Province of Chennai
Province of Chennai

Claret Arulagam, Moonandipatti

Status : House
Foundation : 1996
Diocese : Archdiocese of Madurai
Specific Apostolate : Mission Parish & Social Apostolate

Claret Arulagam, Moonandipatti is located in the rural setting of Madurai, Tamil Nadu. The apostolates of the Community are Mission Parish and Claretian Mercy Home.

St. Antony Mary Claret Parish: St. Anthony Mary Claret Parish is the first parish of Claretians in India which is situated in Moonandipatti, 24 kilometers away from Madurai, and 17 kilometers from Usilampatti. The Parish was bifurcated from Usilampatti Parish and entrusted to the care of Claretians on 24th October, 1978. It has got nine sub-stations. The total Catholic families under this Parish are 150. Due to lack of priests to take care of the Catholic faith, the people went back to their old faith. With the help of Claretian Seminarians, Fr. Mathew Njayarkulam CMF, the first Parish Priest re-evangelized them into Catholic faith.

Claretian Mercy Home: Claretian Mercy Home is one of the first social apostolates of the Province of Chennai. It is located in Azhagusirai, 27 kilometers away from Madurai. A well-known Indian magazine namely ‘India Today’ published an article on 15th June 1986. The article was titled as ‘Born to Die’. It excelled the survey statistics of the dreadful practice of female infanticide in and around Usilampatti region of Madurai Dist. Faced with unbearable socio-economic pressures; women of the ‘Kallar’ community in Madurai District, Tamil Nadu State were killing their female infants by feeding cactus milk, soon after the birth. An estimated 6,000 babies have been killed from 1977 to 1986 alone.

Being a zealous Claretian missionary of the Karumathur region, Rev. Fr. Francis Xavier Dirnberger CMF wanted to respond to the dreadful social issue of the time and to save the lives of female infants. Therefore, with this intention, he founded Claretian Mercy Home in the year 1987. The home has helped to save the lives of 758 children so far. It has 11 children at present. Apart from this, the home has also cared for 200 aged people so far. It has now 19 old people.