• Gnanalaya, 26, Birds Road, Trichy - 620 001 Tamil Nadu, India

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History of the Friaries

1. Amalashram

Amalashram was founded in 1943 on the banks of the river Cauvery. It is a beautiful and natural place for prayer and contemplation. This is the first house of the Amala Annai Province. It was the house of theology from 1944 to 1949 for all the Indian Capuchins. It was the Assisi Home for the initital formation of the candidates till 1987. On 23rd May 1988, we started our own theologate here. In June 2009, the theologate was shifted to Francesco, Samayapuram. The ashram looks after the spiritual needs of the people living around. The devotion to St. Antony on every Tuesday attracts a lot of people, irrespective of religions. There is a multipurpose hall which is used for retreats, seminars and marriages. The Golden Jubilee of the House was celebrated on 01st October 1993. Amalashram was officially erected a parish on 16th January 1994. It looks after three sub-stations. Many priests, seminarians and sisters come here to renew themselves spiritually.

2. St. Mathias’ Friary

It was founded in 1971. St. Mathias’ parish of the Capuchins meets the spiritual needs of the people in and around Ashok Nagar. There is a social centre where girls are trained in tailoring, music and dance. It also provides computer education. It has a free legal aid cell too. A convenient parish hall was built in 1986 to cater to the needs of the parishioners. Out of this one vast parish, Chinmayanagar (1989) and Nesapakkam (1999) were created as new parishes. Due to the need of the time, the parish hall was renovated in 2015.

3. Gnanalaya

This house was founded in the year 1983. A house in Trichy town was bought and remodelled so that our students could stay and attend classes at St. Paul’s Seminary, Trichy. In the election chapter of 1987, it was decided to shift the provincialate from Coimbatore to Trichy. Hence, from April 1987 onwards, Gnanalaya is officially the provincialate of the Amala Annai Province of Tamil Nadu, India. After the bifurcation of the Amala Annai Province into two as North & South, Gnanalya continues to function as the provincialate of the Amala Annai Province, Northern Tamil Nadu, India. Udhayam, our social service centre, started functioning from November 1995 onwards. It provides training programmes in social awareness, family counselling, tuition to the school students and computer education. It coordinates the social activities of the entire province and looks after an orphanage (Kattur-Trichy) in the province.

4. Pio Illam

This was founded in April 1998. The Church in Arcot is situated on the Arni main road in 30 cents of land. Another 4 acres and 60 cents of paddy field at the outskirts belonging to the Church were also given to us by the bishop of Vellore. On the 14th of April, 1998 the parish at Arcot was officially inaugurated. We bought some 9 acres of land in Uppupettai, 3 kms away from the town for the friary. The friary was built and blessed on 9th May, 2000. In addition to the pastoral ministry, we serve the people through an English medium school, a driving school, a computer centre, tailoring, tuition centres. In 2015, the first batch appeared for their X public exam and secured centum result.

5. Vidivelli

Vidivelli was founded in June, 1998. A parish along with its shrine of St. Antony was given to us by the bishop of Dharmapuri. On 25th February 1999, the Vidivelli – Friary building and the presbytery were blessed. On 22nd May 2013, the parish was given back to the diocese. An animation centre was built to cater to the spiritual needs of the clergy of the diocese, religious and laity. It has been made use of even by the neighbouring dioceses & the Government. From 2014 onwards, the Animation Centre started functioning as ‘The Fountain College’, giving training on counselling and psychotherapy and offering M.Sc. Counselling and Psychotherapy under Periyar University, Salem.

6. Infant Jesus Friary

This friary was founded in June 2000. Vallam 1was a substation of Chengelpet town parish, which is the Cathedral of Chengelpet diocese right now. It was separated and given to the Capuchins. The parish has 4 substations. The Infant Jesus Friary was opened in April 2002. We have 3 religious congregations, both men & women, working in the territory of this parish. We have ample scope for spiritual ministry besides parish administration.

7. Jeevanathi

Jeevanathi house was founded in October 2001. Sendamangalam was a substation of Kosavampatti parish established in 1934. A friary with Capuchin presence was a long awaited reality in this diocese. The process was initiated in 1998 when Rt. Rev. Micheal Duraisamy, the former bishop, invited us. Sendamangalam is a mission with three substations and 70 Catholic families. The church is dedicated to Our Lady of Good Health. It has become a place of worship not only to christians but also to our Hindu brothers & sisters.


The word ‘CLARES’ stands for Capuchin Legal Awareness Research and Educational Services. It is at the service of God and humanity, expressing in its motto ‘An answer to the God-seeking Society’. It is a non-profitable organisation, rooted in the values of equality, justice, peace and universal brotherhood. It aims at creating a just society by fostering legal awareness and offering free legal aid to the marginalized and the underprivileged.

