal establishment of Confraternity of Most Holy Rosary in Pallipuram, Kerala. His dream is to do everything possible to make this international association of the faithful popular in Kerala and save thousands of souls for Jesus through Mother Mary)