MOUNT CARMEL ASHRAM
Kakkon P.O., Hoshiarpur Dt. Punjab - 146 001
Malabar Carmelite Mission which had been on the anvil for a considerably long time matured and fructified on Saturday, 31 March 1979, with the declaration of its official formulation during the Concelebrated Eucharistic Celebration officiated by His Excellency Rt. Rev. Symphorian Keeprath, Bishop of Jalandhar, in the presence of Very Rev. Fr. Patrick Mootheril OCD, Provincial of Malabar Province, and all the missionaries. In the homily the bishop highlighted the missionary heritage of the Carmelite Order and exhorted the missionaries to be trailblazers of the Carmelite Tradition in the North India, particularly in the demarcated independent territory for evangelization within the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Jalandhar.
As a fitting preparation for this significant milestone the missionaries spent a day in prayer and recollection followed by a missionary meeting on the eve of the official declaration. In the meeting the missionaries proposed and confirmed Fr. Auralian Kurias OCD as the superior and Fr. Ambrose Panackal and Fr. Francis Kunnelpurayidam as his councillors until a superior would be formally elected. As part of its agenda the meeting discussed its list of priorities: establishing a monastery at Hoshiarpur, a School at Una, a Hospital at Palampur, a School at Tanda, a Social Service Centre at Kangra, and a Spirituality Centre at Dharmasala.
With a view to finding out a suitable residence for the missionaries at Hoshiarpur Fr. Aurelian, who had been serving at Nakodar Parish, was relieved from his responsibilities and subsequently managed to get a two-room building-set with kitchen on rent near Govt. College, Hoshiarpur, on 14 August 1979, thanks to the help and support of Rev. Fr. Gilbert OFM Cap. On 24 August 1979, the anniversary of the reform of the Order, Msgr. N.V. Mathew, Vicar General, blessed the house in the presence of all the missionaries. Later Fr. Aurelian and Br. Avertan started to stay in the newly blessed house. In the due course Br. Avertan converted a small store room into a temporary chapel where Fr. Peter and Fr. Tobias celebrated the Holy Mass for the first time on the solemnity of our Holy Mother St. Teresa of Avila.
The earnest and unflinching search for a suitable block of land for the establishment of a monastery finally became fruitful when our fathers came across Mr. Buta Masih, a local Catholic, who took them to two brothers, Brigadier A.D. Verma and Dr. Ravi Datt Verma, the original owners of the land of present Mount Carmel Ashram, Kakkon, on Hoshiarpur – Dasuya Road. After consulting and securing the consent of all the missionaries, Fr. Aurelian signed the agreement with the party on 19 January 1980. Further, half of the same property was registered on 31 March 1980 and the other half on 2 May in the same year.
On 14 May Fr. Aurelian blessed and laid the foundation stone of the temporary Monastery. On 16 June the Bishop blessed the temporary house and offered the Holy Mass, and Frs. Auralian, Peter and Br. Avertan started living there. On 19 January 1981, Very Rev. Fr. Philip Sainz de Baranda, our Superior General, blessed and laid the foundation stone of Mount Carmel Ashram expressing his wish to see this house becoming an example of prayer and community life. Fr. General further urged the missionaries not to be taken aback by the initial jerks since difficulties and challenges were natural and inevitable during the infancy of every mission field.
Shortly after this, the first community of sisters reached Hoshiarpur to collaborate with us in the mission. On 29 March 1981, four Holy Family Sisters came from Adampur in the afternoon to establish their community at Kakkon. To accommodate the sisters, the temporary monastery was converted into a convent, and the fathers moved into the classrooms which were under construction, though the flooring and fixing of doors and windows were yet to be done. Fr. Aurelian welcomed the sisters into the temporary house and initiated their community life there with a short prayer. In the due course a proper convent was constructed for the sisters and was blessed and inaugurated by Msgr. N.V. Mathew on14 December 1985. The sisters moved into the new convent on 19 March 1986.
On 27 October 1987, the Provincial Council approved the plan and estimate for Mount Carmel Ashram, Kakkon. Thus, our first monastery in the mission was blessed on 29 June 1989 by Rt. Rev. Symphorian Keeprath OFM Cap. Bishop of Jalandhar, during a concelebrated Holy Mass which was attended by Rev. Fr. Patrick Mootheril, Provincial of Malabar Province, Rev. Fr. Ephrem, former provincial and the founder of Malabar Carmelite Mission, many fathers from the Malabar Province, all our missionaries, and fathers and sisters from the Diocese of Jalandhar and from the neighbouring Dioceses. On the eve of the blessing, Fr. Mathew Kaippayil joined the community along with 8 candidates.
“How lovely is Your dwelling place Lord, God of hosts” (Ps.84)
*Fr. Thomas Vazhakala OCD *Fr. Mathew Vengaloor OCD
*Fr. Joseph Vellanal OCD *Fr. George Vayalil OCD (Superior)
*Fr. James Kulathumkal OCD *Fr. George Chittuparambil OCD
*Fr. Abraham Eranattu OCD
"Whoever Dies Clothed in this Scapular, shall not Suffer Eternal Fire".
- Our Lady of Mount Carmel
Forgetting all things creaturely, remembering the Creator, attending to the interior, and loving the One loving thee. - St. John of the cross, O.C.D.