9. Karunaikadal

It was our long cherished dream to begin a technical educational institute in our province. This dream was realised when we laid the foundation stone for ITI at Thenkuda, Rameshwaram, on 3rd June 2006. The friary ‘Karunaikadal’ was blessed and inaugurated on 25th November 8. CLARES Trichy In the Diocese of Trichy – 2001 9. KARUNAI KADAL Thenkuda In the Diocese of Sivagangai – 2006. When the construction for ITI was on, our dream expanded into opening a Polytechnic College. On 25th May 2007, Udhayam Polytechnic College and the college chapel were blessed and inaugurated. We have 4 diploma courses namely: Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical and Electronics Engineering and Electronic and Communications Engineering. Udhayam De-addiction Centre was inaugurated on 28th March 2008. The Capuchin sisters from Philippines have opened their convent here to implant their order; they look after the girls’ hostel. This institute, though belonging to the territory of the south province, comes under the north province as an extra – territorial presence.

10. Sangamam

Ten acres of land on the southern side of the Cauvery river, at a place called Perugamani, near Thiruparaithurai was purchased in view of building our new theologate. Our friars landed here on 17th August 2005. We could not materailise our plan of building our theologate as the Government order restricted storeyed building on the river bank. Consequently, the theologate was shifted to Vengangudi, near Samayapuram, and Sangamam became a centre for holistic healing. At Sangamam, our friars are running a naturopathy centre to which many people come, both as individuals and families, for natural healing of their illnesses.

11. Thiagadurgam

Capuchins were the pioneering missionaries to Pondicherry as they served here tirelessly from 1632-1818.We re-entered the archdiocese in 2007 and established our presence. We bought a land in a place called Thiyagadurgam. A friary was built and blessed on 10th March 2008. It was raised to a mission parish on 12th July 2009. The place serves as a house of prayer. The friars engage themselves in AA, pastoral and animation work.

12. Francesco

It was a long-cherished dream of the Tamil Capuchins to establish a spacious structure for the theologate. This dream was realised when Franceso, the new theologate, was put up in Vengankudi, about two kilometers from Samayapuram, Trichy. The new theologate was blessed by Br. Mauro Johri, our Minister General, on 11th June 2008. The Capuchin Theological Institute was shifted from Amalashram to this location on 8th June 2009 with the solemn celebration of Lectio Brevis and a holy mass by Rt. Rev. F. Antonysamy, the bishop of Kumbakonam.

13. Padony Illam

Mrs. Christine Gomez Patrick, a retired professor from Holy Cross College, Trichy, was kind enough to donate her house at Thillainagar, for our use as a centre of worship and healing. After the renovation work the house was occupied by our friars from June 2012. It also renders free counselling to the people in and around.

14. Alverna, Yercaud

Br. A.J. Mathew during the previous administration bought 30 cents of land at Semmanatham in Yercaud to build a formation house. However, with 15 rooms and accommodations built, now this house functions as a Retreat Centre. The blessing and opening of our new house Alverna, Yercaud took place on the 5th of January 2017 in the presence of Rt. Rev. Dr. S. Singaroyan, the bishop of Salem.

15. Kanakammachattram

Most Rev. George Antony, the archbishop of Chennai entrusted the Parish of Jagan Madha Marial Aalayam Kanakamachathram to our province to fulfill the pastoral needs of the faithful by a letter dated 28th of May 2017. A contract will be signed after a year. We commenced our ministry on the 25th of June 2017. The parish of Kanakammachattram, located 22 kms away from Thiruvallur was bifurcated from Kadambathur and was established as a parish in 1975 under the divine Patronage of ‘Jagan Madha Marial’ (Mary – Mother of the Universe) with Thiuvelangadu, Nadumbaram, and Arcort Kuppam as sub-stations.

16. Ettukalpatty

Rt. Rev. Antony Devotta, the bishop of Trichy has graciously given us a quasi parish carved out of the parish of Keeranur. The Parish is called Ettukaalpatti with its substations Puliyur, Alangudipatty, Thennathirayanpatty and Kurukkathanpatty. This small agrarian village is situated just 5 kms from Keeranur in the Puliyur road. This QuasiParish Ettukalpatty which was on of the substations of Keeranur vicariate was raised to the status of a quasi parish on Sunday, the 9th of July 2017, and was handed over to the care of the capuchins.

17. Sivapuram

Sivapuram is one of the substations of the Cathedral parish, which is situated 8 kms away from Kumbakonam. The Church in Sivapuram is dedicated to St. Sebastine, Srirengarajapuram, a substation of Sivapuram is situated 3 kms away from the Cathedral parish. Rt. Rev. F. Antonysamy the bishop of Kumbakonam offered us St. Sebastine Church, Sivapuram, Kumbakonam as a mission station to our care. A contract (for 29 years) was signed by the diocese and the province on the 9th of 2017. Our pastoral mission commenced there on the 16th of July 2017.

18. Thalir

This new house is built in Mamandur, near Villupuam. Br. A.J. Mathew the then Provincial bought four acres of land for an animation centre. It was a major plan. As part of the progress, to from a community, we have constructed five rooms, two staircases, and a common toilet. The blessing and opening took place on the 21st of March 2018 by Most Rev. Anthony Anandarayar, the Archbishop of Pondicherry – Cuddalore.